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Miniature Ballista Kit - Wooden Desktop Warfare Ballista
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- This 28 piece kit can fire payload over 30 feet!
- Desk-topped sized measuring 8? l x 6? w x 6? h
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Build the Ultimate Artillery Weapon of the Roman EmpireExplore the world of ancient artillery with this exciting ballista kit. Powered by a twisted high strength cord, this laser cut wood ballista fires over 30 feet! This 28 piece DIY kit contains wooden ammo and all the required hardware plus full color instructions. Desk-topped sized measuring 8” l x 6” w x 6” h. Required wood glue not included. For ages 9+.Part of a DIY medieval series. Also check out:3155190 Catapult Wood Kit3155191 Trebuchet Wood Kit
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|Sold By||Tru Inertia||Amazon.com||Unplug Your Fun||Tru Inertia|
|Item Dimensions||3.8 x 9.5 x 1.4 in||2 x 8 x 2 in||5 x 10 x 6 in||9.9 x 11.9 x 1.4 in|
Top Customer Reviews
You should use white glue and carefully align and clamp each assembly, letting it dry thoroughly, especially the first group of pieces that make up the main body and center front frame, as that takes a lot of stress. Small clamps are best, but you might get by with rubber bands or just weighing the pieces down while they dry, although the latter methods would make it more difficult to keep the alignment correct. (I was surprised at the comments reporting that the model broke or came apart, and I suspect that the glued parts were not clamped or weighted during assembly, or not allowed to dry.)
I don't recommend that an inexperienced youngster try to build this alone, and you should be prepared to spread the construction over a few days. But the investment of effort pays off by teaching woodworking skills and patience, and resulting in a very fun and functional ballista! After it was thoroughly dry, my son had a blast firing away at a "castle" he had populated with toy figures, also using a simple wooden catapult we had built together previously.
Our kit was high quality, with no missing parts, and the instructions were pretty good, if I remember correctly. Our kit came with only two or three projectiles (and they're easily lost), but we found other object to fire.
The only complaint I might make is that it is difficult to tighten both of the skeins (loops of string) equally, because the way the tightened skeins are held in place allows adjustment in 1/2-turn increments only. It seems ours needed an adjustment in between (probably because our loops of string were not tied to just the same length -- that was rather tricky). You want equal torsion on both skeins to get it to fire most reliably. We worked out a solution by just wedging a small piece of wood between the "torsion bar" and the "stop-pin."
All in all, a very educational and well constructed kit, well worth building, in my opinion!
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.