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BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS
The GI JOE RETALIATION: RIPSAW
H&H was given a task to build a Ripsaw for Road Blocks’s hero finale scene. The mandate came down that they wanted a “real” vehicle and not just a prop vehicle like so many other movies. The vehicle had to be truly unbelievable and do things a tank has never done before on the big screen. The action was also mandated to require minimal to no CG effects. We needed to perform high speed runs, high and low speed zero turning, high speed DRIFT runs (yes, drifting in a tank, sorry Tanner Foust you may need training to drift a tank), high maneuverability and yes, a jump sequence. Another words they wanted “real” live action stunts with a 10,000 lb class tank. We accepted the challenge and poured our design team into designing the GI JOE (General Joe’s) personal high speed assault tank. And yes, no CG would be required. Luckily we already had a tank that fit the bill. It is called the Ripsaw MS (Mil-Spec) series. Obviously we had to de-militarize the Ripsaw MS but keep all the great mobility attributes. This job was not easy and the production of General Joe’s Ripsaw was started.
GI JOE RETALIATION RIPSAW OFFICIAL SPECS:
We needed the ability to provide small amounts of power for some sequences and large amounts of power for others.
-A minimum hp of 350 hp was needed for all the slow runs and training. The last thing we wanted was a stunt driver to “over drive” the Ripsaw in training and break the machine (there is only one GI JOE Ripsaw). 350 is still a bunch of power but is small enough to keep the driver in check.
-A large amount of power was needed for the elevated action sequences. High speed drifting and high speed runs take a ton of power for a tracked machine. We decided we needed a minimum of 550 hp @ 750 ft/lb torque to achieve these goals. So we equipped General Joe’s Ripsaw with 800+ hp @ 1350 ft/lb of torque . “When in doubt go all out”. Better to have some and not need it than to have none and need more. We were confident in the drive train's capability of holding the power, it was now up to the stunt drivers and whether or not they “over drove” the girl.
We decided on a hypo- 6.6 Duramax with a multi power programmable PPE Tuner. The tuner has the ability to tune for “Econo” (stage 1) @ 350 hp all the way to “ultra hypo” (stage 7) 1000 hp @ 1500 ft/lb. Most of the runs were performed between stage 1 and 3, but the drifts were done at stage 5 and the jumps were performed at stage 7.
Transmission: We had the power, now how were we going to get the power to the ground. Capturing the Ripsaw on Celluloid for the first time in 3-D is huge and spending the money on the engine means we needed to spend the money on the transmission system as well. We know that 800+hp means nothing if it can get to the tracks. We decided to utilize the tried and true Allison 1000 but knowing the stock transmission could only handle 395hp we decided to hypo the transmission as well. Again we utilized PPE’s 1000hp Allison transmissions hypo upgrade kit.
First off we would like to thank Paramount Pictures and Hasbro for involving Howe and Howe Technologies in the great endeavor of the G.I. JOE Retaliation mega hit. We would also like to thank the stunt guys, film crew, production crew and all others involved in our quest to provide an epic hero vehicle for G.I. JOE RETALIATION. Thank you to “Bus Bill” and all of your crew’s help. The Hiss tanks were a great fab and well done. Thank you to PPE and the great power we pulled from the Duramax and thank you to all Howe and Howe employees that made this happen. A lot of late nights, frantic action, blood sweat and tears were shed. Truly thank you to all.
Geoffrey and Mike Howe