Pegasus Hobbies 1/48 Martian War Machine

KIT #: 9001
PRICE: $24.98 MSRP
DECALS: Martians don't use decals
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: New mold and about time!


Those of us of a certain age, grew up on what were mostly cheesy science fiction movies. Often there were  horrible alien monsters which were enough to satiate our pre-teen yearn for the unusual. This all came about as our parents thrust a quarter in our hands and sent us off to the town movies for a Saturday afternoon of peace and quiet (for them). After forking over the 10 or 15 cents for admission, that left enough for a bag of popcorn and some candy. After the usual mass of threats from the theater owner about being quiet and staying seated, once the movie started, we were then raptly glued to the screen while the tales of horror and imagination unfolded before us. Later generations would have to get their fix from the TV, but many of us saw these movies on the big screen. 

Some of these were actually very well done and some of the best included the magic of George Pal, who was able to provide superb special effects that were the pinnacle of the day. One of the best movies on which he worked was War of the Worlds. Though only loosely based on the H.G. Wells original, still had all of the proper plot settings including the initial surprise at the Martian's initial appearance, the cold devastation created by these creatures and the miraculous saving of the world. This was carried over into the more recent 2005 film with more accuracy to the book, but in the mind of many, not quite as cool as the 1953 version.

WIthout a doubt the star of the show were the Martian war machines. These were kept aloft by mysterious energy beams and used a heat ray that obliterated everything in its path. These bright copper colored machines had large clear areas on the front and side with the cobra-like heat shield raised above its glimmering fuselage. Without a doubt, one of the neatest sci-fi craft to have ever been developed.


Prior to the release of this kit, the only way you could build a Martian war machine was either scratchbuilding it or purchasing one of the many and very expensive resin kits. Well, the cheap amongst us can now breathe a sigh of relief as Pegasus Hobbies has produced a very nice 1/48 kit of this machine.

We expect simplicity and easy construction from Pegasus Hobbies and we get it with this kit. Less than 20 parts for this one. Seven for the heat ray and eight for the body of the vehicle plus a couple for the display stand.  This would be what I'd consider a week end build for the most part. The superbly molded parts are in either a cream plastic or clear. For the latter, most are in a clear green and one is a clear red. This kit is begging for a lighting kit. It comes in a large box with the fuselage sections already together so it will fit. Getting the two halves apart was a bit of a challenge so you know the fit will be good. No interior, no decals and really, the instructions for most of us will be an afterthought. The clear bits are all keyed so it will take a lot of effort to screw it up. The sturdy base has a bottom section that is a portion of the globe centered on the Atlantic Ocean.


I don't know how many my local shop got in, but I bought one of the two he had and I'll bet he got in more than than. There will be  a 1/144 diorama set of three of these plus Sherman tanks released later in the year and I'll probably spring for those as well.

Review kit courtesy of your very kind and magnanimous editor as well as 'store credit' at CRM hobbies.

March 2009

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