For fans of the older “War of the Worlds” movie and/or the television show from 1953, this little piece of nostalgia will bring a big smile to your face. After conducting some research during my construction of this kit, I found that this “Martian” represents one from the 1953 television show. It is actually a Mor Taxan, a creature from the planet Mor Tax. Looking at the photographs that I could find on line, this creature is an excellent representation of the characters from that particular show.
Upon opening the rather large box for this release, you will find a clear plastic base, two clear plastic “face” pieces, and eight orange vinyl parts. The vinyl parts consist of a lower body, an upper body, two sets of arms (four in all), two books, a metal head for a “Martian” war machine, and a piece of “Martian” conduit/wiring. Aside from all of this, you will find your direction sheet. All of the parts are cleanly molded, are loose in the box (inside of plastic bags), and require minimal clean up prior to assembly. The real beauty of this kit is that it is simple enough for a child to assemble, but provides detail that an experienced modeler will appreciate, and will take advantage of.
Having so few parts, the assembly takes very little time at all, so the amount of time that the builder decides to put into the painting will determine the duration of the build. With the molding of the two body parts, I felt that the kit begged for an LED light behind the “face” of the figure. Ensure that you are using a fully charged battery in your Dremel, or similar tool, or use a plug-in variant as the vinyl will slow down a drill bit very effectively if you choose this course. The hollow lower body has a single plug about an inch from the top (I would assume to add some rigidity to the figure), and is only about 1/16 inch thick. This leaves more than enough room for a battery pack in the bottom of the lower body. I had to drill though two areas on the upper body to place an LED behind the “face”, but again, with a fully charged battery, this was a simple task.
This is my third Pegasus kit, and all are from their “War of the Worlds” series of models. As with my previous acquisitions, the parts fit so tight that one barely needs glue to hold them together, making them great for younger modelers. I was impressed with the level of detail put into this figure with veins being delicately molded all over the upper body and arms, just like the “real” thing. The added items for the base are a nice touches as well, especially the one book having the title War of the Worlds, the other being To Serve Man.
I decided to do some experimenting during my construction of this figure, especially as I wanted to test which copper paint I will use when I get around to building my Martian War Machine kits. For my painting, I used a brush to lay black paint in all of the recesses of the lower body, and dark green paint on all of the veins. This was the longest step of the build for me by the way. I then painted the body using Model Master Acryl “Leather” paint that I thinned more than usual in my airbrush. The directions mention an orange-brown color, so I immediately started to think of leather. I would like to claim being a wise builder, or “War of the Worlds” fanatic, which led me to selecting this color, but the paint, was already drying when I found an article that mentioned that the skin on these creatures looked like leather when in the sun. I suppose that sometimes it is better to be lucky than good. The “faces” were masked for the colored areas and then airbrushed with the copper or leather paint, depending on their use. The red, green, and blue are all Tamiya clear acrylic colors that I thinned slightly and then carefully applied using a paintbrush.
For the base, I played with my airbrush and shot Model Master Acryl Wood and Dark Earth, over sprayed some Tamiya Deck Tan to lighten things, and then finished with a Burnt Umber wash. For the nameplate, I started with a flat black base, and then drybrushed gray followed by lighter shades of gray up to a nearly white final color. The letters were then painted using Model Master Acryl Chromium Yellow, and a fairly steady hand (not to mention some extra magnification). The war machine head was painted using Floquil Copper, and this was my one issue (self-induced of course) as the lacquer-based paint does not cure very well over the vinyl. I have never been one to use primer coats as I have always felt that extra layers of paint can only help to hide details. Anyway, it bit me this time, but I will live with it.
As far as my hits of this kit are concerned, the level of detail, ease of construction, and “fun factor” are all enough to get the attention of fans of this genre. Although a little pricey for a younger person, it would also be a nice kit to build with a child if introducing them to science fiction modeling. As I mentioned earlier, there is plenty to please an older modeler, and one’s painting efforts will determine just how much time and effort are invested in this build.
I do not have any legitimate misses for this kit. Even though mentioning that lacquer-based paints without primer will cause problems in the instructions would have been nice, I should have known better. I would also discourage the use of enamel paints (without primer), as I would expect similar issues, even though I did not use any on my figure to check this theory.
Overall, I would highly recommend this kit to folks wanting to add this “War of the Worlds” figure to their 1/8 scale figure, or “War of the Worlds” collection.
I would like to thank the folks at Pegasus for providing this review kit to the IPMS-USA, to the review corps for allowing me to perform this evaluation, and to you for taking the time to read it.