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GMRC Series 2 - Episode 2 - 'Classic books'

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On 21/09/2019 at 13:51, Phil Parker said:

 

  • Tripods are rubbish as fighting machines. As soon as you lift a foot, the thing falls over. The makes of the BBC series The Tripods had a real issue with this and invented some sort of anti-gravity device to make them appear to work.
  • Tieing some one to the tracks as at the start of this show, never actually happened in a silent movie.

 

If a two legged person lifts a leg they don't fall over and plenty of cats and dogs are able to get around with just three legs. Although humans may not have yet built an effective three legged fighting machine, what makes you think aliens from Mars haven't mastered that skill.

 

Maybe not a silent movie, but Emma Peel was tied to the tracks of the Stapleford miniature railway in an episode of the Avengers.

 

 

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Well if we're going to get stuck into pedantry .........

 

When Wells wrote the book, would he have been aware that Mars' gravity is a fraction of earth's? Since that would be determinable from basic Newtonian mechanics you would expect him to know that, but have his Martians accounted for that in the design of their tripods?

 

Also what were Wells' politics? Was his story of invasion by aliens with vastly superior weaponry a bit of a nudge to his readers of the time. A sort of "hey you smug Brits, when we conquered the Empire, we, with our Gatling guns and artillery were the Martians, and the natives with spears and clubs were the earthlings"

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3 hours ago, grahame said:

Although humans may not have yet built an effective three legged fighting machine, what makes you think aliens from Mars haven't mastered that skill.

 

The chances of anyone from Mars doing this are a million to one they say.

 

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18 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

 

The chances of anyone from Mars doing this are a million to one they say.

 

 

..... But still they came (goes the song).

 

While here on Earth we seem to have mastered two legged robots that can walk, run and climb stairs. When I saw Honda's Asimo demonstrated in Tokyo some years ago he was very impressive.

 

 

 

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I understand 2 legs to be easier than 3 - you shift the centre of gravity from side to side whereas for a stiff-legged tripod the CoG is to one side of the 2 legs on the ground every time you lift the third, at least that's the problem the Tripods filmmakers had. As someone else has suggested, the illustrations for the original Wells story show a flexible leg tripod which would seem to solve the problem as the CoG can be moved, presumably what 3-legged animals learn to do. Or maybe they just didn't care - the image is compelling enough anyway. 

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On 27/09/2019 at 12:49, whart57 said:

Well if we're going to get stuck into pedantry .........

 

When Wells wrote the book, would he have been aware that Mars' gravity is a fraction of earth's? Since that would be determinable from basic Newtonian mechanics you would expect him to know that, but have his Martians accounted for that in the design of their tripods?

 

Also what were Wells' politics? Was his story of invasion by aliens with vastly superior weaponry a bit of a nudge to his readers of the time. A sort of "hey you smug Brits, when we conquered the Empire, we, with our Gatling guns and artillery were the Martians, and the natives with spears and clubs were the earthlings"

Wells was a socialist but was strongly opposed to Marxism. He was a member of the Fabian Society (until he fell out with it) and stood as a Labour candidate in the 1922 & 1923 general elections. He believed in the idea of a future world government, but was no imperialist and set out his ideas in his 1940 book The New World Order which is available for free here http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks04/0400671h.html. It makes for interesting reading.

 

Of course, although the narrator and everyone else in War of the Worlds assumed that the creatures coming from Mars were therefore Martians, we would understand that they may have come from much further afield and were simply using Mars as a forward base from which to mount their invasion of our far more promising planet. 

Edited by Pacific231G
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17 minutes ago, Phil Parker said:

I understand 2 legs to be easier than 3 - you shift the centre of gravity from side to side whereas for a stiff-legged tripod the CoG is to one side of the 2 legs on the ground every time you lift the third, at least that's the problem the Tripods filmmakers had. As someone else has suggested, the illustrations for the original Wells story show a flexible leg tripod which would seem to solve the problem as the CoG can be moved, presumably what 3-legged animals learn to do. Or maybe they just didn't care - the image is compelling enough anyway. 

 

The Martian tripod fighting machines all seem to have articulated legs with 'knees' in them rather than straight stiff-legged ones, like the Woking Martian :

 

Woking_tripod.jpg.bc7bf2648a6908fbe0837ca847bb2440.jpg

 

and also model versions such as those from Comet Models and Midnight Models. And didn't R2D2 have three legs (although I seem to recall they had wheels on the bottom of them).

 

Asimo has knees - I don't suppose a stiff straight two legged robot would have much mobility either :

 

100_0069.JPG.f9975556c6eccba16d6dd94b432d206b.JPG

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, grahame said:

 

If a two legged person lifts a leg they don't fall over and plenty of cats and dogs are able to get around with just three legs. Although humans may not have yet built an effective three legged fighting machine, what makes you think aliens from Mars haven't mastered that skill.

 

Maybe not a silent movie, but Emma Peel was tied to the tracks of the Stapleford miniature railway in an episode of the Avengers.

 

 

 

Most quadrupeds are bipeds using their arms! Ever wondered why you have shoulder of pork or mutton? The two front 'legs' are classified as arms!

 

Why do photographers use tripods and not quadpods? Three legs are statically more stable that four!

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Thats why we have three legged stools, they sit without wobbling on any uneven surface.

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20 minutes ago, JohnDMJ said:

Why do photographers use tripods and not quadpods? Three legs are statically more stable that four!

 

5 minutes ago, PhilJ W said:

Thats why we have three legged stools, they sit without wobbling on any uneven surface.

 

Yep, I guess we all know that. But they tend to be static - we don't often see stools and camera tripods striding across fields and rivers and sinking ships, although they might make good stable gun platforms.

 

:D

 

 

 

 

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28 minutes ago, grahame said:

 

 

although they might make good stable gun platforms.

 

Ray guns maybe, like in the book.

 

For projectile weapons you need an uneven tripod to deal with the recoil:

 

DSC09275__73742.1534533715.1280.1280.JPG

 

Not ideal for striding anywhere

 

Three minutes to episode 3

 

Richard

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Cup of Scald Made and a few biccies at the Ready. will I regret the next 60 mins is not spent in me shed though after watching it?

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1 hour ago, grahame said:

 

 

Yep, I guess we all know that. But they tend to be static - we don't often see stools and camera tripods striding across fields and rivers and sinking ships, although they might make good stable gun platforms.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/emoticons/default_biggrin.png

 

 

 

 

If they lift one leg off the ground, they fall over!

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That's the whole point of them being tripods. The casual reader of the time would know that it was not something that was capable of being made with the technology of the time.

 

The book is a riff on invasion literature and a deliberate swipe at colonialism. The tripod is an analogy for Breech Loading Rifles, Machine Gun and Artillery.

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4 minutes ago, Aire Head said:

The tripod is an analogy for Breech Loading Rifles, Machine Gun and Artillery.

 

They must have been bloody good at spotting an analogy

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8 minutes ago, RLWP said:

 

They must have been bloody good at spotting an analogy

 

Unfortunately that tends to be the problem

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7 minutes ago, Aire Head said:

 

Unfortunately that tends to be the problem

 

:D

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On 27/09/2019 at 19:57, RLWP said:

 

For projectile weapons you need an uneven tripod to deal with the recoil:

 

Mmm.. does a heat ray have recoil?

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44 minutes ago, Professor Yaffle said:

Mmm.. does a heat ray have recoil?

 

I guess is depends. If it is firing photons, no - photons have no mass

 

Richard

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Well, we’ll all find out how a tripod walks as the BBC announced tonight that a “War of the Worlds” drama is starting soon.  I expect some bright spark will accuse the BBC of bias though lol.

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I've often wondered about the fairly common association of Wells' Thunder Child with the real HMS Polyphemus.

 

Polyphemus (1882) was a 'torpedo ram', an experimental highly-specialised vessel developed to exploit the relatively new technology of the 'locomotive torpedo' as a weapon, with a heavy 'ram' bow as backup.  The ship was semi-submersible in her action state, for what we would now call 'stealth' purposes and carried no guns to speak of except a handful of Nordenfelt small-calibre semi-automatic cannon for self-defence.  It is difficult to see, therefore, what use such a ship would have been against a Martian tripod machine.

 

However, RN battleships continued to be built with 'ram bows' - increasingly vestigial - some way into the 20th century, and although ramming as a realistic fleet tactic had fallen from favour after the introduction of quick-firing guns, the concept lingered longer in public imagination than it did as a practical fighting technique.  It's possible that Wells - so ahead of his time in most respects - was simply behind the times with his naval technology!

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The book describes Thunderchild as a torpedo ram, and which did ram a martian, while the very nice album artwork (Jeff Waynes musical version of WOTW) appears it to be based on a Canopus class pre-dreadnaught ironclad battleship which fired on a martian and  ramed another "bringing it down in sheets of flame" before another martian "melted it's valiant heart" with the heat ray (if I recall the lyrics correctly).

 

I think the boat/ship featured on the layout was neither of those. 

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Perhaps the 'ram bows' were retained to deal with submarines?

 

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I think that the ship on the layout was based on the Airfix MTB, motor torpedo boat.

 

This is 1:72 scale.

 

AirfixBoxArt.jpg.681b6f466f222ecdc9447f72698669fc.jpg

 

Revell also make the MTB in 1:72 scale...

 

It is a bit smaller than the Flower Class Corvette kit, once made by Matchbox, that is also about the "right" scale....

 

https://modelingmadness.com/review/misc/ships/spahrvosp.htm

 

 

Edited by Sarahagain
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6 minutes ago, Sarahagain said:

I think that the ship on the layout was based on the Airfix MTB, motor torpedo boat.

 

This is 1:72 scale.

 

Revell also make the MTB in 1:72 scale...

 

It is a bit smaller than the Flower Class Corvette kit, once made by Matchbox, that is also about the "right" scale....

 

https://modelingmadness.com/review/misc/ships/spahrvosp.htm

 

 

The Matchbox Flower Class Corvette is still available made by Revell.

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