More SWORD toys to celebrate Moonbase Central’s eighth birthday, and it’s the turn of the Re-Entry Task Force fleet.
The three Re-Entry Task Force craft according to the SWORD Official Manual:
…are experimental craft at the present time, similar in concept to the Probe Force Series, but being smaller are designed to be taken to the Moon aboard a larger craft, and used as propulsion units for craft unable, at present to return under their own power. Again the aim is to cut down on the vast wastage of machines and materials which are necessary at this stage in space development.
Judging by that I’m thinking these intriguingly designed craft were originally envisaged as a kind of lunar ‘space tug’ type vehicle by the Century 21 publishing staff when they were creating the Official Manual, although when they appeared in the ‘Solo’ comic Project SWORD strip, RTF 1 is SWORD Supremo ‘Sabre’s’ personal craft, and RTF 2 is SWORD Astronaut,’ Rapier’s’ personal craft.
TF 3 is a general purpose space patrol craft with a freight or medical stretcher hold.
(However, the numbers of 2 and 3 do get mixed up in both Solo and TV21 comics for
Generally speaking, this trio of pocket money 1/72 scale space toys featured fairly heavily in the Solo comic strip, and included cutaway drawings of each craft. (note the number mix up)
One type of Re-Entry Task Force craft did feature in the Project SWORD Annual. In the text story, ‘Queen of Spades’, the elderly, weather –beaten Sergeant Sandy ’Mac’ Morris flies a suicide mission aboard a bomb laden RTF 1 attempting to close a natural oil fissure that threatens to wipe out an African SWORD base.
In TV21, a RTF 2 attacks a rogue Moon Bus in, A Question of Discipline’, and in ‘The Fire Practice’, SWORD personal are caught napping by an attacking RTF 1.
The friction drive toys themselves have no gimmicks, but do come with a SWORD Astronaut badge and the Official Manual.