Not to be confused with the similarly named US Series robot Texas Tornado.
Tornado was a robot that competed in the British television game show Robot Wars. Debuting in The Fourth Wars, it reached the semi-finals and won the inaugural Most Promising Newcomer Award. Tornado would go on to win The Sixth Wars and place third in The Seventh Wars. With 32 combat victories in the UK, Tornado is one of the most successful robots in the show's history, winning a number of side events including the US War of Independence and the European Championship.
Tornado was built by Andrew Marchant, Bryan Moss and David Gamble, all engineers from Huntingdon, the latter of which designed the same speed controllers for Storm 2.
Tornado was a basic box-shaped robot with four-wheel drive, a durable red welded-steel frame and clear polycarbonate armour with fixed spikes at the front and back. Tornado mainly relied on its speed and strength to push competitors into the pit or slam them into the arena walls. It featured 24V motors being run at 36V - the first robot to use that voltage. The motors were geared very low to give it high pushing power of 7BHP - its top speed was only 10 mph, but it had very good acceleration and manoeuvrability over short distances and was capable of pulling a Land Rover. Tornado was also invertible, allowing it to continue running even when flipped but had a 2 cm ground clearance.
For Series 5 and Extreme 1, Tornado's chassis was rebuilt with modified front, centre and rear sections, in order to make space for its drum weapon, allow more space for the team to work on the robot, and to help prevent its rear wheels from being lifted off the ground as easily. It also received two castors on the front top above the drum, new logo stickers along its sides and upgraded armour, including rear titanium plates to protect its vital components.
For Series 6, Tornado's top castors were removed to make way for the interchangeable weapons mount, and was made lighter to accommodate the interchangeable weapons.
Tornado made its robot combat début equipped with static ramming spikes, and a small retractable spear from a loudspeaker production line. This simple yet effective weapon system saw it all the way through to the top 8 before its lack of potent weapons caused it to be easily defeated by Chaos 2.
- "We knew once we built it that the pneumatic spike was poor - pneumatic toothpick was more apt! Plus a mistake in the high pressure side reduced the number of shots we had available..."
- — Team Tornado website on their pneumatic spike
In Extreme 1, Tornado returned with a powerful vertical spinning drum weapon, running off a 3.5HP motor. This gave it great success as it reached the semi-finals of the World Championship, the grand final of the All-Stars and gave it complete victory over several adversaries to win two Challenge Belts. It defeated Chaos 2 twice during Extreme with this new weaponry, getting its vengeance two-fold. However, despite slamming Gravedigger, Tornado was felled early in Series 5, as the fur of Diotoir caught in the drum, causing it to catch. Tornado was helpless and it fell into the pit.
During the Second World Championship, Tornado used both its drum and a static scoop which it used in its battle against Razer. Although the wedge was ineffective against Razer, it would later become Tornado's default weapon choice, helping it win against many wedge, spinner and flipper-wielding robots in later series.
It was after Series 5 that Team Tornado first built their horizontal spinning disc, unofficially known as the Anti-Crusher frame, which debuted in the second season of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors.
In Series 6, Tornado made more of a habit of changing its weaponry between matches. This was allowed by Robot Wars rules, as long as Tornado remained within the weight limit. The cradle at the front of the machine where the drum was typically installed gave way to many other weapons across the two series with bolts to hold them in. In their Heat Final, the static spike was used, and in the Grand Final, Tornado used its adapted Anti-Crusher frame, which had changed from a horizontal spinning disc into a spinning bar.
In Series 7, the Tornado team had to redesign or remove some of their weapons due to some new rules for that year, including one that stated all robots had to have an active weapon. Tornado used its scoop lifter in its Heat Final, and used the chain flail in other matches such as Tornado's battle with Gravity.
Tornado's arsenal of weapons included:
- Spinning drum - Tornado's main weapon, weighing 7 kg (also quoted at 15kg) and spinning at 2500RPM (also quoted at 2000RPM). From Series 6, the drum was modified to become part of a removable cradle.
- Spiked Scoop - a simple low wedge-shaped static scoop with a pair of spikes, nicknamed "The Charity Scoop" as it was used in live events. It was first used during the Second World Championship, and became more regularly used from Series 6 onwards.
- Static spear - This spike was only used once in its Series 6 Heat Final against Anarchy, with the intention of piercing the plastic armour protecting Anarchy's legs. It has been scrapped.
- Horizontal spinner - a large horizontal spinning weapon, consisting of a spinning bar supported by a huge metal frame surrounding the robot. It was originally a large horizontal spinning disc when the weapon appeared in Extreme Warriors, but for Series 6 and Extreme 2, the weapon was changed to a bar weapon. However, this weapon is more commonly known for its defensive properties, as the size of the frame made crushers incapable of reaching Tornado's main body, and also made the robot's dimensions larger than the pit. These defensive attributes lead to the weapon being unofficially known as the "anti-crusher frame" and an "anti-pit device". The frame was outlawed by the new set of rules for Series 7, and was converted into a vertical bar spinner.
- "Many people could not believe what we had built, and even Craig and Philippa came into the pits specially to see the weapon..."
- — Tornado website
- Anti-spinner weapon - This weapon was never seen, as the Hypno-Disc team raised an official complaint when they learned that Tornado had it. According to information from Team Tornado's build diaries, this was essentially a series of kart tyres with titanium plating attached to Tornado's chassis and was planned to also feature a lifter. It has since been scrapped.
- "...we fitted our Anti Spinner Weapon - but the Hypno boys raised an official objection, and we were prevented from using it, as it was viewed according to the rules as a defensive addition rather than an offensive weapon..."
- — Team Tornado
- Anti-axe weapon - Whilst never seen or mentioned on TV, Tornado had an Anti Axe Weapon. It is unknown what it looked like as it has been scrapped, although Team Tornado's build diaries suggest that it partially comprised of kart tyres and a top frame attached to the robot.
- Scoop lifter - Similar in design to the Spiked Scoop, except it had a lifting mechanism installed. It was only used in the Heat Final of Series 7 and broke after Tetanus Booster hit it while it was open. It has been scrapped.
- Chain flail - Another weapon similar to the Spiked Scoop, this time with a simple chain flail. It effectively replaced the scoop for Series 7 in order for Tornado to comply with the active weapons rule.
- Vertical bar spinner - This weapon was converted from the horizontal bar spinner, and was never used, so it is unknown how effective it was. The weapon was deemed unsuitable against all of Tornado's opponents in Series 7, as it removed Tornado's capacity to run inverted and potentially made it vulnerable to becoming immobilised by flippers. David Gamble believes that the only suitable battle for using the weapon was Tornado's first-round melee in Series 7. However, the bar spinner was not used, as Tornado was already low on battery power.
Tornado had an infamous rivalry with Razer. The two robots first met in the All-Stars final in Extreme Series 1, in which Razer immediately grabbed hold of Tornado and tried to pierce the tyres of its opponent. Tornado briefly escaped but Razer grabbed hold once again, doing more damage and leaving it immobilised. This left Razer able to easily push Tornado into the pit. Their next encounter was in the semi-finals of The Second World Championship, which ended with a similar outcome. Once again, Razer quickly grabbed hold of Tornado and pierced through its armour. Razer then picked Tornado up and held it over the pit, eventually dropping it in.
Following these easy Razer victories, Tornado developed a special weapon for use in future battles between the two machines. It was a front-mounted spinning blade, supported by a large metal frame around the whole robot. The first time this weapon was used against Razer was in Extreme Warriors, in the semi-final of the International Championship. In this battle, Tornado was able to push Razer around easily, but when it pushed Razer into the CPZ, the House Robots attacked the cage when they weren't supposed to. Razer also ripped out Tornado's weapon motor in one of the attacks. The judges, however, gave the match to Tornado. Team Razer were so appalled, they confronted the judges directly. The judges had ignored the attacks on the cage by the House Robots, which they deemed should not have happened, but it became clear that they had accidentally mistaken Tornado's motor for Razer's wheel. The decision stood, but one of the judges later said it was one of the worst moments of his career.The two robots met again in the Grand Final of Series 6 and Tornado used its anti-crusher device once more. In response to this weapon, the Razer team added an extended claw to the end of its beak, but all it could do was grab the frame of Tornado, and Tornado was able to push Razer around the arena and slam it into the arena walls. Eventually Razer was able to lift Tornado and carry it over to the pit, but Tornado's frame meant that it could not be dropped into the pit. Cease was called and after a very close judges' decision Tornado took Razer's crown of UK Champion.
Tornado used the spinning blade and framework again in the semi-final of the European Championship in Extreme Series 2, but Razer had developed a new add-on in the shape of an upward-facing hook, which would be used to grab hold of Tornado's frame. The hook worked well, and Razer was able to lift Tornado by the frame. Razer opened the pit and tried to carry Tornado towards it, but the motors burnt out and it was unable to finish Tornado off. The judges went for Razer, but the team later decided to give the victory to Tornado as they felt that they had been immobilised.
Tornado charged out of the starting gates and drove Kater Killer across the arena and into the side wall, next to Sir Killalot. Tornado then circled around in the centre of the arena and pushed Kater Killer back again, this time into one of the Gemini twins. Another shove back in towards the same part of Gemini saw Kater Killer thrown over by Gemini's flipping arm - where it was unable to self-right. Tornado bundled the overturned Kater Killer around the arena floor and eventually righted it in the process, although a follow up of the drive saw Tornado slam Kater Killer into Shunt, which left it immobilised after an attack from his axe.
- "The boys from Huntingdon doing their stuff here."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tornado comes in with another assault on Kater Killer
Tornado was flipped by Gemini before driving it back towards the arena wall as the two duelled while Kater Killer was being dragged away by Sir Killalot. Tornado then turned its attention to Shunt, which had ventured out of the CPZ. Tornado drove the House Robot around the arena and then nearly down into the Pit, which was descending. This was followed up by another drive on the beaten Kater Killer, with the attack snapping off Kater Killer's furry tail. Suddenly, as Dead Metal edged Kater Killer towards the Pit of oblivion, Tornado shot across the arena and drove into the Pit. Cease was called straight afterwards, and although Tornado was the first robot in the Pit, Kater Killer was long immobilised, so Tornado progressed with Gemini.
Tornado's first drive allowed it to drive Berserk 2 across the arena and into the side wall. Berserk 2 edged back towards the centre of the arena but missed with its attempted axe attacks. Tornado slammed into Berserk 2 once more, but Berserk 2 managed to prevent itself crashing into the arena wall again as it used its rear lifter. This did little to interrupt Tornado's rhythm though, and a rally of slams ended up with Berserk 2 in the grasp of Dead Metal, where it sustained damage. After Berserk 2 came loose from the House Robot, Tornado accelerated Berserk 2 into the far side arena wall.
- "Look at this - great power on the drive."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Tornado charges into Berserk 2 again
Tornado came in with subsequent rams as Berserk 2 sat motionless, before it decided to back away to allow the House Robots to close in. Sir Killalot proceeded to hang Berserk 2 over the flame pit before dropping it into the Pit, confirming Tornado's place in the Heat Final.
The Heat Final saw Tornado again lock horns with first round opponent and eight seeds Gemini, with Andrew Marchant confident but wary before the battle
- "We should be able to push them around, because, of course, when they're separated, they weigh half of what we do, but we're still worried about that weapon. It's very powerful - it flipped us before, and it could flip us again."
- — Andrew Marchant before the Heat Final
Tornado backed into space as the Gemini twins split, before driving at one of the pair. It tried to defend itself with a flip, but Tornado continued its attack and forced the twin into the arena wall. It tried to move away, but Tornado came in with multiple drives which resulted in the part of the clusterbot being left impaled on the arena wall spike.
- "At the moment, Tornado is the heavyweight of this clash!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Tornado then tussled with the other part of the robot but was inverted after a flip. The twin then tried to flip the other half of Gemini back into action, and although it was released from the arena wall, it still showed no signs of movement. With its partner immobile, the other half of Gemini left it alone and decided to attack Tornado in hopes of turning the battle. It successfully flipped Tornado over twice in a matter of seconds - with the second flip leaving Tornado motionless - but it was too late for Gemini to turn the battle, with cease called as half of Gemini was immobilised, and Tornado was through to the Semi-Finals as winner of Heat F.
Through to the Semi-Finals, Tornado's first opponent was the winner of Heat H, Wheely Big Cheese, with Team Tornado confident ahead of the battle.
- "At the end of the heats, we had a little problem with our drive system, but it's all fixed now and we are ready to go!"
- — Andrew Marchant before before the first Semi-Final battle
Tornado harassed Wheely Big Cheese in the opening moments, but found itself in trouble as it rode up the front of Wheely Big Cheese, which very nearly threw it out of the arena with a flip. Tornado was flipped by Wheely Big Cheese once again shortly after, but it recovered strongly as it forced Wheely Big Cheese into the CPZ, where a follow up attack from Tornado popped loose part of the wheel and left Wheely Big Cheese hobbling.
- "They've sustained damage in that CPZ - look at that! The wheel is buckled and bent, and now it's Tornado's turn to drive on! That is a decisive moment!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Wheely Big Cheese moved out from the CPZ after being turned over by Matilda, but Tornado continued to give Wheely Big Cheese no room to breathe as it drove it across the arena floor. Tornado then drove itself over an arena flame jet and began to smoke soon after. With time running out, Tornado was left turning in circles, while Wheely Big Cheese continued to limp itself. Cease was called with both robots side by side, with the judges called upon to make a decision. They went in favour of Tornado, which moved through to Round 2 of the Semi-Finals as a result.
Tornado faced the reigning champions, Chaos 2 in the second round of the Semi-Finals, although assistance from other teams was needed for Tornado to be fighting fit for the battle.
- Julia Reed: "Now, how's that motor working, because Steg 2 lent you one, didn't they?"
- Andrew Marchant: "Well, we did get a motor from Steg 2, but we also got a motor from Mousetrap. We have got Mousetrap's motor in here now, but thank you to both teams - it's very much appreciated."
- — Andrew Marchant expresses his gratitude to Team Steg and Team Mousetrap
The fight itself was fought three times due to multiple circumstances, with only the third battle shown on TV.
Tornado initially drifted around next to the flame pit as Chaos 2 hunted Tornado down. Tornado then drove into Chaos 2, where it narrowly evaded a flip from its opponent. After circling each other, Tornado drove up the front of Chaos 2, which inverted it with a flip.
- "Tornado, not surprisingly, trying to stay out of trouble."
- — Jonathan Pearce
Tornado attempted to fight back as it rammed Chaos 2 twice in quick succession, but a third drive saw Tornado ride up onto the flipper of Chaos 2 again. Tornado was rumbled over towards the arena wall with two consecutive flips. Chaos 2 then pinned Tornado against the arena wall to stop it moving away and then flipped it up to stack it vertically against the arena wall.
- "This is Chaos 2 trying to flip Tornado out of the arena - and succeeding! That's what he lives for, George Francis, and again he's pulled it off."
- — Jonathan Pearce
With Tornado unable to move away, Chaos 2 lined up its position before flipping Tornado out of the arena. This eliminated Tornado from the tournament, with Chaos 2 moving on to the Grand Final.
- Craig Charles: "Did you think he was going to do that - just blow you out of the arena like that?"
- Bryan Moss: "I wasn't particularly surprised by it! At least it took someone like that to do it!"
- — Bryan Moss reacts post battle
Despite being eliminated, Tornado had enjoyed a promising run in its first debut tournament. This was recognised at the end of the series, as Tornado was nominated for the Best Newcomer award alongside Robochicken, Attila the Drum and Mousetrap, before eventually being confirmed as the winner of the award.
- "The winner, mainly because of that victory over Gemini - Tornado!"
- — Jonathan Pearce announces the winner of the Best Newcomer award
- "We fought Stinger in a slightly fake Grudge match - at least Tornado performed better than our acting!"
- — Team Tornado website
Tornado competed in a wide range of events in Robot Wars Extreme Series 1. The first was a Vengeance battle against Stinger, the reason for this being because the Stinger team claimed Tornado was a box on wheels. Tornado shoved Stinger around the arena and into Dead Metal. Stinger escaped and Tornado narrowly avoided the house robot. The fight went to the judges and Tornado was given the win.
It also competed in a Mayhem battle against The Steel Avenger and King B Powerworks, in order to gain entry into the Annihilator. However, despite pushing The Steel Avenger around in the opening stages, standing up to its axe blows and flips, Tornado suffered a rare breakdown when King B penetrated its side armour with a powerful ram. After being counted out by Refbot, Tornado was thrown by the floor flipper, and pitted by Matilda.
After having reached the Series Semi-Finals of Series 4, Tornado also competed in the All-Stars tournament where it fought 3 Stegs To Heaven in Round 1. It was more aggressive in the fight as it rammed its opponent into the CPZ where after 3 Stegs was picked up by Sir Killalot and roasted on the flame pit. Team Steg-O-Saw-Us' robot appeared to have lost a chain for one of its wheels which allowed Tornado to win the judges decision and go into the Quarter-Finals where it met Pussycat.
Tornado pulled off a surprise against the runners-up of Series 4, as Tornado pushed Pussycat all over the arena. In the process, this removed one of Pussycat's wheels, a rare occurrence, leaving Pussycat unable to drive when Tornado turned it over. Pussycat was immobilised after becoming stuck on its side which meant Tornado went through.
The semi-final saw Tornado against Chaos 2. Tornado managed to push Chaos 2 around the arena, but ended up on the wall at one point in the right position to be flipped out by Chaos 2. Controversially, Refbot knocked Tornado off the wall. The fight then went to a judges' decision and Tornado was awarded the win and a place in the All-Stars Grand-Final at the end of the last episode.
Despite its best efforts, Tornado couldn't get its disc into any great effect in on Razer who plunged its beak into its bodywork, not letting it go. After being axed by Shunt and being shoved on the flame pit, Tornado broke down, was counted out by Refbot, flipped by the floor flipper and put out of its misery by getting dumped down the pit.
Tornado's highlight of Robot Wars Extreme was participating in the Challenge Belt competition. It challenged the holders, Behemoth. Tornado charged Behemoth towards the arena wall leaving it overturned and being unable to self-right until Refbot righted it. Tornado was then flipped by Behemoth before being flipped against the wall in the CPZ but fortunately for Tornado, Matilda righted it. After much more pushing and shoving the fight went to the judges and the judges decided Tornado had won and taken the belt off of Behemoth.
Tornado first defence was against Comengetorix. In the battle, Comengetorix landed ineffective axe-blows on it before Tornado shoved it around the arena, tearing off one of its side skirts. The damage Tornado caused to Comengetorix was so severe, that part of the armour became lodged in Tornado's drum, stopping it. Tornado slammed into Comengetorix, edging it closer to the pit, managing to push it down after Comengetorix had broken down.
Tornado's next defence was against Wild Thing. Tornado again slammed the wedge-shaped robot into the angle grinders and the arena walls also managing to shred a bit of armour off, having already sliced into the side. Wild Thing was taken to Sir Killalot who had to free it due to it still being mobile. Tornado started to lose momentum towards the end, being pushed by Wild Thing. A close fight was sent to the Judges, who decided Tornado won the fight.
- "We were starting to get a bit weaker towards the end, our batteries were starting to go!"
- — Andrew Marchant
Then, after winning three successful battles, Tornado was allowed to keep its belt outright and was given a second belt to defend, the first challenger for this was Chaos 2, the second time the two had fought. Tornado managed to ram the current champions into the CPZ before it escaped and retaliated by throwing Tornado twice into the air. Tornado then came back and Chaos 2 was passed over to Shunt where, despite overturning the house robot and escaping Dead Metal, it broke down allowing Tornado to go through.
The last fight was a rematch against Pussycat. Although Tornado could not cause as much external damage as last time, Tornado managed to ram Pussycat into the arena walls and into Matilda's flywheel. The Series 4 runners-up managed to escape, but Tornado then activated the pit before pushing Pussycat down it. Tornado had won all the challenges in Extreme 1.
After finishing second in the All-Stars Grand-Final, Tornado represented the UK in the Second World Championship along with Chaos 2, Firestorm 3 and Razer. This competition was also broadcast during Extreme Warriors: Season 1. Its first round saw it in a bit of trouble as it was flipped repeatedly by American Panzer Mk 2 and sandwiched against Panzer and Belgian Philipper. After Panzer Mk 2 and Yeborobo had both been eliminated, it was left to fight Philipper and shoved it on the flame pit in the last 10 seconds. The fight went to the judges and Tornado was given the win.
- "We've got as good a chance as any in it!"
- — Bryan Moss on Team Tornado's chances of victory
Tornado then in the Semi-Final fought the Reigning World Champion Razer, this time with its scoop fitted to it. However, the scoop could not breach the ground clearance of the fellow UK representative, and once again, Razer kept burying its jaw into Tornado's bodywork before taking it to the pit and dropping it down, despite it taking some time for Tornado to fall off the pincer.
- "That was a very hard fight, they deserve that!"
- — David Gamble
12th seeds Tornado was drawn against former semi-finalists Gravedigger in the first round. Gravedigger put up a good fight in the opening moments, slamming blows on Tornado with its axe weapon. However, Tornado rammed it into submission against the arena wall.This put Tornado against the Dublin boys and Diotoir, whom it pushed around for most of the battle. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Tornado's disc became clogged with Diotoir's fur, so the Irish machine activated the pit, and pushed Tornado straight in. This meant that Tornado was the only top 12 seed not to reach the heat final in the whole series.
- "They proved to be one of the hardest to push 2WD robots we have ever fought, and when we were on their front, their ramped chassis lifted our front wheels off the ground and gave them the pushing advantage. This proved conclusive after they opened the pit just before we lost drive on one side. There was nothing we could do - straight down the pit we went. Out to Diotoir - Noooooo!"
- — Andrew Marchant on the Tornado website
Tornado returned for Series 6 with a new feature - an interchangeable weapons bay. It had a wide variety of weapons for different opponents that could be swapped in or out depending on what was needed. Due to the fact that Pussycat and Wheely Big Cheese did not return for Series 6, Tornado was given the 12th seed due to its status as a previous semi-finalist. Tornado started off its campaign against Terror-Bull, Inshredable and Edge Hog equipped with its original spinning disc. Tornado giving out some powerful slams in this battle - it pushed Inshredable around the arena a bit, then combined with Edge Hog to push Inshredable into Matilda's CPZ. Edge Hog became immobile soon afterwards. Tornado continued shoving Inshredable around, but then turned its attention to Terror-Bull and pushed it into the pit - Tornado and a limping Inshredable qualified. However, Inshredable was in no shape to fight again, as proved in its fight against Anarchy.
- "Dead Metal got stuck in, immobilising Inshredable, or at least so we though[t]. So to end the fight we pushed Terrorbull into the pit - and then Inshredible drove out from Dead Metal's corner! Sorry Terrorbull guys, we should have left you alone, you would have gone through then..."
- — Team Tornado on inadvertently knocking out Terror-Bull.
In the second round, Tornado pushed Thor around the arena and into the House Robots, causing one of Thor's side panels to come off and won on a judges' decision. It replaced the spinning disc with a static spike for the final against Anarchy and pushed the walker around, despite being flipped a few times. At one point, after a failed flip, Tornado charged into Anarchy's interiors, spike-first. This meant that Tornado was in position to prevent Anarchy from closing its flipper and had lost its most potent weaponry. As a result, Anarchy could not attack Tornado, and Tornado won the judges' decision, through to the semi-finals.
- "We were scared, its got such a good axe on it, and we knew if that axe got to us, we were in trouble"
- — Andrew Marchant after the fight with Anarchy
Tornado fitted a low wedge for the first round battle against triple grand-finalists Hypno-Disc. The robot was originally fitted with an anti-disc weapon, but the Hypno-Disc team raised an official complaint, stating the weapon was defensive rather than offensive. During the battle it simply shoved Hypno-Disc around, leaving Hypno-Disc unable to get its spinning disc up to speed and use it effectively. Tornado won the judges' decision.
- "We were so lucky, we were expecting to come out in a bin bag"
- — Andrew Marchant in the post battle interview
In the next battle, Tornado slammed into Dominator 2 twice with its scoop, while Dominator 2 axed it and made a hole. However, Tornado pushed Dominator 2 into the side of Matilda in a CPZ, but Matilda couldn't turn her flywheel into Dominator 2. Tornado backed straight into Matilda's flywheel, went soaring above the pit and landed at the side of it, where it ran away. Dominator 2 tried to chase it, but did a backwards-nose-dive into the pit. Tornado had made it to the Grand Final for the very first time.
- "The next problem was the scoop - we were to be fighting Firestorm so we needed to use it, but it would not sit flat on the ground. We had to adjust the tyre pressures to get it close, and then just hope... Firestorm had ground down their front sufficiently that we thought they would get underneath us even with the scoop, so we were very careful that we didn't hit head on at the start..."
- — Team Tornado's tactics to approaching Firestorm.
Tornado was drawn up against Firestorm 4 in the first round and pushed it around the arena for a bit. Firestorm was having trouble getting under Tornado because its scoop was so low to the ground. Eventually Firestorm pushed Tornado into Shunt and Tornado got axed by the House Robot. Firestorm wedged Tornado into the wall. Tornado's wheels started smoking as it then pushed Firestorm back. Firestorm then got under Tornado again and pushed it around for a bit. Tornado was beginning to falter as it pressed the Pit Button. Tornado then got under Firestorm and slammed it into Shunt. After axing Firestorm, Shunt axed Tornado, nearly hitting the receiver. Firestorm flipped Tornado over. Tornado's scoop was now upside down and ineffective, until Firestorm flipped it again. Tornado then got under Firestorm and slammed them into the Pit Button. Just before time ran out, Tornado got under Firestorm and pushed it into the Pit, qualifying for the grand final.For the battle against Razer, Tornado was fitted with a large metal frame with a lawnmower blade at the front. Created specially for this fight, should it have occurred, the frame made it impossible for Razer to reach the inner parts of Tornado. Razer retaliated by attaching a small claw extension to their weapon. The frame was heavily criticised, but was deemed legal as the team had made it clear alongside all its other weapons before the tournament had started. The round begun with Tornado ramming Razer several times, although rather ineffectively. Tornado's lawnmower blade stopped spinning at one point and Razer grabbed onto the cage several times, but kept losing its grip. Razer became wedged behind the disc button and Tornado began its patented "relentless ramming" technique. Refbot intervened and freed Razer. The pit button was pushed and Razer managed to get a grip on Tornado's cage, raised it into the air and tried to dispose it in the pit, but Tornado's wide frame prevented it from falling down the shaft. Cease was called. After a 45 minute wait, the judges finally ruled in favour of Tornado, who was subsequently crowned the new UK Champion.
- "It took them [the judges] about 40 minutes to come to a decision, including re-running the fight over the video monitors for the benefit of everyone, including the audience... The judges decided that Tornado's wheels had not been fully in the pit, therefore it was not in the pit, and as such we had won!"
- — Team Tornado Website.
As reigning champions, Tornado competed in the Extreme 2 All-Stars Championship, equipped with the scoop. In the first round, it teamed up with Dantomkia on Terrorhurtz, shoving John Reid's machine into the CPZs and the arena walls. Tornado encountered some difficulty when it was clamped by Sergeant Bash, but Tornado did not sustain major damage, and the combined attacks from Tornado and Dantomkia caused Terrorhurtz to lose the use of its axe, so Tornado went through along with Dantomkia after Terrorhurtz was flipped and dispatched down the pit.
- "The other thing I say to the UK Champions is, what happens if Tornado is flipped? What use is that scoop then?"
- — Jonathan Pearce
At the start of the battle, Tornado's ground clearance was breached, but it turned the battle around when Bigger Brother was caught by Sir Killalot, and Tornado slammed it into an angle grinder. The two robots skirted around each other, but eventually Tornado was flipped over by Bigger Brother. It had to take a defensive approach, opening the pit, and pushing Bigger Brother using its inverted wedge. Due to the disadvantage in ground clearance, Tornado began to lose the pushing battle with Bigger Brother, and neared the pit. Tornado was clamped by Bigger Brother's flipper, and was placed on the edge of the pit, and nudged in, putting it out of the All-Stars.
- "Tornado's extra-special scooper wasn't so super!"
- — Jonathan Pearce
Tornado also featured in the Challenge Belt episode where Dantomkia, Sir Chromalot, S.M.I.D.S.Y., Hypno-Disc, Vader, Iron-Awe 2.0, Terrorhurtz and Barber-Ous 2 all fought in a tournament for the right to challenge them for the belt. The winner was Terrorhurtz, but Tornado immediately disposed of Terrorhurtz by ramming it into an angle gringer, getting underneath it with the scoop, and putting it down the pit - one of the fastest pitting in the show's history at only 19 seconds - and claiming the Challenge Belt title for a second time in a row.
Tornado also participated in the European Championship tournament, qualifying as UK champion. This competition was also broadcast during German Robot Wars. It faced the Swiss Snake Bite in its first battle, which had a Razer-like crusher, but Team Tornado decided not to fit their anti-crusher frame, using their scoop instead. Tornado started by pushing Snake Bite into Dead Metal, who attacked it with its serrated saw blade. Tornado then pushed Snake Bite into Mr. Psycho and the attacks from both house robots meant Snake Bite was immobile. It was counted out and pitted and Tornado was through to face adversary Razer.
Razer had added a hook on the end of its claw to counter Tornado's anti-Razer frame. The battle started with the two machines thumping into each other. Razer pushed Tornado back with Tornado hitting it with the blade on the frame, causing no visible damage. Tornado started to run from Razer but it didn't quite escape, with Razer grappling the frame and dragging Tornado into a CPZ with Sergeant Bash. The house robot pushed the grappling pair out of the CPZ, but Razer's hook managed to get a hold on Tornado and lever it up. Razer then began to drag Tornado towards the pit release button, hitting it. Suddenly smoke started to billow out of Razer, Tornado still in its grasp. Razer couldn't find the strength to pit Tornado, despite its huge efforts. The battle came to a close on a judges' decision, with Razer the winner. However, after the battle, the Razer team said they were immobile for over thirty seconds and therefore awarded the match to Tornado.
This meant Tornado fought Philipper 2 in the final, equipped with its original disc weapon. At the start, Tornado pushed its opponent around the arena, before shoving it into Shunt's CPZ. Tornado then slammed Philipper into an angle grinder and then onto the flame pit. Refbot freed Philipper, but Tornado pushed the Belgian robot into Sergeant Bash, before shoving it into the pit to win the European Championship.
Tornado returned to the Seventh Wars as the reigning UK champion, keeping its interchangeable weaponry. In the first round, it was equipped with the disc, and drawn against veteran teams Ewe 2 and Sawpoint 2 alongside newcomers Devastator. It dominated the early stages, singling out Devastator and ramming it into the arena wall. It then pushed Devastator and Sawpoint 2 into the CPZ, where they were attacked by the house robots. After Ewe 2 pitted Sawpoint 2, Tornado combined with the flipper to shove Devastator into oblivion and out of the competition.
In the second round, it met another newcomer, Leveller 2 and used its scoop and chain flail. Tornado was flipped over, rendering the scoop useless, but it used the upside-down weapon to get a grip on Leveller 2 and shove it into Sir Killalot. Poor driving meant it couldn't get away and Shunt and Sir Killalot combined to attack it. Leveller 2 flipped Tornado once more but Tornado showed great aggression by pushing its opponent towards the angle grinder. Leveller 2 was eventually grasped by Sir Killalot, but he dropped it. Leveller 2 then drove into the pit.
This allowed Tornado to progress to the Heat Final, where it was fitted with the new electric lifter to fight against Tetanus Booster. Despite Tetanus Booster breaking the lifting mechanism, Tornado used its lifter to good effect by constantly getting underneath and pushing it around the arena. Tetanus Booster eventually started smoking and after lingering in the CPZ, Tornado pitted it, putting it through to the Semi-Finals.
There it met Raging Knightmare in the first round, reusing its disc. Tornado overturned Raging Knightmare with a rebound from a shove into the side wall, but Shunt axed it. Tornado slammed Raging Knightmare repeatedly into the side wall at speed. Raging Knightmare couldn't self-right and was pitted by Tornado.
In the second round it met Dutch robot Gravity, whose powerful flipper saw it beat the seeded Dantomkia and 13 Black along the way. Gravity couldn't get underneath Tornado's low scoop and Tornado kept pushing it into the wall. Eventually Gravity threw Tornado high into the air and it landed upside-down. Although Gravity had a punctured tyre, it could now get underneath Tornado. It didn't however and Tornado pushed the damaged Gravity onto the closed pit and activated the pit release button, leaving Gravity to descend into oblivion.
In the Grand Final it met New Blood Champions Storm 2, which was much like Tornado but with better speed and power. Storm 2 started quickly and slammed into the side wall when attempting an attack. Tornado was able to push Storm 2 for a while, but Storm 2 turned Tornado over with its lifting arm, meaning it was now easy to get underneath the inverted scoop. Storm 2 slammed Tornado into the walls several times before cease was called. Unfortunately, Tornado lost the judges' decision as Storm 2 had won on damage and aggression.
In the play-off, X-Terminator had taken a lot of damage from their previous battle against Typhoon 2, allowing Tornado to easily push it around the arena and into the CPZs, where X-Terminator took further damage from the House Robots. Despite suffering adhesion problems due to hydraulic fluid spilt on the arena floor, Tornado eventually immobilised X-Terminator, winning the play-off and finishing third in Series 7.
Tornado also competed in the Third World Championship as the reigning European Champion. In the first round, it was drawn against German representatives Ansgar 3 and UK runners-up Storm 2. Tornado teamed up with Storm 2 against Ansgar 3, pushing the German robot into Growler's CPZ, the arena side wall and the flame pit, where it became immobilised. After battling with Storm 2 for a while, the two robots ganged up to push Ansgar 3 into the pit. Tornado and Storm 2 continued pushing each other around for a while, slamming each other into the side walls and CPZs. After Tornado pushed Storm 2 into Dead Metal's clutches, Storm 2 slammed Tornado into the wall at great speed and sent it flying through the air. 'Cease' was called, and the judges went for Storm 2, so Tornado was eliminated at the first hurdle.
US Season 2Edit
Tornado, alongside Kat 3, Wowot and arch rivals Razer, appeared in the International Championship of Extreme Warriors Season 2. The four UK robots were paired up and Tornado fought Adam Clark's Wowot. Tornado slammed into the offensive, shoving Wowot around and into Sgt Bash who buried its claw into Wowot's side. Tornado eventually pushed Wowot into the pit to win.
- "Our second fight was against Razer. Unlike at Extreme 1 we were not daunted - it was time to play our trump card and reveal our anti-crusher weapon! Razer were dumbfounded - understandably they asked for it to be weighted and measured, but as we knew already it followed the rules to the letter. Everyone who saw it was either amused or speechless!"
- — Team Tornado
For the battle against Razer, Team Tornado used their new anti-crusher device for the first time, as the second season of Extreme Warriors was filmed before UK Series 6. In the fight, the chain came off the disc of the Anti-Crusher Web almost immediately, but the weapon served its purpose and Razer could not reach the chassis. Tornado repeatedly pushed Razer into the CPZs, but the House Robots kept attacking Tornado instead. By the end of the fight, the Anti-Crusher Web was completely mangled, but Tornado itself was relatively unharmed.
- "But the judges were apparently told to ignore any house robot intervention because they had not done as they should. It went to a judges decision - and we won on a 2:1 split decision!"
- — Team Tornado
In the final, Tornado met General Chompsalot 2. This time Tornado equipped the scoop, and simply pushed General Chompsalot around the arena and down the pit to claim the International Championship.
|TORNADO - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Semi-Finals, Round 2
|Heat F, Eliminator||vs. Gemini (8), Kater Killer||Qualified|
|Heat F, Semi-Final||vs. Berserk 2 (24)||Won|
|Heat F, Final||vs. Gemini (8)||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. Wheely Big Cheese (15)||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 2||vs. Chaos 2 (1)||Lost|
|Extreme Series 1|
|Round 1||vs. 3 Stegs to Heaven||Won|
|Quarter Final||vs. Pussycat||Won|
|Semi-Final||vs. Chaos 2||Won|
|Mayhem & Annihilator|
|Mayhem||vs. King B Powerworks, The Steel Avenger||Lost|
|Defence||vs. Wild Thing||Won|
|Defence||vs. Chaos 2||Won|
|Single Battle Events|
|The Second World Championship|
Representing UK, Semi-Final
|NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during US Season 1|
|Heat||vs. Panzer Mk 2 (USA), Philipper (BEL), Yeborobo (RSA)||Won|
|Semi-Final||vs. Razer (UK)||Lost|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
12th Seed, Heat, Round 2
|Heat G, Eliminator||vs. Gravedigger||Won|
|Heat G, Semi-Final||vs. Diotoir||Lost|
|The Sixth Wars - UK Championship|
12th Seed, Champion
|Heat G, Round 1||vs. Edge Hog, Inshredable, Terror-Bull||Qualified|
|Heat G, Round 2||vs. Thor||Won|
|Heat G, Final||vs. Anarchy||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 1||vs. Hypno-Disc (4)||Won|
|Semi-Final 2, Round 2||vs. Dominator 2 (6)||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Firestorm 4 (3)||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Razer (1)||Won|
|Extreme Series 2|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat A, Round 1||vs. Dantomkia, Terrorhurtz||Qualified|
|Heat A, Round 2||vs. Bigger Brother||Lost|
Representing UK, Champion
|NOTE: This competition was also broadcast during German Robot Wars|
|Round 1||vs. Snake Bite (SUI)||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Razer (UK)||Lost|
|NOTE: After Round 2, the Razer team handed the victory to Tornado as they believed that their robot had been immobilised (Razer's motors had burnt out very early on in the fight) and did not deserve to continue.|
|Final||vs. Philipper 2 (BEL)||Won|
|The Seventh Wars - UK Championship|
1st Seed, 3rd Place
|Heat E, Round 1||vs. Devastator, Ewe 2, Sawpoint 2||Qualified|
|Heat E, Round 2||vs. Leveller 2||Won|
|Heat E, Final||vs. Tetanus Booster||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 1||vs. Raging Knightmare||Won|
|Semi-Final 1, Round 2||vs. Gravity||Won|
|Grand Final, Eliminator||vs. Storm 2 (16)||Lost|
|Grand Final, Playoff||vs. X-Terminator (11)||Won|
|The Third World Championship|
Representing UK, Heat
|Heat||vs. Ansgar 3 (GER), Storm 2 (UK)||Lost|
|NOTE: See Extreme Series 1 Results|
Representing UK, Champion
|Round 1||vs. Wowot (UK)||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Razer (UK)||Won|
|Final||vs. General Chompsalot 2 (USA)||Won|
- UK Wins: 32
- UK Losses: 9
- US Wins: 3
- US Losses: 0
|Main Series||Tornado Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Semi-Finals, Round 2|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Sixth Wars||Grand Champion|
|The Seventh Wars||Third Place|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Robot Wars Extreme||Appearances|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Tornado was renamed Storm Chaser, after the alternative team name and the fact that team member David Gamble was a storm chaser, for its entry into Techno Games, which also saw it fitted with new blue armour panels concealing its top, sides, front and back. Storm Chaser fought alongside Sprocket (S.M.I.D.S.Y.) in the Football, where it beat Technomoth and Raviolio 7-2 before beating Team BB and winning the final 5-0 against Team Snow Cat (Snowstorm and Kat's Whiskers). It also lost to Big Bro in the final of Sumo in the same year (after beating British Bulldog and Chip in round 1 and 2) as well as win the Tug of War competition (beating Ridgeback, British Bulldog and Sprocket). In 2003, Storm Chaser competed in the Sumo competition and defeated Joker in the first round, before losing to Ickle Toaster. However, as Ickle Toaster's victory raised health and safety concerns, Storm Chaser was reinstated, and won the gold medal in the final.
Tornado is still in the possession of Andrew Marchant, and now occasionally fights, also sometimes appearing on static display. At the 2013 European Championships in Norwich, it returned to combat for an exhibition match against Alien Destructor and Cherub. After a close battle, it won on a judges decision. It then later battled Dantomkia, Bulldog Breed, Tough As Nails and The Saint. Tornado returned for the 2014 Robots Live event in Burgess Hill.
In 2016, Andrew Marchant joined Ed Hoppitt and Alan Young to take part in the 2016 series of BattleBots with Photon Storm, a highly upgraded version of Tiberius. It was drawn against Brazilian bot, Minotaur. Despite starting the battle strongly, Photon Storm was knocked out after one powerful hit from Minotaur's' drum and was not given a wildcard.
In 2016, Andrew Marchant was asked whether he would enter the new series of Robot Wars. He responded by saying that Tornado would not return for the new series, and on Team Tornado's website stated that he did not have enough time or money to build Tornado's successor and enter Series 8 in time. He stated his intentions to enter Tornado mk2 in the future, but admitted that the filming dates of Series 9 were also too close for the team to apply.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Tornado/Robot Wars: Advanced Destruction
- Tornado/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (PC/Xbox)
- Tornado/Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction (GBA)
- Tornado is one of eight robots to win more than twenty battles on UK Robot Wars. With 32, it has the third-most UK wins of all robots, the second-most wins overall with 35, and is the only one of the eight to debut after Series 3. The others to achieve this feat are Razer, Firestorm, Pussycat, Panic Attack, Chaos 2, Behemoth and Hypno-Disc.
- Along with Razer, PulverizeR and the middleweight Typhoon, Tornado is the only robot to have fought and defeated both a clusterbot (Gemini) and a walkerbot (Anarchy). Coincidentally:
- Each of them faced Tornado in a Heat Final.
- Like Razer, the clusterbot Tornado faced was Gemini.
- Like PulverizeR, Tornado's victory against a walkerbot was in the same series it won.
- Tornado is one of only 3 UK Series Semi-Finalists to have made the Semi-Finals in non-sequential series (doing so in 4 and 7, in addition to reaching and winning 6). The other two robots to do so are X-Terminator and Thermidor 2, although neither made Series 6.
- Prior to building Tornado, the members of Team Tornado had planned to build two separate robots for Series 4:
- The first was an unnamed four-wheeled box-shaped robot conceived by David Gamble and Gamble's workmate Ian Moody, which was armed with a 360 degree hammer that could act as a self-righting mechanism.
- The other was an invertible robot called Plague, which had two design iterations. The first was a box-shaped tracked robot armed with a cutting saw, while the second was an octagonal-shaped, two-wheeled robot with a small spinning disc.
- Tornado fought in the first and last episodes of both Robot Wars Extreme.
- Curiously, the Best Newcomer Award Trophy that Team Tornado received after Series 4 was not the trophy shown on television.
- Tornado is the only robot to have defeated a reigning UK Champion, then gone on to win the title itself in the same series, not counting Apollo's victory over Gary Cairns.
- Tornado was the only competitor robot to be made into a radio controlled toy as merchandise.
- Tornado's lifter, static spike, Anti Axe Weapon and Anti Spinner Weapon have all been scrapped.
- After Robot Wars, Team Tornado bought The Executioner, which had been modified for a presumed Series 8 before the show was cancelled, for the purpose of being a robot that the team's wives could drive at charity events, but it was never used.
- Tornado is one of only five robots to fight at least two past or future domestic champions in a single battle. The others to do this are 13 Black and the other three robots in Tornado's Second World Championship heat: Yeborobo, Philipper and Panzer Mk 2.
- Tornado is one of ten robots to fight two past or future domestic champions in two successive battles, fighting Chaos 2 and Razer in the Semi-Final and Final of the first All-Stars Tournament in Robot Wars Extreme: Series 1, as well as Razer and Philipper 2 in the European Championship. The others to do this are Killertron, Cassius, Firestorm, Stinger, Razer, X-Terminator, Twisted Metal, Philipper 2 and √3.
- Along with Krab-Bot, Razer, 101, Storm 2, Behemoth, and Manta, Tornado is one of only seven robots to finish in the top four of a World Championship and the top eight of a domestic championship.
|Position in The Combat Robot Hall of Fame|
- ↑ Team Tornado's Winding Up Again Robot Diary
- ↑ Team Tornado Website - Design and Philosophy
- ↑ Team Tornado's Series 6 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Vortex Building Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Series 6 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Vortex Building Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Victories And Defeats on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Series 5 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Series 6 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's Series 6 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's TNN Extreme Series 2 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Team Tornado's TNN Extreme Series 2 Robot Diary on www.teamtornado.co.uk
- ↑ Andrew Marchant on Team Tornado's potential entry into Series 8
- ↑ http://www.teamtornado.co.uk/rwdiary.htm