Road trip!

August 22, 2012

This is the answer to the question:

Assuming the question is : Why did you leave the regular force? Because for the armoured corps the choice was here or Tekapo.  We had a saying Waiouru, If you can see the mountain its going to rain. If you can’t see the mountain its already raining. Yeah thats some real army beer-n-boredom induced poetry going on there.

But moving along. See that line in the sky, thats the edge of the clouds, also the training area. I kid you not. Wait I’ll show you.

And there we go. To the right, National Park, To the Left Army Training Group Waiberia.

Quick eruption check: Zero on the explody-o-metre. Kind of boring realy.

And this is where I ended up. Actually I’m not saying where yet, but it is now the home of the 22AD Catapult Collection and associated activities.

Anyway the scenery is nice don’t you think?


Ballista refurbishment The Completion

August 20, 2012

All done and dusted for the machine today. All new bits oiled and doing what they should while standing out like dogs balls compared to the older portions. About to be packed up and put in the back of the car for a road trip to somewhere shooty tomorrow. Asuming I get the sting made tonight.

Pictures will be up soon. In the menatime feel free to drop by Project Agrippa and see our fund raising efforts making some progress. A $20 donation will get you an Augusta/Agrippa repilca.

UPDATE: Pictures.


Day five of the ballista refurbish.

August 19, 2012

Today was slide and trigger day. The pawl pin is doubling as the anchor for the winch line.

You can see how the set up works in this pictute.

Once I have the slide installed and the trigger base mounted I moved on the runners for the arrows. You can se the profile of the runner here.

In this side view you can see the slide in place and how the ratchet pawls work. This lateral ratchet style was first used in 399BC for the grastraphetes and was common on Greek machines. The Romans prefered a round ratchet mounted on the winch drum.

Tomorrow the trigger will be mounted and all the new parts oiled and I’ll make the new string. At some later date I’ll make an alternate slide for throwing shot.


Long Tan

August 18, 2012

The Battle of Long Tan (18 August 1966) was fought in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tan, 27 kilometres north east of Vung Tau, in Phuoc Tuy Province, between D Coy 6 Royal Australian Regiment with support from Australian, New Zealand and US artillery and Viet Cong 275th Regiment with D445 Provincial Mobile Battalion NVA.

108-man D Company was in contact with a force of over 2,000 enemy for over three hours . Much of the fighting took place in a heavy downpour with the company position increasingly in danger of being overrun with the enemy frequently being halted in the assault by fire support. They held out untill armoured support of 3 Troop, 1st APC Squadron carrying B Coy 6RAR arrived from the firebase at Nui Dat

They suffured 18 killed and 28 wounded. It is estimated that they killed or wounded around 600 of their enemy.
The full documentry is avaliable on youtube.

This post is in acknowldgement of their professionalism and sacrifice. It is not an inviation for debate.


Ballista refurbishment Day Four

August 18, 2012

Did the dowling for the stand today. This is with the dowels in and wedged drying.

This is after sanding. Makes for a clean finsih that doesn’t result in black lines from metal fixtures.

Also put together the rear stand AKA the Y Stand.

This is what it looks like when you put them together. It seems that almost everyone who builds a ballista is convinced that they rested on a single rear brace that rested in a graduated rack on the back brace of the front stand. The problem is that this does not actually function. The aledged adjustment in angle is minimal and the configuration is unstable making the ballista usless in the fire support role.

To overcome these issues we went for this which we call the T/Y system. The front stand, the T stand carries the ballista and the Y stand has spikes set into the bottoms of the braces and you adjust the angle of the ballista by moving them forward of back. It makes the ballista very stable and reduces the grouping substantially. Usually at two events the ballista will be set up the evening before and will not require adjustment during the entire event. Given that we operate in some very confined places its essential that we don’t go waving things about randomly.

As you can see I’ve also started rigging. A lot and tedious activity.


Ballista refurbishment day three.

August 17, 2012

Firstly putting together various mountings for the stand. I make everything possible from wood. Not because its more period but rather because I work in wood.

This is the rear stand mount on the under side of the tray.

And this is the mounts on the front stand.

Meaning of course that the ballista can be mounted now.

After the woodwork some metal working because thats what washers are made of. Being mild steel they need to be cleaned and painted regularly.

I didn’t dismount the counterplates and just painted them in place.

Behold the sexy!

Tomorrow there will be assembling of the skiens.


Ballista refurbishment – day 2

August 17, 2012

Well the first job  in installing a new slide was to remove the old dovetail from the existing tray. This meant making the sides vertical and for this I made a tool. The Drill Driven Gutter Sander, or Duggie as I call him.

It worked very well and with some assistance from the chisel for the area inside the torsion fame I have a good clean gutter ifiarly short order. As always more time is spent setting up the work than the actual work. I would has dismounted the tray from the torsion from but those threaded rods are going nowhere. The damp from storage has locked them up tight so I saw no reason to mess with them and wrecl the holes getting them out.

The new square silde is made up of several parts and this is the key one in that it is the primary guide for the entire slide. In spite of using improvised tools its runs sung and smooth. Note: Cover with beeswax for lubrication and moisture resistance.

Also made yesterday was the front stand to replace the one that is currently hiding at the back of a pile of tent frames. On the up side its nice and pretty for showing off. Mmm pretty.

Today I’m finishing off the stand because its easier to work on the tray and slide with the ballista mounted. I’ll also be cleaning and painting the washers while dreaming of some brass shims that will not come to pass on my budget.