Since I was born in 1961 Gerry Anderson was an important and unforgettable part of my childhood. I came across Thunderbirds first. I was about five years old and living in France and I saw the episode where an automated forest clearing machine went out of control. I had no idea what was happening, it was dubbed into french, and I was terrified. I still shudder when I see that episode.
Later on, when I moved back to England, Thunderbirds became a firm favourite but it was soon overtaken by Captain Scarlet. I loved Captain Scarlet with a passion.
Watching Captain Scarlet today as an adult I notice the horribly bad dialogue and silly plots. Back when I was eight I noticed the brilliantly designed cars and settings. Luckily I can still appreciate those today. The designs and model work of Derek Meddings remain strikingly stylish and impressive today. these coupled with the idea of Spectrum, an organisation made up of individuals in similar but differently coloured uniforms (which one would we see this week?), made Captain Scarlet an enduring winner for me.
Luckily for me Gerry Anderson was no slouch at the marketing side of things. My passion for Captain Scarlet was catered to by a fairly substantial range of toys. My father took me to London one day, to Gamages' toy department, so I could stock up. I came away with a Captain Scarlet costume, a Lone Star Captain Scarlet cap gun and, best of all, a huge, to my eyes, SPV.
Unfortunately, as I waited outside the front of the shop for my father to go back and get something, I clutched the SPV a little too closely to my chest and inadvertently pressed the button you can see in the picture above. This activated the ejector seat and Captain Blue was propelled into the revolving doors of Gamages and lost a leg. Unlike Captain Scarlet, Captain Blue was not indestructible.
Anyway, I digress, back to the present.
Crooked Dice produced a set of three male and two female Timelift Security agents a little while ago and my joy was unbounded. Finally the Spectrum organisation could join my other tabletop warriors.
I've organised the figures into four squads of three. Each pair of squads can be led by Captain Scarlet and Captain Black (in his pre Mysteron days) who are based individually as leaders. Overall command is exercised by Colonel White accompanied by Lieutenant Green on a command base. My Mysteron agents above are from Copplestone Castings.
The vehicles are diecast models from the 1990s resurgence. The SPVs are slightly smaller than the original Dinky Toys version and are a better fit (and better painted) for the figures. They can be expensive, carded SPVs are about £40.00 on eBay, but I found a couple for under £30.00 the pair by being patient.
I included all the Spectrum officers who were shown in the original series but had to add more to make up the numbers.
I made Dr Fawn a Captain, missed out Dr Gold and ignored Lieutenant Silver (a woman from the CGI series). I also made Lieutenant Green white as opposed to Mexican or whatever he was supposed to be in the interests of quicker painting.
Incidentally, I bought the CGI series to see what it was like and I didn't get on with it at all. It has all the faults of the original and none of the good bits. I don't recommend it.
Finally, I gave the girls girly names because it seemed to fit.
The dark grey parts of the uniforms were painted with Coat D'arms Panzer grey this is a very dark grey, almost black, and I didn't highlight it at all to make the colourful parts stand out more. The black parts of the figures, belts, zips and hat peaks and crowns, did receive a dark grey highlight. The hat band is straight white and the hat insignia is blue with a central yellow dot. The actual hat peaks in the original series are transparent but I never liked that so I changed them.
All the colours listed below are triads.
From left to right (roughly): Captain Cyan (Foundry Vivid Blue), Captain Tangerine (Foundry Orange), Captain Magenta (Foundry Deep Mauve), Captain Yellow (Coat D'arms Yellow), Captain Fawn (Foundry Buff Leather), Captain Violet (Foundry Royal Purple), Colonel White (Coat D'arms White) and Lieutenant Green (Foundry Phlegm Green).
Captain Blue (Coat D'arms Mid Blue), Captain Primrose (Foundry Yellow), Captain Brown (Foundry Spearshaft), Captain Scarlet was painted in grey scale and then given a final top coat of GW blood red, Captain Black was painted just a flat black, Captain Grey (Coat D'arms Grey), Captain Rose (Foundry Nipple Pink) and Captain Ochre (Foundry Ochre).
I was going to include a Captain Indigo but left him out in favour of the brighter options. I've since found out he's mentioned in the series so it looks like I'll be doing some more figures soon.