It’s worth pointing out that I was able to write the bulk of this article in the line for the ‘Skull Island’ ride at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. Isn’t technology wonderful?
One of the most popular images I’ve ever produced is this image of Stingray under construction. While making it I was thinking about the story behind her. No backstory was ever written for the sub, all we get is a hint that Commander Shore may have captained her at one point and that mysterious ‘3’ on the side.
What could this mean? Is that Stingray is third in her class? The third ship in the WASP fleet? Or simply the third hero craft designed by Bob Bell?
Any of these could be right, but as a designer, I decided to come up with a more fun option.
What if there was a fleet of Stingray-like vessels each subtly unique and mission specific, bear in mind these are fun little digital doodles that I put together over a few nights, you can take them as seriously as you like.
Essentially, I wanted something that would bridge the gap between a normal submarine and the Super-sleek fish-like curves we see on Stingray. To this end, I basically built her around the engine, like she was a test bed for the exciting new “contra-rotating anti-torque eddy dampener” technology (ask Graham Bleathman).
It’s smaller and also has no windows, which by default makes it feel less advanced. I’d like to think it’s still in use by the time Stingray rolls around, as a scout ship or something. The name came from the shape of the back fins as I guess it had to be nautically named.
There was always going to be a Swordfish, like seriously, what self-respectable bad-ass underwater patrol service was not going to dub one of their ships with an awesome name like “Swordfish”?
From a design stand-point, Swordfish is very close to Stingray. In my head, she is a pure fast attack combat vessel with a super sleek front (which is how she gets her name). One thing I never quite worked out on Stingray is how she turned, as all her fins were in odd diagonal directions. (I’m presuming in addition to the fins, the outtakes at the back can move her side to side.) I gave Swordfish one vertical tail fin and flattened out rear fins in addition to the standard side ones.
Again, I’d like to think Swordfish is still out there during the show, having it’s own marginally less exciting adventures. Looking back at the design I’d like to make it more like Stingray, but I feel this way it gets the progression across more clearly.
So where does the hero ship fit in my ramblings? To me Stingray is more of a balance, it’s not as aggressive as Swordfish but probably faster and more maneuverable. A proper all-round patrol vessel ready to ruin Titans day at any opportunity.
So what do you think? Do you have any designs for new Gerry Anderson vehicles? By all means, let us see them by posting them on our Facebook page!