I've been messing about trying to get an archer automaton mechanism working, just a realistic draw and loose initially. I started with some tin from an old biscuit tin and then moved onto plywood. The draw isn't too difficult but the loose is tricky. I'm following my engineering of simplicity, simplicity and trial and error.
Any how here's a video of it:-
I've been doing some online research too and they mention Basswood as being good for carving, I though... "Oh, I'll have to get some of that"... them I thought, "Don't be a twonk, I have all sorts of wood that's good for carving already!" Hazel, Cherry, Lemon wood is prob' good too. Any how, I split some cherry that has been outside for over a year from when trimmed on of the Cherry trees. That led to more work like cleaning out the dust extractor and changing bandsaw blades.The cherry is too wet to use now, but it's been cut down to useful sized pieces. I have some already seasoned lying about and I've been planning the next stage of the automaton. I want it to grab on to the string automatically, I don't mind having to manually load the arrow tho'.
There are some incredible Japanese ones on youtube, but I think they were made by a skilled automaton maker rather than an archer as the bow drawing action is all wrong! That is to say the draw is all accomplished by pushing the bow hand forward and there is no drawing back of the string. They are still fantastic works of skill and artistry though.