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Mythbusters make a Reaper Bolt Thrower. 
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Going through my instant cue on Netflix and watching Mythbusters Season 9 Episode 5, I saw this: THey made a reaper, and I thought this might be a great visual for any who wanted to use bolt throwers in their stories.

Ok, not necessarily a Reaper but they made a repeating bolt thrower. Going from some historical notes on Dionysius the Elder from 2300 years ago, and the hosts Jami and Adam wanted to see if they could do the following:


1. Have a range roughly 200 yards/600 feet/188.888 meters
2. Be rather accurate when targeting human shaped object.
3. And fire five arrows per minute.

So they built a large frame to be sturdy had a pare of spocets and a chain on one side that makes the weapon work and what looks like a 17th century ship steering wheel for the crank (this part gets the sprockets moving). The chain (which looks like huge bike chain) and sprokets have to be heavy duty to keep the thing functioning.

A poel with groove carved into extracts the arrows from a hopper on top (like the tops of our repeatin crossbows), spins around and drops it into place.

Once there the string in let go bolts go flying until empty. For ease they have a sliding arm so it could easily go back and forth, with a recurve bow head up front as that's tried and tested for bows.

The cool part is this catch, two metal triangles that when going forward will pop up and catch the bow string. After they are pulled back to a certain point they drop and let the bolt fly.

While there were many a trial and error to get this thing working, once they did it exceeded everything from what they were expecting to the bare minimum to of what the historians say.

SO, do any of you think this will help with background fluff or the fiction section, or no?

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:36 am
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Miscast into the Warp
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I remember that episode. I will have to find it again.
From a background point of view, it helps to understand the mechanics of the war machines, what is and is not feasible etc.
Opens up lives of the builders, what skills did they need, how did they construct.
All knowledge has a use.

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:00 am
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Trainee Warrior
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Thanks will have to track that one down! I've tried searching for it without luck, but did find a guy who had built an RXB! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCBA2oNzoiU

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:52 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Nice

Easy to use. The fact the bolts don't have fletchings make sense. You are trading the accuracy of the shot for the quantety.

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:39 pm
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Wow I didn't realise the RXB was actually a widely used weapon! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkyrhNgZAg0 shows its Chinese origins and details its use.

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:59 pm
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Oh yeah. The film Red Cliffs have a good scene with them in action, and there is a machine gun version used in The Man in the Iron Fist.

I believe the Chinese were one of the earliest groups to use the crossbow, and about 200 BC they had also invented standardized parts so soldiers could easily replace and repair the broken bits. This made the Crossbow and their cousin the Repeating crossbow so much eaier to make. That and like the guns after, you didn't need to spend years training a warrior to use it like a bow or long bow (essential a comparatively idiot proof weapon).

I can see dark elves having the same desires for efficiency and making things simple for use on the battlefield (fields of honor were one thing, Khaine's true temple was another).

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Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:38 pm
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