Friday, 28 October 2011

How to Make Tracy Island

Doesn't look much, does it? But in a few simple steps it can become this...

And it's a lot less messy than Blue Peter.

First, you'll need some cardboard of the type that increasingly seems to be replacing polystyrene as packaging for large electrical items.

This stuff is great - as you'll see - because it's like ready-made paper mâché without all that flour-and-water mess. I hate mess. Which is why I also opted to spray-paint the main part of the model so as to avoid the paint flakes we'd have had all over the carpet if I'd let Charlie do it with his poster paints.

You need to decide where the various craft are going to be best placed, do a little cutting and insert - variously - a loo-roll tube (Thunderbird 3), pot-noodle pot (Thunderbird 1) and cardboard runway (Thunderbird 3):

To mould the contours of the island - and to fill the gaps - all we did was tear up another of those cartons and then glue the bits on. They have the advantage of being almost ready-moulded to the shapes you want and - as I said - are as good or better than some 'here's-one-I-made-earlier' paper mâché.

It's also good and strong and should leave you with a pretty toddler-proof toy by the end of the proceedings.

Next comes the painting. As I've said, I chose to spray most of it but that's just my personal preference based on hoovering up the paint flakes from previous models we've made (like the Roary garage). That's definitely a job for an adult, although there's still plenty for your pint-sized helper to get on with.

Add the finishing touches - like the house, palm trees and so on - and you've got your very own base for International Rescue.

Thunderbird are go!

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