Radio-controlled mini-warships battle it out

A miniature naval battle simulation.
Homemade battleships at Maker Faire, Austin, in October 2007.
Almost like the real thing.

Now here’s a hobby I didn’t know existed: members of the North Texas Battle Group build elaborate radio-controlled balsa warships armed to the teeth with CO2-powered BB guns, then launch them in a nearby lake and battle it out. Also on board are pumps to evacuate water taken on after direct hits, independent rudder and propeller assemblies, and an auto-deployed float to help salvage the not-so-fortunate sunken wrecks. And it’s not just in Texas—similar clubs are staging regular mini-naval battles around the world.

BB-gun-like artillery cannons on a homemade battleship.
The heavy artillery operates like paintball guns.
The water pump and motor inside a DIY battleship.
The pump and motor assemblies.