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Storming the Castle!

Joe has contributed a lot of fun and interesting stuff to my website. His latest submission is a whole lot of fun. It is a series of siege engines that he carefully built, examined and upgraded.

He is surely a modern day siege engineer, on a miniature scale :)

My thanks go to Joe for the fun and interesting project. I actually have this siege engine. It was given to me as a present. And if you want one too I have an amazon link for it at the bottom of the page.

You might also want to check out his funny tongue-in-cheek article - Siege engines: not just for the holidays anymore





built the kit this weekend.  Ranks high in ease of a assembly, instruction clarity, parts fit, etc.  Ranks low in the final product:  The dowel for raising the drawbridge passes right over the second level stairs, making them impossible to climb.  But that's okay because the second level stairs can't be reached from the first level stairs anyway.  The 'turner' for raising the drawbridge is on the outside and so high up it could not be reached (and looks like a tinker-toy).  The drawbridge is too low down; any wall it would top wouldn't need a tower.  There is no consistent scale - anyone with legs long enough to climb the stairs would be taller than the wall being assaulted.  The book that came with it seems pretty good, though.

I've completed modifications to the Table Top Siege Tower (which, by the way, is made by Pathfinders, the same people who make the DaVinci wooden kits). The first two pictures show it with 70mm Elastolin figures. The principal changes were adding levels (above the side windows), eliminating the catapult, substituting chains, and replacing the stairs with ladders (I hate making ladders. If you want to do an article on making ladders I'd appreciate it.)

Picture 3 shows it next to an Elastolin 70mm tower. The difference in scale is rather striking. I did some calculations using 1mm=1" (thus a 70mm guy = 70" = 5'10". The drawbridge on the 70mm Elastolin tower drops down to level of 190mm or about 16'. I Googled 'How high were castle walls' and got sent to your website that says 30' to 40' was typical. The modified tower drawbridge drops level at 320mm or about 27'. Close enough to 30' for me.

I've included some pictures of the Elastolin 70mm tower with their 40mm figures. Curiously, if you use 40mm=70" or 1mm=1.75", the 190mm level is almost 28'. In effect, the 70mm tower is really more accurate with 40mm figures.

Which made me check the Elastolin 40mm tower. Doing the math again 40mm=70" or 1mm=1.75". The 40mm drawbridge levels at 115mm which makes it about 17' tall.



The first picture on the page shows the 40mm tower attacking a 25mm scale wall and it works rather nicely so using the same calculations reveals that 25mm=70" or 1mm=2.8". The 115mm drop using the 25mm scale is almost 27'. Just as the 70mm tower is more accurate for the 40mm figures, the 40mm tower is more accurate for 25mm figures.

(I have an Elastolin castle, and it always bothered me that the 40mm figures seemed too big. I wonder if Elatolin was planning a 25mm line at some point.)

To give Elastolin some credit, the bottoms of their towers are wider than the tops, giving them greater stability. This makes sense. When the siege tower hits the wall between two defending towers, the defenders would probably throw hooks to try to tip it over. Elastolin is the only model I've seen that reflects this.

So, next siege tower project. The final picture shows a Bryant & May tower I've been building off and on. Because it's similar in size to the Elastolin 70mm, I had originally intended it for those figures. But given the above calculations, I'm going to convert it to 40mm by downsizing the ladder. What I like about it is the sides are long strips, not just one large piece, giving it more texture.

Final siege tower project (I hope): Using what I've learned, I'm going to make a 70mm scale siege tower using Bryant & May type materials with the wider base. Should be interesting.









Pathfinders Siege Tower with Catapult

Lay Siege to a Hamster Cage or your Lego FortSiege Towers were used in medieval times to breach the walls of castles during attacks. This working model includes a torsion-powered catapult on the top, removable ladders, and a drawbridge that raises and lowers. Historically accurate, this wood model is sized for imaginative play with Lego people and other 1/18th scale figurines. When finished, the Siege Tower's catapult is capable of hurling a ball of soft modeling clay (included) over 15 feet.  Measures 38 cm tall x 23 cm across.For ages 12+.


LEGO Castle Tower Raid -

The knights have captured a troll warrior and locked him in the prison -- but the other troll warriors are on the attack to get him back! The knights must use all their strength and skills to battle the rolling siege tower with its bridge and swinging dragon-headed battering ram.

Swing the battering ram through the castle's wall to release the captured troll warrior. Pull the string on the rolling siege tower to the extend the bridge to the castle. Rolling siege tower has two flick-fire and 2" wide wheels. Troll Warship really floats on water. Includes 2 knight and 3 troll warrior minifigures with armor and accessories. Troll warrior tower measures 8" tall and 5" wide. Castle tower is over 8.5" tall. 364 pieces.



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