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Cool New Toy

Mostly I collect knights and medieval miniatures, sure, but I'm a science fiction fan and writer too, and every so often I see a space toy I can't resist.

If any of you are fans of the old 1953 George Pal version of WAR OF THE WORLDS, Pegasus has just released a marvelous model of the Martian war machines, available in both kit and finished form. I picked up two of the finished models from Michigan Toy Soldier, and they're really seriously stunning, boys and girls.

I know, Pal's floating manta rays are not as accurate to H.G. Wells as Stephen Spielberg's tripods. And damn, they just look so cool and menacing... and of course, they're an icon of my childhood ...

Besides, the Pal movie was better than the Spielberg version anyway.


( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Wow, those are great. I'm envious.
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:16 pm (UTC)
That's awesome :)
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
The 1953 movie is an all-time classic.

The TV show they spun off from it in 1988...not quite so much.

That said, I liked the Spielberg movie. It gets grief, but it isn't heinously bad. The biggest issues I had with it was the slightly cheery ending and the camera diving in and out of the car, which was a standard Spielberg, "Look what I can do!" shot that takes the viewer out of the picture (like the overhead apartment scene in Minority Report, only much worse).

I would like to see an adaption of the book that replicates the scene with the Martian war machine fighting the British battleship in the Thames. That was pretty cool.
Apr. 4th, 2009 11:18 pm (UTC)
Also, they seem to be incapable of having the hero be completely alone. He may encounter others on his travel, but for the most part its about someone living though it alone.

It is hillarious when people complain about the Dues Ex Machina ending to the Spielberg film. They need to read more.

I gotta get me one of those.
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC)
Shiny! For War of the Worlds, I just like to wrap Jeff Wayne's musical around my ears and obliterate the world for a few hours :)

Farewell Thunderchiiiiiiild
Apr. 4th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Apr. 5th, 2009 12:08 am (UTC)
The voice of reason
But they're not devils; they're martians!

(Great avatar you've got there)
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
The look great! So you can purchase them finished, without having to get high from airplane glue?
Apr. 4th, 2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
war machine
Yes. Costs a bit more, but they are available in finished form.
Apr. 5th, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
So you can purchase them finished, without having to get high from airplane glue?

What's wrong with a little euphoria to go with your model-building?
Apr. 4th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
If I remember correctly, at the end of the book one of the characters talks about the Martians experimenting with a flying machine. I guess the movie took the idea and ran with it.
Apr. 4th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
In the Pal movie, technical limitations prevented them from building walkers, and, eventually, also put the kibosh on their proposed solution of having them "walk" on three beams of light. The spotlight-legs do survive in one shot in the movie, before they figured out they were impossible to coordinate with the models.
Apr. 4th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Did you know there's a musical of War of the Worlds, by some guys from the Moody Blues?
Apr. 4th, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC)
I did not need to see this. I really didn't.
Apr. 4th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
aw, my dad would go bonkers for one of these, but it appears you can't order them from the website, huh?
Apr. 4th, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how big it is, buy size that thing up a few notches and add a light bulb in the green part and you'd have a really cool (but probably not so functional) desk lamp.
Apr. 4th, 2009 10:40 pm (UTC)
Last Will
have i any chance to be mentioned in your Testament?
Apr. 4th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
You want to know what would make a great diorama? Put that on your desk fightin some of those green plastic army men from the 1970's. For added effect, melt a couple of the army men with a lighter or in the microwave first.
Apr. 4th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
Apr. 4th, 2009 11:57 pm (UTC)
I was actually shocked when reading Wells' WotW because I had seen Pal's version many years before and so the martian machines WERE the manta ray style to me. At first I thought the novel adaption had messed it up until my father informed me that it was actually the other way around. ;)

Spielberg might have been true to the novel but Pal's will always be the better movie to me also. :)
Apr. 5th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
The sound of the heat ray in the movie?
My all-time favorite sound.

Apr. 5th, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
That is so incredibly cool! I'd love to have one! I still think those things are so scary....
Apr. 5th, 2009 08:08 am (UTC)
Now that is a beautiful piece of art. I would get happy just looking up from my work and seeing it.

I understand the emotional attachment to Pal's old movie, but I have to say, even being very much hesitant about Spielberg attemptimg WotW, that I was completely blown away by it. It is by far the best Hollywood war movie from civilian perspective that I have ever seen. It is absolutely soul crushing and devastating. If any movie ever managed to communicate the helpless terror and loss of reason that WWII was, then it is this movie. I often think of it when I read the parts in SoIaF when your characters are moving through the war ravaged lands and meet the people whose lives have been destroyed.

I hated the last 5 minutes though.
Apr. 5th, 2009 08:12 am (UTC)
Eh eh, it seem to be a 1960's lamp... sorry i don't like sci-fi, i prefer too much medieval and rinassence medieval.. but i think it have a strange charme.
Apr. 5th, 2009 09:20 am (UTC)
elegant model.

I haven't read the book nor seen the classic movie and would therefore prolly prefer a model of the Millenium Falcon or something similar ;)
Apr. 5th, 2009 03:53 pm (UTC)
That is way cool. Sign me up for the Legion of the Jealous.

And yes, the Pal movie is better than the Spielberg version by a factor of 100.

Question: anyone know if the tripods in the Spielberg film would actually be able to walk on those spindly legs?
Apr. 5th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Is that on you writing desk? And, more importantly to me, will it inspire you to a SciFi epic? I hope so. Even should you never add another word to ASoIaF. I would pay for another 3+ books of that scope.
Apr. 5th, 2009 10:21 pm (UTC)
Nice toy,

I was quiet agree with you : Forbidden Planet is a "F…" good movie, with a very good plot (inspired by shakespeare's "tempest"), but in the concern of the G. PAL version of War of the World, I find it too religious for me. And the way Spielberg (re)did it is quiet intelligent (as often with him). The way of connecting the MAcrocosm with the microcosm directly at the beginning of the film is thrilling. Remember it, when Tom Cruise stop hiding to fight the alien to save his child, after that, the bacteriological process began to kill the alien from the inside. It's no coincidence. May be let the movie get older and you will surely look at it with much desdain :.)
Pardon my english,
a french guy who love your work, and wish you many good ideas to make it come the way you want it to be.
Virgil D. Dalh

Apr. 6th, 2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
Wow. That looks awesome!
Apr. 7th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
I love the 1953 War of the Worlds, my favorite ever, that is sooooo freakin sweet!
Apr. 10th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
I hate to speak against so many emphatic voices (well, no I don't) but there is one thing that Speilgberg's movie has over the "Pal." In the more modern one the helpless child that lets the hero demonstrate his ability to save others (heroically)is an actual child. In the old one, the child is a grown woman, who acts much less mature. That perfect 50s woman swoons, screams, and needs the hero to talk her through everything. As much as verisimilitude may be missing in any science fiction film, I have to ask myself why the guy doesn't risk his neck saving one of the thousands of other women dying around him wherever he flees. They are probably more worthy, even if less attractive.
Apr. 11th, 2009 06:50 am (UTC)
To me it actually looks like a desk with a lamp on top of it, I’d love to have one in desk size so that I could put my computer on top of it. That would have been one cool furniture!
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
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