This isn't an Instructable on how to make the infamous Tracy Island out of papier mache a la Anthea Turner, Perfect Housewife Extrodinare, this is just an added guide on the practicalities of making your own. It is good fun and very rewarding once you've finished but it takes FOREVER...seriously it took me four months to complete it. This was due to collecting all the various bits and bobs, waiting for it to dry, adding bits on after it had dried, having a short break inbetween because I couldn't bear to look at it for a while  and for me to be completely happy with the final product. This isn't a project to take lightly or one that you can do in a week, it takes a lot of patience and determination but it's completely worth it at the end.

If you want to make Tracy Island you should go here: http://youtu.be/auiP1YdelEo and then here for part two: http://youtu.be/ejrBFfL2cIs for the step-by-step "here's one I made earlier" guide demonstrated by Anthea Turner herself.
Or you can find a VHS copy on Ebay like I did (although it is exactly the same as the Youtube videos)
Or print off this PDF of the original fact sheet http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/classic/bluepeter/makes/tracyisland.pdf  

After you have watched the videos in their entirety several times over and you've psyched yourself up to devote your time, blood sweat and tears into making this monumental piece of history from your childhood, dig out your Thunderbirds models from the attic then come back here and I shall share my hints and tips on how to actually make this without dissolving into hysterical fits of tears due to frustration.

NB. on the whole Anthea Turner explains how to make Tracy Island very well, my guide is meant to accompany the original footage and to give you hope and a sense that there is actually light at the end of the tunnel when you're feel tempted to throw your big mess of soggy scrunched up newspaper out of the window!

Step 1: Getting Started - the Matterials

After you've watched the original Blue Peter footage and you're going on your scavenging hunt bear in mind the following details:

My Tracy Island ended up being roughly 53cm from left to right  x 50cm from the base of the mountains to the end of the runway so make sure you have a large enough box to use as a base. Originally I made my base far too small and had to keep extending bits as I went along. If I did it again I would draw the initial shape of the island onto the cardboard but not cut it out until all the papier mache is complete. This way if you do need to extend it out a bit further it's not the end of the world. This will also help prevent the endeds from curling up when they get sodden with flour glue! 

DON'T USE A TISSUE BOX FOR THE HANGER FOR THUNDERBIRD 2!!! I cannot stress this enough. I wanted my Tracy Island to be as authentic and close to the Blue Peter version as possible so I followed the instructions as closely as possible but I don't buy tissues in boxes like that any more (I just use bog roll usually). At the time of making this I was working at a hearing aid shop and we used to get stock deliveries in lots of different sized cardboard boxes and there was one that was the same shape and size of a tissue box so I brought it home with me and I'm very grateful that I did. If I had used a normal tissue box, it would have caved in and disintegrated due to the shear weight and sogginess of the papier mache and I would have cried lots! 

I started off by using a large cream pot for Thunderbird 1's launch pad but ended up down grading to a smaller one half way through. This was mainly because I felt that it was more aesthetically pleasing in the end and a nicer fit for Thunderbird 1.

When you've got these main ingredients you can start getting messy with the mache (but please please put down LOTS of newspaper before hand and possibly cover the whole room in it because the flour glue will get everywhere!)
<p>I have made my own Tracey Island following the Blue Peter instructions but now I'm struggling to find models to fit in it! Which ones do you have?</p>
This is great! The best thing is that it's a playable model.
Why thank you. It was great fun to make as well and I'm particularly proud of the adjustable runway.
You've been watching old blue peter's haven't you? I made this as a kid!
Watching old Blue Peter clips is a dirty habit of mine that takes up a large majority of my time! <br> <br>And I never got around to making it as a kid so thought I would make up for my lost childhood. Hee hee.

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Bio: I like telly...I work in telly, I watch a lot of telly and most of the crafty things I make are normally telly related ... More »
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