As its half term I've had chance to look through everything left in the crates loaned to me last Autumn from SWORDgrasshopper. I have already blogged all the vintage toys so the remaining goodies are all relatively modern and focus on Gerry Anderson's THUNDERBIRDS and UFO. Nevertheless, they are simply stunning and many are HUGE!
My photography isn't always the best so I hope to compensate with some further information. Enjoy.
First up is the Aoshima/ Carlton UFO MOON BASE model from 2002, in cream plastic for painting at home. This is a modern re-issue of Imai 's original THUNDERBIRD UFO SECRET DOOM CENTRE* from 1976, which was manufactured in different coloured plastic parts and combined all five of previous smaller Imai UFO dome kits issued in 1973.
* there is some confusion over which original kit this is a re-issue of. FABGEAR USA incorrectly state it to be the UFO BIG BASE from 1980, but this doesn't contain any SWORD vehicles.
Like the Imai original, which breathed new life into Project SWORD in Japan during the early Seventies, a good 6 years after the Century 21 toys and comic stories had ceased in the UK, this Aoshima kit reincarnated Project SWORD once again for the Noughties, as, like the original, it featured a miniature Moon Prospector....
a Scramble Bug [pictured top and left in the sprue]....
and the Moon Crawler [bottom part of the sprue].
The leaflet inside depicts the base like this. including the rear feature of a spring-loaded launch bay for the UFO Lunar Module.
The entire range of 14 vehicles included are depicted in colour on the side of the box. To this day I am still unsure why Project SWORD became linked with UFO in the minds of Japanese model kit designers but by doing so extended SWORD's shelf life by a staggering 35 years!
Next up is the amazing ULTIMATE COLLECTION 03 by Konami from 2007. Its a formidable window box, which admirably displays the multitude of UFO craft in this fabulous set of toys. It complements the Aoshima Moon Base perfectly and is more or less its contemporary.
The box underside depicts the different plastic vehicles and structures inside. Being Konami each vehicle had its own stand for display. Not being a re-issue of an Imai kit, alas there is no Project SWORD included here.
The contents are held neatly in place in a large plastic tray.
The loose vehicles have a high play value. The Interceptors come with their own silos. Not wanting to disturb everything in the set I placed a few loose craft on a piece of home-made moonscape.....
....like the SHADO mobile and one of several Interceptors
...the Shadair Transporter Aircraft [red and white], Skydiver and Sky 1
...and the Lunar Module and Carrier
The two SHADO Mobiles have some loevly detailing including a radar unit. They can be displayed loose...
or on their special plastic woodland diorama base.
There are more tiny SHADO mobiles in a small case. These partner up with the SHADAIR Transport plane as freight.
The various building elements in the set form a multi-level structure to house the Interceptors.
and finally the insect like Moon Buggy completes this amazing set.
Next up is a much larger Japanese rendition of a Gerry Anderson craft, the Aoshima Miracle House THUNDERBIRD 2 die-cast toy from 2003.
It comes with high quality detailing, a detachable pod, metal legs and a realistic miniature Mole.
The large die-cast model is held safely in place in a polystyrene inner box.
The toy/ model itself impresses with its sheer size, industrial looks and weathering.
But if you thought that was big then have a look at this!
This is the gigantic THUNDERBIRD 2 by Takara! Part of their classic Rescue Mecha Collection, this monster is at 1/144 scale and often sited as one of the Holy Grails of Thunderbird collectactables.
It comes in a huge sturdy carry case and is encased by a large plastic shaped sheet. The pod is protected by tissue.
The accessories are protected in the base of the box with more plastic.
The under-carraige reveals the four plastic telescopic legs, which extend when the battery-operated toy is activated.
It comes complete with a colour leaflet. A pure SWORDhead like me was even impressed by this enormous Thunderbird 2!
Which brings me to a further whole box of Thunderbirds treasures including....
The Takara TB2 Pod......its outer box
and the insides!
The highly detailed Recovery Vehicle is fantastically well made.
This Recovery Vehicle Set by Takara as well is at the same large 1/144 scale as the huge TB2 we saw earlier.
Next up are these sumptuous Hot Wheels/ Bandai fleets of Thunderbirds TB2 pod vehicles. If only Bandai did the same for SpaceX toys!
Yet more Aoshima and Takara Thunderbirds treats
A 1/200 scale TB2 container [I didn't want to unwrap it]
A beautifil 1/200 scale die-cast Thunderbird 1
which comes with tons of realistic detailing
Moving away from die-cast, here is a 1/100 scale soft vinyl model kit of Thunderbird 1. I love the simple line drawing box art on this model. This large unpainted garage kit was released in 1991 by A-Box of Japan.
Last but not least here are some further large models from Japan made from resin with brass metal accessories.
The SUPER BIG MODEL TB2 by IMAI from 1991
The Imai TB1 BIG MODEL from 1991
which includes a superb signature card by Showa artist master Komatsuzaki Shigeru.
The colour leaflet also features the painted BIG model Zero-X.....
which comes in a big box.....
and looks like this!
It has to be biggest Zero-X kit out there!
and finally the OX kit in its SUPER BIG MODEL box!
Hope you enjoyed it. Case closed!