Due to the widescreen format, all the "standard" library shots had to be re-done, so despite the similarity to the TV effects shots, all launch sequences were created especially for the movies. However, it does not appear that different models or sets were used as the ones that appear in the movie look identical to the ones from the TV series. This is uncommon, when a TV series makes a transition from TV to movies the effects are almost invariably re-done with a larger budget. It is a credit to Derek Meddings and his crew that a lot of the existing models and sets could be employed in the movie versions.
Both are available on video and for the lucky few with laserdisc players they are available in widescreen versions.
Below are a few screen grabs from the widescreen laserdisc release of the first movie.
The screen grabs
Thunderbird 3 orbits Earth.
Scott Tracy at the controls of Thunderbird 1.
Thunderbird 1 prepares for launch.
During the movie there is a brief dream sequence where Alan dreams he goes to a nightclub with Lady Penelope. The group playing is none other than the 1960s contemporary band, Cliff Richard and the Shadows. They perform a song entitled "Shooting Star" During this, we are treated to puppet likenesses of the band and a wacky sequence where they dance on a giant guitar in space. The 60s were very distinctive!
The band as they appear at the start.
The band again, this time we see Lady Penelope and Alan in the foreground
Suddenly, Cliff changes into a chauffer uniform!
Welcome to the Shadows safari park! Please keep all windows closed.
The band playing on a giant guitar in outer space. Way out, man.
The vehicular star of the movie is undoubtably Zero X. Here we see it during its first flight, just after take-off.