NOTE: This item has been discontinued.
For detailed plans to build one using your own materials, including dimensional drawings and assembly instructions, tuning hints and more, please go to www.OnagerPlans.com
Or, for our new, smaller, wheeled version of this machine, go to www.CatapultKits.com
The ballista is an engine of war invented by the Greeks sometime around 800 BCE, and also used by the Romans. Ballistae were constructed of different sizes for the various purposes of siege and field warfare. The largest ones could throw projectiles weighing up to fifty pounds as far as 400 yards!
The ballista uses a pair of skeins (bundles of twisted rope) for power. Similar to the working of a crossbow, the Ballista actually preceded the crossbow in western culture by over a thousand years.
This model is in the lithobolos style of machine. Rather than shooting bolts (arrows) and darts, this machine shoots golf balls, tennis balls, eggs, lemons, tomatoes or just about anything small and round. The original lithobolos machines fired stones or lead balls, and was the ancient equivalent of the cannon.
We've extensively studied the design and construction of the ballista, and we think this model is a fantastic representation of the ancient Greek machine. This model kit is fully functional, easy to build, and a whole lot of fun to shoot. The completed model is 41 inches long and 24 inches wide (not including the sweep of the arms). It stands 31 inches tall and is capable of hurling a golf ball over 200 feet!
The kit is hand crafted from high quality hardwood and includes a working winch, forged iron trigger mechanism, real leather pouch and solid steel capstans to anchor the strong polyester-rope skeins. (Diamond-braid polyester rope has the closest properties to the ancient horsehair and sinew ropes, and it's the best material available for these machines today.)
The detailed instructions are complete with diagrams, photos, tuning tips, history notes and web links for even more information about catapults! All parts are pre-cut, pre-drilled and can be assembled to a working model in one evening.