|H.G. Wells's Land Ironclad|
Few science fiction works are as uncannily accurate in fortelling the future as a short story published in 1903 by H.G. Wells. It portrays a conflict remarkably similar to the trench warfare of the First World War, in which the two sides face each other across a no-man's land. Wells describes the invention that breaks the stalemate between the combatants -- an armoured, all-terrain vehicle that can withstand small-arms fire and cross trenches. We know these vehicles as tanks. Wells's name for his creations, and the title of his story, was The Land Ironclads.
Wells envisioned a huge, hundred-foot-long vehicle propelled by eight pairs of pedrails, wheels ringed with flexible feet to give traction. He also gave his vehicles innovative weapons: remotely controlled rifles with an advanced sighting system that gave tremendous accuracy even while moving.
Although the massive size of the land ironclad is in hindsight clearly impractical, in almost every other respect Wells accurately predicts the coming age of mechanized land warfare.
This model builds into a detailed 1/110 scale (compatible with 15mm figures) replica of the land ironclad. The completed model is slightly over 10 inches in length. You will need a colour printer capable of handling card or cover stock to print the parts sheets. 67 lb cover stock (approx 8.5 thousandths of an inch or 0.2 mm thick) is recommended.
Note to webmasters! If you want to offer this kit on your site, please read this first.
The model files
The parts and instructions are in Adobe PDF format, and have been compressed into ZIP files for faster transfer. They should work on any Windows, Macintosh, OS/2 or Unix/Linux computer. You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader and an un-ZIP program.
If files are unavailable or slow to download, try at a different time of day, when the file servers may be less busy.
Primary site: Follow this link to download the instruction and parts files.
Secondary site: Not currently available.
The Land Ironclads - The complete H.G. Wells short story. Two versions are available in PDF format: one text-only, and the other a reproduction of the original Strand Magazine pages, including illustrations. Ebook versions for Handhelds are also available. The hosting site, The Scrapboard, contains many other interesting articles pertaining to military matters.
The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories (Amazon.com) - This anthology of 30 science fiction short stories includes The Land Ironclads.
H.G. Wells - Biography and Works - An online collection of most of Wells's other novels and short stories.
Last updated on 8 February 2010
Copyright 2003-2010 by Ralph Currell