Pegasus Hobbies 1/144 War Machines Attack
KIT #: 9002
PRICE: $20.00 MSRP
REVIEWER: George Creed
NOTES: Wow! Reliving my favorite film!


In 1898 H.G. Wells wrote a landmark Science Fiction novel called the “War of the Worlds” about an alien invasion of the planet Earth. Many people read many things into the novels plot regarding events of the day and the English Rule, but at its heart, the novel set the standard for alien invasions scenarios of our planet for years to come.

On October 30, 1938 the War of the Worlds was resurrected on the Columbia Broadcasting System by the Mercury Theater on the Air, directed and narrated by newcomer Orsen Welles. For 60 minutes the population of New Jersey huddled by the radio listening to events they thought was really happening in their State at the time!

In 1953, George Pal, a prolific Sci-Fi director (The Time Machine, Destination Moon, When Worlds Collide) directed the first film version, and the classic, of this great H.G. Wells novel, starring Gene Barry and Ann Robinson.

In 2005 master film maker and storyteller Steven Spielberg released the latest incarnation of Wells novel in a large budget film starring mega star Tom Cruise.

It is the 1953 version of the novel by George Pal that is depicted in this diorama kit.


A complete diorama is provided including two Martian War Machines based on the 1953 George Pal version of the War of the Worlds. Also provided is a base with two Sherman tanks, and if you look closely the burned remains of the civilian group that was guarding the pit where the first meteor-in reality a Martian spaceship- came to rest. Two plastic poles come with the kit to elevate the flying Martian War Machines. One of the unique features of the kit is that you also get a clear Martian death ray obliterating one of the tanks. Outstanding reproduction of the film’s opening battle scene! There is a four page instruction sheet and no decals. All scaled to 1/144.


What a breeze, or should I say snap, as for the most part the War Machines and the Sherman Tanks just snap together, with a little CA Zap to hold everything in place.

The Martian War machines consist of 4 gray plastic parts and 4 clear plastic parts.

The Sherman Tanks consist of 4 plastic parts

The base, well what can you say – 1 part for everything to go on, but what a base! There are two holes in the base for the placement of the War Machines and there are embedded tank track areas for you to place your tanks. Also on the base are the prone bodies of three poor civilians who were left to guard the landing pit and where vaporized by the Martians Death Ray.

The most unique part of the kit is that there is one full blown death ray in clear plastic that fits into one of the Martian ray gun arms and sits squarely with a splat on one of the Sherman Tanks – outrageous!

The only change I made to the kit was to replace the gray plastic poles they give you to hold up the War Machines with two clear plastic poles I scrounged from a spare parts box and from a clear plastic spruce from a helicopter kit’s clear parts spruce. This gives a better illusion of the Machines actually hovering above the ground.


I use Tamiya acrylic paints and Gunze Sangyo acrylic paints for the Machines and Tanks. Tamiya “Titanium Gold” covers the War machines, while Tamiya “Olive Drab” is painted over a coat of Tamiya “Medium Green” for the Sherman Tanks.

I used Gunze Sangyo “Fluorescent Orange” for the Martian “Death Ray” as well as the clear parts on the flying machines.

For the impressions of the vaporized civilians on the base I used Tamiya weathering pastels “snow” a nice white chalk – very appropriate.

The base was sprayed with Tamiya’s “Red Brown” and then the grassy areas with Tamiya’s “Dark Green”. I also then lightly over sprayed the base completely with the same Tamiya “Dark Green”

Everything was shot through an Iwata Eclipse airbrush with an Iwata compressor.

The entire sub-assembles (tanks, war machines, base, clear parts) where painted separately and then assembled onto the base.

Also, I dipped all of the clear parts in Future Floor Wax to coat and cover and protect since I used CA “Zap – A – Gap” for the final assembly and using this technique prevents any fogging of the clear parts.


What a blast!!! This was a totally fun project. I picked it up at a major Southern California model contest and swap meet at the beginning of the month and had it finished within eleven days! Actually built and painted it within three days starting on a finally beautiful California winter Sunday afternoon and finishing the diorama and writing this article on a Tuesday night!! Fun – this is what modeling is all about and what a great break from my more serious (or longer) builds.

And now the kicker – when I was a little boy my dad took me to the City Line Center movie theater in Overbrook Park Pennsylvania, a neighborhood in West Philadelphia where we lived to see a double feature (that’s what they did in the old days) the first film as I recall was Pajama Game with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, but the bottom half of the feature was George Pal’s War of the Worlds.

It is only about twenty minutes at most before the Martian War machine (as depicted here in this Pegasus Hobbies Diorama) makes its appearance as a pulsating light on the end of the ray gun and the three townspeople approach it. I ducked under the seat and begged my father to take me home – I was too scared to watch the movie!!!

Needless to say my most favorite film – George Pals War of the Worlds- I consider it a classic and better than the Spielberg version, as in this version the story sticks closer to H.G. Wells original Mars invading Earth concept.

This kit was a blast to build, fun to paint, quick to complete and now sits in my display case for me to enjoy and bring back some good – and some scary – memories of my childhood.



H.G. Wells’s novel “War of the worlds”

Orsen Welles Radio Program War of the Worlds (Google for You Tube)

George Pal’ 1953 movie War of the Worlds (where this diorama comes from)

Steven Spielberg’s 2005 film remake of War of the Worlds.

Kit courtesy of my wallet.

George Creed

March 2009

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