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Thunderbird 1 Research


With the TB2 + 4 threads underway, thought I'd get the Thunderbird 1 one started.
As with the others,
How many versions?
Where IS the door located
Where are the windows/ports located
Definately not silver though, clearly a grey and in some pics apparently not even metallic


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I would say at least two complete - one has the front fuselage split from the nose back to the wing sleeve, presumably to allow access for the Horizontal Landing/Take off pyro. This has smaller TB1 markings on the fuselage


The movie models were supposed to have a greater deal of detail than the TV version, but I always thought the TB1 movie version was somehow blander than the TV version. And it has suddenly struck me as why - it doesn't have the parallel black rings around the forward fuselage.



I should also mention that I have found Humbrol No.56, Aluminium quite a good match as it is not too metallic and quite greyish, buit I'm sure someone out there will have more technical paint details than I have.
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Captain Sci-Fi

Thunderbird conundrum....

Here's the thing, I have been scanning the stuff Adama sent me (Thanks mate) when I came across this, now I haven't checked to see if it has been published previously so forgive me if it has.

What is wrong with this scene?
The images are in order as a clue.



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Mike Delamar

it turns as its on the trolley?

it also comes out in the shot of it leaving the pool in front of the house at a different angle



Yep, it gets turned when it goes down the ramp. I can see why they did it as TB1 is more interesting from the front and the lettering is visible. Artistic licence. They fixed that in the movie.



The movie models were supposed to have a greater deal of detail than the TV version................

Some one clearly didn't get that memo :lol:

Image #6 This shot just after Scott says "Virg , I see them at 2 o clock" clearly Scott attended the Alan Carter school of navigation, as they are clearly at his 10 and 11 o clock.

Image #7 Scale blooper, given the Tiger moth is lower than TB2 and later we see it emerging from the pod, it looks a tad too big in this shot.

image #8&9 the answer to what happened to the models


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Thanks to Knight1966 for starting this thread. I hope the following is of some use to everyone.

Thunderbird 1 models varied in both structure and finish.

The main structural variations I've spotted in the television episodes (not the movies) are as follows:

Prominent seam of removable upper forward fuselage on some models. My guess (and it is only a guess) is that this panel was for access to the swing wing mechanism rather than the pyros.

Engine unit sharper, blockier and more angular on some models.

"Radiator baffles" on engine section variable in diameter.

There is or is not a window or viewport in the forward fuselage side.

The rocket for VTOL landings away from base does or does not protrude from the underside of the fuselage (I wonder if this was something that happened more with smaller models than with larger ones, with more of the pyro sticking out because there wasn't enough space to take it all in?).

Landing gear has either wheels or skids. Wheeled landing gear shows up in the opening title shot of Scott and in "Trapped in the Sky". As far as I know apart from reused stock footage of TB1 descending from this episode, there is no other footage of wheels rather than skids on TB1.

Landing gear shows either a wide track, with main gear leg mounted more towards the wingtip with secondary extension strut inboard, or with narrow track, main leg mounted in a more centred position with secondary strut outboard.

Landing gear doors may or may not be present.

Various models and partial models for closeups of crew entrance, deployment of canon, spears, camera drone, sonar rig, hoverbikes, laying down of smoke etc. show differences in shapes and proportions from other models (they also show some rough and ready build quality!). At least some of these hatches and openings overlap each other in such a way that some could not exist on the same vehicle at the same time.

I suspect that a thorough and systematic measurement of the proportions of the different models would yield further variations in shape than I have been able to.

Finish and markings on TB1 also varied considerably, I would say moreso than on any of the other Thunderbirds.

Some models are more metallic than others; some (mostly small scale ones as far as I can tell) are just dark grey.

I wonder if metalic paint did not "read" very well at small scales? There's one model that looks brighter and more silvery than others. See "martian Invasion" at 21:18.

Down the back is the prominent THUNDERBIRD 1. On the launch sequence model, it extends as far down as the flared "skirt" of the fuselage. In the large model filmed by Ned Cook in "Terror in New York City" and that chases the Hood in "Martian Invasion", this lettering is in a thicker typeface and stops well short of the skirt. For details of the actual fonts used, check the sticky "Anderson Font Thread" here:

On the underside of the model descending to London Airport in 'Trapped in the Sky', THUNDERBIRD is displayed, with the T on the red nosecone (I wonder if this was so it would not end up being interrupted by the landing retro?). On most other models where this area is visible, this marking is not present.

The nose may or may not have two black stripes. The stripes may be wide or narrow.

The nose may or may not have a TB1 marking. This marking varies in font, size and position. On models featuring the seam along the side of the nose, it can appear either above or below the seam . 'Seamless' models can have it high, low or in the middle.

The TB and TB1 markings on the tail unit vary in size and font. In side view TB1 may appear on both vertical surfaces, or on the upper only. They may be present or absent on the upper and lower faces of the horizontal tail surfaces.

In at least one episode (Lord Parker's 'oliday" at 33:02-33:21) TB1 appears on the upper right wing. I've not noticed this in any other episode, but I'd be happy to be corrected.

Detailed shots of the central section (of what appears to be the same model as in the Ned Cook/ Hood chase scenes noted above) show various stencils and vents. In "Edge of Impact" (32:06-32:23) its a closeup as the wings extend; in "Cry Wolf" (12:15-12:21) TB1 is turning around prior to landing back at Tracy Island.

Some models are quite clean, sometimes too clean giving them a toy-like appearance. Some are quite grimy, some are in between. I lean towards the grimy ones myself.

I think this covers most variations in TB1. These observations were made some years ago from videotaped episodes in an attempt to figure out all the variations in the Thunderbird models. I've made no further attempt to cross reference these variations to see if some of them always coincide or if any of them never coincide. I've also never done more detailed measurements to discover any subtle differences in size or proportions which I suspect are present. It is these structural characteristics, rather than just differences in markings, which are easily changed or repainted that are most likely to turn up different models. Certainly markings and finish can provide hints at identifying the same model. Size can sometimes be determined from surrounding details and kit parts; sometimes the way a model looks or moves can suggest that a given model is large or small. Long shots where a vehicle is small in the frame are likely to be small models; shots where a model fills the frame or only a portion of it is visible are likely to be in a larger scale. I don't have the facilities for frame grabbing, otherwise I'd join in on the scavenger hunt! Nice to see others posting images. Maybe this list can help in the hunt!
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Captain Sci-Fi

A little more detail....

These screen grabs are from Edge of Impact and are in HD - enjoy.



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Captain Sci-Fi

Thunderbird One's Remote Camera....

A perfect subject for a minor build - Cap'n


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With the TB2 + 4 threads underway, thought I'd get the Thunderbird 1 one started.
As with the others,
How many versions?
Where IS the door located
Where are the windows/ports located
Definately not silver though, clearly a grey and in some pics apparently not even metallic

Very nice details, indeed


Possible inspiration for TB1 design...

Nice screen grabs ans informations there.

You may also find interresting this French fifties project: lots of resemblance with Thunderbird 1...

Study started in 1946.... the way some people envisioned the future was amazing at this time, isn't it....:)