As a child, I grew up watching many of the hugely popular Supermarionation puppet shows produced by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, particularly Stingray, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, and Joe 90.
My favourite show, by far, was Thunderbirds. I used to watch the Tracy brothers of International Rescue go and save the world, usually after successfully getting out of self-created difficulties.
Andrew Clark's Thunderbirds Are Go Ideas project is nearing the end of its available time. I have featured this project in a previous Ideas Showcase article and I would really like to see this project reach 10,000 Supporters.
Read on as I describe a recent update that Andrew has made to this project. You will also get a chance to vote on whether you prefer the new project update.
The Thunderbirds Are Go Ideas Project is based on the recent animated TV series.
Thunderbird 2 is the large, green VTOL aircraft that is used in most of International Rescue's earth-based rescue missions.
Thunderbird 2 is one of the best known Thunderbird vehicles, and it is capable of transporting pods.
The pods are capable of carrying a selection of support craft used for different rescue missions, most notably:
- Thunderbird 4, a small, yellow utility submersible for underwater rescue.
- The Mole, a high-speed, manned 30-ton tunnelling machine.
- Elevator Cars that are used at airports to enable stricken aircraft to land safely.
The pods add more scope for play features.
Andrew Clark comments, "When I started designing the model I had seen several episodes of Thunderbirds Are Go, and additionally, I gathered reference material."
"This project did teach me a lesson: never make assumptions. I added the Master Elevator Car assuming that it would be in the new series. I later learned it does not seem to show in the new series. So a life lesson learned, don't assume the new series has it."
In this version of Thunderbird 2, the four legs swing down raising the aircraft. This is so that the pods can open up revealing the support craft carried inside.
The five Tracy brothers were named after astronauts from the NASA Mercury programme:
- John Tracy after John Glenn.
- Alan Tracy after Alan Shepard.
- Scott Tracy after Scott Carpenter.
- Virgil Tracy after Gus Grissom whose real first name was Virgil.
- Gordon Tracy after Gordon Cooper.
The first Mercury flight, Freedom 7, occurred 58 years ago on May 5, 1961.
The Mini Figure Trophies are small enough to fit into the cockpit of Thunderbird 2.
Andrew has responded to the feedback on the project's Comments Tab, "Many people felt the project was missing a detailed minifigure of a least one of the members of International Rescue."
"I recently updated the project to include a Minifigure, as while the micro figures give a good sense of scale, their size and lack of being poseable can be a deal breaker for fans, so now the main pilot of Thunderbird 2, Virgil, has been added as an update," he said.
Thunderbirds Are Go
Thunderbirds Are Go is a TV series produced by ITV Studios and Pukeko Pictures that first aired in 2015.
The series was produced using scale models, miniature effects and CGI.
Thunderbird 2 has a very angular look, particularly the square looking Super Charge Intake System and Primary Thruster Engines down each side of the fuselage.
Andrew Clark has re-created this modern looking Thunderbird 2 extremely well.
The original series of Thunderbirds
The original Thunderbirds was produced between 1964 and 1966 using a form of electronic marionette puppetry and was first seen in the United Kingdom on the ITV network in 1965.
Gerry Anderson and his model making team extensively used LEGO bricks in the models back in the 1960s. Take a look at these images and see whether you can find the LEGO bricks.
Andrew comments, "The original series Thunderbird 2 was more organic, and I was not sure, back then, if I could pull it off. So I decided to base this project on the new series where Thunderbird 2 is more angular in the central body section."
In a recent Update, Andrew has managed to effectively re-create the curved, organic look of the original Thunderbird design.
The updated design does have a few drawbacks: the legs clip-on rather than swing up and down. Andrew would have preferred to have telescopic legs but he could not find a good way to achieve that.
The pods lift up instead of slide down.
Poll: Which Thunderbird version do you prefer?
The modern version based on Thunderbirds Are Go from 2015
The updated version based on the original Thunderbirds of the 1960s
Andrew is the designer of two, very popular, LEGO Ideas sets that have gone into production:
In this three-minute video, Andrew describes his Thunderbirds LEGO Ideas Set Proposal.
Let's get this project to 10K
This project has just over 7,500 Supporters with only three months to go until it expires.
Let's see if we can get this project all the way to 10K.
That's easily achievable with only 30 new Supporters per day.
You have been Fully Advised and Briefed, F-A-B.