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TB2 Kit

Aoshima 1/350 Thunderbird 2 & 4 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review February 2007 Manufacturer Aoshima
Subject Thunderbird 2 & 4 Scale 1/350
Kit Number 03905 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nice detail in this scale Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (Yen) ¥2400 (about $20.00 USD)

First Look

TB2 Kit
TB2 Kit
TB2 Kit
TB2 Kit
TB2 Kit
TB2 Kit

Over 40 years ago, a man by the name of Gerry Anderson created a number of television series depicting different possibilities in our future. What was especially different about each of these series was that none of the stars of these shows were human. They were all puppets. Supermarionation was the term coined for the concept.

When these episodes were more recently released on DVD, I enjoyed watching them in sequential order for a change and seeing a few episodes that I invariably missed along the way. While my wife, who had never seen any of Gerry Anderson's work, was skeptical about this series and especially the concept of puppets as actors, it didn't take long for her to get engrossed in the stories and forget that she was watching puppets.

I enjoyed watching these episodes on television when I was growing up, and I especially enjoyed a series called the 'Thunderbirds'. In this world, veteran American astronaut Jeff Tracy retires and moved to a remote Pacific island with his sons and creates an organization called 'International Rescue'. The chief scientist, called 'Brains' developed a variety of technologies that would:

  1. Detect disasters and calls for help - this was the space station Thunderbird 5 usually crewed by John Tracy
  2. Dispatch a first-responder to take command on-scene and decide what special equipments were needed to affect the rescue. The first responder was the hypersonic aircraft Thunderbird 2 & 4 flown by Scott Tracy
  3. Transport the required rescue equipment to the scene of the disaster, the transport was Thunderbird 2 flown by Virgil Tracy
  4. Affect underwater rescues using a special submarine - this was Thunderbird 4 operated by Gordon Tracy
  5. Affect rescues within close proximity to Earth and to transfer crew members between Tracy Island and the orbital Thunderbird 5 - this was Thunderbird 3 flown by Alan Tracy

In Anderson's world of the Thunderbirds, Jeff Tracy operated International Rescue outside of the jurisdiction of any government, recognizing then that some things in the future will not be different from the present.

These kits have been around for a while, but the molds do not appear to be worse for wear. This kit contains a nicely detailed Thunderbird 2 molded in green styrene and Thunderbird 4 in yellow styrene. Note that the forward section of the fuselage on Thunderbird 2 is actually the flight deck. The one-piece nose slips over the flight deck after you've painted the interior, applied the decal displays, and installed the windscreen.

Thunderbird 2 can be posed on its belly or with its hydraulic jacks fully extended to clear the cargo pod. Inside the cargo pod is Thunderbird 4 on its deployement ramp.

It is nice to see how much detail is crammed into this 1/350 scale rendition of Thunderbird 2 and 4.

Three sheets of decals are included in this set. The first one covers the cockpit displays, the engine bells, and most of the distinctive markings. Sheet two has some additional markings for the airframe and larger ID markings for a display stand (not included). The third sheet has the markings for Thunderbird 4 and ID numbers for the cargo pod.

I am happy to see this kit still around and even to see an occasional episode on TV. If you're a Thunderbirds fan, you'll want to add this kit to your stash.

My sincere thanks to HobbyLink Japan for this review sample!