How to Build a Catapult
Most of the rest of us got started with books and encyclopediae. We feel that the research and design of these machines is half the fun. (The other half being building and firing them!), so some of these links are included for information purposes. These resources can help you design and build your own catapults and trebuchets.
These first three links include the RLT Kits known as the Warwolf, FAT, Tabletop Trebuchet, PVC Trebuchet, Mangonel, Ballista, Scorpion II, Petraria and a new Rat-Trap catapult.
- Trebuchet and Catapult Plans and Simulators on CD-ROM
Includes plans and bonus material for many different types of trebuchets and catapults. The two best trebuchet simulators on the planet are also available here. A fantastic resource!
- Downloadable Plans for a variety of Trebuchet and Catapult projects!
- Buy A Kit!
Complete and easy to assemble kits including everything you need to build a working Trebuchet, Onager, Ballista or other machines. All pieces are pre-cut and pre-drilled for easy construction.
One of my favorite Chinese proverbs is: "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." This philosophy applies to engineering and physical sciences too. You can buy a kit or a set of plans for a single trebuchet, or use these resources below to learn the fundamentals of engineering and mechanical design, a skill that will be useful for a lifetime!
- Catapult Design, Construction and Competition with
The Projectile Throwing Engines of the Ancients, and
Forward by Ron L. Toms. (8-1/4" x 11" Printed Book)
If you've ever wondered how to build a catapult or trebuchet, or wondered what you'd do with it once you've built one, then this book can help. Filled with anecdotes, plans, photographs, drawings and detailed descriptions of the workings and history of all the major types of catapults, these pages will help you get started in this fascinating hobby. You too will feel the joy of harnessing the power and energy of simple and ancient machines!
- Catapult Design, Construction and Competition
(Downloadable PDF E-Book).
by Dr. Bernard F. Barcio
Published in 1978. This book talks about the nation-wide catapult competitions in the 1960s and 70s, and the machines that won it. The records, types of machines, schematics of the winning machines, rules and guidelines for competition, and lots of pictures and diagrams included in this 111 page work. It's a must-have if you have any interest in the sport of hurling!
- The Projectile Throwing Engines of the Ancients
(Downloadable PDF E-Book).
by Ralph Payne-Gallwey
Published in 1907. This English Nobleman researched and developed fully functional catapult and trebuchet recreations at the end of the 19th century, then wrote a book about it. It's a great way to learn how these machines were made. Lots of pictures and diagrams.
- Get the Trebuchet Simulator!
This is by far the easiest and fastest way to test your trebuchet designs!
"It's what I use!" -- Ron L. Toms
- Get the FAT/F2K Trebuchet Simulator!
A simulator for the more advanced types of trebuchets.
"Used to design T-Wrecks, the most powerful trebuchet ever!" -- Ron L. Toms
- Ripcord's Trebuchet Stuff
By far the best place to get started and learn the basics of trebuchets, including slings, pouches, and release pins. Tons of great info and pictures!
Now including detailed PLANS!
- A Darn Good Looking (and functional!) Paper Card-Stock Trebuched
A working card-stock model (PDF) that you can print out and make. From Sheila's Paper Models.
Becker's GOOD PLANS
A great resource for building a tabletop model from scratch. Lots of detail photos.
- INGENIUM medium trebuchet
Very nice printable plans, and don't forget the smaller version here .
- The Grey Company Trebuchet Page
A tremendous source of research, photos, drawings and other info. This is a fabulous place to start.
- Knight's Armoury
The best site around for blueprints of real medieval weaponry! Great research material!
- Onager Online
Team Carbo's award winning onager. Click on the "upgrades, plans, and construction details" on the left side-bar.
- The Algorithmic Beauty of the Trebuchet
WinTrebStar - A fabulous software simulator for trebuchets. Versions for both Mac and Windows. Information about onager behavior and materials strengths is available too!
- Projectile Motion
A page with the basic physics formulae for ballistic projectiles: