Please excuse the slightly contentious title, it's intended to provoke interest more than anything else.
I loved the article by Dave Tree - exceptionally well put together and researched. However, I'm not sure that F-Force was the name, and here's why (the argument depends on there being no other facts than the ones from the article). Oh and I am in no way challenging Dave's research etc - this is just friendly debate around a point of interest!
My hypothesis is that the force is 'Special Weapons Force'
The case for Special Weapons force...
1. The prototypes are said to have been labelled 'Special Weapons F' - my hypothesis is that the F stands for Force, ie it's a truncated way of writing 'Special Weapons Force'
2. The other single initial forces have logos designed around the initial - Z and Q - and this is true of SAS as well (though three letters and also the dagger is included). The Red Shadows and Space Force, both of whom have names that aren't acronyms of single letters, are represented by symbols, not stylised letters. On the basis of this trend, the logo of a hypothetical F-Force would be based on an F, not a rocket. This would lend itself to the theory again that the name of the force was Special Weapons force, with a rocket as a logo, rather than F Force that should have a F as a logo.
3. From the article, the only reference to F is that single letter after Special Weapons F. If F is the Force designation (I don't think it was though, but I'll go along with it for the example) then Special Weapons was part of it too - it appears on all 4 bagged prototypes. So that would make it 'Special Weapons F Force' and that is understandably too complicated.
There could be other evidenced not yet presented that makes the designation F Force more likely, but if the evidence is based on the writing on the bagged prototypes alone, then I'm 100% sure this unit's intended name is Special Weapons Force, shortened to Special Weapons F on the bag...
I can't believe I missed this thread
good topic and good thoughts. I agree that F is not exactly dynamic (perhaps another nail in the coffin as to why it never happended), but as mentioned earlier, Z Force were originally referenced as Heavy Brigade, so by connection felt that Special Weapons was the term for reference for F Force.
It clearly needs more investigation, but as all 6 baggies featured the 'F' it would appear that this was more for easy reference rather than 'force'. Other labels found did have notes but no abbreviations or shorthand notes.
I dropped Bob Brechin a line asking if they rang any bells, the reply back was;
"the figures are some of the many that were developed and discarded. I distinctly remember the guy with the beard. I think he was part of some scientific team. We made up and did paint jobs on loads of figures until we hardened down on the five teams including the "baddies"."
So the reference to a Scientific Team hints that there were possibly a few other teams beyond all the ones we know and love.
I'll drop a line to someone else who worked within Marketing at the time of the launch, I'm keen to piece as much knowlwdge together and preserve it, before its too late and the line fades and dies.