|One day, the Adventure Team Commander is summoned to the laboratory of
Dr. Joseph Sydney - the Adventure Team Research and Development Department
"Ahem ..... excuse me Dr. Syd ... you wanted to see me?"
Dr. Syd turns from his workbench, momentarily blocking the Commander's view of the items on it.
|"Commander ... thank you for coming down here on such short notice."
"No problem Dr. Syd ... I always know it is something real important when you call me."
Dr. Syd turns towards the A.T.E.C-1 (Adventure Team Escape Car 1) and continues. "I did as you asked Commander. I began looking at what would be required to replace the failing nuclear cells of the A.T.E.C fleet and what we could do to improve performance."
The Commander knows this is something of extreme importance to the World Wide Adventure Team organization - and urges the Dr. to go on. "Please continue, Doctor."
"Thank you, Commander. We can replace the aging nuclear cells with new ones that should be able to last for 30 plus years each. However, we will not be able to improve more than 10% on the top speed of 25 miles per hour. And the weight will only reduce by about 8 pounds - down to 74 pounds."
"Wow." The Commander says. "That really isn't much, given the amount of time and money you think it will cost."
"Actually" Dr Syd answers "The cost is fairly reasonable. But as you said, the time will be extensive to retrofit these vehicles. And they will still only perform the same, limited duties they perform today."
|"If you would step this way please." Dr. Syd motioned the to the Commander.
"And join me at the work bench ... I have some things I think you will be
very interested in."
The Commander moved to the bench and queried the Doctor on the contents. "I noticed these on the way in ... what are they, Doctor?"
"These, Commander ..." Dr. Syd said, gesturing to the two items dominating the table top. "... are the future of the Adventure Team Mobile Response Team."
Continuing on, the Dr. said. "The cylindrical device you see here with the solar panels on top is a high capacity solar generator and battery array. This device we will mount on the Escape Car replacement - which I will get to shortly - and will provide a 50% short term performance infusion. In other words - it is a solar turbo-charger!"
"Excellent Doctor - I really cannot wait to see what you will be doing with this. But what is the small, solar panel-on-wheels for?" queried the Commander.
"Ah yes." Replied Dr Syd, "This is a remote control camera platform. See - the camera is mounted at the front .. the solar panels charge the battery pack for up to 8 hours of continuous use. Its top speed is only a few miles per hour, but it will go where our people cannot go and will keep them out of harm's way. We based it on the Mars Rover - that vehicle performed extremely well in situations much more severe than ours will probably see."
"Excellent Doctor! We have been looking for something like this Rover for years! But how do the two fit together? And fit in with the Escape Car?" asked the Commander.
Doctor Syd turned away from the Commander and began heading back to the Escape Car, but intoned over his shoulder "Come back in one hour Commander. I will have something even more exciting to show you."
|An hour later, the Adventure Team Commander returned, to find a low,
strange looking tracked vehicle on the floor of the Doctor's workshop.
For his life, the Commander could not figure out what it was. Finally, he spoke up. "Ok Doctor ... I give up ... what is it?"
"Ah!" Exclaimed Dr. Syd. "This is the old police barrier buster we built last year. The police love it ... and so do I! THIS is the basis for our new vehicle, Commander."
As the Commander began to study the vehicle, Dr. Syd continued. "This vehicle has a nuclear cell that will let it go - without pause - for up to 5 years STRAIGHT! I plan on converting it to resemble the Escape Car - but provide MUCH more of the functionality we have been wishing the Escape Car had. I will let you know when I have finished, Commander. And then we can begin testing it!"
As the days roll by, the Doctor begins the engineering ,and then creation of, the new Adventure Team Escape Vehicle!
|Little by little, the vehicle changes ... until ...|
|"Gentleman." Dr. Syd addressed the gathered Adventure Team members. "I
give you ... the OMTEV - the One Man Tracked Excursion Vehicle."
The Adventure Team Commander scratched his beard and asked the Adventure Team Section 1 Commander to his right. "What do you think, Brad? It is bigger than the old one, but it sure looks more formidable."
"The thing certainly looks cool." Brad said. He then turned his attention to the Doctor. "This is obviously not a back pack-capable vehicle, Doctor."
"No, it is not." Agreed Dr. Syd. "However, our section poured over the mission reports for the last 30 years - the Escape Car was actually only used in 10% of the missions as a back pack-delivered vehicle. All other times, it was driven to the mission, flown to the mission, or in some other manner delivered. All of which, we can do with the OMTEV and more!"
"Let me describe this a bit, gentleman. The computer controls both the vehicle and the remote robot camera platform. The small box in back can hold mission gear - something sorely lacking on the old Escape Car. And, on subsequent models of the OMTEV, we are adding larger carrying boxes. Under the seat, we have mounted the solar panel and battery array - which will boost the top speed from the standard 35 miles per hour to almost 55 miles per hour! The radar dish in front is a dual radar and FLIR - Forward Looking Infrared Radar. The front light and two rear lights are magnetically mounted so the rider can remove them for use if needed. There is a smoke generator on the left front and a fire extinguisher on the right front. And ... the Coup de Grace ... the remote camera platform will store on the back of the vehicle for delivery to its intended usage area." Dr. Syd could barely stop to catch his breath before continuing. "And, note that the side protection barriers can come off - which will add about two mph to the overall speed. And of course, note the main console and seat are from the Escape Car. We had a lot of spares, so we figured they would make the transition for our users easier - so we used them. We will, of course, keep the Escape Cars for their original role and use the OMTEVs in an expanded role."
The Commander was obviously impressed - and seemed to express the sentiments of everyone in the room. "Very impressive, Doctor. Well ... what say we start testing?"
"As soon as I have completed the next two vehicles, Commander, we can begin the testing!" said Dr. Syd.
Two weeks later ...
|At the Section 1 Adventure Team Headquarters, Dr Syd, The Adventure Team
Commander, the Section 1 Commander, and Adventure Team Scientist James William
began testing the first three OMTEV units - each designed with slightly different
gear for different missions.
After extensive testing, the OMTEV's pass with flying colors.
The Adventure Team now has a new tool available for use in many different adventures!
Below, you will find some supporting pictures that describe what I am doing and point out some of the props I am using or have created.
|This picture shows the welding torch dolly I built. I figured Formative
did a great job on the torch, so it had to have a companion dolly.
The base of the dolly is from the front grill of the Hasbro SAS Jeep (I cut most of the grill out to make the grill represent what the desert rats did). NEVER throw anything away!
There are two brackets that hold the sides of the tanks - these were made from two bars of the same grill. The curved portion of the handle is made from the machine gun arms of the Battleship Row Defender machine gun (never throw anything out.)
The wheels are from one of those little stunt bicycle sets.
The rest is made of Plastictruct pieces.
The welders mask Dr. Syd has is from the Rosie The Riveter figure.
|You probably noticed these wind breakers on the various figures. I
got the windbreakers at a dollar store (Dollar Tree) - each one represents
a discipline (and I will probably be using them in my subsequent photo stories.)
Note the Adventure Team Commander ... he was in charge 30 years ago and he is STILL in charge. But he has greyed a bit! His head is on one of the Repro TC bodies (with heavy mods done to the neck post.)
|Here it is ... the OMTEV (One Man Tracked Excursion Vehicle). You
can clearly see the AT Escape Car console and seat (I put the AT stickers
on the console.) The main headlight does in fact work.
The black bar at the front (in front of the headlight) is a foot rest.
The computer opens, swivels left and right, and pivots forwards and back.
The tool box opens and carries various parts.
The map holder stores maps.
The vehicle has an R/C range of 15 feet or so - not too bad.
The vehicle chassis is based on the Battle Bots (surprisingly - made by Hasbro! under the TIGER name) El Diablo Jr vehicle.
The vehicle works on 27Mhz but can run on three different channels. As it turns out, many of the chassis are similar and you can interchange the tread parts with the other Battle Bots. So, you can get the 49Mhz Battle Bots and have another three vehicles. You can have up to six of these going at one!
Other OMTEVs I have built use the 21st Century Toolbox in the back (for increased storage), a joystick directional control (instead of theEscape Car handles), and other minor changes.
The last OMTEV I plan to build will probably use one of the Jungle crates from the original GI Joe sets for storage or have a tow assembly and have a computer mounted on the front again.