Build Catapults – Miniatures or Full Size Models
The Choice is Yours
If you’re in the market to build catapults at home for a community/club project or even for school, the best places to
start are local libraries or the Internet.
The variety you have to choose from when deciding to build catapults for yourself can be overwhelming, so it’s best
to decide what you want before you get started.
As you move forward in your decision to build catapults, it’s important to decide what model and size you’d like to
create. Would you like a full size mangonel in your backyard, or perhaps a tabletop trebuchet? Is the project meant
to appear on re-enactment battlefields in the future or is your decision to build catapults influenced by a desire to
give students lessons in history, mathematics and physics all at once?
After the decision has been made on how you want to build catapults, the real work begins. Kits, blue prints and
design advice are readily found on the Internet with blue prints available for any size project imaginable.
If your decision to build catapults involves creating life-sized versions, be prepared to spend some time. Rome
wasn’t built in a day and neither were most castle-wall-crushing trebuchets.
Medieval builders creating ballistas, mangonels, trebuchets and other catapult makes faced a number of challenges
on the way to completion. To build catapults, they first had to figure out what they wanted – just as you do. Unlike
you, they had to do the mathematics themselves. This is something you can avoid by purchasing blue prints or using
an available program that assists with parts selection and computation of trajectory and other complex formulas. As
you build catapults, you’ll find many of the materials needed right in your own home, depending on the version
you’ve selected and size. Or, a trip to a hardware store will solve the problem. Medieval people seeking to build
catapults did not have the luxury of a Scotty’s around the corner, so they had to secure ropes, the perfect pieces of
lumber, sling materials and more from the wilds, through their own ingenuity.
If time is a factor as you embark on your mission to build catapults, choose smaller, tabletop models to start with.
Some plans and kits available allow complete construction in very little time. A mouse trap catapult that employs
sticks, erasers and rubber bands, for example, might only take a few minutes to create. If the end product is a full
size trebuchet meant to hurl very heavy objects, your total time involved as you build catapults might increase by
days or even weeks.
Many web sites exist to help you as you build catapults. Simply log onto the Internet and go to a reliable search
engine such as Google or Yahoo and type in “build catapults” or something similar. Many sites offer free plans, or at
least ideas on how to build catapults. Others offer for sale complete blue prints for tried and tested machines that
will not fail to work if constructed properly.
Regardless of your final choice of large or small, exact replica or scale version, the decision to build catapults can
provide you and any helpers a whole lot of fun.
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