Whether you are just looking to complete your miniature battlefield or you want to storm the nearest walled town, you need to know how to build a catapult. Catapults are siege machines that are designed to throw large, heavy objects either over or at walls. Catapults are advanced forms of Greek and Roman ballistae, which worked the same way as crossbows. Full scale catapults often use torsion from a wound rope to create the force that flings the basket forward, while small scale ones often use a stretched piece of rubber or string. We will focus on a small scale catapult, although the same principles can be applied to a large scale one.
- Construct a rectangular base. Wood should be the material of choice since you will need to cut into it later to attach other pieces. Use small screws or nails to attach the pieces together.
- Create an arm for the catapult. The arm should be slightly longer then the vertical bar. Attach a basket to the end of the arm and a hook on the same side as the basket. Drill a hole through the bottom of the arm.
- Install two vertical beams. The vertical beams should be about half as long as the base and installed a little closer to the front of the catapult than the back. Drill small holes about halfway through each vertical beam. These holes will face each other when the vertical beams are installed. Place a small metal rod through the hole in the bottom of the arm, then install each end of the rod in the holes in the vertical beams before installing them on the frame. The arm should now be able to move freely around the rod.
- Reinforce the vertical beams. Install wooden beams at an angle between the front of the catapult and the vertical beams.
- Install the crossbar. The crossbar will go between the two vertical beams. Install it just under the top of the vertical beams, on the side facing the back of the catapult. Make sure you use durable material for the crossbar, as this is what the catapult arm will hit when it releases.
Install a hook on the front of the catapult.
- Place a rubber band, or any flexible material, between the hook on the arm and the hook on the front of the catapult.
The catapult is now installed and ready for use. If you want, you can design a trigger mechanism to hold the arm back until you pull the trigger, but it is not required. Have fun storming the castle!