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Abong Ballista Wooden Miniature Tabletop Desktop Warfare Kit - Easy Assembly and Reliable Performance - with Detailed, Full-Color Instruction Guide - 28 Pieces
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- ROMAN DESIGN - The ballista was the ultimate artillery weapon of the Roman Empire. Similar in appearance to a giant crossbow, it was powered by massive bundles of twisted horse hair. The bolts it fires would mow down enemies and fortifications alike.
- FROM SELECT HARDWOOD - It is laser cut from select hardwood for easy assembly and reliable performance.
- COMES WITH AN INSTRUCTION GUIDE - Detailed, full-color instructions guide the builder through each step of construction.
- 28-PIECE KIT - Designed with interlocking parts, a simple, reliable trigger, high strength cordage and lightweight projectiles this ballista is incredibly durable. This 28 piece kit can fire payload over 30 feet.
- DESIGNED FOR ALL AGES - Both kids and adults will have a blast in building and launching the Ballista.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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The Ballista Kit is based on the Roman design. It is laser cut from select hardwood for easy assembly and reliable performance. Detailed, full-color instructions guide the builder through each step of construction. The completed model measures 20.3 centimeters (8") x 10.1 centimeters (4") x 15.2 centimeters (6"). A how-to section demonstrates loading and firing the completed Ballista, including tips on tuning the finished kit. Required wood glue not included. This tabletop kit has been designed for simple assembly. Designed with interlocking parts, a simple, reliable trigger, high strength cordage and lightweight projectiles this Ballista is incredibly durable. Three easy-to-follow rules for public demonstration are provided to ensure everyone's safety.
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|Item Dimensions||9.5 x 3.8 x 1.4 in||9.6 x 3.8 x 1.2 in||5.9 x 4.5 x 2.8 in||5 x 4.5 x 9 in|
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This model not only provided an interesting and challenging evening of assembly, but also serves to illustrate the uncanny resourcefulness of ancient militaries like the Greeks and Romans. I found myself wishing, while building this, that such industry hadn't been necessarily put toward the goal of killing... an unfortunate reality!
I had so much fun building and testing this model. Admittedly, I was nervous at certain points in the construction process. It often seems like certain parts, especially the stop pins, will break under pressure, or otherwise have a flaw. This model is built to fight, though! It is ABSOLUTELY IMPORTANT to use a high-quality carpenter’s glue here, and to let it dry thoroughly between certain steps, or you will be frustrated. Make sure the feet that hold the firing mechanism are glued very well - they will be taking some punishment by way of lateral tension. I would recommend conscripting a daughter, son, or student to build the base separately, while a spacially-intelligent adult with opposable thumbs tackles the skein and torsion pin situation. That can really be tricky, but at least this is never because the directions were unclear. They are actually amazingly realistic and readable. They even provide a handy template for measuring exact lengths of chord, which are crucial. Let me tell you, the measuring of the skeins is extremely important, because if one side is slightly off, it's corresponding bow arm will be askew. This affect does not seem very avoidable actually, but also does not affect the power or accuracy of the shot. One last note: do not get greedy with the torsion pin adjustments. Not that it happened in my case, but it is obvious how this thing could be violently disabled under excessive torsion!
Now, about the functionality of the model:
I am downright surprised that Abong does not flaunt a longer distance estimate on their product. This model was able to fire almost twice the advertised distance after properly torqued. The accuracy is not great only because the projectile is ridiculous, frankly. The fact that it is purposely shaped like a projectile that didn’t exist until millennia after the ballista is ironic. But really, without the boring of a rifle’s barrel, a bullet would do exactly what this model demonstrates - it would flop and spin in the air. That is why muskets fired balls, because they lacked spiral-bored barrels to put that spin on the projectile that stabilizes it’s flight, like a football. To my knowledge, Romans mostly fired spear-like projectiles from ballistae. Because I’m an adult who can make decisions like this, I’ll be experimenting with dart-tipped projectiles that use feathers to aim at a dartboard or target. I imagine that this amazing replica will be highly consistent with the right projectile.
Awesome product! I will be buying another.
But, it does work. We could never get 15 feet with it, but got a very solid 10.
He got a kick out of this, though - whew!
He already had a nice handmade catapult, a laser-cut trebuchet, and the USB-controlled foam missile launcher, so this was the logical next step.
Two things to consider: it's not a basic, easy-peasy build for an 8-year-old despite appearances. This requires wood glue (not included) to build, and there were two parts not listed in the instructions: the parts had changed, and the instructions had not been updated to reflect this. Fortunately, when the SO called the company, he got excellent assistance that assured him the place the thought the two "wrong" parts should go did in fact go there.
He called during the build. "I'm in my bedroom with wood-clamps on my ballista. This is really weird!" is his way of saying "Thank you!". Mission accomplished.