We partnered with Laserforce to build interactive military props that were featured on the Top Gear BBC America TV show.
Laserforce reached out to us for our assistance on the special segment of the show. They were providing the laser tag technology that would allow the vehicles to target and “shoot” each other, and they needed our expertise to build replicas of military weapons to make the effect realistic.
Our team built 3D computer models of multiple prop options for the Director of the show to review. Once the Director chose his favorites – a 50 caliber gun and small rockets – we built physical models to test in the field.
Our team “borrowed” a Corvette from Jeff Schilling, one of our owners. We used his car to figure out how to safely mount the props and pieces that would be used in the filming. After numerous tests, we came up with a suction mounting system that would allow the producers to attach the props to the hood and doors of the car without damaging the exterior.
Schilling had just recently finished a 3 day racing course for performance driving, and he was eager to get his Corvette back and put his new driving skills to good use. He took to the empty back roads to test the durability of the newly constructed replicas and mounting mechanisms.
After successfully putting the props through some road tests, we put the finishing touches on the replicas, packed them up and sent them off to the Fallon Naval Air Station in Nevada for the filming portion.
“The fuse on this one was short so we dug in and really focused on executing this quickly with our team,” said Schilling. “It was a great testament to our team’s ability to react quickly with creativity and ingenuity.”
Jeff Willy, the VP of Global Operations at Laserforce, arrived at Fallon Naval Air Station with his technical specialist just after the equipment was delivered. They assisted in the final preparations of affixing the laser tag equipment to the vehicles: a Dodge Viper ACR and a Chevy Corvette Z06.
The professional drivers of these high performance cars tore away on the course, using the laser tag equipment to target one another. The engines roared as they twisted and turned to gain position and score a hit. The competitive craze of the drivers made for an exciting day at the track; a day that will go down in history as the first time laser tag was played behind the wheel of a sports car.
This segment aired on Top Gear season 23, episode 1 on BBC America.
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