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Welcome to

This is the home of Team Tormentum.
We build modern siege engines, compete in charity Chunkin competitions, make guest appearances for Class Rooms and Television shows, and are willing to help local charity events using our siege engines.

To learn about our Siege Engine building team, or any of our machines, use the links on the right.

Consider helping Team Tormentum maintain this web site of our adventures by visiting one of our sponsors, or buy Books from Amazon which provides the pennies needed to keep a web site like this alive.

The Latest News

Team News:

  • Oct 13-15, 2017: Mista Ballista was at Extreme Chunkin at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Oct 14-16, 2016: Mista Ballista was at Extreme Chunkin at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Oct 23-25, 2015: Mista Ballista was at Extreme Chunkin at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • Nov 1-3, 2013: Mista Ballista was at the World Championship Punkin Chunk! See the 2013 Punkin Chunk page.
  • May 11-12, 2013: We brought our new treb, and some models to Charles River Museum's steampunk weekend.
  • May 4, 2013: We will be attending the Higgin's Armoury's "Siege the Day" event with a new treb custom built for the event.
  • Nov 14, 2012: Added the Mista Ballista Bowstring page lending some insight on how we built the bowline, and compounded Mr. B.
  • Nov 3, 2012: On the local news on Delaware station WMDT (link is now gone)
  • Nov 2-4, 2012: Mista Ballista was at the World Championship Punkin Chunk! See the 2012 Punkin Chunk page.
  • Nov 3-6, 2011: Mista Ballista was at the World Championship Punkin Chunk! See the 2011 Punkin Chunk page.
  • Nov 4-7, 2010: Mista Ballsita was at the World Championship Punkin Chunk! See the 2010 Punkin Chunk page.
  • June 1, 2010: We were part of a big building celebration. Check out the news article about it.
  • Nov 6, 2009: Mista Ballista visits the 2009 Punkin Chunk.
  • May 29, 2010: While setting up for an office demolition, the Groupon guy came for a visit and blogged about us.
  • Nov 14, 2009: Added the Torsion division in 2009 page.
  • Nov 14, 2009: Update several pages about Mista Ballista for the latest construction and usage features in 2009.
  • Nov 13, 2009: Hatra Ballista appears on TV With Gunny on Lock N Load. Original trip report.
  • Aug 15, 2009: Hatra Jr visits the Zukapult contest and gets 3rd place.
  • Aug 3, 2009: Hatra Jr on site with Yankee Siege. R. Lee Ermey launches with Hatra Jr. for Lock n' Load.
  • Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2008: Hatra Jr, and Mista Ballista compete at the 2008 Punkin Chunk.
  • Oct 10, 2008: Post first teaser of UTM pages.
  • Aug 16, 2008: Our two small torsion machines went to the Vermont Zucchini Festival Zukapult contest.
  • Jun 7, 2008: The premier of The Flying Pumpkins Movie. Read about when they came to visit us in MA.
  • Dec 27, 2007: Updated 2007 Chunk Torsion Division page with real results, and more info on "The Plague".
  • Dec 23, 2007: Updated Various Animators with new javascript code.
  • Dec 3, 2007: New F2K trebuchet is for sale!
  • Nov 27, 2007: Set up pages for buying catapult kits or plans.
  • Nov 6, 2007: Added some Videos from in several pages of the 2007 Punkin Chunk.
  • Nov 5, 2007: Added 2007 Punkin Chunk page for Mr. B, Hatra B, and those divisions.
  • Oct 24, 2007: Added a launch animation to shooting page.
  • Oct 23, 2007: Updated page for Hatra Jr Arms and bowline and Spring Frame page. Added a new page for Deployment. We got our first pumpkin launch today of 210ft at low torque. What fun!
  • Oct 20, 2007: Updated pages for Hatra Jr pages for Torsion, and Arms and bowline.
  • Oct 8, 2007: Updated all pages for Hatra Jr with latest construction pictures.
  • Oct 7, 2007: Added a page for the Flying Pumpkins test day.
  • Oct 6, 2007: Updated two Mista Ballista pages. 2005 Rope Upgrade and a page for our new Power Pack.
  • Jan, 2007: Read about our new kid-toy; Vacuum Bazooka!
  • Nov, 2006: We are back from the 2006 Punkin Chunk. 3rd place in torsion!
  • Jeff is recently back from building an all steel treb for a music video. Watch it toss a piano. See it being built.Look for the full blown video on MTV sometime later this year, or on YouTube now.
  • The History Channel "Cabbage Cam" video is now available. You have to sit thru a commercial first.
    The show filmed during the 2006 History Chunk will be on Oct 31st
  • Come see Mista Ballista at the 2006 World Championship Punkin Chunk
  • Started a Hatra Ballista Jr page. The machine isn't done yet so check back regularly.
  • Converted this site's source into a new version of TWiki. Beware mystery formatting changes.
  • We're back from the 2006 Zukapult contest!
  • Added the Kid-A-Pult page.
  • Jeff plays camp counselor - As part of "Summer Voyage", has kids build a traction Trebuchet.
  • Mista Ballista was filmed for the History Channel again on July 10th.
  • Updated Torsion page, some onager pages.
  • Jeff is just back from Britain filming Scrapheap Challenge. If you live in Britain, expect to see him on TV sometime in December 2006 or January 2007.
  • This entire site is currently (June 2006) undergoing organizational changes, and is adopting Google Video services to replace all the existing video clips.
  • Added A Web Site Tech page to describe how this website is maintained.
  • Added History Chunk 2006 page after filming on June 7th.
  • Added a page for Baby Hatra Balista which has had the basic framework completed.
  • June 13th several of our machines will be at a public school in West Hardford Connecticut.
  • We are filming on June 7th for a show called Man Moment Machine for an episode about Alexander the Great, and his torsion catapults.
  • We attended the 2005 Punkin' Chunk and had a great time.
  • For the Mista Ballista page set:
    Updated the Torsion page with news on our latest techniques.
    Updated the Arms page with a few missing pictures from original construction.
    Added the 2005 Frame Upgrade page to discuss how we are recovering from last years structural failure.
    Added the 2005 Rope Upgrade page to discuss our current project to upgrade the rope used in Mista Ballista.
  • Added Zukapult 2005 web page.
  • Eric and Onager Jr. will be competing at the Zukapult contest on August 20th in Vermont.
  • has moved to new servers on June 28th.
    Thanks Ron for the many years of serving up!
  • Team Member Dave and Andrea Shepard have a new baby Logan! June 11th, 2005, 7 lbs 2 oz and 20-1/2" long.
  • Team Member Roger appears in USA Today.
  • Started the Punkin Chunk 2004 page.
  • Team Member Roger shows up in the local newspaper loading a pumpkin into Mista Ballista.
  • Visit with Team Tormentum at the World Championship Punkin Chunk on Nov 4th through Nov 7th.
  • Added a Pumpkin Putter 2004 upgrades page.
  • Eric and Amy have a new baby Ian! Oct 7th, 2004, 6 lbs, 4 oz, and was 19 inches long
  • Team Member Roger moved on Sept 4th.
  • Team Member Eric moved on Aug 30th, 2004 to a new place with a chunkin' field out back.
  • Team member Roger got married on June 6th, 2004.
  • Added some new book suggestions.
  • Added a new page for Mista Ballista about how we built arms for it.
  • Added a Catapult Geek Calculator to the Spare Parts section.
  • Added a Second page to Baby Ballista about bowstring experiments.
  • Added a Search Box for this web site.
  • Added a Punkin Chunk 2003page set.
  • Added Deployment and torsion pages for Mista Ballista.
  • Team Tormentum will be at the World Championship Punkin Chunk in the Torsion division Oct 31st through Nov 2nd.
  • Added video clips to Asok, Cardan, and Scissor trebuchet pages.
  • Added a Scissor Treb page explaining the latest experiment trebuchet design.
  • Added a Mista Ballista trailer page, with pictures of our home built trailer, designed for towing giant ballistas on the highway.
  • Check out Mista Ballista Mystery Parts page, with pictures of the goodies we've been collecting.
  • See pumpkins fly on the Food Network. Team Tormentum wasn't there but other chunkers were. Airs March 4th at 9:30pm.
  • The Cardan Gear Trebuchet was built in February.
  • Our small catapults are appeariing on Feb 15th in the Watertown Museum of Industry.
  • See Punkin Chunkin on the Discovery Channel, Feb 2nd at 9pm EST.
  • Our newest small trebuchet, Baby ASOK was finished in January 2003
  • Our small machines will be appearing at Bennington Vermont High School the Monday before Thanksgiving.
  • Read about our valiant efforts at chunking pumpkins at the Punkin' Chunk' in 2002.
  • Team Tormentum will be chunking at the 17th Annual World Championship "Punkin Chunkin", November 1-3. Come see MistaBallista chunk pumpkins in the unlimitted catapult division.
  • Team Tormentum will be making a TV appearance on Modern Marvels A TV show produced by the History Channel. The first air date will be Feb 26, 2002 at 10pm. You can see my report here. See the History Channel's episode summary.
  • Steve Jackson Games gave us the "Illuminated Site of the Week Award" on Dec 21st (Just in time for Christmas.)
  • Bennington Beacon had an article about when we went to Bennington High School to show the kids some big machines.
  • Eric and Amy have a new Baby Owen! January 16th, 2001. 6 lbs, 9 oz, and was 19 inches long.
  • hits Slashdot. An event that caused a massive surge of traffic to this site.
  • Wired News Article Unfortunatly, this link doesn't seem to be active anymore, but was once an interview of our team about this odd Fringe Culture.
  • Marlboro Enterprise newpaper Sept. 14th, 2000.
    An interview with me as The Catapult Man of Hudson
  • Club Media Punkin Chunk 2000 Video Our machine Pumpkin Putter appears in this video spinning up pumpkins, and also in the picture gallery.
  • Eric and Amy have a new baby Trevor! October 16th 1999.
  • Entertainment Tonight, November 8th, 1998.
    In a spot about the Punkin Chunk, Juggernaut was visible in 5 frames as a 6 pixel high yellowish blob.
  • includes pictures of Pumpkin Putter in the Chunk 2000 section.

Team Web Log:

Oct 15, 2017
  • Launch a pumpkin 1489 ft.
  • We win 2nd place in Torsion / Catapult division!

Oct 14, 2017
  • Launch a pumpkin 1229 ft, then 1507 ft!

Oct 13, 2017
  • Travel to Extreme Chunkin in New Hampsire.
  • Setup Mista Ballsita.

To read older logs, see our Web Log.

Random Chunk Picture of the Day:

Get your daily dose of one random Chunkin' Picture from our massive image library.

Shop for Catapult Swag:

Buy A Book Buy a Ballista Buy a Trebuchet Buy an Onager Buy a Trigger Buy a Trigger

Catapult Index

Machines sorted by type and size:

Catapult Style Description Small Medium Large
Traditional Trebuchet Traditional trebuchets are historocal catapults powered by a counterweight, usually with a heavy weight on one side of the arm, and a sling and projectile hanging off the other.
Traction Trebuchet Traction trebuchets are historocal catapults powered by humans pulling on ropes, effectively acting as the counterweight as with traditional trebuchets. Traction trebuchets are the easiest to create and operate, as you don't have lots of weight to bring with you. You do, however, need to train the counterweight crew.
Ballista Ballsitas are torsion engines origianly designed around 400BC. They are powered by two bundles of twisted rope, and arranged in the form of a big crossbow.
Hatra Ballista Hatra Ballista is a torsion engine with two bundles. Unlike the greek ballista, a Hatra ballista is configured so the bowstring and arms rotate toward the center, providing a much better configuration for throwing heavy objects.
Onager Onagers are torsion engines, designed with a single bundle, and an arm and sling.
Air Cannons Air Cannons use a resevior of compressed air behind a valve. When the valve is opened, it will push the projectile down the barrel. Pnuematic cannons are similar to other kinds of cannons, but without the use of explosives.

Notes Micro Trebuchet Cam Trebuchet Cardan Trebuchet Scissor Trebuchet
Modern Trebuchet Models Modern Trebuchet Models use couterweights, but use different mechanics to take better advantage of the available power.
Notes Pumpkin Putter Universal Torsion Machine Kid-A-Pult
Other Machines Other machines we built, some went to competitions, and some just for fun.



Learn about our team, how to contact us, what we do, and what we're up to.

Engines Of War:

Team Tormentum has built over 20 different machines of all sorts, including historically inspired machines such as trebuchets, ballistas, and onagers, in addition to modern interpretations such as the Pumpkin Putter, ASOK trebuchet, and our mini air cannon. Some are for competitions, and others for fun.


Details on things we've learned as we went along, including what not to do. You won't find any detailed plans for any of our machines, but you will learn a few tricks and that make our machines work.


Team Tormentum drags catapults of all sorts to various public events. Everything from local High Schools to the World Championship Punkin' Chunk'. We've been battling for over 25 years and documented over 30 events.

Spare Parts:

Various amusing things such as Cartoons, Poems, projectile art, and links.

Awards and Trophies

Extreme Chunkin 2017
2nd place Torsion / Catapult Division

Extreme Chunking 2016
3rd Place Torsion / Catapult Division
Extreme Chunking 2015
2nd Place Torsion Division
Higgins Armoury
`Siege the Day' 2013
WOW Award
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2007
10 and Under Catapult 2nd place
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2008
10 and Under Catapult 3rd place
MathWorks Demolition 2010
Golden Shovel for Building Demolition
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2005
Human Powered Centripetal Division 3rd place
Zukapult 2006
Overall 2nd place and
Jr Division 1st place
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2006
Torsion Division 3rd place
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2004
Torsion Division 3rd place
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2004
Human Powered Centripetal Division 1st place
Zucchini Fest
Zukapult 2005
2nd place
Steve Jackson Games
Illuminated site of the week.
Busti Pumpkin Hurl 2001
Human Centripetal Division
1st place
World Championship
Punkin Chunk 2003
Torsion Division 3rd place

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Punkin Chunk 2002
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Mt. Snow 2002
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Contact: Team Tormentum
Copyright © 2000-2018 Eric M. Ludlam All rights reserved.
Twas' brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe...
Last Modified: 05/10/09