“Sabermarionation” A Saber for Gerry Anderson Day (with The Atomic Mage)

Hello everybody….Stand By For Action, anything could happen in the next 30 minutes. Today is a big day for two reasons, firstly my good friend The Atomic Mage (The Vintage Toy Advertiser also formerly known as TVTA) is posting his first BIG post on his new blog (click here to visit : https://theatomicmage.wordpress.com/) and he has asked me to do a collaboration with him to celebrate another great talent…namely Gerry Anderson and his puppet television and live shows from the 1960’s to the 2020’s. So shall we begin?

The Atomic Mage informed me last week that April the 14th is International Gerry Anderson Day and asked if I could design/build something special for the event. I immediately set to work and in just over 24 hrs I had an idea and had sent an initial picture to his Mage. The design was inspired by one of Gerry Anderson’s most famous shows, Thunderbirds..but Mr Anderson had been in the TV industry since the 40’s as a producer/writer etc and had his first notable credit with “The Adventures of Twizzle”. Next up was a show named “Supercar” and was a puppet/animatronic based show that along with “Fireball XL5” set the basis for Thunderbirds. I won’t labour too much on the history of Mr Anderson’s work as I’m sure his Mage has much more detailed stories to tell, but it was Thunderbirds that I used as inspiration for this new design. I was a fan of Stingray, an aquatic themed puppet show with a super submarine but that didn’t lend itself to being converted into a saber…but there was a Thunderbird vehicle I thought fit the bill…Thunderbird 3!

I immediately saw some potential in this striking red ship and I began modelling to convert TB3 into “Sabermarionation”. I came up with the name after the name of the technique Mr Anderson gave to his style of puppetry which was “Supermarionation”. These were puppets which contained and used electronically controlled features for the face and mechanics of the vehicle models. Ok enough talking, I’m sure you want to see pictures and the first batch is a slide show of the modelling process I went through to build the 3D model…

As you can see I started with a cylinder then modified the thickness along it’s length to mimic the fuselage body. I managed to add the “cooling fins” halfway up the ship. Then I added the outrigger struts which held the secondary engine nacelles. When I finished the nacelles and realised the model would work I added a bit of colour which helped me add detailing. Finally I added the texturing and lettering – all of which is firmly embossed onto the skin of the model and I added a belt clip attachment (the black wheel appendage known as a Covertech). It may not look like I did much to convert this but that was the beauty of picking TB3, I just needed to thicken the upper fuselage and nose cone to form a handgrip and the engine exhaust and nacelles formed a ready made emitter! To activate the saber all you have to do is twist the handgrip. Now again I think it is time to see this hilt in some Glamour Shots…

Hopefully these images show off the saber and all it’s details. I am particularly pleased with the lettering and the outrigger struts, because if you look closely at the struts you will see I even added the small black oval adornments that give Thunderbird 3 a sort of squid like profile. And the final image I was just feeling “arty” and wanted an atmospheric picture to show off Gerry Anderson’s creation best.

Thunderbirds 1 to 5 weren’t Mr Anderson’s only creations, he and his designers (including his then wife Sylvia) came up with many characters and vehicles for many more shows including “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons”, “Joe 90”, the aforementioned “Stingray” and later in the 70’s the shows “UFO” and “Space 1999” with it’s famous Eagle starships. Long time followers of mine may recall I made an Eagle saber way back in Feb 2017!

Some other creations included…

There was a pink Rolls Royce known as FAB 1, then the SHADO Moonbase Intercetor from UFO, Captain Scarlet’s Spectrum Pursuit vehicle and in the 1980’s the show Terrahawks featured characters such as Zelda, Cystar, and Yung Star – all cybernetic mystic aliens that try to invade Earth but are thwarted by the forces of The Earth Defence Squadron or Terrahawks as they are known due to the ships they fly. They also each had an army of droids, Zelda had an army of Cubes whilst the Terras had the Zeroids…..WAIT A MINUTE! I think Atomic Mage has been snooping in my workshop! Can you see the spherical shaped droid face in that last picture? That is Sgt Major Zero and he was going to be my “Special Mystery Guest”! I figured I hadn’t worked hard enough so I decided to model and refurbish the Sgt Major and give him a Blender 3D polish….oh well here is my Special Guest….Sgt Major Zero….

I will say first off that the Sgt Major’s panels are orientated differently, it is hard to find original Zeroid body panels nowadays 😁 but he is still a fully functioning droid and has made friends with my other robotic buddy “dROYd”! The body shell is made of a nice space alloy and features the rank markings of a Sgt Maj, as well as a gold rim around his eye socket housing. The adaptor sockets on the side of his dome are again firmly embossed 3D objects molded to follow his curved surface, just like the text on the saber above. Other details include articulated glowing eyes (I can animate them if needed), roundels on either side of his head, cooling ducts on the rear and a basic pedestal for him to sit atop when he isn’t rolling about. Sgt Maj Zero was a great character and may have influenced Lucasfilm into designing a rolling spherical droid known as BB-8!

Mr Gerry Anderson and some of his creations

Well I think that nearly brings me to the end of this tribute to Gerry Anderson and my first collaboration for Atomic Mage’s new blog. I hope you enjoyed it and if you haven’t seen any Anderson produced shows then check them out. You can also visit the official Gerry Anderson Website using this link: https://www.gerryanderson.co.uk/

Thank you for joining me and The Atomic Mage in celebrating Gerry Anderson Day. Thank you Atomic, for your challenge to me, I hope I passed the test and am ready for International Rescue. And my special guest Sgt Major Zero would like the last word, so from me For Tyeth stay safe and Till next time….take it away Sarge….

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

The Atomic Mage can be found at: https://theatomicmage.wordpress.com/

“Sabermarionation” is a For Tyeth Editions lightsaber design inspired by the work of Gerry Anderson and the tv show Thunderbirds. “Thunderbirds”, “Thunderbird 3”, “Stingray” and all other Anderson creations/shows, names, logos, images and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Anderson Entertainment 1960-2021. All 3D models and renders were created by For Tyeth/FTSabersite and are ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2021.

17 thoughts on ““Sabermarionation” A Saber for Gerry Anderson Day (with The Atomic Mage)”

  1. Reblogged this on The Atomic Mage and commented:
    Greetings atomic mates. It’s been a while since I made a collaboration post with my good friend and fellow blogger FT at FTSabersite so today I am pleased to present our newest project in our joint series “TV & Film Inspired Lightsabers” We make tribute to Gerry Anderson who was the English television and film writer, director and producer of hit shows such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons, Joe 90, Stingray, Space: 1999, Terrahawks and others. Please check out FT’s fantastic “Sabermarionation” designs at the link, and as well enjoy some wonderful vintage images from my archives showing the work of Gerry Anderson and his co-creators across the years… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 …

  2. Happy Gerry Anderson Day!
    You did so well, FT, an amazing and cool tribute saber there with TB3 being the perfect Anderson ship to go with… plus the ‘Special Mystery Guest’ Sgt Maj Zero pics! I had a feeling it would be that from your little clue in the mail, and interesting you say how Disney might have been influenced by this character for a certain BB8 – as soon as I see Zero that’s who I think of.
    It’s been nice to do another project like this with you, and thanks for your links to The Atomic Mage who is your co-host this time around 😎

    1. Hello Paul and Happy Gerry Anderson Day to you also. I am so glad you liked the post and collaboration as I have to admit it was a bit of a rush job. Normally I take at least a fortnight to get a design ready for publishing (I have an old slow laptop that takes forever to render my images) so when Atomic suggested that we work together again I dropped all my other projects. Luckily Thunderbird 3 leant itself perfectly to be converted into a lightsaber….but Sgt Maj Zero was a complete build, I just had a ball to start with. It was great fun and an honour to help launch The Atomic Mage so thanks again in helping.

  3. Ever since I landed upon the shores of your blog home, through TVTA, apart from your passion one thing stood out: the attention to detail.
    And to see you maintain them both alive is a feat in it’s own right.
    The Mage could not have a better way to cut the celebratory ribbon than your Saber!

    1. Hello Spira, that is so kind of you to say. I try to add as much detail as I can so as to cement the theme to the saber but it is a balancing act not to overdo adding bits.. However it is these details that I have found, that bring a design to life and even when I design a totally bespoke hilt for a friend or individual I look for details about that person to incorporate into the design (sometimes it may be a person’s tattoo or a logo/emblem associated to them).
      And in regards to The Mage, he does bring out the best in me when he “challenges” me.
      I shall be sure to read up on your past posts as I just subscribed! MTFBWY.

    1. Hello Resa and thank you so much from both The Mage and I. I mention in my post that I was a fan of Stingray as it was the final program in the Saturday Morning Kids scheduling here in the UK when I was young. I even saved tokens from a breakfast cereal promotion and sent off to get a die cast metal Stingray model. I thought from the promo images that it would be in a nice presentation packaging but alas it just came in a plain white cardboard box…but I still have it to this day. So yes, I remember the theme tune vividly…and they just don’t compose tunes like this anymore!

      1. HI FT, did your Stingray box have any references on it like serial numbers or the name of the breakfast cereal brand? I ask because sometimes toys sent as offers in their original mailaway cartons are highly collectable, and even if its just a plain box can be desirable.
        I replied to Resa how the end credits of Stingray was always enchanting to see as a kid. The other titles I remember well is for Joe 90 – captivating. Thunderbirds was cool because of the tension of the countdown. Don’t recall Captain Scarlet right now so off to the you of tube I go!

      2. Hi there Mage, the box was just a plain white cardboard pack with “Made in China” printed on it (there may have been a carton number though not 100% certain).
        On the underside it just had ITC Television’s Trademark/Copyright marks along with the Matchbox markings circa 1992 – so not as old as I thought! Anyhoo, it kinda looks like this…

        I found it in a bag under my desk believe it or not! It’s amazing how it just surfaced🤣.

        P.S. It came from a Kellogg’s Cornflakes promo.

      3. Very cool how it landed on the dry dock of your laptop too 😁. What a cool little promotion though! After my recent Kellogg’s family connection posts over at TVTA, I can only say that Kellogg’s keep going higher in my estimation when I see promos like this.

      4. Hello Mage, yes it just happened that the Stingray was in a bag of assorted “clutter” I had under my desk. I moved into this cave/flat about 5 years ago and still have bits and pieces I haven’t unpacked.
        Kelloggs. and I have to say Nabisco were good with their promotions. You may recall Weetabix had a great promo giving away audio cassette tapes of Top 20 hits (such as Tears for Fears’ Shout, Billy Ocean’s When The Going Gets Tough etc) The only problem with these promos was higher intake of fibre they created. You had to eat a lot of boxes of cereal to get the tokens……I was regular for months afterward!

    2. Hi Resa, thanks for the cool comments on our collaboration for this special day. Nice to see the Stingray end credits again that you linked, it always enchanted me as a kid.

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