Another brilliant layout from Andy


Some time ago some friends and I were discussing what we could do to capture the interest of the young and old. The advent of video games and “green screen” technologies produces a realism that really ups the stakes for today’s modeler. If we cannot capture and inspire then the younger generation will just move on to something that does. So how do we do that?

As such I like to build modules that capture the imagination, whether it is in the details or the entire scene. Some are serious modules while others are meant to be “Out of the Box” One such module is my “War of the Worlds Module” this is a double module (single wide) and it brings the 1953 George pal version to life with the 2005 Steven Spielberg version. You would be surprised at how the module starts some conversations with the young and old alike. Grandparents telling their pre-teen and teenage grandchildren all about the original and its effects on society then, Grandkids talking about the walkers and how the effects are so much better (of course) but yet did not have the impact of the original H.G. Wells radio version. Lots of attention grabbing and questions, lots of interest and after all that IS what we are shooting for if we want the hobby to continue.

The Module started out with a double bridge and I had to come up with a way to make the ships seem as if they were flying. I used baling wire and some woodland scenic trees and produced a stand for each. I needed to be able to run the fine wire (magnet wire) down the trees and to the “Strobe” module and the power source below. It is easily covered with the foam from the trees. The strobe module comes from “Iron Penguin” and is actually a welding strobe but works great for this purpose.

The walker is a Pegasus models offering and I built in a few “extras” the most obvious is the LEDs and SMLeds (look at the pincers) these were a meticulous labor of love and took some creative wiring to get it all into the shell. Along with that I added a “wireless: camera” that transmits to a receiver that puts the Pilots perspective up on the screen. People can watch the trains as they pass under the walker and through the bridge. I still have not figured out how to create the “Train on fire” from the movie but I am working on it. Here are some pictures of what I have created on this one module.



Just loved Andy’s take on War of the Worlds. And to crow bar it in to a layout, too – genius!

Don’t forget the latest ebay cheat sheet, which is here. Now’s the the time to bag a great deal.



29 Responses to Another brilliant layout from Andy

  1. THOMAS says:


  2. We’re can I get them buy for I scale

  3. I meant o scale we’re can I get them

  4. Toni Olivar says:

    Dag nab it. Takes me back to listening to the original radio play that I heard years ago and remembering watching the first movie version as a child and then watching the second movie version as an adult a few years back.

    The radio play allowed our young minds and imaginations to fill in what we could not see, the first movie wowed us with state-of-the-art special effects of that time, and the second movie again impressed us with the current state of special effects. And now this to rekindle wanting to re-watch the movies again.

    Looking at the alien Walker in your module, ran goose-bumps up my arms and a tingle down my spine. As Bob Hope used to say: “Thanks for the memories.”

  5. Mike Wilson says:

    Extremely clever. I thought it was fantastic.

  6. John says:

    Brings to life two hobbies: modeling and model railroading. Well done!

  7. JohnE says:

    Excellent!!! The theme (War of the Worlds) is outstanding for trains. Very good job and the models (of the Martians) are exceptional. Would like to see the whole setup put together some day.

  8. James Quirk says:

    Andy’s “Brilliant’ module is short of a few concerns. A house that close to the tracks and facing them would be unlikely and a car with no apparent road or driveway.
    I am to be a judge for the American Woodcarvers Conference, and was told an excellent horse model was rejected for not showing hoof prints on the ground around it.

  9. Rick says:

    Totally brilliant and awesome.

  10. Jaaques Shellaque says:

    How to bring the logic, sanity, creativity, order and
    balance from the model RR world into the “real” world?
    I’d surely vote for any politician claiming that (s)he is
    a model railroader!!

  11. Ray Appenzeller says:

    I love it! It’s a brilliant concept! Your a genius at incorporating two hobbies into one and adding diversity of thought into the typical layout. I really enjoyed looking at your photographs of your layout. It does take me back quite a few years now, I was born in 1954, love old movies and H.G. Wells. I remember listening to old recordings of the actual radio show of Orson Wells as a kid. It was really something neat as a child especially if a kid loved space stuff, aliens, always watching NASA’s launching of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo on a old B&W TV. Movies and comic books. My mind as a kid was filled with all sorts of futuristic stuff and aliens. I was into trains as well. But you incorporated both worlds into one. I have only one thing to say and it is not anything against anyone. I am getting older now and things are becoming harder to see even with glasses. Is there anyway that the photographs that are shown could be enlarged to help see some of the detailing? If I enlarge it some it becomes blurry and pixels form. Thank you very much and thanks for sharing everything.

  12. maverick405 says:

    Great stuff, a true modeller like myself, not necessarily a railway modeller.

  13. @ Jesus, The the 2005 Spielberg War of the Worlds Walker only comes in 1/144 scale that I know of, the Copper plated 1953 George Pal war machine comes in 1/48th scale and they are available from Pegasus Hobbies.
    @ Toni, That is exactly what I was shooting for, and it does tend to start those exact conversations helping to bridge the gap of young and old with a focus on Model Railroading, it gets them looking and Interested!
    @ James Quirk, The “house” is a cabin set off in the woods and is meant to be isolated otherwise. the only vehicles I have next to it or near it are Humvees and they don’t need roads, BUT that said point taken I will move to correct.
    It is too bad Alistair could not post the last two pictures of the Camera streaming the video from the Pilots perspective, the was a real challenge getting that camera in there…
    Love to hear your comments and ways to improve the scene. Just finishing another Corner Module That ties into the 1953 version with a scene right out of the movie!!

  14. Glenn says:

    A very nice module to start a conversation on. I would have been a little hard to display the 1954 version. Thank goodness that newest version went back to the original book described how the Martins vehicles looked like.

  15. chris says:

    love it, fantastic job on the martian

  16. paul Otway says:

    I like your bridge

  17. John Allen says:

    WOW that takes me back to watching war of the worlds from behind the sofa!!

  18. james says:

    very interesting, interesting….. loved the movie(1953)was really scared when I was a boy

  19. Kenn says:

    Excellent! I love the detail in the War of the Worlds. This was inspiring.

  20. Another great idea for my N scale rebuild.

    I thank you kindly.


  21. F. Douglas Elliott says:

    A really great idea for my N scale layout.

    Than you kindly

    Douglas Elliott

  22. wayne sund says:

    Brilliant! Very nice layout, and gives me some ideas. Cheers!

  23. Jon Cleveland says:

    Great concept. I love model building (probably explains why I love to build structures) and I would love to see more incorporation of the 2 hobbies, i.e: Revell’s (?) Big Boy locomotive, which I am adding to my mid 1970s layout as a last holdout, way back in the yard, where the guys at the service barn can’t bear to see such a beauty cut up for scrap, as so many excellent steam locos were. They have been allowed to keep and maintain the old loco, but she never leaves the yard. Your module inspires, and that is the artist’s side of model railroading.

  24. Rod Mackay says:

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for that, made my day.

  25. Ian says:

    Thinking about technology…by the time our young generation of high tech geniuses mature…..won’t model railways be 3D holograms?

  26. Stan Fleming says:

    I think this sort of thing is disgusting and —. Actually I think it is great. I admire the time, effort, skill, and imagination required to even attempt such modeling let alone the completed result. Unfortunately this is beyond my ability so I just applaud your result. Stan

  27. Tony says:

    I rented a house for awhile that was exactly 20 feet from the tracks. It also faced the tracks. When it was built the only way into the neighborhood was by rail service according to the gentleman I rented from. The train stoped in the morning and in the evening. The road was just put in about 25 years ago but the comunity has been there for much longer. It started as a logging camp.

  28. Ben says:

    I realize some will say that I totally missed the point. I get it. I admire the work behind the frightening creature. And, of course, I admire excellent railroad modeling and scene creation. I just don’t care for a concept that mixes the two. However, that is my own personal philosophy and not a criticism of a perspective expressing that others obviously feel differently.

  29. Kurt says:

    Absolutely brilliant , and here I thought my wife and I were the only ones to mix sci-fi with Model railroading… The wife just loves her crop circles on the farming section of our train table… I wish you could view the photos full size to see all the detailed work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *