Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds - Martian Handling Machine


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Hi there,
back in 2018 (if I remember correctly), I found a printable model of a Martian Fighting Machine based on Jeff Wayne's Musical adaption of "The War of the worlds".
Since it was a long lasting childhood dream to have such a model, I started to dig into 3D printing just right after I found this model.

I have some very specific Ideas about that model - and set my expectations pretty high - maybe too high (?) - which is unfortunately the reason, why I was not able to realize this project as of today.
Anyway - I do some google-Research now and then to see, if others have realized those projects - and this is the reason, why I am here now...
I found the following topics and I am really happy to see how this model came out :) [ Post 1 ] [ Post 2 ]

When I found the Martian Tripod, I also found a Martian Handling Machine from the same designer, also based on the Musical Version from Jeff Wayne.
But due to the fact, that the tripod was actually with a higher priority on my wishlist, I never started to build the other model...

Until now.

To improve my skils in 3D printing - and also 3D modelling, to do some required changes on the Tripod, I made the decission to start with the Handling machine first and started with the print of the first parts.
I am printing them on a Elegoo Mars2 Pro, with liquid resin with which I am getting a better resolution.

After the first parts were ready, I did a test-fit with the eyes (which are here only a test print)... and noticed, that there's a pretty big gap where the both head-parts were cut.

So... I had to do a lot of filling and sanding to make this connection as invisible as possible.

But - I think I was successfull on that part.

The other parts of the Body are splitted into three different sections - and the original design does have some "panel lines" to divide them - as you can see in this Screenshot.
2023-10-15 14_42_03-Handling_Machine_complete ‎- 3D Builder.png

First, I was a bit disappointed, after starting with assembling these parts - because something went wrong during the print and they did not really fit together as nicely as I wanted... Again, I had to use a lot of filler... and more sanding - which removed all those lines....

But after the first coat of primer - I actually liked that smooth look much more - so I decided to go with this look.

So - here's a first test with a white base color... not yet perfect but this was done with more filling

... To be continued ...
So ... here's a short update - the build of the figure is nearly completed - but I don't want to give some spoilers until it is completed and received the final paint-job...
Unfortunately, I can only paint outside - and with current temperatures, I don't know If I will be able to finish this 'soon'... maybe, I have to wait until spring next year (or I'll find another alternative)

Also, I am waiting for some electronic parts with which I want to do some tests I hope, they will arrive tomorrow (at least, based on the tracking information they should probably arrive within this week)...

So I used the time to start with a small base plate ... it will be a small diorama... but also, I still think what "extras" I could use and maybe, I'll add some hidden extras ... ?

So I've started with gluing some styrofoam plates on a wood plate - and used a heat gun to shape them a bit into a rough form.
Then, I used some putty which I've found to finish the shape... it's basically just to create some higher areas - nothing special in particular.


After that, I applied the base color in some different shades of brown... which will then be covered with fake-grass in different colors (green and brownish)...
Finally, I've started with adding a little extra which I planned to do a few years back...

The "Red Weed" - which is the Mars-Vegatation ;)

"Next day, the dawn was a brilliant fiery red and I wandered though the weird and lurid landscape of another planet; for the vegetation which gives Mars its red appearance had taken root on Earth. As Man had succumbed to the Martians, so our land now succumbed to the Red Weed...
Wherever there was a stream, the Red Weed clung and grew with frightening voraciousness, its claw-like fronds choking the movement of the water, and then it began to creep like a slimy red animal across the land, covering field and ditch and tree and hedgerow with living scarlet feelers, crawling, crawling!"

The red weed is colored Iceland moss... which I've bought a few years backl when I initially had the idea for such a Diorama.

A printed tree will also be covered by the red weed...

... to be continued ...
Yesterday evening, I've started with a test of the Eyes for the Handling machine.
Unfortunately, the first print was too small, because I just forgot to upscale the model... and then, I haThisd to realize, that another test print with correct size just failed and came off from the build plate over night.

Since I was a bit under time preasure this morning, I haven't realized, that some support-material was still stuck on the print plate - and this caused a small damage on the transfer foil which is between the LCD Screen and the resin.
This caused a leak of resin, which again, caused resin to stuck on the LCD itself - and a print with a lot of air stuck within the resin... :-(
And - since that was not enough - while cleaning the screen, I damaged another foil, that was on the LCD itself... Now, I have to see, if this defect does matter for the print quality - and also wait for a replacement Screen, just to be sure that I can fix it if required.

Anyway - since it was just a test, it did not matter that the quality of the print wasn't what I was looking for.
The test was required to see, how the eyes will be affected when they will be lit.

In addition to that, the Tripod comes with two variant for the eyes - a smooth one, and one with a hexagon-pattern in the surface... unfortunately, the handling machine comes just with a smooth surface of the eyes.
Since I was not able to edit the STL file on my own, I've asked someone if he could try to apply a mask on the eyes to add the same texture to it... which I wanted to see on the print itself...

Also, this change does not fit to my needs - the hexagons are too big, compared to the eyes of the Tripod - and I am just thinking, to do both models with smooth eyes, to have an equal look on both, later on.

here you can see the eyes of the Handling machine compared to the eyes of the Martian Tripod / Fighting machine...



Another issue, I do have with the eyes: They are too thick - and therefore, the light does not come through as I wanted (they are also a bit too dark when assembled)...

So I do see two options to solve that problem:

1. trying to hollow out the eyes and make them more or less just a shell - which I can then glue to the part, or
2. print them not in clear green, but in clear / transparent - and then add some coats of transparent green resin to them, or just paint them in trasparent green...

I haven't yet decided with which way I will go - maybe, I'll try both and see, what I like better.

so at all - today wasn't going very well at all ... :-(
while I was still waiting for my Electronic components to continue, I've decided to add a few more details to the diorama itself.

I've started with printing a martian creature, some british WWI weapons and more little details, like a little fence.
But then, it turned out, that the martian itself was a bit too small, compared to the other elements - so I had to resize the figure - so, I resized it and printed another one.

Since the Musical itself does not really provide a Design of the Martians itself (only, later CGI for the Computer games and live shows does show a Render of the martians), I've decided to stick with something, that would look like the description given in the Lyrics...

"Two luminous disk-like eyes appeared above the rim. A huge rounded bulk, larger than a bear, rose up slowly, glistening like wet leather. Its lipless mouth quivered and slathered, and snakelike tentacles writhed as the clumsy body heaved and pulsated..."

Unfortunately, I could not find any 3D Design that matched this description (and which I liked) with the Keywords "H.G. Wells", "The War of the Worlds", "Martian Creature" - so I started to randomly look for other creature designs - and finally came across with something called "Cthulu"...

Cthulhu is a cosmic entity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft. It was introduced in his short story "The Call of Cthulhu",[2] published by the American pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. Considered a Great Old One within the pantheon of Lovecraftian cosmic entities, this creature has since been featured in numerous popular culture references. Lovecraft depicts it as a gigantic entity worshipped by cultists, in the shape of a green octopus, dragon, and a caricature of human form. The Lovecraft-inspired universe, the Cthulhu Mythos, where it exists with its fellow entities, is named after it. (Wikipedia)

I found a model of Cthulu's head - which matched pretty well with my search creteria - and could be used without any other extras...
After the print was finised, I painted it in different shades of brown / grey and placed it to the diorama.
Now, a little Martian Creature is moving towards the Handling machine, while the red weed is slowly covering the remaining area of the land...

The red weed, and the tree was just placed on one conor of my diorama, which caused a disbalance to the whole design - and therefore, I put the fence, which was also covered in some red weed into the opposite conor of the display.
I also removed some of the wooden bars on one of the fences, so that they do not look too similar... and a bit damaged...

Unfortunately, I don't have much space for the WWI canons I've printed - But I think, they aren't neccessary at all.

And finally, this weekend, my electronic components have arrived, and I could continue with my main idea.

I didn't want to modify the stl files for the print in a way that I could route wires through the legs - and I didn't want to have any visible wires at all.
A few years ago, I found some 'wireless LED Lights' and back then, I thought, that these might be a nice Idea for model work...
When I found out about those LED, some Ideas for a Diorama with the handling machine came up - but I was not building anything at that moment... But now, I was lucky that I knew, this technique exists - and I wanted to try it.


It's working like wireless charging for a smartphone - you have a transmitter coil on one side, and an LED, connected to a receiving coil on the other end.
Placing the LED in the area of the transmitter, is causing the LED to illuminate through induction...

A short test was confirming, that the LED would glow, even if the coil was placed under my main display plate - and the "Head" of the Martian on its final location a few mm over the ground.

OK, it is not as bright as other LED, and also the LEDs itself are pretty small...
So I might have to check, how I can spread the light more evenly over the whole area of the eyes - but since I already have to modify my eye-peaces a bit, I think that could work... :)

I've glued the little LEDs as even as I could into the holes I've prepeared for the eyes.
I used a clear UV-resin based "glue"...
It's basically the same thing like my 3d printer... but since it comes in a little, handy tube, it can be applied easily on small areas...
A great thing, for model building and I already made some good experience with it on some other projects.

Now, I only need to print my modified eyes, which will be a lot thinner - and I might paint the area behind them in some metallic silver so the sourface should be a bit more reflective... (i hope)... ? Or I will try to create something like a lens.... or a diffusor?

Anyway - here's the Handling machine with the current, failed eye part - lit and placed on the diorama.... I still need to glue the body and the head part together, fix some areas and replace the eyes ... and I need to apply the final layer of color to the body... but it might take some time until I could do that...



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