Kit preview of Comet Miniatures' Martian War Machine.

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Comet Miniatures' Martian War Machine Preview

By John Lester - images & text © 2000

Scale: None given
Parts: 18 resin, white metal and wire.
Instructions: 1 hand-drawn page, with paint callouts.
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 7 - slightly better than is typical for Comet
Detail: 6 - adequate but not exciting
Accuracy: N/A - looks like a walker to me.
MSRP: $60 USD, available from Comet (UK) and Monsters in Motion (USA)
Overall Rating: 7 - expensive, but cool looking.

[CRappy Box Top]

[Hull, top]

^ Center section, top view. Click here for larger image.


[Supports & feet]

^ The rest of the bits.


^ Instructions, such as they are.

Science Fiction existed long before Star Trek® - yes, I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. Back even before the first years of the last century, H.G. Wells was turning out sci-fi romances comparable to that other early giant in the field, Jules Verne. Wells started writing full-time in 1891, with his first big story, The Time Machine), appearing in 1895 (anticipating Captain Kirk's jaunt back to 1980's Earth by almost a century). War of the Worlds pretty much invented the alien invasion scenario, and became an instant classic when published in 1898.

What You Get

This kit is based on a 1976 musical adaptation of the book by Englishman Jeff Wayne. It's typical of Comet's products - from the nondescript box and packaging (newspaper, for heaven's sake - don't you have styrofoam peanuts in the UK?) to the lackluster casting, and right down to the xeroxed distruction sheet.

The body and feet are made of a hard, white resin which looks a lot like Por-a-kast. The feet are from one piece molds and have quite a bit of flash at the bottom to sand off. The body is actually a cut above the usual Comet resin, with only a small mold seam running around it, and just a handfull of pits and bubbles. The white metal legs are more representative of this manufacturer, with muddy detail and quite a bit of flash. Several wire bits round out the components, including three with a bit of resin molded around them. Missing are any representation of the tentacles these machiens carried ... or was that the Harvesters?

The instruction sheet is as basic as they come, just drawings and text written by hand on one side of ordinary typing paper. They are adequate, however, and include some sparse painting notes. No decals are provided (not that any are needed).

Assembly & Finish

Assembly appears straightforward, and not particularly tough. A good deal of time will no doubt be necessary to clean up the legs, but otherwise, the parts should be ready to use. Joins are mostly by butting two pieces together, with pins or indentations to aid in locating them and provide some strength. In other words, it's a typical garage kit.

The painting notes call for a silver or white body, with black details and green "eyes". I'll probably try for a metallic bronze body, and try to make this look more insect-like.


War of the Worlds has always been one of my favorite books, and I'm glad to finally have a kit of the terrible War Machine. Yes, it's more than I wanted to pay, but it's still cool.

Many thanks to my wallet for providing the review sample. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized? Contact us!

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This page copyright © 2000 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 10 May 2000.