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"Robot Wars veterans from the Dartford Girls Grammar but with hopes that this will be no mere shadow of napalm. A large spike, a lifting mechanism, Kevlar shell, titanium. It's all there, but shadows can evaporate under the spotlight."
— Jonathan Pearce

Shadow of Napalm was the third robot entered by Dartford Girls Grammar, competing exclusively in Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars. A direct successor to Second Wars Semi-Finalist Napalm, it reached the second round where it suffered a very damaging loss to Dominator 2.

For unknown reasons, Shadow of Napalm did not appear again beyond this solitary UK Championship run. Dartford Girls Grammar would instead enter their Series 1 machine Detonator into the Series 4 War of Independence Christmas special, before bringing two versions of the original Napalm with them for subsequent series.


"It's got front lifters, its got back...pointy sticky things, and its even got shower fittings."
— David Crosby concludes Shadow of Napalm's team introduction

Official photo from Series 4

In a departure from its predecessor, Shadow of Napalm adopted a conventional wedge shape with a predominantly red and white colour scheme, hazard stripes and a pair of eyes and eyebrows forming a scowling expression on top. Comments from Julia Reed suggest that whilst Shadow of Napalm's exterior was very different, its internals were improved versions of Napalm's, rather than having been built from scratch. The shell was constructed from Kevlar with additional aluminium and titanium being used in places. According to David Crosby, the robot's two-wheel drive system was powered by electric wheelchair motors rated at 24 volts.

Shadow of Napalm's weaponry consisted of a large rear-hinged lifting arm operated by a linear actuator along with a rear ramming spike. Painted a contrasting black and grey with hazard stripes, the arm was also capable of acting as a clamp, which it briefly appeared to do so against Disc-O-Inferno in its Eliminator. Though the robot's ground clearance was stated to be 5cm, it was considerably lower around the sides; the highest clearance was found at the back which utilised an extra castor wheel.

The Team[]

The team with Shadow of Napalm

Main article: Dartford Girls Grammar

Shadow of Napalm was built by representatives of Dartford Girls Grammar School. Technology teacher David Crosby captained the team, and also drove Shadow of Napalm in battle. His students Clare Greenaway and Victoria Allgood were also present on the teams to assist with maintenance and participate in interviews.

Robot History[]

Series 4[]

"For series 4, a new 'bot was constructed - SHADOW OF NAPALM. This 'bot just didn't meet the spec's set out. We had difficulties with the body shell as it continued to rub on the wheels. Without the shell, S.O.N ran very well, but it wouldn't have been much good in a fight."
— David Crosby summarises the flaws of Shadow of Napalm on his website[1]

Shadow of Napalm arrived in Series 4 as the twenty-fifth seed and was placed against newcomers Major Tom and Disc-O-Inferno.

Major Tom attacks Shadow of Napalm from the side

Disc-O-Inferno and Shadow of Napalm lock horns

At the start of the battle all three robots charged at each other with Disc-O-Inferno's weapon causing some minor dents to the fragile armour. However, Disc-O-Inferno made contact with Shadow of Napalm and the electronics short circuited, causing the machine to turn off. Major Tom rammed Shadow of Napalm, but whilst Shadow of Napalm and Disc-O-Inferno both looked very lacking in mobility, Shadow of Napalm managed to move sluggishly away.

"I think everyone in the Robot Wars arena, the crowd would like to see the Dartford girls do well. But the question is their machine, Shadow of Napalm, is it strong enough to withstand the axe of Dominator 2?"
— Jonathan Pearce

Shadow of Napalm was then placed against Dominator 2, newcomers to the main competition.

Dominator 2 breaches Shadow of Napalm's ground clearance

Dominator 2 axes Shadow of Napalm

Dominator 2 relentlessly hammered Shadow of Napalm with its spiked axe. Holes were punched in Shadow of Napalm, and after managing to escape Sir Killalot, Shadow of Napalm broke down. Shadow of Napalm held on against Dominator 2 and Matilda to prevent itself going into the pit, before it finally went down when Sir Killalot intervened, with help from Matilda. As Shadow of Napalm fell into the pit, its chassis split in half.

"I love the smell of Napalm in the morning! Smells like victory, but the victory goes to Dominator 2!"
— Craig Charles

Sir Killalot and Dominator 2 finish off Shadow of Napalm

Shadow of Napalm falls to pieces as it goes down the pit

It is possible that the damage sustained by Shadow of Napalm prevented it from being able to compete in the War of Independence, hence why they used their original robot Detonator. The official guide for Robot Wars Extreme stated that Shadow of Napalm had been left as a "pile of junk", suggesting that the damage caused by Dominator 2 had been more severe than made apparent.


Series 4
The Fourth Wars - UK Championship
25th Seed, Heat Semi-Final
Heat E, Eliminator vs. Disc-O-Inferno, Major Tom Qualified
Heat E, Semi-Final vs. Dominator 2 Lost


  • Wins: 1
  • Losses: 1

Series Record[]

Rear view of Shadow of Napalm

Main Series Shadow of Napalm Series Record
The First Wars Entered with Detonator
The Second Wars Entered with Napalm
The Third Wars Entered with Napalm
The Fourth Wars Heat, Round 2
War of Independence with Detonator
The Fifth Wars Entered with Napalm 2
The Sixth Wars Did not enter
The Seventh Wars Did not enter
Series 8 Did not enter
Series 9 Did not enter
Series 10 Did not enter
Robot Wars Extreme Appearances
Series 1 Entered with Napalm and Napalm 2
Series 2 Did not enter


  • In the Fourth Wars recap, shown in the Grand Final, Shadow of Napalm was erroneously called Son of Napalm by Jonathan Pearce.
  • Dartford Girls Grammar would fight Disc-O-Inferno again the second Extreme 1 Annihilator.
  • Shadow of Napalm was the only robot from Dartford Girls Grammar to be seeded and the only robot to be seeded twenty-five.