Catapult Models Echo History, Physics Lessons

Finding catapult models (from tiny desktop replicas to full scale versions of the early machines of siege warfare) isn’t very difficult if you look on the Internet, and even in some run of the mill toy stores.

From small versions of the real things to working toys made of plastic, model catapults are readily available to please history and science buffs and even children just interested in creating their own battle scenes.

Catapult models can be found pre-made or purchased in kits for home construction. Prices on these models vary depending on size and complexity, whether the machine is put together in advance for the buyer, and how extensive the materials list happens to be.

Whether they’re meant to act as a child’s toy or appear in a live battle re-enactment, catapult replicas are interesting for the history that lives within them. Take a look at a child size ballista for instance. The design is similar to the machine originally created in roughly 300 BC by the engineers of Phillip of Macedonia. The purpose, even on the smaller models, is the same: to hurl objects over a distance. Catapult models enable children, students and the viewing public in the case of the larger versions for recreations to literally put themselves on the battlefield and feel history come to life. They also serve well in demonstrating complex theories of physics such as trajectory and propulsion.

Imagine a line up of 50 real catapult models all poised at a castle wall. Rather than ballista or mangonels set in the line, giant wall crushing trebuchets are ready with their firing mechanisms loaded with 300-pound rocks. By looking at the smaller version of model catapults, the complexity of early warfare really hits home.

When looking to buy catapult models, decide on the size and design you’d like to find. Perhaps you’d like a project to create with school-aged children or maybe you’re looking for a community project to celebrate an upcoming medieval re-enactment. Go from there to find plans or pre-made catapult models for purchase.

Information on where to buy the plans or pre-mades can be found readily on the Internet. Sites such as will provide a wealth of information on where to find plans. A simple Google search will also net a ton of sites that offer catapult models ready to go, or even plans for scaled down versions that require simple materials such as rubber bands and Popsicle sticks.

Whatever catapult model you’re looking for the lesson in history and early mechanical science will come to life as you watch one of these machines launch its projectile – whether that happens to be an actual spear, a rock or even a miniature marshmallow.

Go to the main Medieval Catapults page.

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