Most helpful customer reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
Approach this with the right expectations
By Brian Holmes
[EDIT Oct. 2015: We're still very happy with the catapult kit we built, but I noticed that kit shown on this page looks very different from the one we built and probably a different manufacturer, too. So keep in mind my review below (and perhaps others') is for a different kit!]
The quality and appeal of this model is right up there, but make sure you approach this kit with the right expectations. The pieces are meant to be glued together, and you really need to clamp them in some way to get a good bond. This means you also have to wait for the clamped joint(s) to dry before proceeding to the next piece. I think my son (7) and I spread the work over three days.
That's a long time for anyone tending toward the impatient. However, it's a good lesson about the facts of gluing and woodworking. It's just _not_ like LEGO. You don't get as much immediate reward, and your creation grows more slowly. My son tends to be the patient sort, so this wasn't a problem for us. Happily, you don't have to cut and sand the wood yourself -- the manufacturer has done a fine job of that.
I happened to have some appropriate clamps, and also used rubber bands to clamp the diagonal pieces. I think one could use rubber bands for pretty much all of the clamping except maybe the vertical posts... We just used regular white school glue.
Ours came out quite sturdy and worked well. My son is quite happy with it.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful.
By Richard W. Hillier
Purchased this to use in our homeschool when studying medieval weapons. The quality and ease of construction was fantastic. My 13 and 11 year old sons managed construction all by themselves! We used it right after it dried and it works just as it should. Would definitely recommend it for adults or children. It doesn't fire with too much velocity so your pets and breakables should be quite safe!
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. See all 89 customer reviews...
Great project for Cub Scouts
I bought 5 of these for me and my four 9-year old Cub Scouts as a project. All parts were present and fit fine, and I felt that the included instructions were well done. Because I wanted to complete the project in a single 1-hour meeting, I pre-drilled all the parts to accept woodscrews or bolts (the kit calls for glue and would require lengthy dry times). Pre-drilling was important to ensure the wood didn't split and to reduce the difficulty of screwing the wood screws in. I used 'my' catapult well in advance of the meeting as the prototype to determine how and where to pre-drill the other kits. I accomplished said pre-drilling in advance of the meeting. I did not modify any part of the 'tension mechanism' outside of what the instructions called for.
The boys did require some assistance from their parents or myself, but I viewed that as a positive. Together they would discuss how they were going to assemble the next pieces, the parent would hold the pieces in place, while their son would apply the screw or bolt. The parents really got involved in the activity with their sons. The finished products were sturdy and all operated perfectly without additional modification.
The boys were excited throughout the process and eager to begin launching projectiles immediately upon completion. The kit includes 3 small wooden balls for that purpose. I had some small blocks they used to build castle walls and battlements, they would then attack with their catapults. They easily completed the construction in about 45-50 minutes.
I recommend this as a great project for parents to engage in with their children.