Just out of interest…

February 12, 2010

Who is interested in a plan for making a small onager using one sheet of 1/16 balsa wood? I was suffering from insomnia last night so I sketched one up and I’m drawing it up in what we laughingly call my holiday.

Next question would you pay $1 for such a plan. You’d be able to print it off and pin it to the balsa wood sheet just like making a model plane… only it will work.


A couple of games for the keyboard catapulters.

February 7, 2010

Firstly the well known Crush the Castle. A fun little time waster followed up by the Crush the Castle Players Pack which has a lot more desgins from players I suspect.

Then theres one of my favorites, not so much as a game but as a simulator. The Warrick Castle Trebuchet Game. In this simulator you can alter the weight of the counterweight and the missile to shoot at a target which will randomly set itself anywhere beween 100 and 300 metres. If you set the counterweight to max and just change the missile weight you’ll soon work out what range you’ll get at each setting and impress your spouse and offspring with your ability to hit the target with the first round…for about ten seconds and then they’ll they start bugging you for more money for the movies and to mow that damn lawn and her mother said you were a no good layabout bum and she could have had her pick of guys like Jonny Mathews who is in money markets know and has three cars … blah blah blah…

mmm castle smashing goodness.


Introducing a crack team of elite specialists…

February 1, 2010

The Eh Team!

Our sketch artist has put together this  impression from eyewitness accounts of this hand picked group of former New Zealand Army experts* None of them were willing for their kids to actually see photos of them looking like this anyway so we had to go graphic, but innocent bystanders have attested to the uncanny likeness of the image. In order to the protect the guilty they shall remain nameless for the time being.

This is the collection that I plan to take to Denmark to impress academic world with out smashy skills.  Actually in terms of breaking things you couldn’t do better than the New Zealand Infantry. I’ll just tell them not to touch the walls… the moment they all look very innocent and start whistling casually I’ll now the walls are about to come down.

* X = unkown quantity, spert = drip under presure.


Change of project

February 1, 2010

Like our illustrious PM I’ve been invited to Denmark. Unlike him though there is a point to my going. To smash stuff!

I’ve been invited to participate in an experimental archaeology project evaluating the effect of Classical period large calibre ranged missile fire on defensive structures. Of to put it another way, someone is going to build walls and I’m going to break them. And my mother said I was on the wrong career path!

Consequently Big Tim is now on hold untill 2011 and Agrippa is on the drawing board.

Agrippa is a 4 mina ballista and as you can see is a little on the heafty side. This was the compromise between portability and hitting power. Thus making it big enough to be a pain in the ass to move and yet still too small to be a real threat to the average stone wall. Well there will be wooden palisades and mud brick as well so we’ll see what happens.

As you can imagine this is by no means a cheap under taking so if you want to contribute to my mid life deliquincey feel free. I’m also interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in sponsoring this machine. I can be fairly certain it will attract some attention. As always you can make a paypal donation and contact me using 22adartillery@gmail.com


Moral dilema of the day.

November 23, 2009

I have the capability and expertise to design a ballista able to throw tennis balls pretty well through the average brick wall, not to mention a captive audience demanding such plans.

So… should I actually take cheques or just stick with paypal?

What you were expecting I should agonise over the morality of international weapons sales? What site have you been visiting for the last six years? You may form a queue for the completed plans in the comments section. The new plan is the Tennis Ball Ballista V3.0. The TBall Ballista HP. Yes the HP does stand for same thing as with the Browning 9mm HP.

Use at own risk.

Nov 23, 2009 @ 11:24


Project for 2010

November 13, 2009

As 2010 is my third year at university and catapults have proved to be somethign of a diversion I’ll only be working on one thing outside my academic work next year. There will be no exhibitions, events, talks, WMD Weekend, powerpoint presentations, audio scripts, breakfast radio interviews or new plans made avaiable. Nothing, zip zlitch nada.

The one project I will be undertaking is of course possibly a bit larger than previous ones. If I was NASA we’d be at about the Saturn V point in development.

I started with Tiny: (A free plan is here)

Tiny comp

Followed by Katie: (Yeah like I’m going to give up this plan for free)

Katie comp

About Christmas 2010 Big Tim will operational. A 6.6 metre throwing arm swinging counterweight trebuchet. Thats 26′ 7″ for those of you stuck in Imperial measurement time.

Big Tim

Yeah its a little on the largish side. Actually with the arm vertical its about 10.5 metres in the air with the release point of the ball being at about 14 metres HAG (46 feet). Since the ammo is 16lb bowling balls I would recommend not standing in the impact area (Note to self: Add that to the risk management plan, avoid being hit by 16lb bowling ball doing 160k/h. Important safety tip.) The local mill is donating the timber and in fact he’s custom milling it for me. There will of course be other expenses for the fittings. So if you do feel inclined to help out you can donate to the 22AD Research Fund via paypal. If you would like a copy of the tennis ball ballista plan for you donation let me know.

In late 2009 news I’m now past 10,000 words of the 20,000 word book on catapults as detailed in the post two below from this one. Hopefully I’ll be done before Christmas… this year. If you are interested in getting a copy let me know in the comments.


If anyone is feeling particularly generous this year…

November 12, 2009

As both my regular readers know I’m a poor student living on noodles and mouldy bread and I have to walk 8 miles through the snow to get to school (which is damned hard in mid summer I can assure you!) My catapulting is entirely funded by what I can find down the back of the cushions and several very generous donations from military types who shamelessly encourage my violent tendencies which I then pass on to the local youth disguised as “history”. So once again I’m holding my hand out as I have a pressing need for two particular books:

Greek And Roman Artillery, Technical Treaties
E. W. Marsden

Greek and Roman Artillery. Historical Development
E. W. Marsden

For those in the business Marsden is the bible for ancient catapults and you’re either a disciple or a heretic, but Marsdens is The Word you’re fighting over.

These books are of course quite expensive so if you feel inclined to help out with the cause but don’t have the loose change to go about buying books for strangers you can donate through paypal to the 22AD Research Fund. The research fund goes towards building new machines and research material which can include research into the effects of alcohol at post event bbq’s.

“Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Albert Einstein

I believe beer helps this research process at the “what the hell am I doing” end of the scale. While I don’t believe in the something for nothing principle I’m happy to give anyone who donates anything a copy of my tennis ball ballista plan. which you can view here and here.

Just out of interest if everyone who had downloaded my trebuchet plan had donated $1 I could have bought both these books, all the text books (23) for my next year at university… and a car.

In catapult related news I’m working on two books at the moment based on my research and this may well be related to the two books mentioned above. I’m writing a boring academic one and I’m editing a kids version of it written by a friend of mine who is much better at getting to the point and not waffling a load of verbose bollocks. they should be available mid next year. Email me if you’re interested in a copy and I’ll put you on a notification list.  22adartillery AT gmail DOT com