Tucked away in rural Leicestershire is a company offering a wide range of services that will no doubt be of interest to military vehicle enthusiasts and owners. While Armageddon offer a range of services that include paintball experiences, tank and military vehicle driving, vehicle restoration services and vehicle sales, they arc perhaps better known for being the only place in the world where customers can take part in a tank-to-tank paintball battle!
If you’re not familiar with them, Armageddon are a company going places, having expanded considerably since they started out and now boast a range of vehicles, from main battle tanks to artillery pieces and an entire fleet of fourteen FV432s equipped with turrets fitted with 40mm paintball cannons! Arriving at their premises just outside Husbands Bosworth in Leicestershire, visitors are greeted by an FV432 APC close to the entrance and then a 5.5” artillery piece, T-54 and a Humber Pig as you drive into the car park. Elsewhere you’ll find a Centurion tank, BRDM-2 scout car, Daimler Ferret, and Bedford MJ trucks.
Inside the buildings I found a further collection of vehicles, which included a pair of US half-tracks, a Diamond T wrecker, a pair of GMC trucks, an M4 high speed tractor, Bren carrier, Bv202 Snowcat, Jeep, M8 Greyhound and even a Sexton self-propelled gun awaiting restoration.
Proprietor Stuart Garner, who runs the company with his wife Tracy and full time staff of eight, plus part-time instructors drafted in when they’re particularly busy, told me that many of these vehicles will soon form part of a new museum within the business complex, which is currently under construction and due for completion in 2013, providing yet another reason to visit Armourgeddon.
While there are undoubtedly many companies around the UK offering driving experiences and paintball battles, and Armourgeddon also offer a complete range of services, they are also unique in offering visitors the chance to take charge of their own ‘Tanks’ following instruction from the trained driving instructors and engage in tank battles on the former WW2 bombing range.
On the day of my visit they were running a large corporate event, splitting the visitors into two groups, each taking their turn at the tank battles and the military vehicle driving experience.
Having suited up in protective tank suits and donned their Kevlar helmets the first group took to the driving field in a Bedford MJ truck and the BRDM-2 scout car, and judging by the amount of screaming from the girls onboard I’d guess they were having a good time! The remainder of the group split into three separate crews and set off around the bombing range in three 432s having been instructed on the driver controls, and while they may have been screaming with excitement I couldn’t hear them over the roar of the engines!
The wet summer has seen the bombing range turn from grassy pasture inhabited by cows and sheep, who incidentally don’t seem to mind all the activity, to a muddy quagmire in places, making the driving of the 432s that much more challenging and exciting for the drivers and gave me some great photo opportunities into the bargain. After completing the driving course and got used to driving the vehicles both open and closed down, they came back round to the forming up area and practiced with the paintball cannon against static targets before setting off to engage in a fullblown tank battle.
There’s no doubting that the visitors on the day had a fantastic time and with Armourgeddon offering such a wide range of services there’s bound to be something to suit most military vehicle enthusiasts or would-be tank drivers. Services offered by Armourgeddon range from children’s birthday parties and vehicle and tank driving experiences to paintballing, air rifle shooting, archery, quad biking and of course tank paintball battles. A full range of facilities is available to visitors from free parking to a gift shop, photography, refreshments, onsite catering and they welcome school and group bookings.
I had a thoroughly enjoyable day at Armourgeddon, and I wasn’t even taking part, and featured here arc just a few photos from the day that offer a flavour of what Armourgeddon have to offer. If you’re interested in trying out their services check out their advert in this issue.