International Rescue: Thunderbird 2 Press-Out And Build Manual by Geoff Rayner and illustrated by Graham Bleathman (book review).

May 30, 2015 | By | Reply More

Buy Two and get Four free. By that I mean, with Thunderbird Two, you also get Thunderbird Four. This book, ‘International Rescue: Thunderbird 2 Press-Out And Build Manual’ has text and cutaway diagrams from the ‘International Rescue: Thunderbirds Agents’ Technical Manual’ that I reviewed a while back. However, as the front cover shows, this book is a press-out kit to make your own 1966 Thunderbird Two model out of card. Rather than just tell you about this book, I will follow their instructions and make one to show you here so you can see the end result and any snags I had along the way.


Shame there are no part numbers on the pages and I would hesitate over the instruction to take out all the parts before you start in case you lose any or they get damaged or lost. It’s a lot easier to stay organised that way. All the parts are colour spot coded for which are hidden in the folds as you put the model together.

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Anyway, I’m making notes as I go and will give you the indicators as to the order to pick the pieces out of the card, although you will have to pencil the page numbers on the two-page foldouts. Some of the pieces are in duplicate and it’s important to ensure that they are on the right or left sides, let alone the right way up. I ended up taking a double-take and took out one piece when I wasn’t sure if I’d put it in the right way.

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This numbering is based on page to numbered instruction:-

Page 1:                        77; 76; 46

Page 2:                        101; 36

Page 3:                        114; 104; 2; 94; 95

Page 4:                        163; 52; 118-119; 67

Page 5:                        133; 127-128; 147

Page 6:                        132; 24; 12

Page 7:                        143; 136; 108-109

Although the instructions say no glue or scissors is required, I ended up using cellotape and was a godsend for keeping the front of Thunderbird 2 together. If I was going to make any modification, I think the nose section, including its back should have been completed as a whole, including the nacelles, and slotted in than the elaborate folds to make it work. I would recommend doing a bit at a time over a few days than rushing it in one day. It’s very easy to lose concentration with the instructions.

DSCF0979  DSCF0980

If I didn’t need cellotape before, then I certainly needed it to keep the side wings in place as they were simply far too loose. At this stage, TB2 is definitely looking like its getting there. The rear wings needed a little extra cut in one of front slots to ensure it could fit. I did ponder on why the back exhausts were put on after the tail assemble though because this proved to be a lot trickier having to hook in two circular spirals. The same had to be said about Thunderbird 4 as well.

As you should be able to see from the photos, I didn’t do too well with the pod. I thought the instruction said put top to bottom before adding the front and back. However, I doubt if it would make much difference. It’s just a little flatter than it should be. Ergo, don’t treat the pod as being the easiest to build. With multiple parts to give the pod its shape, these had to be taped to stop them falling apart.

One thing that does puzzle me is how designer Geoff Rayner thinks the paper pegs will all stay in place without tape when there were so many together. It became a bit of a juggling act keeping them from floating out that I didn’t have much choice but to resort to tape. I doubt if glue would have been effective unless you’re patient with drying times.

At least, by the time you complete it, this does actually look like Thunderbird 2. Thunderbird 4 doesn’t have the front scoop but wouldn’t be difficult to make from a paper-clip and a piece of silvered cardboard. I suspect with practice, I could even improve on this as well.


Looking at the completed model, I’m pretty sure I could improve the pod with a second book, although my spare, will be kept pristine for my collection. Oddly, the name at the front sides of the fuselage was omitted which is odd considering the illustrated detail elsewhere on it. If you can lay your hands on some white letters that are either sticky or rubbed on, then you could remedy during construction.

One has to wonder why EIGHT Innovation haven’t made similar press-out books for Thunderbirds One, Three and Five, let along FAB ONE but in the local newsagents they have done press-outs for other vehicles. For your spogs or even yourself, it will teach you the lessons of patience when building and might even get the taste to do more models before moving up to that plastic material.

GF Willmetts

May 2015

(pub: Haynes/EIGHT Innovation Ltd. 52 page illustrated large softcover. Price: £12.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-908816-19-1)

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Category: Books, Toys/Models

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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