Thunderbirds Pod Vehicles

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May 16, 2016 by catomighty

I backed the Thunderbirds 50th anniversary board game Kickstarter published by Modiphius.  This game is so much fun to play, it is the best boardgame with toys ever!  It is a co-operative game for 1-4 players, plus an additional 0-1 actively taking the role of the baddie, The Hood.  Designed by Matt Leacock, designer of Pandemic, the Thunderbirds has a lot of similar mechanics to Pandemic, but fun ^,^  I’m quite neutral about playing Pandemic, I don’t hate it, but I can’t say I’ve ever had fun playing it.

In Thunderbirds, the players take the roles of the characters from International Rescue and are trying to simultaneously avert a steady stream of Disasters around the globe and in outer space, all while trying to prevent The Hood from conquering the world through his nefarious Schemes.  Like most co-operative boardgames, this is a game of co-operatively losing most of the time.  The game needs to be challenging to be worth playing, and if your players start finding it to easy to win, then it’s simply time to increase the difficulty setting of the game set-up so you can start losing again….  But Thunderbirds makes this such a fun process since the character pieces are always jumping in and out of the various Thunderbird vehicles to move around the board in the glorious attempt to save the world.

As well as moving the characters in and out of their various vehicles, there is also a group of small Pod Vehicles which they can take with them for bonuses in trying to avert particular Disasters or Schemes.  Remember I mentioned that this is the best game for playing with toys?  The pod vehicles physically get placed inside the larger transport vehicles to move them across the board.  2 Pod Vehicles can fit inside Thunderbird 2, and 1 can fit inside FAB 2.

The base came includes 10 cardboard counters for the Pod Vehicles, but the Tracey Island expansion includes [very cute] plastic models to replace the 10 counters, and adds an additional 4 as well.  At the time of this writing, the Tracey Island and other expansions which were included in the Kickstarter have not been released for retail sale yet, but are coming soon.

The models of the Pod Vehicles are all in grey plastic.  I’ve painted mine up so they look more fab and even cuter.  Eventually, I will also paint the Disaster Vehicle models which come in one of the other expansions, and my likely paint the main Thunderbird and FAB vehicles at some point too.

I started by spray painting the Pod Vehicles with a variety of Krylon Fusion paints to provide the base colours.  Even the Mole was sprayed Grey to provide a base coat before doing detail painting.  Just spray painting the base colour alone adds a lot to the festive look over them all being grey plastic.
Top: Firefly, Recovery Vehicle, Monobrake, Fire Truck, Jet Air Transporter.

Middle: Mole, DOMO, Excavator, Mobile Crane.

Bottom: Transmitter Truck, Laser Cutter, Thunderiser, Neutraliser Tractor, Elevator Car.

Then a bit of detail paint really helps them to stand out:


And as a final touch, there is a letter inset on the bottom of each one coded to the identity list in the Brain’s Notebook on the gameboard.  I painted those white to quickly help folks identify which is which if they are unfamiliar with all of them:


The toys in action:


Having fun!

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