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Thunderbirds Vintage Prints: The FAB Review

Wilbur Dandridge III - Businessman and Art Lover
Wilbur Dandridge III – Businessman and Art Lover

To paraphrase Wilbur Dandridge III from the Thunderbirds episode ‘The Duchess Assignment’: “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like and these are sensational!” Thankfully you don’t need to be the aforementioned head of Gazelle Enterprises Incorporated to be able to afford these gorgeous Thunderbirds travel prints. Designed by Ali Winter of Teacup Piranha, the range is comprised of five different Thunderbirds locales ranging from the The Hood’s Temple in the Malaysian Jungle to Thunderbird 5 in Geostationary Orbit.

Each print boasts charming vintage style artwork with an appropriate slogan at the base. The range is printed on high quality paper, which provides a lovely photographic quality and enhances each image. The selection of images in this review don’t do them justice, they look even better up close and personal!

If a choice of five prints wasn’t enough, they’re also available in a wide variety of sizes to suit every conceivable display requirement (I suspect Mr Dandridge would have a small one framed on his desk and a giant version mounted on the wall of his office!).

Without any further delay, let’s get to the review!

The South Pacific Secret Of Tracy Island

The home of the Tracy family and the launch site for the incredible Thunderbird machines, there’s more to this island paradise than meets the eye.

Rendered here using a truly tropical colour pallet, the green palms, sandy beach and tranquil ocean are very vibrant and one can’t help but feel the holiday mood creeping in. The various installations on the island have been embellished at a larger than life scale, which both emphasizes their importance as the concealed hangars for the Thunderbird craft and also harks back to the stunning box artwork for the impossibly popular Matchbox Tracy Island playset from the early nineties.

This is one image that you’ll be sure to exclude from Operation Cover Up!

The High-Tech Hideout Of Brains’ Lab

Nobody knows exactly what Brains spends all his time working on, but I’ll bet that at least part of it involves that giant space-filling computer bank…thingy.

In an age where every app under the sun fits in the palm of your hand, one can’t help but marvel at the 1960’s view of 2060’s technological progression. Memorably used in the episode ‘The Cham-Cham’, this huge electronic device is full to the brim of flashing lights and other scientific…stuff. Whatever, it looks very cool! This print also includes the lovable robot, Braman, as well as some adorable little details cluttered around the work area including Brains’ glasses, a microscope, test tubes and a model rocket.

The sparse walls and metallic detailing on the doorway and console would make this the perfect print to decorate any office environment, whether scientific, science-fiction or even if you’re just a fan of overly complicated things that look cool!

The Geostationary Orbital Satellite Thunderbird 5

Picture the scene: you’re young, intelligent, determined, talkative, hilariously over-qualified and ready to face deadly danger in order to save the lives of others. Then your dad decides to stick you up in space, totally alone, for 6 months of the year. Tough break, kid, tough break. Still, if John has to be confined to orbit, it’s a good thing that he’s on board Thunderbird 5!

What a beautiful rendition of International Rescue’s Space Monitor. I’m not going to pretend that Thunderbird 5 is the prettiest craft in the series (that honour goes to Thunderbird 2), but it certainly features an intriguing and memorable design. Ali has captured the look of the craft perfectly in this print, looming in space over the Earth far below. You may be expecting me to say that the Thunderbird 5 print exudes a feeling of loneliness, given the vastness of space and so forth. Well you’d be wrong, if anything the image is rather calming. The glow of the Earth, the blurred light from distant stars and the quiet sentinel on the edge of space.

Quiet, yes, but ever watchful. I think this one might be my personal favourite, but let’s continue.

London Agent’s Residence Creighton Ward Manor

Lady Penelope Creighton Ward may be International Rescue’s most accomplished secret agent, but she still has to keep up appearances for those who know her as a wealthy socialite. So it doesn’t hurt to have a fabulous mansion and an unbelievable car to help sell the idea.

Famously modeled on Stourhead House in Wiltshire, Creighton Ward Manor is grand and impressive residence. The elegance of the building speaks for itself, an elegance that has made the jump from the television screen to this fine print. It would certainly look at home in the pages of a Places of Interest brochure for Penny’s circle of aristocrats.

The centre-piece of the image is FAB 1, the six-wheeled gadget laden Rolls Royce that James Bond would kill to get his hands on. From the famous radiator grill to the bubble canopy and pink paintwork with silver trim, all is present and correct as it should be. There’s a wonderful feeling of anticipation in this image, like an adventure is just about to begin!

Parker would be proud! (Note to self: buy extra copy of this print for Parker’s birthday).

Deep In The Heart Of The Jungle The Hood’s Temple

The Hood, the baddest (and baldest) of baddies, obsessed with discovering International Rescue’s secrets at all costs. Naturally an insane evil genius needs somewhere to hang his mask collection, so he likes to call this little piece of Malaysia home.

Moody? Check! Sinister? Check! An eerie and imposing structure, The Hood’s base of operations strikes dread into the hearts of those unfortunate enough to find themselves within its many walls. Home to some of the darkest and creepiest scenes in Thunderbirds, this ominous lair probably wouldn’t score too highly on Trip Advisor. But I suppose that wasn’t on the Hood’s agenda when he moved in.

This print mirrors the screen counterpart admirably, it’s as if you’ve just broken through a lot of dense foliage, only to be confronted with a mysterious and foreboding building. Ali’s use of vines and branches really sells the effect and the composition is enhanced by the choice of a low sun and hazey atmosphere. You can almost feel the humidity of the Jungle radiating from the print (I assume humidity can radiate. I’m a Thunderbirds fan, not a meteorologist).

Whether you’re trying to motivate your workforce or you need something to decorate your newly installed sandstone walls, this could well be the print for you!

The entire range of Vintage Thunderbirds Travel Prints is available to purchase now from the Gerry Anderson Online Shop

To learn more about Ali and the thought process behind the range, check out our interview

Don’t forget to enter our Prize Giveaway for your chance to a win a full set of A4-size prints in all 5 designs!

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Written by
Andrew Clements

A writer, film maker and self confessed Gerry Anderson fanatic. Free to good home.

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