Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Battle Ram prototype project

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Battle Ram prototype project

    If anybody knows where I can get good photos or accurate schematics of the prototype Battle Ram, please speak up!

    Click image for larger version

Name:	36ff0ad3512aad31.png
Views:	120
Size:	271.6 KB
ID:	59200

  • #2
    See if you can contact Adam who runs/owns the Battle Ram Blog, probably he has more info to share with you:
    I was obsessed with the Battle Ram the moment I saw it on the shelf as a kid. Maybe that’s obvious from the name I chose for this blog. Unlike most of the other MOTU items I got as a kid, the…


    Scroll down and leave a comment of you can, also you can probably send him a tweet over at his account:

    Comment


    • #3
      As per your suggestion, I sent him a private message. Unfortunately, the site lists his last visit as being in 2020. So, just in case he can't access his account, I'll paste the same message here....

      As I mentioned in a recent thread I started, I'm looking for details on the prototype Battle Ram that was used in the early literature and commercials. I gather that you've managed to accomplish what I wasn't [sic]: an interview with Ted Mayer. (Though Mark put me onto him, I think they were both worried about Mattel's saber rattling at the time, and so Ted declined. Either that, or that weird instance where Mark hinted about someone pestering him, like he thought it might be me, and so perhaps warned Ted?)

      Whatever the history, I'd like to know whether that "Battle-ram-control-drwg.jpg" (3078x1590; 557.9 kB) from your 'blog is the reference to use for the prototype, or just one of many. If there's an even larger source image, I'd love to have that, too. My goal is to someday build a life-sized version of the prototype-style Battle Ram -- as opposed to the production Battle Ram, which wasn't as detailed and doesn't quite match the mini-comics.

      Until I went and re-read your 'blog post on the subject, I didn't realize there was a separate sculptor. Is he still around? I'll take whatever help I can get, be it from him, Ted, or others, and in whatever form (schematics, photos, models, etc.). Beyond merely replicating the prototype's shape, it would also be helpful for me to understand what Ted envisioned the various bits, pieces, nooks, and crannies to be.

      Any help or referrals you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 1F409 View Post
        As per your suggestion, I sent him a private message. Unfortunately, the site lists his last visit as being in 2020. So, just in case he can't access his account, I'll paste the same message here....

        He's still active on Twitter, so I'm assuming he does visit his own site... He's also part of these forums, but he hasn't been active here for a long while! I don't know, but if you send him a PM, it might reach his email if has that feature active!?

        Comment


        • 1F409
          1F409 commented
          Editing a comment
          Also left a comment on his Ted Mayer 'blog post, mentioning that I have questions and posted about it here.

      • #5
        I responded to your PM. Basically all of my images for Battle Ram concept art and the prototype are here:

        Ted Mayer is one of the original creators of the Masters of the Universe toyline. He designed many beloved MOTU toys, including the Battle Ram, Wind Raider, Attak Trak, Eternia, Slime Pit, and othe…


        Former Mattel designer Ted Mayer shared some Battle Ram concept art with me that he recently rediscovered in his portfolio. I previously had lower resolution copies of this art (one from my 2015 in…


        There are basically two images that are the prelude to the physical prototype in there. I will be interested to see what you come up with!
        Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.

        https://battleram.wordpress.com/

        Comment


        • 1F409
          1F409 commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not seeing the PM anywhere. I checked both Visitor Messages and actual PMs, here. I checked the linked 'blog posts. I checked Gab. Where did you leave it?

        • 1F409
          1F409 commented
          Editing a comment
          Never mind. Found the message on your visitor page.

          Do you happen to know what became of the prototype model?

        • Battle Ram Man
          Battle Ram Man commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know what became of it, unfortunately. Either it's in private hands or it was thrown away.

      • #6
        Looking back at why I ceased my original attempt using the section drawing, I now remember that I had noticed details that differed from the later physical prototype. The easiest to spot is probably the sky sled's front weapon. The drawing makes it a fixed mount with an arrow-like motif, whereas the prototype looks more like a laser pistol on a pivot (indeed, as it's shown when Mer-Man experiments with the controls in "Battle in the Clouds"). This does complicate things a bit, and the level of precision I'd hoped for might be impossible.

        Comment


        • #7
          I have managed to get in touch with Ted Mayer, and will be arranging an interview to get details on the Battle Ram. Here is the list of questions I've come up with. Please let me know if I'm overlooking anything!


          INTRODUCTION

          My goal in this interview is to understand the design elements present in the prototype Battle Ram, so that I might accurately recreate it as a computer model, then attempt to engineer it for use as an actual, life-sized vehicle.

          A key question regarding the many shapes, doodads, and features is what inspired their design. Are there aspects of the Battle Ram that originated with real-world items, much like the famously ad hoc assembly of Star Wars props?


          REFERENCES TO IMAGES
          • Regarding the Battle Ram instruction manual (image #1), most of its terminology is self-explanatory: barrel, battering ram, driver's seat, launch(ing) handle, steering column. Other terms warrant elaboration: drive module, mobile launcher, sky sled.
          • Though this control drawing (image #2) differs slightly from both the prototype and production designs, it is the only image I've encountered that provides the level of engineering detail necessary for my project. Apart from cosmetic changes between versions, does this represent the correct size and overall shape of the vehicle? Is there anything in the drawing that would indicate scale more precisely than the human silhouette -- say, a specific wheel diameter?
          • In this photograph of the prototype (image #3), the rear face of the sky sled's steering column has some sort of relief on it. Are those meant to be controls?
          • In this box art (image #4), there appears to be a circular feature or hole just under the forward tip of the sky sled -- what is it? In addition to giving a better look at the weapons(?) set just forward of the driver's feet, the picture also shows the prototype-style nose weapon, yet uses the production model sticker/mural.

          GENERAL QUESTIONS
          1. The production version of the red battering ram looks like a creature that knows it's about to get shot out of a cannon and really isn't looking forward to it. Was it meant to be menacing or just unsettling?
          2. The mobile launcher is obviously not positioned for direct fire, so how does it aim? Is its upper portion supposed to pivot, does the suspension adjust, is a battering ram calibrated for a given trajectory, are the rams actually guided missiles, or is the method something else entirely?
          3. Is the launcher meant to be used only after the sky sled has been detached? (It seems rather dangerous to locate the mouth of the barrel immediately above the driver's head!)
          4. Rearward of the barrel is a tubular shape, then a rectangular one, both seemingly matching the barrel's aim. Are these additional weapons and/or sensors? (The box art shows the tube emitting something.)
          5. What are the structures between the front and rear wheels? Exhaust pipes, smoke screen ejectors, something else?
          6. Is there meant to be a rear control panel in the same place as on the production model sticker?
          7. Do the various buttresses, flanges, or struts serve a mechanical role, or are they just decorative?
          8. Do the various raised panels represent anything, or are they just decorative?
          9. Does the sky sled's griffon(?) head serve a purpose (such as sensor cluster), or is it decorative?
          10. What is the power source of the Battle Ram? Does it require downtime or refueling? Is the sky sled's operation dependent on the rear portion?
          11. Does the sky sled use some sort of jet engine with vectored thrust? (The box art shows a nozzle and flame trail, but nothing coming from the bottom.) Do its stickers/murals conceal the intakes? Is the exhaust inherently dangerous (e.g., radioactive)?
          12. How fast does the sky sled fly? Does the driver stand when using it? How does he manage to hang on?
          13. How fast does the Battle Ram drive? What type of steering? All-terrain? Maneuverable without the sky sled?
          14. What are the various weapons (lasers, blasters, etc.), their range and rate of fire, and how powerful? Are there telltale signs about the types/functions of weapons, based on their shapes? Was the sky sled's front weapon intended to pivot, as shown in the mini-comics?
          15. What do you imagine the vehicle to be composed of? How durable is it? Can it repair itself?
          16. How much does the entire vehicle weigh? How much for just the sky sled?
          17. What sorts of controls are used? Is it computerized? Intuitive enough for a barbarian to pick up?
          18. What's the deal with the space-warp ability that was shown in the first mini-comic? Do both halves of the vehicle possess the ability, or just the sky sled? When separate, does the sky sled rely on the rear portion to perform the teleportation (and does the rear then follow to the destination)?
          19. Do you think the prototype still exists? (It would greatly simplify things to 3-D scan it.)​
          Attached Files

          Comment


          • #8
            Nice progress, and I won't be pressing anything at this moment, and I'd like to see how the interview goes...

            Just to let you know, that design of the Battle Ram is probably one of the most influential mechanical-esque designs that I've adapted into my own personal unpublished work. And the MOTUC's Four Horsemen version is one of the most cherished in my collection to this day.

            Comment


            • #9
              Well, the interview's done, and I got the various questions answered. As I expected, much of the Battle Ram's design was just about adding things to make it look interesting. Some functions were confirmed, others dismissed. Toward the end, Mr. Mayer dipped into his professional aircraft experience and gave an opinion on how best to achieve a functional vehicle with current technology. I didn't plan to release the audio (I'm no professional interviewer!), but Ted's OK with it, so I'll provide it to anybody who's really interested. Again, it's not so much an interview about Ted Mayer's contribution to MotU as it is about learning what, if anything, he intended the Battle Ram design to be.

              I'm planning some follow-up interviews with him, to cover the Wind Raider, Castle Grayskull, etc.

              Comment


              • #10
                Originally posted by 1F409 View Post
                Well, the interview's done, and I got the various questions answered. As I expected, much of the Battle Ram's design was just about adding things to make it look interesting. Some functions were confirmed, others dismissed. Toward the end, Mr. Mayer dipped into his professional aircraft experience and gave an opinion on how best to achieve a functional vehicle with current technology. I didn't plan to release the audio (I'm no professional interviewer!), but Ted's OK with it, so I'll provide it to anybody who's really interested. Again, it's not so much an interview about Ted Mayer's contribution to MotU as it is about learning what, if anything, he intended the Battle Ram design to be.

                I'm planning some follow-up interviews with him, to cover the Wind Raider, Castle Grayskull, etc.
                If the interview is in written form (text) that we'd be able to read, please don't hesitate to share it with us when it's ready... And it's preferable if you don't share files for us to open. Just a plain copy and paste text will do, it would be much appreciate it.

                Comment


                • Mechanizor
                  Mechanizor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So what was the real intent behind this interview, a personal curiosity in how toy designers think/work, or a journalistic experiment to share with the public?

                  I'm asking this simply because you've shared this project with us here already...

                  I'm not sure if there is an app out there that can transcribe the interview into a text format for you, I'm sure there must be one somewhere.

                • 1F409
                  1F409 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The purpose of the interview was to solidify my own understanding of the Battle Ram as it existed in its prototype phase (i.e., the version that inspired the mini-comic illustrations and text), so as to improve my projects that involve it (both the RPG adaptation and the proposed 3-D model).

                  I suspect that YouTube's closed captioning feature might be able to sort some of the wording, but frankly I do *not* want my work run through any of those untrustworthy "big tech" sites. Living in a surveillance state is bad enough, I don't need to feed the corporate attempts too.

                • Mechanizor
                  Mechanizor commented
                  Editing a comment
                  So it's was a personal quest...

                  As for the YT gizmo, I understand your stance with the big brother issue, but there are other multiple independent outlets that you can upload your audio to if you don't feel like transcribing it via an app... Plus this isn't a political or an IP infringement issue you have to worry about.

                  Video servers like Odysee or Bitchute for example can be used if you don't like google... Also an App called DENIVIP can transcribe speech to text if the audio is clear, and it's just a choice you can look into.

              • #11
                BTW, here is a Canadian based YT alternative called "Rumble" you might wanna check out, and they claim they're anti-cancel culture/big-brother type of platforms like google, and where you could upload some of you interviews/projects into:

                Comment


                • 1F409
                  1F409 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I'm familiar with Rumble, though I didn't realize it was in Canada. I wonder how they're handling the notion of free speech, up there, after the government's draconian response to the convoy/protest.

              • #12
                Further questions for a follow-up interview....


                BATTLE RAM

                Where does the ammunition come from? Is it produced by the launcher? Is it loaded internally, or by hand?


                WIND RAIDER

                In our previous conversation, you mentioned that you envisioned the Wind Raider as being battery-powered and rechargeable via a type of solar panel in the wings. Could it accept energy from a plug, too?

                The craft is often associated with Man-At-Arms, perhaps even having been salvaged by him. Is that your opinion, also?

                The post-apocalyptic setting provides an odd interplay between primitive people and advanced technology. Was the idea that certain gifted characters could figure out how to perform crude repairs, but that the society wasn't capable of synthesizing replacement materials?

                As you've stated, the Battle Ram utilized inexplicable "flying saucer" style propulsion -- but the Wind Raider seems to operate on more known principles. Would you say that the former was more advanced (and that's why it was sequestered awaiting a hero like He-Man), whereas the latter was something a bit more common that Man-At-Arms could repair?

                The electric jet engines are pretty straight-forward, but do the various shapes and designs on the Wind Raider's hull represent anything special?

                How fast do you think it can fly? What's the stall speed? Does it have enough thrust to fly straight up?

                Are the controls computerized, electro-mechanical, or something more primitive?

                What is the composition of the vehicle?

                Is the vehicle supposed to be larger than its toy proportions? Length estimate? Weight?

                What weapons does the Wind Raider have?


                POINT DREAD AND THE TALON FIGHTER

                Compared to the other early vehicles, where would you say the Talon Fighter's technology ranks?

                What is its method of propulsion? Its power source?

                How fast do you think it can fly? What's the stall speed? Does it have enough thrust to fly straight up?

                Are the controls computerized, electro-mechanical, or something more primitive?

                The hull shape isn't very aerodynamic. Does it have some sort of trick, like a force field, to reduce drag?

                What is the composition of the vehicle? The outpost?

                The instruction pamphlet lists the device on top as a radar dish; the mini-comics show it firing a beam. What's it meant for?

                There appears to be a weapon or two on each side of the canopy. How many were intended, and what are they?

                Some sources show the Talon Fighter carrying Point Dread, others describe the latter teleporting to where the former lands. Were either originally intended?

                Is the vehicle supposed to be larger than its toy proportions? Length estimate? Weight?


                ATTAK TRAK

                Compared to the other early vehicles, where would you say the Attak Trak's technology ranks?

                What is its power source?

                Was the vehicle intended to have been built by Man-At-Arms, as was described in the included book/record?

                Depending on the source, there are varying numbers of weapons. What was the intent, and what type?

                Is the Attak Trak supposed to have artificial intelligence, as described in the book/record?

                What is the composition of the vehicle?

                Is the vehicle supposed to be larger than its toy proportions? Length estimate? Weight?


                CASTLE GRAYSKULL

                What on the prototype casting (see image, https://forum.hemanworld.com/filedata/fetch?id=59137) represents an intended function versus just decoration?

                How does the prototype casting differ from the clay model it was based on? What features were added or abandoned, based on creative decisions versus the limitations of tooling?

                What is the composition of the fortress?

                How were the front and rear halves intended to be situated, and how do they connect?

                Was any design work done for the "left" and "rear" sides of the castle?

                Mark described his intended version of the castle, though whether he meant the prototype or something earlier, I'm not sure. Is it your opinion that the two-story design is merely a play-worthy simplification of a more complex interior?

                What features on the exterior might indicate different levels or rooms inside?

                What parts of the exterior represent areas that can be traversed?

                What's that ledge on the left side of the front?

                Is that small turret in the back a toilet?​

                Comment

                Unconfigured Ad Widget

                Collapse
                Working...
                X