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Testudo (model)

From DT Online

Lipsius - Testudo - Testudo Arietaria


Introduction

The term Testudo was given generally to protective shelters under which Legionaries could approach the walls of a besieged fortification to deploy a Battering Ram or a Musculus (small mouse) as they mine under the foundations or to provide cover as Legionaries filled ditches etc. to enable a Turris to cross over. (Note: the Roman writer Vegetius in the 4th Century suggested also that the battering ram looked much like a tortoise’s head coming out of its shell).


Testudo was a heavier version of the Vinea to provide protection against heavier projectiles. Too heavy to be carried into position, they would be mounted on wheels or pushed over rollers. They looked a bit like the Cat from the Middle Ages.


Making a Testudo

A model Testudo can be made using Stripwood Technology techniques with card and 8mm x 8mm square timber. Start by making 5 identical basic flat frames, each 210mm long and 100mm high :


BasicFrame.png
  • 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
  • Assemble the frames together and glue with P.V.A. glue
  • Add a 210mm long strip of wood as a ridge
  • 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) then glue in place.
  • Alternatively add card and paint to simulate woven twigs or layers of animal skins.
TestudoConstructions.png

Activity: Find out about Roman Siege Equipment (e.g. Vinea, Pluteus, Mantelet, Testudo (model), Musculus, Helepolis, Turris, Corvus, Ballista (aka Scorpion), Onager, 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