Tag Archives: TVTA Challenge

“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 ūüėĀ 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.

For Tyeth News – A slight change in Schedule

Hello Everybody, today I have good and bad news (of a sort). Firstly my very good friend and “Challenger in Chief” – The Vintage Toy Advertiser (https://thevintagetoyadvertiser.org/2021/04/05/tvta-is-retiring/– )announced that after 10 stellar years of blogging about vintage toy advertisements and catalogues (as well as a lot of “pop culture” stuff for good measure too) he is closing down his office, so ending an era. But the good news is that TVTA has plans to start up a smaller, less time consuming blog in the future so he isn’t disappearing into the “Living Force” just yet! I mentioned that TVTA was my “Challenger in Chief”….well before he closes his current site he informed me that on April 14th is “Gerry Anderson Appreciation Day” – a day dedicated to the television genius that brought us shows like UFO, Stingray, Joe 90 and of course most famously….THUNDERBIRDS! To mark this day TVTA plans to post a tribute (either on his current site or as his first offering on his new site) and asked me if I could also come up with something for the day. I couldn’t turn down this request and I have been busy this past 3 days hammering out a design for a Gerry Anderson inspired saber, but this means that today I don’t have a regular post as I will be posting the Anderson saber on Wednesday 14th to co-ordinate with TVTA.

“BUT TYETH WHAT ABOUT US? We don’t have any eye candy today!”….Yes I am sorry but I hear you, which is why I have a few pictures of some up and coming designs I have in the FTSabersite pipeline. You didn’t really think I was going to neglect you all did you? Course not, so here is a sneak glimpse at my FTSaberCore Saber collection….

These are a set of sabers that if ever built would feature interchangeable electronics, so you could get a black and gold hilt along with a silver version and switch the internals between the two – meaning you would only need buy one electronics kit. I think these are pretty nice looking but there is more coming in future posts including more “High Republic” themed hilts (and a special Super Hero model with matching plinth!), a Frontier saber….and more Blaster inspired stuff! So plenty to look forward to (and maybe a costume!).

That brings me to the end of this slightly shorter/different post. I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to TVTA, you have become one of my best friends (not just online but in general life) and you have made me a better designer with all your “Toy Challenges”….I mean who would have thought I could create sabers based on Charlie’s Angels, Starsky and Hutch…..AND the Ghostbusters’ ECTO-1? I had to think well outside the box on those recommendations and I learnt so much. I also learnt about Chirashi pamphlets (Japanese/Asian cinema posters) the comic world of “Weird War Tales” and discovered a wealth of vintage furniture and homeware images from your catalogue collection (these helped me look at the art of design differently). As such I look forward to the launch of your new site and what that brings!

And I want to thank you viewers, for all the support you have shown me and TVTA, it is appreciated by both of us and I hope you will continue to call back to FTSabersite to see all the new stuff I have coming up AND keep supporting TVTA and his new site (I’ll post links when he sets everything up!). So remember Wednesday 14th I’ll have the Gerry Anderson Tribute and then I ‘ll return to my normal scheduled postings. Till next time….

“FTSaberCore Collection” are a set of sabers designed and modelled in Blender 3D by For Tyeth/FTSabersite and are ¬©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2021.

Bionic Battle Saber – Inspired by the Six Million Dollar Man and toys

Hello Everybody, today I am taking on another “The Vintage Toy Advertiser Challenge” and it will take us back to the 1970’s TV show starring Lee Majors…The Six Million Dollar Man. The show which was loosely based on a novel titled “Cyborg” written by Martin Caidin tells the story of an Airforce Test Pilot – Colonel Steve Austin. Steve Austin was testing a new vehicle called a “Lifting Body” known as the M2-F2, but suffered a near fatal crash. He survived but suffered massive injury resulting in him losing his right arm, both legs and his eye. During the opening intro sequence of the show you see a real life crash of an M2-F2 piloted by Bruce Peterson which took place on May 10th 1967. Peterson survived the horrific crash with just(?) a broken wrist and severe damage to the skin of his face (he did later lose his eye due to an infection that got into the injury), but in the TV show Steve Austin needed to be rebuilt…and you hear a government official state “we can rebuild him….faster, stronger….better! We have the technology!” And they did just that, giving Austin new bionic legs, an arm and a bionic eye. During the intro sequence there were lots of data screens and wireframe images of the medical operations so I had best show you the wireframe “techy” image I have of this new saber before I explain everything about it….Booster WIREFRAME MK

Now observant viewers may recognise this as looking a little bit like a rocket ship…and you would be sort of correct! The SMDM tv show was such a success that the toy company Kenner Toys brought out a range of toys and action figures. There was a Steve Austin figure with “bionic features” such as a spring loaded arm that lifted a model car engine. There was also an “Oscar Goldman” figure, Oscar being Austin’s boss after his recovery. Then there was this, the Bionic Transport and Repair Station (BTRS)…

The BTRS was Steve Austin’s special transport rocket which also opened up and doubled as an operating theatre/repair station for his bionic parts. There was an operating¬†theatre light cluster¬†in the base,¬†an X-ray unit (with glow in the dark images to represent the different body parts) and a myriad of tubes and cables to run “diagnostics” on Austin. So my challenge was to replicate this toy in saber form. Not my greatest challenge to be fair as it is already tubular in shape and looks Sci-Fi, but I had a lot of details to add to make it pop. To start with I built the booster rocket base (which formed the theatre¬†light cluster) and then worked my way up…so here are the pictures as it took shape…

So, as I mentioned I didn’t have much to do technically with this build but there were a lot of tiny details that I needed to add to solidify the look and leave you in no doubt what inspired it. The booster base acts as a pommel, featuring the four side pod booster engines as well as the main central booster and all the panelling. The main body of the hilt represents the main-stage body of the BTRS and houses the cockpit (more on this below), and the “stars and stripes” flag on the front. This flag is a 3D part, not just a graphic applied onto the model and I planned to use this flag as the activation switch for the hilt. The whole hilt body has little details like oxygen cylinders on the underside and various vents and panels. Two of the panels feature the name Kenner etched into them as¬†TVTA asked that I incorporated their logo into the design somehow. The saber is topped off with a blue nose cone that acts as the emitter. However…beneath this nosecone you will have noticed the glass window and maybe you will have picked out the figure of Steve Austin himself! I actually modelled a cockpit section and then pasted a picture of Austin inside that section. But I didn’t just leave it like that, I divided the panel the image was on and manipulated it so that it formed the contours of Austin’s face, head and shoulders…so he is actually 3D too! The saber wouldn’t be a saber with out a blade of course and this hilt has a red blade, not because Steve is a Sith Darksider but because¬†it matches with his famous red athletics “tracksuit”! You can see it in the images below, one is the real Kenner toy, one is my 3D model…

The Six Million Dollar Man show spawned numerous made for TV films and the show ran from 1973 to 1978 and the films ran into the 1980’s. And it seems the toys have lasted even longer! So I’d like to thank¬†TVTA once more for giving me the challenge of recreating this piece of nostalgia and I hope you all like it. (BTW I did actually own the Steve Austin, Oscar Goldman figures and I had a Bionic Transport Repair Station, so this one brought back memories for me).

I think that just about wraps up this design and as I said above I hope you enjoyed. I will be returning to the galaxy far, far, away next week as I have some staff weapons I need to show you all and I think you may recognise at least one of the owners. I’d like to thank all of you, my viewers and followers for again taking time to visit today and I hope you will return for my upcoming posts. Your support has been fantastic and much appreciated. Till next time…….I have the technology!

“Bionic Battle Saber” is a For Tyeth Editions design and is ¬©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2016-2019. The design was inspired by The Six Million Dollar Man tv show and the toys produced by Kenner Toys inc.¬† Respective Trademarks and ¬©Copyrights belong to Harve Bennett, Kenneth Johnson, ABC Television and NBC Universal Television Distribution and Kenner Toys/Hasbro.