First, as a child, I was deeply impressed by Gerry Anderson's series UFO and Space:1999 (I love the models, and still do!). It wasn't easy to be a fan either as this was before the days of cable and the shows were never really broadcast consistently here in the US. I also used to love Godzilla movies. My favorite parts? When the Japanese Army would race to downtown Tokyo where Godzilla (or one of his friends) was wreaking havoc on all those beautiful building models!
In fact, the "Earth Defense Organization" is actually a bit of an homage to SHADO, although I was originally going to call it the "Quinntopia Xenomorph Self Defense Force" (for which I even created a logo!) which was influenced by the Toho films! The motto in the banner at the top is Latin for "Destroy All Monsters". A good motto! But "QXSDF" was too hard to write!
A couple of years ago I got a Minitrix Class 47 in a lot of various pieces I won off eBay. The Class 47 was in bad shape (including missing the buffers, which is somewhat painfully obvious in the video), although it did still run. It sat in my 'project drawer' for a number of years.
I've always loved model tanks. So when I discovered the Roco Minitanks (and Arnold) flat cars with various Leopards, M115's, Unimogs, etc... I tried to get as many as I could find whenever they would show up.
Yes, real fireworks were used! I wasn't sure what the effect would be....but I had expected things to catch on fire (which they did!). So I had one shot to get it right, otherwise I would have to find another junker building to sacrifice!
The Class 47 was always designated to be the first locomotive for the EDO armored group, but a color scheme was a challenge. I considered solid black, olive green, and other options, but ultimately went with a grey camouflage pattern that I created by cutting random shapes from masking tape.