How should I approach modeling this?

I am trying to model the Tripod from 2005 War Of The Worlds, I have tried 2 ways to start the model and I end up with weird geometry. Here is a video of what I have so far and also could you maybe link a good tutorial on modeling off of reference pictures. The problem I am having is currently the 3 Main lights on the front and the head of the tripod.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp6orQga_GY

Reference Photo: http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q83/blipper2/21b2.jpg

A blog that shows someone actually building a model with some good reference images too: http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=143928&page=2

What helps me mostly in modeling is to think the model not only one model, but a big group of smaller models. If you separate your mesh to multiple meshes, you end up with better geometry, because you don’t need so many loop cuts etc stuff. If its separate element in real life, you should definitely also model it as separate element.

When I started modeling I ended doing everything as single object. Once I even modeled a full featured car that has crazy topology, even the gear shift and steering wheel was done by extruding from the same mesh.

Should I use the layer system to separate the different parts of the model, or just model different parts in one layer?

This is a terminology mess.

In Blender we have objects of many types, which are manipulated in object mode. Editing the structure of one object is done in edit mode, and a mesh type object can consist of one connected mesh, or multiple mesh parts.

You can choose to have one mesh, multiple meshes, or you could have multiple objects. If you keep separate parts also as separate objects, you have to jump from one object to another in order to edit them, and will need to organize those objects. But those can also be joined in one object later, and you could use many types of objects that can also be converted later and joined if necessary.

One object could be considered as one model, or a group of objects could be considered a model. Doesn’t matter when keeping things in Blender but the situation can change when exporting to another application.

Thank you guys for the info, I just remodeled it from scratch and it looks awesome. Here is what it looks like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m70WTEHEFfs&feature=youtu.be