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The Trebuchet Workshop PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Guillaume le Courageux   
Wednesday, 08 June 2005
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The Trebuchet Workshop
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Here is my step-to-step project of building two Trebuchets for the use in my Bretonnian Army. One is going to be loaded, the other one has just fired. The results are available in the Gallery.

I don't like the original from GW much, being not even bigger than a cavalry model! The first inspiration came from this picture, I am trying to stay as close to that as possible. More background information about the functionality of a Trebuchet and many pictures can be found on Wikipedia.



My first step was some planning, with a result on the right. The drawed "man" Wink is a standard infantry miniature for size comparison, one square is 5mm on the paper. I designed the base structure to be about the same size of the original GW Trebuchet, while being overall higher and longer. I calculated the lengths of wood I needed, the next step is buying these lengths of Balsa or harder Wood.


parts.jpgNow I have all the basic materials, mainly consisting of wood: 3 x 1m of 4x4mm square wood, 1m of 6mm dia. round wood, 1m of 8x8mm Balsa wood + Greenstuff for details and some thread for the ropes. I already marked and numbered the sections for the basic scaffold, and added 1 extra mm to each measured length which will come off when sawing. I bought some balsa plates later, 3 mm thick for most of the planks. 2 x 10 mm would have been perfect, but I only found 3 x 100. So I had some more cutting to do before having the right sizes.
I was able to buy all materials for less than 10 Euro (+ Greenstuff), with lots of leftovers for other projects.

Assembly - Scaffold 


You can see how the basic parts interlock here ...we want a realistic structure, don't we? The sections where the beams crossed were sawed to the middle on both parts, and glued using wood glue (PVA). This also fills some smaller gaps. It helps alot if you mark the positions correctly before sawing.


The finished basic wood structure, with a Balsa base can be seen on the left. Because some supporting beams didn't fit well (I should have measured more carefully), I filled the gaps with small Balsa pieces and glue.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 28 March 2009 )
Discuss (7 posts)
The Trebuchet Workshop Sep 22 2005 16:19
This thread discusses the Content article: The Trebuchet Workshop

WOW! It's quite nice to see a genius work, great job! I'd like to see more photos on the finished Trebuchet.
The explanations in this article let the modelling look as it's very easy...Perhaps I'll try building a Trebuchet for myself.
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Sep 22 2005 16:50
Thanks for the comment ! I forgot to add, that there are already pictures of one of the
Trebuchets in the gallery.

I'll add that to the article, thanks for poining that out!

Post edited by: Guillaume le Courageux, at: 2005/09/22 19:30
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Jul 16 2010 13:46
I realize that the post/guide is a bit old, but I have to say fantastic work. I am going to give this a try myself here in a few weeks. I just had a quick question to ask anyone else who has successfully built it.

What kind of saw did you use for the balsa? I only have a modeling knife at my immediate disposal and was wondering what kind of saw anyone would suggest.

Again, great job and thank you for the guide!
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Jul 16 2010 16:20
Thanks for the feedback! Balsa is so soft, you can use any knife to cut straight throught it. If you can only get "regular" wood parts, just use a small wood saw.
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Jul 24 2010 11:24
A note- some basswood sections have a core, which makes slotting very difficult. Balsa seems the best for this project- if anyone finds a stiffer wood that still is easily cuttable and works well, please post.

Did you ever paint it? I did mine, but perhaps used a bit too much water, as it came out slightly warped. I did use a paint that was halfway to a wash to keep the natural texture, which was my problem- stick to unwatery paints!
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Jul 24 2010 11:52
Very very nice guide!
Re:The Trebuchet Workshop Jul 24 2010 12:47
I just made mine out of some regular wood, man it was a pain to cut. Maybe I'll post some pictures with the rest of my army once I'll get a camera.

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