Siege Engine.com: History Channel Chunk 2006: Rainy Day

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History Channel Chunk 2006: Rainy Day
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On June 7th 2006, on a miserable rainy day, the History Channel came to Massachusetts to film Mr Ballista for a show called "Man Moment Machine". The topic of the show was large torsion catapults, and most specifically ballista.

Naturally, Team Tormentum was willing to help with their search for a large, modern day ballista. Unlike Punkin Chunkin day, the goal was not to shoot as far as possible, but to shoot cool stuff that they could capture on video. We put less that 1 twist into the rope, generating about 2000lbs of force on the trigger. This is unlike when we broke our arms last year at almost 4000lbs of pullback.

Fortunately Steve from CCTI helped us out with some new arms (which are yellow with Kevlar now) which are also a bit longer, and with less tip-mass, improving our performance.

Mista Ballista fires a half gallon of water, and the force of launch rips the lid off, spraying water up the ramp as it goes. Our first 6 lb gallon went over 360 ft. Open bottles flew about 200 ft.


Roger and Dave work to tighten up the rope bundles. Kevin and I tightened them up the previous day using hand winches, and the last twist was added in the rain in the morning using the hydraulic cylinders.



The projectile has just left the machine, and all our duct tape failed to hold in the rain, and various buffers and parts go flying in all directions.


One of our projectiles for the day was a 14 lb rock, that was nice and round. It flew over 300 feet at our low torsion setting, and had the most amazing splash down, with bits of mud and weed flying 10 feet over the downrange cameraman's head. The stone is somewhere in the bottom of this muddy hole.


I load a watermelon into the sling. Roger tried a new towline splice technique that fractured the melon during pullback. Reddish flesh sprayed across the field on launch. It was spectacular.


The show's host, Hunter (in black), and I (in gray) talk catapult near the machine in the nasty weather. Hunter was a pretty cool guy, and you could tell he was really into operating Mista Ballista.


Left to right, Roger, Me (Eric), Dave, Kevin, and Jeff after the day is done. They worked all day in the rain and were very wet. What a great team! Thanks guys!


My wife Amy orchestrated all the behind the scenes tasks such as getting the tent she's standing under in this picture up, ordering food, and supplying raincoats. Today would not have been possible without her help. Yay Amy!


Videos


Google Video Service
Mista Ballista 2006 testing in the rain


Information:
History Channel was out for a visit with camera crews so we setup the ballista in the downpour. This is the first time we got a chance to use the new arms after the old ones broke in 2005.
31 sec - Jun 25, 2006


Additional Pages for History Chunk 2006
History Channel Chunk 2006 In the early spring of 2006 we got a call from producers of a show called Man Moment Machine (or M3). They were doing a show on Alexander the Great and his great torsion engines... or Ballista. They were interested if we could shoot some stuff for them to see how a real ballista works.
History Channel Chunk 2006: Rainy Day
(This Page)
On June 7th 2006, on a miserable rainy day, the History Channel came to Massachusetts to film Mr Ballista for a show called "Man Moment Machine". The topic of the show was large torsion catapults, and most specifically ballista.
History Channel Chunk 2006: Sunny Day After the Rainy Day Shoot the producers decided that they liked what they got on camera, but the rain just wouldn't do. As such, they decided to come back for a second try. This time we tried shooting video cameras out of the ballista again, and we got to launch rocks at targets downrange. Huzzah!


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Twas' brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe...
Last Modified: 11/26/16