A vintage 1917 Model T Ford, Gabriel is the odd one out among the Supermarionation star vehicles. Then again, The Secret Service as a series is often forgotten about in the same way. I for one have always enjoyed this novel little series, and have been rather fond of Father Unwin’s classic motor ever since I encountered the real thing at Andercon 2014. So I thought it was time to give this unloved Anderson vehicle the LEGO treatment!
Fortunately, Gabriel is far from being a vehicle of futuristic fantasy, and it did not take long for me to find other talented individuals who had immortalised similar cars in LEGO. This digital model of a 1912 Model T formed the basis of my design, although a lot of subtle adaptation was still needed to re-create Father Unwin’s bright yellow pride and joy.
Obviously the colour scheme was set at yellow and black. Unfortunately the wheels only came in all-black, but with a few simple decals it should be possible to get them looking screen accurate one day. Mounting the spare wheel on the side of the car proved particularly tricky as only a very limited number of small pieces are able to securely thread through the hole in the wheel and attach to the 1×2 jumper plate on the car itself.
Other challenges included designing the combined steering wheel and front windscreen sub-assembly, and of course the roof which is regularly shown both up and down in the series, and therefore had to be easily detatchable.
I was determined that this model be LEGO minifigure-scaled so that my own Stanley Unwin was able to sit inside. Eagle-eyed LEGO fans may recognise the figure’s face as none other than a beardless Albus Dumbledore from the original LEGO Harry Potter range. Final flourishes on this build were the inclusion of a suitcase, and a minimised Matthew Harding, achieved using one of LEGO’s delightful micro-scaled statuette pieces.
Once again I ordered all my parts from BrickLink and after an unusually long wait, I was able to assemble the MOC based on my digital design. The build process was fiddly due to the delicate assembly of the vehicle’s chassis, which employed a great deal of SNOT (Studs Not On Top) construction and carefully placed bar pieces.
The end result is a triumph. This most unusual of Anderson star cars is a classic piece of motor vehicle design, and just goes to show that LEGO lends itself beautifully to just about any era.
If you would like to see more from my LEGO Gerry Anderson collection, check out my main page here!
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