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War Of The Worlds: Martian Tripods


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"A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder." - H. G. Wells, 1898





Edited by HvP
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Great screenshot! Also, great work on the modeling. Seriously, I'm impressed by the skill on display here. Have you ever made figurines or sculptures like this in the real world? How many parts did that take?

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Those are amazing! I cant even begin to unravel how you made half the things on them! And then the composition quality of the first screenshot. Top quality stuff!

Edited by Stevie_D
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Thank you all so much for your kind comments! I was quite proud of these as you can imagine.

11 hours ago, Majorjim! said:

Do they stand up ok?

Surprisingly enough they do stand on their own legs under normal gravity. They don't even need the unbreakable joints cheat, although I did sprinkle in a generous dose of autostruts. Now I wouldn't call them exactly stable, though. You could sneeze and knock them over -- so I guess if you had a cold you could kill them all.

There's a significant and worrisome wobble when they first load in which lasts for about a minute before they stabilize enough to even quicksave. The three in these pictures are actually three different models, each with slightly different head and leg articulation. I wanted to do a few more poses, including one where the rear leg reached under the machine to take its weight or even crouched down, but severe oscillations ripped them apart. Maybe if I can be sure the Ubiozur part welding mod works with 1.3 it will open up more possibilities.

5 hours ago, GehringGame said:

Have you ever made figurines or sculptures like this in the real world? How many parts did that take?

No, I haven't done any modeling, but I appreciate the compliment. There are so many good modelers and creative artists in this community that I'm just happy to contribute what I can. Each walker is only 543 parts if you can believe it. With over 50 Oscar-B tanks and 40 FL-A10 adapters per leg that means that fully half of the part count is in the legs, unsurprisingly.

The only mods used were B9 Aerospace Procedural Wings Fork (for the collar), and TweakScale (mostly to gradually narrow the legs and other "tubes", and to reduce the size of the orbital scanner for the heat rays.) Vessel Mover was used to put them into position, of course. I still have ideas to improve them, like adding the grabbing tentacles to the front, and a variety of different poses.

@Dafni, @Stevie_D Thank you! The Martian war machines should be intimidating and terrifying so I knew there had to be smoke and flames. It's amazing what you can catch when you spam the F1 button twice a second.

12 hours ago, MiffedStarfish said:

That first shot is weirdly creepy...

Haha, thanks. That's not even the creepiest one I think. Here's an honorable mention that I didn't include because I didn't want to overuse the same pose too much. I like this one because it gives a real feeling of hiding behind a building but looking up and seeing that you've been caught.


Edited by HvP
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On 6/22/2017 at 2:42 PM, HvP said:

With over 50 Oscar-B tanks and 40 FL-A10 adapters per leg that means that fully half of the part count is in the legs, unsurprisingly.

These are what I'm most impressed with... the legs look very organic, and the curves flow beautifully, which I know is not nearly as easy as it might first seem.

VERY well done!!!  :wink:

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My grateful appreciation again to everyone for your wonderful comments.

I had been working on an updated model with grasping tentacles but I think I broke the VAB. I keep getting log spam due to what I think is too many parts connected in series (Error: Too deep hierarchy to perform rigidbody ordering. Nested rigidbodies might look strange). It has corrupted the craft file for the model I was working on which now will not load in the VAB :( Still, it is only a delay, I have backed up the three original models and I have something else planned but will take a while.

In the mean time, the brave Kerbals have mustered some ingenious counter attacks against the Martians.

First, Cavor Kerman tried to infiltrate their home planet in his spacecraft, but a navigational error sent him a little off course.Q0dTio2.png

But here we see H. G. Kerman with his assistant Dr. Griffin Kerman in an attempt to use their new inventions to stop this war before it even begins.


Edited by HvP
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10 hours ago, Majorjim! said:

Are the tripods 100% stock?

Close but not entirely. @EpicSpaceTroll139 is correct about which mods were used for what. Procedural wings for the collar, TweakScale to taper the legs and for the heat rays. Since they can't walk they were placed with VesselMover.


9 hours ago, EpicSpaceTroll139 said:

I think a similar beast could be made fully stock, if perhaps with not such splendid looks

Very possibly. At first I tried to make the collars using stock wings and panels, but the angles were driving me crazy. I've seen some remarkable use of stock wings by players more skilled at reproductions than myself, so I'm sure they could be done better.

I figured that the key to getting the legs to look right was to make sure they had a gentle taper and TweakScale was the only way I knew of to accomplish that realistically. But constant diameter legs wouldn't look bad either.

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On 7/4/2017 at 9:36 AM, Spaceception said:

How long did it take to test? I imagine it took awhile to get the legs right.

I went through about three different iterations before settling on the design you see here. I had the overall designs complete after about four or five hours work spread out over the course of a few days when I had time to work on them.

While adjusting the legs was a bit tedious, once I got into a groove it wasn't too bad. The main problem is that while a tripod is stable as long as the center of mass is somewhere over a triangle formed by the three feet, flexing of the legs can easily cause the mass to sway outside of those lines and -- well they ended up on their back a lot, with lots of fireworks.

The other problem is trying to give them a sense of being in motion. A tripod would have to walk similarly to us by shifting the center of gravity forward allowing them to "fall" onto the foot that is coming down in front. This can't be done with static models in KSP -unless I'm quick enough to catch a screenshot before they fall on their face. It is possible to have the model stable on two feet if the center of mass falls on a line directly between the two points of contact with the ground. That's something I have managed to do for my next series of scenes.

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