Even these days, various modern Thunderbirds publications quite obviously take their inspiration from these original pieces of artwork trying to improve them and bring them up to date with new technical details and modern artistic and printing techniques.
Now, I’m not adverse to this, as it must appeal to younger fans of the shows and give a fresh outlook .
However, for an old codger like me, nothing beats the originals. They’re what I remember and they’re what I still refer to.
For those of you who don’t remember, or might not have been around when these first appeared I’ve dug out a few scans for your perusal. I’m not creating a list or anything. There are quite a few websites out there already fulfilling that duty. This is just a sampling of some of my favourites which appeared in the original TV21 and its associated publications.
The TV Century 21 1965 Summer Extra carried a FAB 1 cutaway easily recognizable as the work of Eric Eden, the same artist who drew the Lady Penelope strip in the comic. I believe that Eric did quite a few other cutaways for City Magazines, the Zero X in the 1967 Thunderbird extra was one, but apart from the obvious ones I’d only be guessing at which others.
The second TV21 annual, released in 1966 featured a cutaway of one of my favourite spaceships, Fireball XL5. I particularly liked the separate Fireball Junior which revealed a rest room, galley and workshop, as well as the Jetmobile bay.
The first Thunderbird annual released that same year contained cutaways of all the Thunderbird craft. Thunderbird 2 , like Fireball Junior had living accommodation. I really liked this idea of going off to another planet, or landing at a danger zone and simply camping! I suppose it’s a bit like futuristic caravanning but without the hostility from other motorists or alien monsters or people in danger!