Help fund the corruption of youth!

As both my readers (Dean and whoever the other person is) are aware I build catapults.  I do other stuff as well but the catapults are what defines my crazy according to Steven Den Beste As well as the building and the sharing of plans (to those who are polite when they ask) I also run events, attend other peoples events and other general “stuff”. Some times I get paid to do it, sometimes I pay to do it and on occasion I’m told I will get paid and I don’t.

My most recent effort did resulted in a couple of things, some nice video, an offer of an exhibition, an offer of land for WMD III, some more fame, a commitment to not do that event again and a $900 bath which being a student on $50/week I cannot afford. In fact that event ate my entire budget for building for the next 12 months, not to mention my text book money.

I actually had planned to not have a WMD event this year because of the poor turnout last year, but I was inundated with people asking about it and wanting to attend as well as being offered a really big property to run it on. I was also expecting the museum to give me a three machine display this year after last years was so popular, however they are in fact looking at hosting a full exhibition from August to October.So there’s years WMD could look a bit like the first one.


For me this means an enormous amount of work in writing all the display information, preparing the talks I’ll be giving and designing the exhibition as well as building two new large scale machines and 23 12th scale models. As an aside I also disscused my academic future with the powers that be and was given a tentative thumbs up for the concept of pre-gunpowder artillery for my Masters thesis.

Consequently the opportunity is obvious. As is the honking big $900 hole in my budget. If I am going to proceed with the exhibition I need to be able to purchase the materials for the new machines by April 3rd. Along side the exhibition a fair ammount of the cost of running the WMD will be coming out of my pocket. In theory it might happen that I make that money back if enough reenactors and/or schools attend. Experience leads me to be less than entirely optimistic about this. I mention schools because this year with the extra space I’ve opened the event up to include a schools catapult challenge. Schools in the area are being invited to enter five man teams and build a small trebuchet with a thowing arm no longer than 6′ and present their machine with its research material at the event and operate it against other schools. The winning machine will be going into the museum with my exhibition – asuming it takes place.

Hopefully they’ll end up with something a bit like this:


So if you see some value in allowing kids to learn about Weapons of Medieval Destruction and the culteral and historical value of such an exhibition please feel free to donate to the funding of these events. I’ll be publishing the names of all those who help out with the funding (unless otherwise requested) at the exhibition and on the main website (which will be getting updated shortly). If you get really excited and find a more substantial ammount down the back of the sofa then I’ll even add your company/site logo to the advertising and display material. Castle Argghhh! did and they got this:sponsarrgghh-badge

They sponsored the building of Katie, my largest and most destructive machine (bing slightly more accurate and less likely to roll down the hill than Sir Isaac). Take advantage our the weak NZ$ get yourself a logo for the bargin basement price of $60! Build and entire machine for $300!

If you want to go nuts and sponsor the entire thing then there’s naming rights on offer and branding etc. We’ll talk. Meantime here’s a button to donate with and by all means go nuts on linking and/or hosting it yourself.


Thanks M.


3 Responses to Help fund the corruption of youth!

  1. cha says:

    Hiya Murray, thought I’d follow ya home and drop off a link to where I found the pump theory.


  2. Murray says:

    Yeah I did read the theroy and understand it Cha, I just don’t accept that such a system could actually lift the volume of water needed. The issue of stone blocks being airtight alone remains unaddressed.

    Any engineers reading this should take a look and share their thoughts. Were the pryamids built by floating the blocks into place by barge?

  3. cha says:

    Got me scratching my head too Murray but the notion of those great stacks of rocks being lifted by man/animal power is the really curly one. As you are no doubt aware the Romans had huge numbers of sappers which they augmented with local and slave labour, the original Milau aqueduct had over 20k men on site and easily double that number off site as support ‘staff’, and yet even their biggest projects were dwarfed by the great pyramids constructed one to two thousand years earlier. And I recall reading about stonehenge and the theory on how the builders transported those great lumps of stone for a couple of hundred miles, supposedly dragged by men and beasts, but, IIRC, the population was to small to do the work and the amount of transport materials required would have meant deforestation to degree not seen until recent history. And don’t get me started on the great projects in South America, built with hard volcanic basalt rock as opposed to the the soft sedimentary rock, marble etc, used in in north Africa, Europe and even stonehenge.

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