There’s something about Zero-X which lends itself to the medium of LEGO. The blocky and modular nature of the design make it a match made in heaven. But don’t let that fool you into thinking this was an easy feat to pull off. I’ve been wanting to tackle Zero-X in LEGO for a long time, and it’s been my most requested build on Twitter and Facebook, but it took a lot of careful design work to make it a reality.
Selecting colours was the first challenge. In Thunderbirds Are Go (1966) there are shots that suggest Zero-X is a lighter, metallic blue, while others show it in a darker shade. LEGO does offer a number of different variants of blue in its parts catalog, but some are more widely available than others. In the end, I settled on ‘Dark Blue’ for the majority of the build. I’m very happy with the decision. Not only is it the most screen-accurate choice, it also offered a wider selection of parts than the other, rarer tints of blue.
Unlike my previous builds, Zero-X was carefully designed in a digital space before construction began. BrickLink’s Studio 2.0 program allows you to play with all available parts in all available colours so that you can pick and choose all the right items for the job.
I needed to determine exactly how large the MOC needed to be in order to incorporate enough detail and features without being too massive and expensive to produce. I started design work with the M.E.V. which dictated that the bulk of the main body of the ship be just over two bricks high, and six studs wide. After that it was just a question of designing the rest of the sections to be in scale with the M.E.V. and working out how best to connect them all together.
After a few drafts, I finally settled on a design which was impressive and affordable. I ordered all the parts from BrickLink, generated an instruction booklet, and waited for the parts to arrive from all over the US. I can’t recommend BrickLink enough for placing bespoke LEGO orders. The service of all the sellers is extraordinary.
With all the pieces in my possession, I started following my instructions and putting together the Zero-X as if it were any other LEGO set. I started with the M.E.V., followed by the main body, the lifting bodies, and finally the nose cone and landing gear.
I wanted this MOC to be displayable both in-flight and in take-off mode, so I put the wing tips of lift body 1 on hinges, and created extra parts which could easily be attached or removed to suggest landing wheels.
Overall, I was really impressed with how sturdy the completed Zero-X model turned out to be. There are a few more delicate parts, but it holds together well and can easily be moved around. The model has presence without being too cumbersome and impractical. It has all the features that you could demand of a model of its size (length: 23 inches; wingspan: 13.5 inches), and assembles and disassembles exactly as it does on screen.
You can explore the build of this MOC in more depth by downloading the instructions as a PDF here. There’s even a parts list at the end if you feel like placing an order and tackling this project yourself.
Which Anderson vehicle would you like to see me build next? Comment below!