Finally the decks are cleared for a serious push on these Mk. VIII limbs.  I mention this fact only because after the complicated mold I just got finished for a favorite customer,  it is going to take a mighty effort to get my nose settled down in front of the grind stone again.   We start with that most refreshing of miracles,  a  clean work bench.

At times like this it is also helpful to remember that the exact scope of what we are attempting is not all together without merit.  I take the liberty of quoting Mr. Pat B. where he provides the following words of encouragement in a recent email:

“First, some encouragement. You asked me a while back about any other
constructors doing something similar to your project. I was reading
Duncan Campbell’s “Greek and Roman Artillery” recently, and he says
this: “The idea of interior swinging arms is not a new one, but it has
never achieved wide acceptance, no doubt owing to the lack of a
full-size replica to demonstrate the practicalities.” That was
published in 2003, and the info could be out of date, but I suspect it
isn’t. I’d say you are out there on your own with Firefly. So in your
darker moments, when you feel like giving up, you might remember that.
No one will find out if the inswinger is a feasible artillery weapon if
you don’t.

But it’s also worth remembering that with no existing models to go on
(and no real clues from Trajan’s Column either, which feature an
artist’s depiction, not an engineer’s drawing), what you’re likely to
end up with is something very different from the speculative mock-ups
of theorists. It might be better to put those out of your head. Because
if your experiments push you in a certain direction, you can be sure
the Romans went that way too. They had plenty of time, centuries, to
evolve their designs, and you can bet they explored every avenue in
search of the most efficient machine. In other words, whatever design
you find works best for you is also likely to be the most authentically
Roman, however bizarre it looks. ”

After so many set backs and flat out failures,  I find that this project is taking more faith and commitment than any I have ever attempted before.   If  I keep reminding myself that this game we are playing is at a level not likely seen since ancient times,  that fact alone helps to keep me focused on the task at hand.  Of course, this laudatory slathering is nothing but pure conceit,  and while it is always the case that there is nothing new under the Sun,  a vigorous suspension of my disbelief seems essential to move things forward.

And so,  we commit to yet another set of limbs, this time with more experience than I care to admit to.  The Catapult Gods favor the number eight.  Or at least,  so I tell  myself.

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