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!
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….
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.