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Musculus

From DT Online

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Description

The Musculus (small mouse) was a small heavy and heavily armoured structure used to protect Legionnaries as they undermined fortifications on dislodged the lower stones from their walls.


They were built once Legionnaries could be sure they could protect a working area (e.g. by building towers or Turris). They could be as much as 18m long, they were just 1.2m wide and 1.5m high and built on a framework made out of 600mm square timbers. The roof was steeply sloping, so that any rocks hurled at them would be deflected. They were covered with thick timber boards over which a layer of tiles and mortar was set and wet skins draped over to resist any attack by fire.


A Musculus (small mouse) was narrower and lower than Vinea so that, when completed, they could be pushed to the enemy wall on tree trunk rollers under their protective cover. Because of their weight, this would be slow progress and done under the cover of darkness or whist the enemy was distracted by archers etc


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Stripwood Model Musculus
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A model of a Musculus can be made using Stripwood Technology techniques with card and 8mm x 8mm square timber. Start by making 2 identical basic flat frames, each 210mm long and 100mm high :

  • Draw the frame full-size on centimetre squared paper
  • Hold strips of timber in a small Clamp-on Vice and cut to length using a Junior Hacksaw.
  • Assemble the strips together by placing them over the drawing
  • Glue 30mm x 30mm triangles of medium thickness card over each join as shown
  • Turn the frame over and add card triangles to the opposite side
  • Position the two frames together and glue a strip of card along one long edge to form a hinge
  • Making basic flat frame 210mm long as above but 75mm wide to be the base of the main body.
  • Making 2 more basic flat frames 210mm long but this time only 50mm wide to be the sides of the main body.
  • Glue these 3 frames together with P.V.A. glue and fold the roof frames' assembly to suit the their finished width.
  • Search for suitable textures using the internet (e.g. search for 'woven twigs' using Google Images) and print-out on to thin card (many suitable pre-printed papers available from '''HERE''').
  • Cut card rectangles to cover roof panels (and sides if required) glue in place.
  • Alternatively add card and paint to simulate woven twigs or layers of animal skins.
  • Choose 2 lengths of 12mm diameter Dowel to simulate rollers.


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Activity: Find out about Roman Siege Equipment (e.g. Vinea, Pluteus, Mantelet, Testudo, Musculus, Helepolis, Turris, Corvus, Ballista, Onager, Mangonel, Trebuchet, Aries (Battering Ram) and construct a working model or models using Stripwood Technology.


DT Online Buyers' Guide

Safety Point! Take great care with hot glue guns and all hot-melt glues. The melted glue can stick to the skin and cause severe burns.


Bosch PKP 18 E Glue Gun House of Card & Paper A4 220 gsm Card - Assorted Bright (Pack of 100 Sheets) MyTinyWorld Dolls House Miniature Old Herringbone Brick Pattern Cladding 4 PVA Glue Washable Adhesive School Home Crafts Non Toxic Wood Paper Fabric Art Rexel S120 Single Hole Plier Punch 80gsm Black MDF wheel 25mm disc pkt 100 100 Pack of 5mm Hardwood Wooden Dowels - 60cm Long Elliott 36-Piece Medium Wooden Hardwood Clothes Pegs 5 x Richard Burbidge Decorative Wood Stripwood - Pine - 900 x 8 x 8mm Stanley Junior Hacksaw 0 15 218 Draper 14145 55 mm Clamp-On Hobby Bench Vice
Bosch PKP 18 E Glue Gun House of Card & Paper A4 220 gsm Card - Assorted Bright (Pack of 100 Sheets) Old Herringbone Brick Pattern Cladding (roofing, stone, and many other patterns available) 4 PVA Glue Washable Adhesive School Home Crafts Non Toxic Wood Paper Fabric Art Rexel S120 Single Hole Plier Punch 80gsm Black MDF wheel 25mm disc pkt 100 100 Pack of 5mm Hardwood Wooden Dowels - 60cm Long Elliott 36-Piece Medium Wooden Hardwood Clothes Pegs 5 x Richard Burbidge Decorative Wood Stripwood - Pine - 900 x 8 x 8mm Stanley Junior Hacksaw 0 15 218 Draper 14145 55 mm Clamp-On Hobby Bench Vice