How to Build a Model Drawbridge

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Every kid loves a castle with a drawbridge and a moat. Medieval fortresses were perfectly designed to prevent invasion and the drawbridge was a major part of this defense. Building a model drawbridge is not difficult with a little effort and some simple supplies. Following these simple step-by-step instructions you can design and build your own moving model drawbridge.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard box
  • Thick paper
  • Two thin lengths of chain
  • Small wooden dowel
  • Two pieces of PVC pipe
  • Glue
  • Paint, pens and pencils
  • Scissors

Build a Model Drawbridge

  • Cut an arch shaped hole in a medium sized cardboard box for the castle door. If you would like to make the drawbridge look more realistic you should build two towers at each side of the box. To build towers role up two pieces of thick paper and place them at both edges of the box.

  • Construct the drawbridge by cutting a rectangular piece of cardboard about the same size as the door. Drawbridges were traditionally quite thick to prevent an invading army access to the castle or fort. Doubling the cardboard and gluing two pieces together will give the impression of strength associated with a drawbridge.

  • Cut two holes at the same level on either side of the door (near the top of door). Cut two more holes on the opposite sides of the box but near the front of the box. These holes should be circular and at exactly the same level.

  • Insert a piece of PVC pipe into the two circular holes so that it runs through the box and just behind the doorway. The pipe should be long enough to protrude from the box, making it possible to turn it and raise the drawbridge. Paint the pipe a dark color to make it less conspicuous.

  • Connect two equal lengths of chain to the pipe at spots that will allow it to pass through the two holes adjacent to the door. I recommend using hot glue or simply tying the chain around the pipe. Run the chain through the holes and connect it to the drawbridge with glue. Now when you twist the pipe at either side of the box the drawbridge should raise and lower.

Tips & Warnings

  • Build your drawbridge on a large piece of cardboard so that you can color a moat for it to pass over.
  • Color the cardboard box and drawbridge with appropriate colors and designs to create a more realistic effect.

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