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“[The sky backdrops] were designed specifically by my art director, who's also a pilot, so he's got a lot of knowledge of skies, 'cause it's obviously drawn by a man who knows his clouds. He's up there all the time!”
David Mitton, The Making of Thomas the Tank Engine

Robert "Bob" Gauld-Galliers was the art director for Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends.


Bob joined Clearwater Features in 1979 as a commercial story board artist, scenic director, and character designer after illustrating concepts for a science fiction movie. He left Clearwater after taking a job in Bavaria and returned after being offered a job as an artistic director by David Mitton, a year and a half before Britt Allcroft commissioned a pilot of Thomas the Tank Engine. Gauld-Galliers began working on the show in 1983 when the test pilot was produced, and helped set the look in the 1940s and 50s in keeping with the illustrations of The Railway Series.

In 1998[1] and 2000[2], he was commissioned by Sony Creative Products Inc. for the development of Thomas Land in Japan.

He was art director on all series until the seventh series and created the character Nigel for the Sodor Construction Company, who was dropped at the last minute.

He was also the set designer for TUGS and one of the original production designers for The Magic Adventures of Mumfie.

Gauld-Galliers is also a pilot, which David Mitton found a great advantage when it came to painting the sky cycloramas for the sets in the series. He is a big aviation fan and has a passion for World War I aircraft.

Art Director


  • He is credited as Bob Gauld-Galliers, except in TUGS and the third and fourth series.
  • CBECC is based on a private biplane flown by Gauld-Galliers during his days at flying school.
  • He has thought about publishing a coffee table book containing the set drawings for Thomas.


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