On Sept 2nd 2001, the
came to Delaware to film modern day Siege Engines for the back half of
an episode of Modern Marvels about siege engines. Naturally, Team
Tormentum packed up our wide collection of machines, and brought them
down for an exceptional day of keg tossing and vegetable flinging.
We were invited down by Mary Wallace who was producing the show,
and we were invited to Milton, Delaware to shoot at Frank Payton 56
acre back yard. There were 8 other machines ranging from trebuchets
to air cannons.
Here is the subset of Team Tormentum who showed up at the Chunk. From
left to right, Kevin Johnson, Eric Ludlam, Amy Ludlam, Roger Nichols.
We are standing in front of the new and improved
Onager Jr which had been given a trigger
upgrade since disaster struck in Maine.
The view when we first arrived. From left to right, the machines are
Loaded Boing; The Worlds Most Dangerous Slingshot, Regulator; a fixed
counterweight trebuchet, and Ingen-u-e-t; a spring powered trebuchet.
The tractor was used to draw up the Regulator's 3000 lb lead
In the distance, a parked truck can be seen which served as the target
of the day. It was insulted by kegs and melons all day long.
The largest machine we brought was our traction trebuchet Juggernaut
with almost all the original hardware from 1998. We threw several
cabbages and melons 100 to 200 feet downrange. Quite a bit of footage
was taken of this machine, and Mary even added her weight to a shot
when we threw a very heavy melon. It was the only human powered
machine at the chunk, and the only traction trebuchet. (Hyper tension
can also be human powered, but he was missing a few bits of hardware.)
We also brought Baby Ballista with us. As the only
ballista in the area, it received a fair amount of camera time.
Here I am with Onager Jr again. This was the only
torsion machine of any substantial size on the field. We threw
fist-fulls of potatoes and onions for the History channel. It
performed well with its new trigger which came away from the
experience only slightly bent.
Loaded Boing put on a good show, flinging Kegs most of the day, and a
sponsored 30pack of beer. (Only in Delaware...) He had 4 new rubber
bands in the morning, and only two left by the end of the day. He
uses a limb cutter on a pole to trim a bit of sacrificial line to
launch his projectile away.
The spring trebuchet Ingen-u-e-t was right next to us all day,
flinging kegs with abandon. A nifty feature of this machine was that
the machine could be cocked and loaded before the springs were
stretched. A small motor would winch down the springs vertically.
They managed to drop one of their kegs onto the roof of the pickup
truck which was parked down range.
Regulator (orange) is a fixed counter weight trebuchet with 3000
pounds of lead in the weight bucket. They told us they had cast their
own lead into bricks, which rattled around nicely in the box as it
Their last shot of the day was a non-functional
electric organ. Unfortunately, the organ got torn into bits as it was
pulled from the chute.
In the back, a different lineup consisting of some air cannons.
Started with the orange spring trebuchet Hypertension, Young Guns
(Youth division cannon), Sky's Da Limit (Spring treb), and Road
Warrior (B&W smoking air cannon).
Throughout the day, they would fling stuff which would go whizzing
by our setup at high speed, and spattering sunflowers everywhere. It
was really nifty being down range of these machines, and also not
being struck by a flying pumpkin.
Road Warrior is run by Bill Thompson who is one of the originators of
the World Championship Punkin Chunk.
Sky's Da Limit is a fun spring trebuchet which was attempting to throw
multiple pumpkins in the 2000 Chunk, and ended up raining pumpkins
into the crowd.
Young Glory is a youth division cannon owned by Jake Burton that was
lobbing pumpkins at the truck down range all day long. Little kept
the kids from chunkin other than pleas for calm while Mary was
interviewing their neighbors. They hit the truck which was downrange
several times to spectacular effect.
This green cannon also owned by Jake Burton had no triggering
mechanism other than a burst plate. When the pressure built up high
enough to rupture a rubber sheet, the pumpkin would fly. These guys
shot way over the trees and the target truck.
Hypertension is run by John Huber from Maryland. He took second place
at the 2000 chunk with this spring powered monster. As an engineer at
a nuclear plant he designed this machine in a CAD program, and ran
simulations till it stopped breaking. His 14 springs were specialty
ordered from a spring making plant in Baltimore Maryland.
He powered his pumpkins up over the trees as well.
All through the day, the chunkers had to go down range and collect any
non-vegetable projectiles from the dusty tree line. These two were
collecting a keg flung by Loaded Boing.
Here is video of our Onager and Trebuchet launching stuff
at the History Chunk.
Google Video Service|
2001 - Traction Trebuchet shoots water melon for tv show "Modern Marvels"
2001 - Traction Trebuchet shoots water melon for tv show "Modern Marvels". The crew on this machine includes Mary Wallace, the producer of the show is in blue and attempts escape to the left, plus several folks who have their own chunkin\' machines.
6 sec - Dec 1, 2007
Google Video Service|
Hist Chunk 2001 Ingen-u-e-t
History Channel Chunk 2001, Ingen-u-e-t The spring powered trebuchet launches a keg. The second time almost hitting a pickup truck.
2 min - Aug 12, 2006
Google Video Service|
History Chunk 2001 Regulator
History Channel Chunk 2001 - Regulator Launch Fixed Counterweight trebuchet "Regulator" shows how they winch down the arm, some setup (as a keg walks by), and launch.
2 min - Sep 2, 2001