Steven Spielberg's 2005 remake of War of the Worlds took the original 1953 version and upgraded the already excellent special effects using today's technology. In my opinion, the movie was okay, but the effects were excellent, and central to that were the Martians and their tripods. Pegasus Hobbies has already issued the Martians and has now followed up with this kit of the tripod. And what a kit it is!
The kit is 93 parts including an excellent base of a destroyed street and buildings. The capture cages and lenses are clear. The top of the tripod is smoky clear. All the parts are perfectly molded, with no flash and petite engraving. There is an option of building the kit with the laser arms attached as it is first seem in the movie or building it with the cages underneath the back end and the eight tentacles coming out. I chose the former for this build as I love the look of the arms/claws protruding from the top.
Construction proceeds in sub assemblies. First, I built all three legs – they are specific, with right, left and rear, and the parts are not interchangeable, so keep them straight and there will be no problems later. Fit is great but be aware these legs are long (the kit is a total of 15 inches high). Next, I built the "waist" area – this is the part where the legs are on the bottom and the support holding the top sits. Fit is good here – I did fill all the holes where the tentacles went as I was using the arms. I looked around and could not find a good shot of this area on the web so it became smooth. I assembled and cleaned the two supports that hold the top.
Last, we come to the top head and hood. The bottom head fits great with only a little putty here and there. The lenses are beautifully clear and this kit begs to be lit up. I left off the clear parts until later so I could paint. The hood assembly fits so tightly to the head that no glue is needed. This is a great idea in that there is plenty of room for LED's and the like in the head, so lighting will be even easier. Another great move by Pegasus is that the very prevalent spikes are single pieces that slide up from the inside and look great.
Wow, that was easy ... let’s up the ante some. When I reviewed all the pictures I could find, the kit is not so much gray as it is a dirty metallic. I decided to Alclad and highlight the entire tripod. For the hood, the lower saw tooth areas in the movie lit up a purple-white color (another lighting opportunity). I sprayed these with purple edges and white highlights and masked them all. The surface of this part is super smooth so I sprayed Alclad gunmetal on it to start, with aluminum highlights and also touches of burnt metal, hot metal sepia, and polished aluminum. I wanted a grungy, buried under the earth look, so I washed the lines with a dark brown oil wash. The front "cockpit" was painted light gray and then washed with black. I painted the spines with Citadel Miniatures Mithril Silver.
The remainder of the kit was basecoated with Pactra gloss black and left to dry for a couple days. I polished these up and coated the legs with polished aluminum and used hot metal sepia for the joints. Various panels were picked out in dark aluminum and pale gold. The head was basecoated aluminum and then sepia again for highlights along with burnt metal around the edges. Panels were again picked out in multiple shades. The connecting joints between the body and head were coated gunmetal and the body coated dark aluminum with sepia and multiple colors added. The mandibles do need some filling and once they were filled, primed and polished, I used chrome on them for a shiny appearance
I assembled the tripod by joining the parts and ... they all fit perfectly with no issues!!! What a dream. Last to address was the base – this is so well made with cars, rubble, a great name plate, cracked pavement, and even the yellow lines, that it was a slow process. First I sprayed the word war red and then masked and sprayed the remainder of the verbiage white. I used small scissors and cut out around the words and then went to town with oil washes, several different grays, and brown and grimy black for the asphalt. Several clear coats and I added gloss colors to the car lights and the downed street light.
I added the tripod to the base by pinning three of the legs and making sure the legs sit flat (and they do easily).
This kit is AWESOME. Large, superbly detailed, excellent fit, and tons of opportunity for lighting and further detailing and a great base to boot. It is recommended to everyone and can be built into an excellent replica right out of the box. My thanks to Larry Thompson and Pegasus Hobbies for the review sample of, in my mind, the best kit of the year.