Childhood friends who build catapults and trebuchets visit East Idaho - East Idaho News
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Childhood friends who build catapults and trebuchets visit East Idaho

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POCATELLO — A group of friends who have been building weapons of war from a bygone era since their childhoods visited East Idaho recently.

Titan Forged Siegeworks, a company that makes medieval siege artillery including catapults and trebuchets showed off some of their equipment on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Mystic Realms Fantasy Fair at the Bannock County Fairgrounds. The group, originally from Ogden, Utah, have taken their siege weapons to renaissance fairs, schools, museums, libraries, church events, a birthday and even TV commercials. They’ve also used them to teach both history and physics.

“To the outside observer, we’re the guys with the big catapults. We then take those machines (and) we typically use them as a teaching tool,” said Tyler Brown.

Brown is the owner of Titan Forged Siegeworks, but he said that it’s weird to call him that, saying, “I just was the one who kind of was elected to fill out the paperwork.”

“We are technically a business. We are a business that is not designed to actually make money or make a living,” Brown said.

Titan Forged Siegeworks catapult
A catapult from Titan Forged Siegeworks. | Logan Ramsey,

Despite being touring siegework builders, the group members work day jobs in a variety of professions. Brown part owns and manages a game store and is going back to school to get a degree in paleontology, hoping to eventually enter the field in a science communication capacity.

Titan Forged Siegeworks’ origins can be traced back to 1998, when the group members were around 10-years-old and hanging out at Brown’s house.

“We saw a catapult on a game or a movie or something,” Brown said. “We decided, hey, we want to build that. That looks fun. Let’s make it.”

The kids went to Brown’s mom and dad with their idea.

“Well, let’s teach you how to use the saw safely,” Brown recalled.

Once they finished their first catapult, it was about six feet tall and made out of spare two-by-four wood. The contraption’s axel, which retracts the throwing arm, was made from a scooter. It had the ability to chuck a golf ball around two hundred feet with 30 pounds of counterweight.

It took the kids some practice to figure out how to “dial the things in” to control the distance and hit targets. Thanks to being careful, the group managed to never break a window.

They kept building catapults and eventually trebuchets throughout their childhood, into early adulthood. Eventually, at 25, Brown got a call from a man asking about their catapults.

Titan Forged Siegeworks trebuchets
A trebuchet from Titan Forged Siegeworks. | Logan Ramsey,

“Are you a cop?” Brown asked.

“No, no,” the man told Brown. “I’m just wondering what it would take to get you guys to do a show at our Ren Fair… I’m thinking we should we should try and do a competition.”

This excited the friends, and they built a new machine, this one being 25 feet with the ability to throw bowling balls. Brown said that they won the competition by a “solid margin” but afterwards, they noticed something frightening. They had cracked the throwing arm on the catapult.

“We were, like, three throws away from obliterating an arm in front of a thousand people,” Brown said.

This would’ve sent chunks of wood hurling 20 feet, and while they had everyone outside of that range, it was still dangerous. The incident taught them the difference between the smaller catapults they had been building, and machines that had the capability to do damage to someone’s home.

This was the moment when they said, “Okay guys, we’ve got to make sure that we up our game. Everything has to be over-engineered to the point of absolute safety.”

Now, the friends operate as a company that travels to events and educates on the history of the weapons they build and the physics behind how they function. When they go to a school event, they bring smaller catapults then they do to a renaissance fair.

This year was the second time they came to Pocatello, both times for the Mystic Realms Fantasy Fair. They plan to keep attending that event and hope to attend more fairs around Idaho in general.

For anyone who wants to book them for an event, the group can be contacted at

Many original group members of Titan Forged Siegeworks have moved to different parts of the country, and they can only come to an event if their schedule allows. The friends work in a variety of fields, such as metal working, real estate and the military.

“As time moved on, we deliberately did things to make sure that we stayed friends,” Brown said.

If one of the friends comes back into town, say for Christmas, they’ll throw a party to get everyone who can come together again. The friends who moved out of Utah will come back and attend a fair when they’re able to.

When the friends get their families together, they’ll have moments when they reflect on how much has changed, as well as how little has changed in the two and a half decades since their first catapult. They’ll watch their kids run around, and remember when they were the kids running around.

“It’s a unique experience… to be able to go through all of life’s changes with a group of people that if you know something bad happens, they’ve got your back,” Brown said.