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

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History Channel Chunk 2006: Sunny Day
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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!

The host of Man Moment Machine, Hunter Ellis, poses in front of the freshly painted Mista Ballista. He had a great time shooting the catapult.


For the "Web Extras" part of the show, they wanted to throw a camera for "point of view" footage. It was up to camera man A, Gary, to figure out how to stuff a portable all digital video camera into a cabbage.

The first cabbage was squashed in the powerful bowline of Mr. B.

The Second cabbage sprayed bits everywhere, and the camera was lost in the field, and never found.

The Third cabbage, that one stayed together, flew across the field, and landed in the mown path I have out there. Huzzah! The footage was amazing. The cabbage really spun a lot in the air.


Kevin and I built two targets out of old pallets Dave picked up for us. The PA then went and spray painted giant circles on them. (You can see his head peeking over the tops of the weeds.

Our first shot, launched at 29 degrees threw about 270 some odd feet. We plugged that into a simple simulation I wrote, and predicted that we needed 19 degrees to hit the target.

That time the 14lb rock landed right at the target line, but to the left.

We raised the machine 2 degrees, and that rock flew way over the targets.

We lowered the machine 1 degree, and that rock flew way over the targets.

We went back down to 19 degrees, and that one went over the targets.

We decided things weren't that easy.


Eventually, on the 5th and 6th shots we hit the left most target. We hit them too low, and the wood just splintered out of the way. It was cool, but didn't make for good TV so we kept on trying.

This is a view through the hole we made.

Left to right is Kevin, the PA, Camera Man B, and the host Hunter, looking for lost rocks.


Oh the carnage!

On the 8th shot, we hit a structural member up high, and everything broke apart into little pieces. It was totally cool.


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 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
(This Page)
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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