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3DThunderbird 2 (re-imagined )



  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Made a start on Thunderbird 1. Definitely taking inspiration from the 2004 movie because I think, despite the general hideousness of the other designs, TB1 was freaking awesome in that.

  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Okay, another fairly controversial move, I'm changing the front end of Thunderbird 1 to be more like a jet-fighter than a rocket. For a start, a rocket is a bit... well, special, for the job it's meant to do. The canopy window and cockpit make much more sense compared to the original. The jet-fighter concept also fits in with my reboot idea of the Thunderbirds being *ahem* "stolen" military designs that were abandoned but Brains manages to get working. Whoops, just spoilt an entire plot arc there. It still launches vertically, like a rocket, but I think the whole space plane look is much better for the likes of TB1.


    Thunderbird 3, on the other hand, is turning out to be a bit more of a headache. As the entire point of this is to depart from the original designs rather than just give the originals a cosmetic face lift, I don't know what to do with it. I mean, what is wrong with TB3 that I can get rid of? Okay, so it's not the greatest design for a rocket ever or NASA would have been all over it by now, but if I change it completely I may as well replace it with the space shuttle... hmmm, actually... no.

    Recovering TB3 is also an issue I can't figure out. Vertical landing is just plain retarded and not believable enough for me, but it's not exactly the easiest shape to land on an airstrip either. Even if you put the wheels in the engines it's still so far off the ground that the landing gear would be immense. I briefly toyed with the idea of having it land on water and sail into a cave where it can be recovered but that's also pretty weird and raises its own problems. Answers on a postcard, I suppose.

  • gm2378gm23780 Posts: 0Member
    For the TB3 launch and land, could you not have it land on a cradle that remains on the ground that has wheels or is on a track of some kind?

    I also think the modified front of TB1 is great!
  • DCBDCB171 Posts: 0Member
    Armondikov wrote: »
    I may as well replace it with the space shuttle... hmmm, actually... no.
    Just call it the Buran and tell everyone that it is a completely new design that you came up with. Worked for the Soviets.

    For TB3, you could turn it into more of a permanent space station and just have a shuttle-esque orbiter that takes the crew up and back.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    DCB wrote: »
    Just call it the Buran and tell everyone that it is a completely new design that you came up with. Worked for the Soviets.

    I was flicking through pictures of that recently for inspiration. It's a very Thunderbirds like thing as it moves (moved?) to the launch platform horizontally and then raised up.
    For TB3, you could turn it into more of a permanent space station and just have a shuttle-esque orbiter that takes the crew up and back.

    I have to admit that this is an interesting idea. A very radical departure, yes, but something I could happily consider. Actually, this could work if the orbiting section is Thunderbird 5, because TB5 just seems pointless. Let me elaborate my thinking a little as I want to get it down, if only for my own benefit. TB5 is essentially a communications satellite but why does it need to be manned, and why by one individual? ( It makes less sense when you consider how the internet and computer technology has changed everything - its kind of turned sci-fi predictions on their heads in the last 30 years or so, today we have computers that fit into the palm of your hand but we don't even have a simple moon colony! So a lot of communication is going back to wires rather than radio, so a satellite is pointless. The best way to fulfill Thunderbird 5's original purpose is by hacking into existing communications networks and the internet and monitoring it all from the ground.

    Thus, if I steal that idea and make Thunderbird 5 the space-based rescue vehicle with TB3 as the shuttle and perhaps secondary rescue vehicle? It'd then make sense to keep John on board constantly. Hmmm. Actually, I think this sounds okay, I will consider it a little more, thanks for the inspiration.

    On the subject of TB3 landing, I can't think of a real world example where something crashes into a landing cradle like that. It'd be very similar to the Fireflash rescue in the first episode, though. My thoughts are sort-of returning to the water-based recovery, if only because I can see TB3 sailing under a rock bridge to emerge in a lagoon, similar to how the manta plane in The Incredibles lands. Elaborate, yes, but not a patch on Gerry Anderson's mind (if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing in the most complicated manner possible).
  • BorgManBorgMan208 DutchlandPosts: 581Member
    Why not? You could make a BIG space station out of TB5 and man it with more members of the Tracy family, I mean it's not just a single man with his 5 sons right? I'd say, do the same for TB5 as TB4 relates to TB2: a special vehicle for highly specialised missions. Next to that, have a look at the Swordfish plane of the Blake and Mortimer series, which launches from beneath the water level; a combination of TB3 and 4, if you like.

    Are you going to do a TB6 as well? A small stealth vehicle perhaps?
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Sounds a little too close to Thunderbirds 2086 (or should I say Scientific Rescue Team TechnoVoyager) to be honest, if it's not Tracy and his sons, main concept is blown apart... but I think I definitely want TB5 as a rescue vehicle, and may even take a leaf out of 2086's book by having more space travel so it gets used!
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    TB1 launching. I had a bit of fun doing the pool, even though it's on screen for about half a second!
  • BorgManBorgMan208 DutchlandPosts: 581Member
    Ofcourse it would be Tracy and his sons, but not just them. I mean, a complete family could do a lot more than just a man and his five sons ;)

    By the way, nice going on the launch sequences. You're making me want to go back to my own designs and refine them again ^_^
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I'd definitely like to see the idea of IR agents expanded, so of course, a few others here and there would help out. They seem to hint that they have more than just Penelope, but I don't recall seeing any.

    Anyway, a few of TB1. The engines are from Photoshop.

  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    That is a pretty cool TB1

    *on a side note* as a kid i thought Thunderbirds 2086 was a F*cking awesome cartoon.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah, 2086 was pretty cool as an anime. I've been meaning to watch it again but only got through about two episodes.

    Anyway, I rediscovered the joy of the orthographic camera. The first one shows the scale of TB1 and TB2 - although I forgot to add a marker for the absolute sizes, maybe soon:

    I also thought I might plug these designs that are on DeviantART. They're a little more conservative than mine, but quite good anyway. Especially TB2, which I think is a good facelift while still remaining very true to the original.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
  • Dr LeeDr Lee2 Posts: 0Member
    my only worry about the cockpit on TB1 is that it makes it look smaller than it is.... But overall i love the design....

    Got me thinking of trying out something similar now....
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    Armondikov wrote: »
    I've just noticed something. Please tell me it's not just me:

    i think its just you lol
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Dr Lee wrote: »
    my only worry about the cockpit on TB1 is that it makes it look smaller than it is....

    I agree. However, it is more or less right to scale. It also becomes more believable if you think of it as a two person cockpit, the interior of which is on the cards to make soon-ish.

    EDIT: Like so. But I might shrink the cockpit a little further again as it remains very wide.


    I have been looking at sizes. Length wise, this is 32.4 m (a bit shorter than the upper bound of what the original was estimated to be). Comparatively, the F-22 Raptor is 18.9 m, a Boeing 747 is 70.6 m and the Space Shuttle Orbiter is 37.2 m. So, pretty damn big. Almost too big, really, but let's just handwave the size issues!

    Okay, below is the usual scif-fi gumpf people fill their threads with. Feel free to ignore.

    Thunderbird 1, Advanced Reconnaissance Vehicle

    Crew: 1x pilot. 1x equipment operator (optional)

    Length: 32.46 m
    Height: 8.7 m
    Wingspan: 15.4m (swept) 23.7 m (open)

    Core: Micromak non-breeding fusion reactor
    Launching engine: 1x Tripropellant reaction motor
    Main engines: 4x High-thrust pulsed plasma thrusters with triple exhaust ports.
    Auxiliary engines: 6x Pulsed plasma thrusters powered from the axillary propellant and electrical arc systems
    VTOL engines: 4x Hybrid engines

    Low Altitude Cruising Speed: 1,100 km/h (Mach 0.9 at 1.5 km)
    High Altitude Cruising Speed: 7,000 km/h (Mach 6.5 at 18.2 km)
    Max Speed: 8,500 km/h (Mach 8.0 at 24.3 km)

    Range: 24,000 km (Between plasma propellant recharges) 62,000 km (with refuelling assistance from TB2) 450,000 km (between core recharges)
    Hover duration: 22 minutes, additional reserves; 5 minutes (at recommended weight)

    Turnaround time: 1 hr 15 mins – 2 hr 35 mins
    Auto-recovery: 35 minutes
    Refuelling: 15-95 minutes (expenditure dependent)
    Post-flight checks: 25 minutes
    Downtime for core recharge: 36 hours
    Downtime for core replacement: 3 days


    Thunderbird 1 is structured around the classified X-107 hypersonic strike fighter. Five prototypes were commissioned by the US Military towards the end of the last war. Two were destroyed in testing and the remaining three decommissioned and “officially” scrapped in 2098, making their way into Jeff Tracy’s hands eighteen months later. The design was abandoned due to insufficient performance in the original on-board power plant, which was pre-Fusion era, as well as engine instabilities. IR modifications include entirely replaced main engines, redesigned tail piece to facilitate vertical take-off (based on a proposed variant for a carrier-based 107) and redesigned weapons pods adapted for peaceful work. The main difference, however, was the addition of a fusion core which allowed sufficient power to be sent to the engines, overcoming many of the issues that plagued the development of the X-107. Out of the three prototype craft acquired by IR, one has been converted to Thunderbird 1, one has been dismantled for parts and the remaining one converted to a flight-training variant of TB1, known as TB1-X, designed for horizontal take-off and with a lower top speed and no on-board equipment. Thunderbird 1 was the first IR vehicle fully completed, making its first flight in early 2112, piloted by Jeff Tracy. Its second flight was six months later by Scott Tracy who flew the craft from Tracy Island to an airfield ran by an IR Agent in the Mojave Desert, returning a few days later after an extended period of post-flight checks and analysis. Scott would later become the principle pilot of Thunderbird 1, clocking over ten times as many simulator hours as Jeff himself and the majority of its flight time prior to IR going operational. TB1’s first operational flight was in 2115 from Tracy Island to London Skydome (formerly Heathrow Airport prior to its additional expansion), where it participated in the rescue of the sabotaged Fireflash aircraft.

    Thunderbird 1 launches from inside Tracy Island. Its hanger bay is built into a natural sink hole formed by the island’s only notable stream/river. The sink hole is covered by Jeff Tracy’s villa, and Thunderbird 1 specifically exits when the swimming pool slides out of its original position. The pool area was conceived from the start as a concealed launch area long before TB1 was acquired, and was built as part of the villa under the pretence of a recreational potholing facility. The launch facility was added later by a contractor friendly to IR, the official records and traces of its construction were destroyed shortly after. Thunderbird 1 is accessed primarily from a hidden door in Jeff Tracy’s office, although secondary and maintenance access can be made from the secret basement level of the villa as well as from a concealed door in the side of the pool complex. The primary access takes Scott Tracy to the preparation area where his uniform and personal equipment is stored, he can also be briefed on the situation and remotely monitor TB1’s automated pre-flight checks. From here, he is transported into TB1’s cockpit before the craft itself begins its journey into the launch bay where TB1 is lifted into a vertical position for immediate launch. A multi-layered safety mechanism (combining automated and manual confirmations) prevents TB1 from launching until the pool area is fully opened; for instance, TB1 will not be lifted to launch position until the pool is opened, something that can only be overridden by Brains or Jeff Tracy. Once cleared for launch, the tripropellant engine fires and lifts TB1 out of the launch complex, it reaches its cruising speed and altitude within minutes, where its main engines fire.

    Once at an operational area Thunderbird 1 can land horizontally or vertically, whichever is convenient, and take off in the same manner. It has some stand-alone rescue capability, notably fire fighting and lifting equipment but its primary role is for command and control, preparing for the arrival of Thunderbird 2 and its specialist equipment. Scott Tracy can either control a situation from the cockpit or from a mobile command centre that can be deployed from TB1’s lower access hatch. Its payload capacity can also be modified to carry a small 3-4 person all-terrain rover. To protect its identity, particularly as an essentially stolen vehicle, TB1 is equipped with a short-medium range personnel detector and strong EMP to damage nearby recording devices.

    On returning to Tracy Island, Thunderbird 1 lands on the island's airstrip (usually Runway B, while Thunderbird 2 can make a simultaneous landing on Runway A) where it taxies into the hanger bay that is built in to the cliff face. Unlike TB2 and TB3, which taxi through the concealed door at the back of the hanger and into the interior launch complex, TB1 is lifted on an hydraulic platform into its recovery area. The recovery area automatically refuels and performs post-flight analysis before placing the craft back on its launch platform, ready to move back to the staging area for the launch cycle to begin again.

    Well, that's it for my creativity today!
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    The Cockpit Canopy does make TB1 look like an oversized fighter jet, but still cool

    I thought you might of taken some inspiration maybe from the blackbird?
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    The SR-71... good point, it is probably the closest real-world vessel to TB1, and it's fitting to base it on a military vessel considering the original was supposedly based on the MiG 19. Though design wise, I don't think the iconic chines of the SR-71 is exactly right and would be far too much of a departure. I did briefly take a look at the F-22 for inspiration, however.
  • StarscreamStarscream229 Posts: 1,049Member
    Awesome work! I love the new TB2 shape especially.

    If you come to redesign TB4, could I suggest you account for the need for being able to withstand crush-depths? Too many designs I've seen try to get around it by quoting "superior hull materials" or somesuch other handwavium nonsense (including seaQuest post-Season1, much to my chagrin), but realistically at so many 1000ft down you're going to need shapes that can withstand multiple atmospheric pressures - particularly the viewport(s)!

    Hell, I'd go so far as to suggest perhaps removing TB4's traditional open windows and supplanting them with entirely digital imaging systems...
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    That is a very good point. I was thinking about breeding it with a Viper (as the above post may have hinted at) but when you put it like that, I agree. Perhaps something more like the 2086 version complete with mini-sub? Certainly ROVs of some description. It could do with being larger, definitely, not least because there's a lot of wasted space in the pod if TB4 is small. And it really can't rescue people from underwater given its usual appearance, which is possibly why it was rarely used in the original except in rare and specialised circumstances. This might require a redesign of Pod 4 especially to hold and deploy TB4, I'm thinking that the pod specialises in opening up and lowering TB4 rather than being dropped and floating on its own. Maybe add a floating dock/base for TB4 as part of this.
  • BorgManBorgMan208 DutchlandPosts: 581Member
    Actually, that's a pretty cool idea. The pod could do an epic Transformers attack and fold out into a floating dock. I think that would look so extremely cool... Do you mind if I take a crack at that? All I need are the dimensions of your pod :)
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member

    Yeah , something cool like this would be pretty awesome, would it still be launched from TB2, or have its own dock?
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    Just for giggles this is what the rest of them looked like for TB 2086.

    tb1.jpg Thunderbird 1

    tb2.jpg Thunderbird 2

    tb3.jpg Thunderbird 3

    tb6.jpg Thunderbird 5, manned by a full crew this time lol
  • colbmistacolbmista2 Posts: 0Member
    what a pointless post your image links dont work
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah, dude. Hotlink fail :P Although it was far more than 5 that appeared and I think even more that appeared in principle, but were never shown.

    BorgMan: Yeah, that would be nice. I'll see about getting you a .3DS or .OBJ of the pod shell or something if you want to work from that. Or just rip a vague dimension from the ortho posted above. It may be some time before I can properly get around to doing TB4, I want to move on to TB3/5 next and will need to sketch those out while I think about TB4. I'm definitely behind the idea of TB5 as a deep-space rescue vehicle (move a little into the 2086 type "on and off this planet" style) while TB3 is the shuttle or orbital rescue vehicle and transport.
  • StarscreamStarscream229 Posts: 1,049Member
    colbmista wrote: »
    what a pointless post your image links dont work

    They're working for me. And bitching at him like that is even more pointless, wouldn't you agree?
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    I think there was meant to be 17 all together
  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    colbmista wrote: »
    what a pointless post your image links dont work

    Thunderbirds 2086 Intro

    Then Watch the Vid Intro instead

    Douche :p
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    This is my second incarnation of TB4, making use of a few features discussed above. It deploys from a modified pod where a floating recovery section drops out. The recovery section contains additional equipment for rescue, including temporary shelter and supplies for around 100 people who are rescued by TB4 - it would have to make multiple trips. TB4 then sails away from this and dives down. I have kept the windows as basically Rule Of Cool. In line with other sci-fi aspects, I'll probably say it has a holographic enhanced display that is projected into the windows and formed based on its sonar capabilities. Fancy, eh? I've also sized it up quite a bit from the original, as the shot with TB2 should show. Measuring it up with the cockpit chairs made for TB1, it's at least two abreast at the front window section, and would have at least two decks as a result of its size; giving it the ability to hold a dozen or so people fairly comfortably and certainly more uncomfortably.

    As I said, this is my second incarnation. TB4, IMO, is difficult because there's little that is both iconic to the original design and practical. So it's almost like throwing the entire thing out and starting from scratch no matter what I do. I might add ROVs or perhaps do a mini-sub (TB7?)


    It's worth pointing out that this is intentionally intersecting the ground-plane object to show it "floating".
  • FreakFreak1078 Posts: 4,355Member
    Very cool, I love where your going with your Thurnderbird desgin.
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