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3DThunderbird 3 (reboot)

ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
edited January 2013 in Work in Progress #1
I'm back in the 3D game after a fair absence (:cool:) and decided to crack on with a Thunderbird 3 remake. As with my previous ones, the idea is more "radical overhaul" than a mere facelift so things are considerably different. I'm keeping the general theme of three engines, and besides maybe adapting one or two aesthetic details from the original the rest is fair game for doing anything with.

TB3 was something I was originally struggling with but this idea eventually came to me so I tried it out. I like the engines, and bar a few tweaks I'm happy with how they've turned out - very close to what I have in my head. But the pillars that come up from them I'm less sure about. It may look better when I get around to the main body and connect them up properly but until then, I'm open to suggestions. Currently I'm toying with the idea of making the engines moveable, retracting into the body for launch. No particular reason, just playing the "rule of cool".

Comments, criticism and complaints welcome! :lol:

Post edited by Armondikov on


  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Well it's off to a good start. I like the little greeble on the side. At first I thought they might have an reaction control thruster built into them, which is my way of suggesting them I guess. :)
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Thrusters are definitely the way to go, but I think I'll do some research into them before proceeding with adding a full RCS system.

    Perhaps the red and the central bit will bring out the TB3 feel I thought was missing in the last post. :)

  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Yes the red helps a lot.
    I now also see what you mean about the engine pods retracting/expanding. i like that Idea. Retracted for aerodynamics and to combine thrust for the launch and push into orbit. Then expand to allow for better directional control while in flight. As in Zero-g your ability to turn is dependent on how far apart your points of thrust are from your center of mass.
    All of this defiantly works for me. Great work.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Still can't decide whether to do some sort of space shuttle type canopy or just keep it rocket-like.

  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    She is now unmistakably TB3. Looks great.
    Canopy vs rocket. Tough call. A canopy gives you a camera focal point when doing renders. It tells people the Pilot sits here. But the Shuttle has one because she lands like a plane. TB3 lands vertically, so she must be flown via instruments. So the Rocket style would make more sense. Also windows are weak points in the hull, and they let in radiation.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I do want some windows of some description, it just makes a degree of sense.

    The landing is something I'll come back to when the launch silo is done.



  • Dr LeeDr Lee2 Posts: 0Member
    Damn, that is sweet...
  • dwldwl0 Posts: 0Member
    F a b !
  • DCBDCB331 Posts: 0Member
    Cool. Nice work.

    Btw, are the background plates NASA photos or something?
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Very nice.
    I can see where a window is artistically handy sure. They give a sense of scale etc.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Yeah, they're from NASA. I don't really have a good planet to put in the background so decided to just comp in some of my favourite shots from the ISS.

    And yes, windows would add scale quite nicely. I've made a slight start on the hanger bay and it looks a lot bigger once I put in a walkway or two...
  • BinkermanBinkerman0 Posts: 0Member
    Good to see you posting again Chris !, .... though I'm not a big fan of re-designs of the Thunderbirds, since the original designs are just too damn cool ... But I do like what you've done with TB-3 ... nicely updated without going too far to lose the TB style ...

    I'd like to see a decent movie made of Thunderbirds with Gerry Anderson being onboard to keep things faithful (As an advisor) ... that would be awesome ... but a difficult thing to pull off ... since part of the charm of the original was the puppetry, and the excellent miniatures .... and of course that excellent score by Barry Gray.... too cool !!

    But done right, with the right Director (someone like Peter Jackson), good script, a decent budget, and a passion for doing the original series justice ..... plus good actors (doesn't have to big names) ... could be possible .... at least to right the wrong of that Hollywood crap in 2004, which didn't impress Gerry Anderson either .... Terrible movie ...

    ... A new TV series of Thunderbirds with Gerry Anderson has been on the cards for years, ... Gerry's in his 80's now, so the bloody studios better get their arses in gear before we lose a legend ....

    Anyway, .. Will be interested to see what you come up with on this project Chris, ... Good to see a Thunderbirds thread !! .... Welcome back mate !! :thumb: ....

  • DCBDCB331 Posts: 0Member
    They already did - Team America. Gerry gave it the thumbs up too.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    High praise, Jas, cheers. :) The aim with my reboot project is to be fairly radical, so this might mean deviating from the originals slightly. But as another designer said, there isn't much you can do to TB3; it's a big red rocket.

    Anyway, no modeling updates until I can figure out how to light the launch bay properly, so here's a screed I just wrote regarding bringing back Thunderbirds:

    Speaking of a new series, did you ever see this?

    Tongue firmly in its cheek (FYI for all the fan-dumb calling it terrible) and a bit cheesy, of course, but I think it really shows what could be done with today's technology enhancing the old style puppets - it's basically a tech demo so I don't know why people are complaining about it (but what do you expect of YouTube comments, they miss the point by miles all the time). I think it was originally done in 2004-5 ish when Anderson was really into reviving it bceause he'd left the live-action film project and refused to bless it. He's since either given up a revival or stepped down several gears, there's at least one interview where he says he's basically old and past it and clearly the studios are waiting for him to shuffle off before redoing Thunderbirds so they don't have to deal with him. Which is a shame, his great imagination would be what would be needed to bring it back successfully. Maybe not some of the original plots and acting quality, though, as that could be a little... special. My idea involves bringing in the sort of thing you find on modern TV series; plot arcs, better characterisation, flashbacks to International Rescue forming etc. But still, always being mindful that IR should - unlike the 2004 film - actually do some rescuing. It's in my head and I really need to get it written down as a proper treatment at some point.

    Also this:
    It's goofy, almost passably acted, the effects are hit and miss even by fan film standards... yet the passion involved and the pace of it just makes it so true to the original.
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    @ Binkerman. I agree with almost everything you said. But please don't call Peter Jackson a good director. If you look at what he does, he's actually crap at his job. The final products are OK and they make a pile of money, but then so does the stuff George Lucas spits out. That doesn't make them good directors however. (rant over sorry.)

    @ Armondikov I got a quote the other day......About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
    - Josh Billings
    I think this applies to modelers as well. There is only so much a person can do with a big red rocket... but you've still made her your own and held true to the original. She a great bird.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Jackson is a bit "meh" for me too. I'm sure you can't give him that much credit for LOTR as the major hurdles there are in production design and script adaptation. After that you already have Tolkein's vision so it more or less makes itself. But that's a different story, really.

    If it was re-done as a film, I'd like to see Thunderbirds done Star Trek style. If it was a series, I'd edge towards Battlestar Galactica style. Massively cliched inspiration, indeed, but there's a good reason for that! :)
  • BinkermanBinkerman0 Posts: 0Member
    @ Pagrin:

    I actually never mention whether Peter Jackson is good or bad ... I said someone LIKE Peter Jackson, i.e who pours their heart and soul into a movie, .. someone with his enthusiasm, as he did with the LOTR Trilogy ...

    But saying Peter Jackson is crap at his job is a ridiculous statement ... when he has already proven otherwise by being awarded the highest accolade in his profession, ... People who are crap at their job simply don't reach that sort of achievement ... Everyone has highs and lows in their career no matter what job they do ...

    @ Armondikov:

    I did see that first clip a long time ago, ... didn't like it .... as for the second clip, .. the models & FX work look a bit too low res, .. and could be more detailed, some of the FX were pretty dodgy, and the acting was level pegging with pornstar acting ability :D ... was fully expecting a sex scene in that space station damn it, mixing a bit of James Bond's 'Moonraker' ending could have helped, with them attempting re-entry :D .... But you could see they put effort into it, and got the right sort of atmosphere going there, .. I bet they had a laugh making it ....

  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Binkerman wrote: »
    I bet they had a laugh making it ....

    That's what it's all about!

    Anyway, I figure if I can get a few models up to scratch I could do something like that with the film making group I'm involved with. I may as well call in a favour for all the effects stuff I'm doing for them. :P
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    @ Binkerman.- Sorry I didn't mean to offend. I guess our views of Jackson will just have to differ.

    But back on topic.- I think the problem with the movie wasn't what they changed it's what they didn't change. The audience to TBs were kids back in the 60s and 70s, but they're not anymore. I know a few kids of friends of mine who love the movie. however they also forgot about it a month latter when the next flashy film came along.
    The die hard fans are now in their forties or older. They should have changed TBs in a way that made it appeal to an adult audience. I agree with Armondikov that grunging it up a bit like they did with BSG would be a good move.
    It's be nice to see what you guys come up with.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    You can blame a little bit of the so-called "development hell" for that. Apparently it was originally a straight Thunderbirds movie, but hit a load of problems, directors changed and by the time they'd settled on Frakes to direct it had been re-written from scratch with a much younger audience in mind. With respct to it doing that job, it wasn't bad, it's just that with a film about International Rescue, you'd expect to see, you know, a rescue. Anywho, I'm going to try and get a shot of this hanger that I've done so far - if anyone knows any decent tips for lighting interiors that don't involve all the cool lighting settings they only introduced in LW 9, I'd appreciate it :p.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Playing with faked GI. Much fun :)

    In case the top image confuses (and the fact that the hanger is long and thin really prevents decent shots of it) I'm looking at a water based landing. TB3 lands on water and is then either towed or goes under its own power into a cave and docks in a hidden hanger. It's then picked up by a series of cranes, very much like your normal dockside cranes, and carried into the main hanger. There it's worked on, repaired, and so on and then raised upright and moved into launch position. So the things covering the rocket in the first image are those cranes after they've carried it into position.

    You can tell it isn't quite finished yet as it's floating in mid air! I'm going to build something along the lines of NASA's crawler.



  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Very nice level of detail in there.
    As for the lighting which copy of LW do you have?
    I always avoid area lights, they drag the render times to much and I can never get them right.
    I try to stick to spots as much as possible. Even when doing a flour tube, I just make the tube glow with textures and stick in a spot or two.
    I think you might be able to use the lights to help with the size of this chamber as well.
    For example a row of lights along the walkways, lighting the path would also cast a little light into all those girders and frames and could make the floor seem a long way down, if the light doesn't go all the way.
    So a linear drop off set just short of the ground.
    I also like the idea of light coming from somewhere if possible. so made a few spots on the floor around the TB3 pointing at her would work to make her stand tall.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Spots are definitely the way to go. It'll take a while to figure out where everything needs to go and then I need to be less fearful of certain areas going into blackness as that will better the mood by far.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    Okay, a bit more thought-out lighting - I'll try to get a render of the base of the rocket done as that has quite a few spots on it that work nicely. One with and one without some ambient light added in there for clarity.


  • Dr-TimelordDr-Timelord0 Posts: 0Member
    The lighting is pretty need,

    I had a thought that would be kinda of cool that the lights would dim just before blast off
  • PagrinPagrin171 Posts: 0Member
    Very nice. I like the way you can almost see stuff in the gloom.
    One little touch might be to shift the color of a couple of the lights to make them just slightly more yellow. As if the bulbs were a little older and discolored. It would help break them up into separate lights rather than a lighting effect.
    Give it the touch of real world, so to speak.
    But really great job.
  • That looks superb the details give it an excellent sense of scale. I've never been good at interior lighting, yours looks to invoke an interesting mood and really picks out the details in the models.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I had a thought that would be kinda of cool that the lights would dim just before blast off

    Or at least the lights come on in sequence complete with the essential *bang* each time they flick on - which incidentally doesn't happen with real lights. There's a TV Tropes article on that sort of thing, but I forget what it was. But anyway, I'll think about that if/when it comes to a proper animation.

    Some of the lights are subtly different colours, but not randomised. The floods at the bottom of the rocket are slightly yellow while the spots that pick out the number 3 are slightly blue. This looks pretty good, I think, but again you can only see it at the bottom clearly and I'll get a render up a little later.
  • ArmondikovArmondikov0 Posts: 0Member
    I'm working a little on the crawler to move it into position. Taking a little bit of inspiration from NASA's crawler, of course.



  • Dr LeeDr Lee2 Posts: 0Member
    LOVE the crawler....though will you be adding anything like the shuttle towers to the crawler?
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