Thunderbirds models

Aircraft

Marc J. Frattasio

Fireflash

fireflash
Here is the Fireflash nuclear powered Mach 6 airliner which was seen in Trapped in the Sky, Operation Crash Dive and a number of other Thunderbirds episodes. It would appear that at least two different sized models of the Fireflash, a large one for close-up shots and a smaller one for long shots, were built out of wood and thermoformed plastic. Additionally, a large scale tail section was built for use in close up shots of the engines firing and for underwater scenes in Operation Crash Dive. Warp put out a resin garage kit of the Fireflash during the early 1990s.

International Airways airliner

ia airliner
This is the ill-fated International Airways airliner featured at the beginning of Alias Mr. Hackenbacker. This one of a kind model was made from wood and completely destroyed in filming.

Skythrust airliner

skythrust  airliner
The Skythrust airliner, featured in Alias Mr. Hackenbacker, was fitted with a special device to protect passengers from its volatile fuel supply in the event of a crash landing. This one of a kind model was made from wood. Large scale wing and fuselage sections were made for scenes in which the aircraft's landing gear doors were intentionally damaged by International Rescue.

Jeff Tracy's jet

jeff tracy's jet
This is Jeff Tracy's personal jet as seen in Atlantic Inferno. This one of a kind model was probably made from wood. The model had a metal tube sunk into the bottom of its fuselage to hold a pyrotechnic VTOL charge.

Tracy family aircraft

tracy family aircraft
This small jet aircraft was used by Scott Tracy and Tin Tin for a mainland supply run in Give or Take a Million. This model was a rework (new tail section and paint) of the jet featured in Edge of Impact and End of the Road. This one of a kind model appears to have been made from wood.

Eddie Houseman's jet

houseman jet
Eddie Houseman's corporate jet was featured in End of the Road. The same model, with a different paint scheme, was also used in Edge of Impact and Give or Take a Million. This one of a kind model appears to have been made from wood.

Colonel Casey's jet

col casey's jet
Colonel Casey's 'Skyhawk' jet was featured in Edge of Impact. The same model, with a different paint scheme, was also used in End of the Road and Give or Take a Million. This one of a kind model appears to have been made from wood.

The Hood's getaway aircraft

the Hood's getaway aircraft
International Rescue's arch-nemesis, The Hood, used this light aircraft to make an ill-fated getaway in Martian Invasion. This model appears to have been based upon a Monogram Piper TriPacer kit, to which a new tail section was added. This same model was later reused in the Captain Scarlet episode Codename Europa.

UN10

un10
The UN10 interceptor jet was featured in Trapped in the Sky. This model was made by combining an unknown B-58 Hustler kit's fuselage and engines with wings, horizontal stabilizer fins, and a cockpit canopy from unknown plastic kit sources.

Pyramid dweller's (Zombite) jets

zombite jets
The hostile Pyramid Dweller's jets shot down Thunderbird 1 over the Sahara Desert in The Uninvited. These attractive looking models were made from unknown F-104 Starfighter kits to which an unknown B-58 Hustler kit's jet engine, new fins, and a new ring tail were added.

Air Sea Rescue jets

air sea rescue jets
These Air Sea Rescue jets were featured in Operation Crash Dive and The Imposters. They were made using unknown F-104 Starfighter fuselages to which were added new horizontal and vertical stabilizers and engines (probably wood) and wings made from unknown B-58 Hustler kit's vertical stabilizers. These models were nearly identical, except for their extended vertical stabilizers, to the UN Navy jets seen in The Imposters.

Enemy attack jet

enemy attack jet
This enemy attack jet was featured at the very beginning of Edge of Impact. The model's fuselage came from an unknown F-104 Starfighter kit to which was added an unknown B-58 Hustler kit's vertical stabilizer and new wings, ventral fins, and weapon pods from unknown sources. The rectangular yellow decal marking on the rear fuselage came from Hawk's Husky helicopter kit and that the decal marking on the rudder came from a USAF Thunderbirds flight demonstration team F-100 or F-105 aircraft kit.

Red Arrow

red arrow
The Red Arrow jet was featured in Edge of Impact. It appears that two models were made (Red Arrow 1 and Red Arrow 2). The models combined parts from Lindberg J-35 Draken kits and unknown B-58 Hustler kits (jet engines). It is interesting to note that the Red Arrows are the RAF's flight demonstration team.

WAF parasite fighter jet

parasite fighter jet
This World Air Force parasite fighter jet, featured in The Duchess Assignment, is carried into action on board the carrier craft described below. This model used an unknown F-104 Starfighter kit's fuselage and drop tank, wings from an unknown F-101 Voodoo kit, and tail fins from unknown sources (possibly balsa wood). The unusual WAF markings combined the standard USAF 'star and bar' with a West German Air Force cross from unknown kit sources.

Enemy jets

enemy jets
These hostile aircraft shot down the USAF RTL-2 rocket transporter jet in Cham Cham. Its possible that six models were made, three in flight configuration and three with landing gear extended. The models used F-104 Starfighter fuselages, wings, and fuel tanks combined with stabilizer fins robbed from a J-35 Draken kit. Two of the models were repainted and reused in the Joe 90 episode King for a Day.

UN Navy jets (#1)

un navy jets
These carrier based UN Navy jets were featured in The Imposters. They were made using unknown F-104 Starfighter fuselages to which were added new horizontal and vertical stabilizers and engines and wings made from unknown B-58 Hustler kit's vertical stabilizers. These models were nearly identical to the Air Sea Rescue jets featured in Operation Crash Dive. The unusual UN Navy markings combined the standard USAF 'star and bar' with a West German Air Force cross from unknown kit sources.

UN Navy jets (#2)

un navy jets
These carrier based UN Navy jets were featured in The Imposters. They were made using unknown X-15 fuselages to which were added ventral fuel tanks from an unknown B-58 Hustler kit and new horizontal and vertical stabilizers from unknown sources (possibly balsa wood sheet).

WN helijets

navy helijets
These World Navy helijets, operating from the aircraft carrier Atlantic, evacuated the gas fire endangered Seascape oil drilling rig in Atlantic Inferno. It looks like these models had wood fuselages, cockpits made from unknown automobile kits, an unknown B-58 Hustler kit's jet engine pods, and fins and fuel tanks from unknown plastic kit sources.

US Army helicopter

us army helicopter
This U.S. Army helicopter was featured in Pit of Peril. It looks as if some kind of toy formed the basis of this model. A number of kit parts and other things were stuck all over the fuselage for detail. The cylindrical things marked 'US ARMY' on the model's sides were flashlight batteries. This must have been a difficult model to manipulate on wires because of the twin motorized rotors.

US Army air ambulance helicopter

us army air ambulance
The U.S. Army air ambulance helicopter was seen very briefly at the end of Pit of Peril. This model was based upon an unknown Seaking helicopter kit with the addition of wire landing gear and jet engines from an unknown B-58 Hustler kit kit. Imai included a tiny kit of the air ambulance helicopter in one of their Thunderbird 2 pod vehicle accessory kits.

US Army 'Jumping Jack' helijet

us army helijet
This U.S. Army 'Jumping Jack' helijet was featured in Pit of Peril. The exact same model was repainted and reused in City of Fire and End of the Road. The 'Jumping Jack' helijet was made from a pair of Hawk Husky helicopter kits (the fuselages were joined back-to-back), wings and engines from unknown B-58 Hustler kits, and a missile fuselage half (placed on the bottom of the model) from Revell's Atlas missile kit. Imai included a tiny kit of the 'Jumping Jack' helijet in one of their Thunderbird 2 pod vehicle accessory kits.

World TV 'Jumping Jack' helijet

tv helijet
This World TV 'Jumping Jack' helijet was featured in City of Fire. The exact same model, with different paint schemes, was used in Pit of Peril and End of the Road. The 'Jumping Jack' helijet was made from a pair of Hawk Husky helicopter kits (the fuselages were joined back-to-back), wings and engines from unknown B-58 Hustler kits, and a missile fuselage half (placed on the bottom of the model) from Revell's Atlas missile kit. Imai included a tiny kit of the 'Jumping Jack' helijet in one of their Thunderbird 2 pod vehicle accessory kits.

Gray & Houseman 'Jumping Jack' helijet

gray and houseman helijet
This Gray & Houseman Construction Company 'Jumping Jack' helijet was featured in End of the Road. The exact same model, with different paint schemes, was used in Pit of Peril and City of Fire. The 'Jumping Jack' helijet was made from a pair of Hawk Husky helicopter kits (the fuselages were joined back-to-back), wings and engines from unknown B-58 Hustler kits, and a missile fuselage half (placed on the bottom of the model) from Revell's Atlas missile kit. It is interesting to note here that the 'Gray' in Gray & Houseman was named after Barry Gray, the beloved composer of all the music for the Anderson's Supermarionation programs. Imai included a tiny kit of the 'Jumping Jack' helijet in one of their Thunderbird 2 pod vehicle accessory kits.

Monorail helijet

monorail helijet
Helijet 304 was part of a fleet of aircraft which patrolled the track of the Atlantic-Pacific Monorail System seen in Brink of Disaster. At least two models were made for use in this episode, one of which was destroyed in filming. Each model was made from a Hawk Husky helicopter kit and an unknown B-58 Hustler kit (the helijet's tail boom is the upper fuselage and tail fin of a B-58).

Large helijet

large helijet
This large helijet was featured in 30 Minutes After Noon and The Imposters. It looks like this model was based upon the same toy helicopter used for the U.S. Army helicopter featured in Pit of Peril. The forward fins came from the Hawk Husky helicopter kit and the rear fins are unknown F-104 Starfighter stabilizer assemblies. Note the 1/24 scale Corvette Stingray model kit in the foreground. The same model, in the same colors, was later used in the Captain Scarlet episode White as Snow.

Military helijet

military helijet
This military helijet was seen very briefly during the International Rescue search sequence in The Imposters. The model was made using parts from two unknown H-43 Choctaw kits (fuselages), B-58 Hustler kits (fuel tank and engine parts), and F-104 Starfighter kits (fins).

USAF RTL-2 rocket transporter

usaf rtl-2
The USAF RTL-2 rocket transporter jet was featured in Cham Cham. This one of a kind model was made from wood. The fuselage was actually made from a pair of wooden dowels placed side by side. Markings were made from a combination of kit decals and automotive striping tape. This model was used in a famous TV21 still photo shoot with Stingray. It was also later used, with modifications, in the Captain Scarlet episodes Place of the Angels and Flight to Atlantica.

SAF target tug

saf target tug
The SAF target tug was used in Trapped in the Sky, The Mighty Atom and Edge of Impact. This model appears to have been made primarily from wood with engines from an unknown B-58 Hustler kit and rubber flying model aircraft wheels added. The model's markings were taken from various plastic aircraft kits ('SAF' was cut back from 'USAF'). The tail markings came from a USAF Thunderbirds flight demonstration team F-100 or F-105 kit.

WAF carrier craft

carrier jet
This unusual World Air Force carrier craft was featured in The Duchess Assignment. The one of a kind model was made from wood with lift fans from the Airfix SRN-1 Hovercraft kit. The unusual WAF markings combined the standard USAF 'star and bar' with a West German Air Force cross from unknown kit sources. This model made an appearance in a famous TV21 still photo shoot with Stingray. Morinaga in Japan made a small kit of the WAF carrier craft which was used as a candy premium during the 1960s.

Saboteur rescue craft

saboteur rescue craft
This unusual looking aircraft rescued the man who sabotaged the Fireflash supersonic airliner in Operation Crash Dive. The one of a kind model was probably made out of wood. It looks like metal dress snaps were used to make pivot points for the VTOL engines! This model, with a different paint scheme, was also used in The Imposters.

Imposters Thunderbird aircraft

imposters aircraft
This aircraft was used in The Imposters by a gang of criminals who stole the secret plans for a new jet interceptor while masquerading as International Rescue personnel. The one of a kind model was probably made out of wood. This model, with a different paint scheme, was also used in Operation Crash Dive
This page published originally at the Supermarionation sfx WebSite
text ©1996 Marc J. Frattasio; not for reproduction for profit without his express permission