Captain Scarlet


Marc J. Frattasio


This unusually aerodynamic looking eight-wheeled ambulance made brief guest appearances in Winged Assassin and Treble Cross.
The Captain Scarlet ambulance appears to have been a one-shot, hand-made deal which was primarily fabricated from wood. Clear acetate plastic sheet was used for the windows. The wheels are the kind of thing used with radio controlled model airplanes. The cab interior was fitted with the bust of a driver made from sculpted and painted plasticine clay. The model was fitted with operating lighting consisting of interior lights and flashing blue lights mounted over the cab. These lights were battery operated model railroad grain of wheat lamps.
The Captain Scarlet ambulance was actually rebuilt from the yellow Crablogger control vehicle seen in the Thunderbirds episode Path of Destruction. Most of the wooden or fiberglass models used in the Supermarionation programs were finished using cellulose automotive paints. Such paints are easy to sand down and repaint. Thus, models finished with cellulose automotive paints were easier for the special effects technicians and modelmakers to repair or rework.

Fire Trucks

Fire Trucks
This interesting collection of fire vehicles was seen very briefly at the beginning of Seek and Destroy as it tries to fight a warehouse fire set by Captain Black which destroys several newly constructed Angel Jets.
The fire chief's car on the left was made from some kind of 1/25th scale model car kit. Indeed, it looks like it may have been a 1967 Pontiac Firebird or Chevrolet Camaro. Plastic model kits like this could not be finished using cellulose paints. Such paints melt or craze styrene plastic. Thus, standard hobby enamel paints were used on converted kits such as this one.
The vehicle to the right of center was actually a Thunderbird 2 pod vehicle which was used in Thunderbirds. It was the International Rescue mobile crane featured in Path of Destruction. This model appears to be a one-off thing made from wood with plastic wheels taken from some kind of toy.
The fire truck on the far right was also seen in Thunderbirds. Several of these things were made for Thunderbirds. In Thunderbirds, they may have been most memorable in Path of Destruction as the Crablogger's fuel trucks and processed wood pulp pickup trucks. This type of model was also the basis of the Spectrum secret VIP tanker truck seen in several Captain Scarlet episodes including Winged Assassin. The body of this fire truck model was made from a hollow fiberglass casting which was taken from a plaster mold. The body casting was detailed with plastic model kit parts and mounted to a wooden underframe. The rubber tires are the type used with slot cars and the wheel hubs were turned from metal.

Trailer Truck

Big Ben Truck
This trailer truck was used in several episodes of Captain Scarlet. A trailer truck like this was used to carry a nuclear bomb in Big Ben Strikes Again and also to carry a nuclear reactor in Expo 2068.
More than one of these trailer truck models may have been constructed, possibly in different scales. They appear to have been made from wood with wheels taken from some kind of toy. Wherever these particular wheels came from, they were frequently used in Captain Scarlet and Joe 90 for various trucks and other vehicles. The trailer part of this vehicle may have been the basis of Jason Smith's explosives truck seen in Fire at Rig 15.

Jason Smith's Explosives Truck

Explosives Truck
Jason Smith was an oil fire expert who was killed and Mysteronized in Fire at Rig 15. Smith used this truck to transport the special explosives used to fight oil and gas rig fires.
It would appear that the body of this truck was made from the same type of truck trailer seen in Big Ben Chimes Again and Expo 2068. It appears to be a wooden model, detailed with plastic kit parts and other junk. The wheels are the same types of things used on the Big Ben Chimes Again and Expo 2068 trucks and seem to have come from some kind of toy.

Military Trucks

Military Trucks
These large scale military truck models were destroyed by the Unitron tank in Point 783.
There is not much to tell about these vehicles except that they were made in an unusually large scale for Supermarionation 'guest' vehicles. The models were made to scale with the World Army Unitron tank 'miniature', which was itself based upon the large Remco 'Tiger Joe' battery operated tank toy. Remco's battery operated 'Tiger Joe' tank toy was nearly a foot long.
These military trucks were originally built for Thunderbirds and can be seen in the company of yet another 'Tiger Joe' based military tank miniature in Impostors.

Methane Gas Truck

MCA Truck
The Methane Corporation of America (MCA) liquid methane gas tank truck seen here was featured in a very key scene in Point 783.
This model appears to have been made from a combination of PVC pipe and wood with wheels taken from some kind of toy. The lettering on the side of the tank is Letraset dry transfer lettering.
It is possible that more than one gas tank truck model was made, since the MCA truck was clearly destroyed in an explosion in Point 783 and yet a truck of the same basic design is also seen in Place of the Angels.

Delta Gasoline Tank Truck

Delta Fuel Truck
The Delta gasoline tank truck featured in Place of the Angels appears to have been the exact same kind of model, if not the exact same model, as the Methane Corporation of America liquid methane gas tank truck from Point 783 which was examined briefly above.
This model appears to have been made from a combination of PVC pipe and wood with wheels taken from some kind of toy. The markings on the side of the tank are a combination of Letraset dry transfer lettering and adhesive automotive striping tape.
It would appear that more than one of these models was made, as in both cases, the model seen in Place of the Angels and Point 783 was destroyed by an explosion. However, it is possible that the fire was put out quickly in one episode or the other and the same model was salvaged, rebuilt, and repainted for reuse. Neither vehicle was filmed in detail for these two episodes. Indeed, the Delta gasoline tank truck was filmed in poor light for a night scene. Thus, a really crappy looking but quickly repaired fire damaged model could have been used in either episode and nobody would have known any better.

Base Concord Rocket Transporter

Rocket Transporter
This rocket transporter vehicle is taking a missile into an underground storage bunker at Base Concord in Renegade Rocket. This particular model was cobbled together from several items which were first seen in Thunderbirds and I suspect that it was later used in Thunderbird 6 at the Dover missile base.
The tractor appears to have been adapted from the Thunderbirds pod vehicle featured in Martian Invasion (drilling and crushing excavator) and The Duchess Assignment (Domo mobile restraining gear). This model is basically a wooden body, detailed with plastic kit parts, and mounted on the Vickers Vigor battery operated tractor toy. The operating gear from this toy formed the basis for most of the tracked pod vehicles seen in Thunderbirds including the popular Mole.
The wheeled trailer was made from the rocket transporter featured in the Thunderbirds episode Day of Disaster. The basic trailer body was made from wood and had a truss framework made from an Airfix plastic HO/OO scale model railroad bridge kit. The wheels appear to have been of the type used with radio controlled model airplanes.
The rocket payload appears to have been made from turned wooden shapes with model aircraft decals added for detail.
Trivia note; the radar map of Base Concord clearly shows the base to be located in Japan!

Liquid Oxygen Truck

Liquid Oxygen Truck
This interesting truck was used in Avalanche to service the sealed domes of the Frost Line Outer Space Defense System with liquid oxygen.
This model appears to have been another one-off thing which was made primarily from wood with tracks taken from the Japanese 'MS-58 Missile Tank' or 'M-1 Tank' toy. In this case, only the metal tracks were taken from this toy, not the battery operated running gear, as this model was pulled on a wire along the miniature sets. The markings on this model were a combination of Letraset dry transfer letters and automobile striping tape.
One very interesting thing about this particular episode is that you can see for yourself how the liquid oxygen truck model was put together if you look real closely at it as it tumbles off a miniature cliff face in two different scenes (probably the same scene filmed from two different angles). What you may notice when the model breaks apart is that it was put together from wooden sub-assemblies. Also, you may notice that the cargo area of the model contained a clear plastic bag, perhaps to ensure that the parts of the model flew outwards in the crash.

Angel Jet Transport Truck

Angel Jet Transport Truck
This truck was used in Seek and Destroy to transport crated Angel Jets from the factory which fitted the engines to a dead-drop warehouse where they would be picked up for final painting and flight testing.
This is another one-of-a-kind model which was made out of wood for the most part. The wheels are of the type used for radio controlled model airplanes. The model was fitted with a battery operated flashing light which was made from a model railroad grain of wheat bulb. Trim stripes were made from colored automobile striping tape.
The scene in which this truck is destroyed is also very educational, as you can see the various sub-assemblies that made up the front of the truck as it is torn apart in the warehouse explosion.

Oil Well Fire Truck

Oil Rig Fire Truck
The oil well fire truck seen here was instrumental in causing the Mysteronization of Jason Smith in Fire at Rig 15. This vehicle is the same basic concept as the International Rescue Firefly from Thunderbirds.
This one-of-a-kind model appears to have been a simple wooden body which was mounted on top of the Japanese battery operated 'MS-58 Missile Tank' or 'M-1 Tank' toy.

Snow Cougar 21

Snow Cougar 21
Here is the Snow Cougar vehicle featured in Noose of Ice. Snow Cougars service various electrical booster stations located around the important Tritonium mine near the North Pole.
This is yet another one-of-a-kind model and it used the same tracked undercarriage, from the Vickers 'Vigor' battery operated toy tractor, which was used to make many of the Thunderbirds pod vehicles. The body is of course made of wood with windows made from transparent acetate sheet. The lettering is Letraset dry transfer and the striping is made of colored tape.
The snow in this scene is most likely made from baking powder or flour.

Captain Black's Murder Truck

Captain Black's Truck
This strange looking truck was used by Captain Black to run World Air Force Major Gravener off the road in Treble Cross.
This is a most unusual looking miniature. Its delicate appearance makes it possible that it was an adapted 1/25th scale plastic model kit or toy. The model was fitted with a pair of battery operated model railroad grain of wheat bulbs mounted on an extensible boom on its left side.
Trivia note; this model hangar appears to have been used on the abandoned airfield in the Sahara Desert set featured in Thunderbird 6.

Slaton Airbase Trucks

Slaton Airbase Trucks
These trucks were driven out on the runway at Slaton Airbase to prevent the Mysteronized Major Gravener from taking off in a stolen XK-107 bomber in Treble Cross.
These miniature trucks appear to be stock Corgi or Dinky die cast toys which were given a wash of thinned black paint to 'age' them a bit!
Trivia note; the aircraft visible in the background are from left to right, a Revell or Monogram SST kit, an Aurora 727 kit (also seen in Thunderbirds), and the United Asian Republic jet from Winged Assassin.

Swift Removals Van?

Swift Removals Van
This Swift Removals van, as seen in the Captain Scarlet pilot episode, is not at all what it seems to be. After Captain Blue shows his Spectrum ID to the gas station attendent, actually a Spectrum secret agent, the attendant hits a button and the van blows apart to reveal a hidden SPV!

Hidden SPV Revealed!

SPV Revealed!
This model appears to have been made from wood with wheels taken from some kind of toy. Note the construction details required to make it spring apart to reveal the SPV. Note also that the SPV is more than a bit underscaled compared to the truck! That cloud of dust surrounding the blown apart van is actually Fuller's Earth.
Believe it or not, Imai of Japan actually made a model kit of this interesting vehicle and the latest reissue of this kit may still be found today at a reasonable price with just a little bit of searching!
This page published originally at the Supermarionation sfx WebSite
text ©1996 Marc J. Frattasio; not for reproduction for profit without his express permission