Martian War Machine- H. G. Well's Tripod


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After my Three Legged Tank, I thought I'd better make a matching Martian adversary, so, armed with some random plastic shapes, I started on my own version of the Martian's tripod war machine:

The head started out as an acrylic heart shaped box, I *think* it may have originally had scented soap in it; for the leg joints I went with balls with 'suckers', so it looks like the joints can slide all around each sphere, taking into account the description that Martians never made use of the wheel and made singularly little use of the fixed pivot- this picture shows moving joints, I've abandoned them, as it's too top heavy, and will now be totally static.

Cut-outs on the thighs, to give it a light, almost gossamer like weight, to contrast with the almost brutal metalwork of the British tank. The thighs are made from thin acrylic disposable champagne glasses, with inserts made from those same whacky vases I used for the shins on my British tank, with another one for the neck.

I know what you're thinking; Where are the tentacles? Well, after a trip to poundland- incidentally, the branch in WOKING, it found the first pair of 'em:

Plug-in USB LED lights for laptops, with gooseneck shafts! With the wiring intact, I can still run power down them...

And, after several other poundlands, it found the rest:

But the poor blighter can't see- better give him some eyes:

Ok, so here they are just taped on, anyone else getting a grey Alien feeling? Any way, I used two halves of an acrylic Xmas decoration, which I then used to push mould two thin styrene shapes, cut out, er, cut outs on the head, and cut three eye-holes in each one before fitting them in:

Next up, some streamlining to the tops of the legs:

Just some 1mm styrene, cut to the profile of the legs, which by now are a mixture of ABS and styrene tube, around a 6mm carbon fibre rod- it was originally steel, but that was too heavy, and prone to bending.

Three-toed feet:

Made a master from random hemispheres and styrene, and took a silicone mould to make multiples, now it can stand on it's own three feet!

In all it's malign glory:

Currently it's standing on a base the same size and style as my British tank, I'm thinking of using a 1/35 scale farmhouse, with a confused looking farmer looking at a sprouting red weed on his garden path, with the Martian focusing it's heat ray on the back of his head- maybe using a laser pointer in one of the tentacles, and the back foot of the tripod on a squashed a donkey behind the farmhouse...


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Finally found some time to get some more done on this beast:

Put some sensor, radar, Martian tech. domes in the head, added glazing to the eyes, and a set of three colour changing LEDs, shifting from green to blue to red, via various other colours - a sort of reference to the 1953 George Pal version of WotW, where the Martian creatures and ships had tricolour eyes.

Another look at the legs, showing how the shape has been softened by the additional plates and a ring of plastic, also a different colour from the LEDs.

A view of the back of the head, with two air intakes, or engines, or coolers, or just neat looking things.

Another look at the whole business end, with another shade of blue from the cockpit/eyes.

Yet to come: some detail in the cockpit- maybe a sculpted Martian? Definitely something other than the current scrap of tissue paper as a light diffuser, anyway! Some detail in the two cutouts on the underside of the head, and I'm wondering if I should have a basket for captured lunch, er, humans, or save that for the Martian Handling machine model that will inevitably come along later...


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I'm going to be there on the Saturday, but can't make the Friday or the Sunday, but I'm hoping to leave some of my pieces there for the Sunday, hope to see you there!



Master Member
Fantastic project! IMO the legs are a tad bit too long, the "head" looks a bit lost. And now I go back and curl up beneath my stone ...


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Righty-Ho, back to work!

Firstly, the cockpit I was working on just wasn't working, so I scrapped it and started again, coming up with this cockpit bucket:

With a shaped seat, made out of two LED lamp covers that had sacrificed their gooseneck bases for tentacles:

Which go together like this:

I'm aiming to add controls and a Martian creature to the seat, maybe over the weekend...

Also, some work on the tentacles:

A pair of scythe like limbs,

A pair of three fingered claws,

The black smoke generating cylinder,

And the heat ray limb, which now has a working laser diode in it:

With dot:

Remade the feet, as I now don't like the originals:

Feet are all done, but due to being a glutton for punishment, I've added three more tentacles with claws fow the lower body- partly because it's annoying to see a Tripod with little arms that can't reach the ground, and partly because I found some thicker, longer gooseneck.

Also decided to reinforce the shrouds on the 'thighs', and remove the seam, to make it more streamlined.

I'm going to pose it so one of the lower arms is passing something to the upper body, each of the lower claws has an 'eye' in the centre of the ball joint, so the Martian can see what it's doing- the ball joints were recycled from the original feet, nothing goes to waste.

More soon!


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The pilot is progressing:

Milliput around a foam core, with three BBs for eyballs.

Eyelids, gills and beak.

Finally, tentacles.



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Just realised that I never updated this!

Finished pilot:

All the parts in paint, silver basecoat and copper airbrushed highlights, some dirt as well:

I'd realised that you wouldn't be able to see the figure, so at the last minute added a window between the 'eyes', with a clear acrylic cover.

All together:

And outdoors:

Need to finish off the diorama base...


New Member
I'm a huge fan of The War of the Worlds, and however much I love the Jeff Wayne interpretations, this is one of the coolest looking tripods I've ever seen. Very nice attention to detail

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