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Challenge Park Xtreme



Anderson Humphreys

Forest Brown


CHICAGO, IL - May 3, 2000. Forest Brown and Anderson Humphreys have been telling everyone the end of the world is coming.  This latest prediction comes in September with the opening of Armageddon at Challenge Park Xtreme.  Armageddon will be one of the new park’s themed paintball fields.  This apoplectic style ruin of a small town is the most expensive paintball field ever developed.  With its million-dollar price tag, it’s billed as the planet’s most exciting paintball field.  In this setting of doom in gloom, meticulous detail is used to create the most realistic setting as possible.

“It was once a beautiful city, nestled along the banks of the Marshon River. Then the war came and the bombs fell. Now Armageddon is a battered ruin devoid of it’s once great population. The only inhabitants are the occasional armed units of warriors still battling for strategic position,” according to Forest Brown co-developer of the park.

Armageddon is the “brainchild” of Brown who is a long time veteran of paintball.  “Players always dreamed of playing in Disney-style paintball settings and now the dream, or nightmare as the case may be, is well underway,” Brown added.

The beginning of the end started this past winter as Brown set out to bring the nightmare to reality.  The first step was to design and construct a scale (1”= 6’) model.   He started by researching photos of bomb and battle damage reminiscent of European towns in the 40’s. After several weeks and 200 hours of modeling time, the Armageddon model was now a scaled down version of what was to be.    The model is now on display at Challenge Games in Joliet, a store in which Brown is an owner.

With a working model in hand the next step was to find someone to construct the real Armageddon. This was no ordinary task.  Enter Dean Oien of Scenic View. A chance meeting of Dean and Forest took place at Brown’s Challenge Games store.  Dean was looking around the store and noticed a large number of scenery models throughout.  Dean commented that he did the same thing only life size.  He is the president of Scenic View, a company that specializes in building sets and props for theme parks.  Forest then asked Dean if he had a few minutes.  

Dean took the model to his studio to have his design team create the blueprints from which Armageddon would be built.  Scores of blueprints were made and construction soon started.  A team of 20 worked throughout the winter inside Scenic View’s large downtown Chicago building.   A series of tests were conducted on materials that had to hold up to temperatures ranging from 100 to -20 degrees, the sun’s UV rays and the constant pounding of paintballs traveling at 200 mph.
“It’s actually harder to produce buildings that appear to be demolished than it would to produce buildings that appear brand new,” remarked Brown’s partner, Anderson Humphreys.   “We’ve had to produce cracks, blast holes, scorched crumbling walls and bullet holes.”   Craftsmen created these effects using a wide assortment of tools, drills, saws, rasps, knives and blow torches.  

Once the assembly of the town takes place, sound effects of tanks, trucks, bomb blasts and men shouting and running through the streets can be heard.  Overhead are the sounds of falling bombs, helicopters and jets making their runs over the beleaguered city.  Rubble piles will smolder from the fires that have reduced the once great city to it’s current state of chaos. 

The battles will continue into the evening thanks to some of the street lights that have survived the carnage.

The actual construction has already been completed and awaiting its final assembly on location at the new park.  

The 150 acre Challenge Park Xtreme will be in Joliet, just outside Chicago.  It will consist of 20 paintball fields, a BMX track, Inline skating, skateboarding ramps & jumps and a 2 ½  mile mountain bike trail.   

Repent, the end of the world is near.

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