I remember discovering Terrahawks in HMV back in 2004 and getting really into it, it was like unearthing some sort of lost treasure. At the same time I was beginning to get into filmmaking as well, my first ever movie was a 5 minuite film of me as Dr Tiger Ninestein battling a UFO in Terrahawk (it was epic, of course. Ahem). For that reason the show has always had a special place in my heart, so being asked to design a new Terrahawks vehicle was a real thrill as well as a challenge.
Fast forward to late 2015 and I was thrilled to be asked by Jamie Anderson to design a new Terrahawks craft (even more thrilled that the Tomahawk seems to have been named after my email address), a Space fighter that would be the sum of everything that Earth has learned from the war with Zelda. The script of My Enemy’s Enemy (the final episode of Big Finish’s 2nd audio series of Terrahawks) required it to be fast and well armed, but before setting out also I gave myself a few ‘must-haves’: It needed to not look out of place amongst the other craft in the show but it also needed to have its own uniqueness – as all the craft in Terrahawks looked rather unconventional.
As always when undertaking this kind of project I started with some sketches which I sent over to Jamie for approval. We came down to two designs, one was a bulkier Treehawk-type with more fighter parts and the other was a more sleek chariot style craft that I’d put together after being inspired by the pod racer sequence in Star Wars Episode 1. In the end we ran with the chariot but brought over elements from the bulkier design to give it that angular 80s feel.
Once the shape was approved I brought the design into the 3D program Blender. This let me play about with angles and experiment with different ideas as I keep pouring on more detail. We decided to ditch the engine bells as to distance her from Treehawk. I looked closely into how Battlehawk and Treehawk where detailed so I could replicate the same kind of styling when it came to texturing. I also took panels off to expose bits of extra detail on the top to suit the very functional and worn style of the other craft. The back section is almost entirely exposed to give the feeling that it was based on the aft section of a Zeaf.
The standout feature of the design is the back slung cockpit. I figured this could be a safety measure that – in the event of the engines overloading – the Cockpit can detach to form its own lifeboat spacecraft with limited functionality. I also came up with the idea of Anti Capital ship missiles, one of which are slung under each wing (Looking not unlike the UFO Interceptor). A fuelling pod was also added to provide a bit of asymmetry.
The exposed panel below the cockpit may interest kit spotters as I incorporated a few pieces of girder bridge parts. And for the real eagle-eyed, half of the Dalek “pie plate” saucer from the Dalek Invasion of Earth is on there too.
All in all I am very pleased with how the Tomahawk’s come out and I’m very proud to have been able to add to Steve Begg and Phil Rae’s classic line up. A huge thanks to Jamie for letting me have a lot of freedom with a new Terrahawks vehicle. Hopefully you guys enjoy it.
Terrahawks series 2 is available from Big Finish from April 2016!