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War of the Worlds

Pegasus Hobbies 1/48 War of the Worlds Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2010 Manufacturer Pegasus Hobbies
Subject War of the Worlds Scale 1/48
Kit Number 9001 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Fun kit Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $24.95

First Look

War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds

As described in the kit instructions:

"Relive the excitement of the classic sci-fi movie 'War of the Worlds' with the most accurate model ever produced of the 'Martian War Machine'. Rifle-fire, rockets, cannon fire, missiles, and bombs are merely brushed aside by the deflector shields of the alien vehicles. The graceful lines of the 'War Machine' completely belie their awesome destructive potential. They hover forward on a 'tripod' of electrical energy, completely ignoring all of man's efforts to stop them. The townsfolk flee, as the army makes a desperate stand. Reports come in that the same thing is happening all over the world. Can nothing stop the Martians?"

Pegasus Hobbies had several interesting kit prototypes on display at the 2008 iHobbyExpo reflecting their entrance into the budget-minded science-fiction hobby market. This particular subject from the 1953 movie 'War of the Worlds' is one of two kits of the subject from Pegasus. One kit is 1/144 scale and provides two war machines fighting two army tanks. This kit is 1/48 scale and provides a single war machine on a nice display stand.

The kit is molded in an off-white styrene and presented on one parts tree, plus two hull halves and the display base. A bag of transparent green styrene parts is also provided for the nose and wingtip lenses, the three lift engine lenses, and the lens for the heat ray.

When you open the box, the top and bottom of the hull halves are dry fitted together for shipment and when I picked it up, I almost thought they were one piece. The seam was so tight that it took a few moments to realize that these were top and bottom halves. They came apart easily, but you won't have much to do with seamlines after assembly.

The display base is also a snap-together affair, and you can see from the bottom photo how this kit will sit atop the stand.

The lenses almost snap into place and if you're after a quick build, simply build the ship sans lenses, paint, then install the lenses and set the completed model atop the stand. Simple.

The kit was originally conceived to be plated in a copper finish and I was relieved when CultTVman alerted me that my pre-order kits were bare styrene and not plated. While the copper plating looked nice at iHobbyExpo, anyone that as built plated kits know how much of a pain they are to assemble, glue, and especially touch up.

The plastic surface of the kit is perfectly smooth, you could easily bare metal finish this kit with a shine, or paint it a weathered gray to reflect a veteran of numerous battles.

If you want to have a little fun, you'll want to open up those three bottom lift engine ports to allow LEDs to shine through the bottom lenses. You'll also want lights in the wingtips and nose. In the case of the wingtips and nose, you'll want to somehow shield the LEDs so they light up the lenses without being viewed directly through the lenses - a thin white sheet of paper or styrene to diffuse the light. The heat ray was well thought out. The strut that rises out of the top of the hull is molded as a 'C' channel with a separate part to cap off the channel. This will allow you to run wires or fiber-optics up to the heat ray projector. Nice! You'll be able to hide a battery under that display base and light up your war machine.

This kit looked like it might be a fun build-up project when I spotted it at iHobbyExpo and I'm certainly not disappointed with the kit now that it is on the street. With an MSRP of under $25.00 USD, Pegasus Hobbies continues its tradition of providing interesting subjects at a budget price! Now it is time to dig out the soldering iron and my stash of LEDs to light this gem up!

Definitely recommended!

My sincere thanks to Pegasus Hobbies for this review sample!

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