[SSM's 15th Contest: Wrecks]

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The Curse Of The Red Planet

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by Klaus Schäftner

Scale: 1/100

When we think about mars, we almost have the imagination of a big, red rock with a desert-like surface, very cold and with very low atmosphere pressure. And of course without any lifeforms, and no channels, no pyramids, no mars-face, no ruins. So NASA and the scientists all over the world told us about Mars.

But is this really true?

If not, the first men on Mars would be very surprised when they found something like ruins or technical derelicts.

My first idea about this strange vehicle on the Red Planet I had in 1986, at which time I did some drawings and oil paintings. Behind this paintings there was a little story about when the astronauts entered this wrecked spacecraft, a silent alert was sent to the alien homeworld. What a curse from touching the alien hardware: One year later they came with an armada of medusa-ships to destroy our civilization.

21 years later this contest suggest me to make a scratchbuild. I looked on the old pictures hanging on the wall and I grasped this old idea to create it in 3-D.

So the design of that strange vehicle is little inspired from WAR OF THE WORLDS, with classic touch and mixed with biomechanic. In the flying-mode this thing remains of a giant jellyfish with long, dangerous tentacles. Two of the gondolas look like engines for atmospheric drive. The third gondola has a strong weapon: A laser eye, like the cobra in the 1956 movie-version from WAR OF THE WORLDS.

The lower basically shape I took from an old, broken Star Trek Enterprise kit. The shapes of the upper hull, also the 3 gondolas are made from Polistyrol. I used 2cm plastic-tubes for the mechanical tentacles and the arms for the gondolas. Different-sized steel-springs for detailing give it a Giger-like touch. I also used some parts from older sf-kits and tracks from tanks. Hull breaks were covered with mesh-wire and the surface structure of the upper hull and the gondolas were made with string and glue.

I did heavy damage at 4 locations: Main-hull, laser-eye, port-gondola and one ragged tentacle.

When I started the work for this project, I had the imagination of the wrecked vehicle, lying in a crater. I also formed a crater wall on a hexagonal foam-plate, 45cm diagonal. The rocks were formed from polish plaster.

For the model I used colours from Revell and thin watery colour. First I painted the model with dark grey, after drybrushing at 2 times with medium-grey, 1 washing with rust, 2 drybrushing with light-grey and red dust. The Martian landscape I painted with watery wall-colour. First I did 3 paintings with very thin red-brown, after drybrushing with oxide-red, English red and light rust.

Image: Wreckage, right side

Image: What is it?

Image: Damaged engine

Image: Closeup

Image: Definitely not man-made

Image: Engine detail

Image: From above the crater wall

Image: Hull damage

Image: From above

Image: War Machine?

Image: Three puzzled Earthlings

Image: Inspiration

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This page was last updated 12 November 2007. © 2007 Starship Modeler