Sci-Fi Models Thread, Aoshima Zero X diecast in Modelling; OK, I know this isn't a 'build' model as such, and maybe this thread probably belongs on the 'other models' ...
Aoshima Zero X diecast
OK, I know this isn't a 'build' model as such, and maybe this thread probably belongs on the 'other models' section of this forum but I thought what the hey...it's a stone-cold, sci fi classic.
Zero X - one of my all time favorite sci fi related craft. And I know there are a few kits available out there (I had one years ago that was ridiculously small), but I never felt I was a good enough modeller to do it justice.
But about 5 years ago Aoshima released this monster...a wonderful, 18 inch by 14 inch diecast version of the craft.
And what I love about it is that it does indeed look and 'perform' exactly as it did in the 'Thunderbirds Are Go' movie (as opposed to the Captain Scarlet version...more on that later). The colour and overall design look just right to me - I'm not a purist or an obsessive, comparing it with still frames from the movie etc. It looks as I remember it, that's the mail thing.
And when I say it performs as it did in the movie, Aoshima have gone to the trouble of loading it with authentic features...so, the MEV detaches from the nose cone (held firmly by two magnets), it has tracks that you can pull down, it has the silver detachable heat shield, a laser cannon on top, and as a nice little touch also has the yellow escape pod, which is spring loaded and can be ejected by pressing a panel on the front.
The two large wing-shaped lifting bodies are detachable and fit onto the main body of the craft by secure metal pins. The front lifting body section has fold-down end sections which also house sets of wheels, which help to steady the craft when it is in a landing position.
The main lifting body of the craft has 4 different sets of wheels that can be lowered or retracted, depending on whether you want to display the craft in flight or on the ground.
Finally - you also get a small rock formation display, complete with one of the 'rock creatures' from the film. It is rather small and not really that detailed, but it's a nice touch all the same.
Now to those 'differences'. The model was released in two different versions, a Captain Scarlet one and a Thunderbirds one. The one described above that I have is the Thunderbirds version, and to my mind the more superior of the two. That said, curiously, the box mine came in does actually have a Captain Scarlet logo on it, but it also has a red and silver sticker in Japanese with a picture of Thunderbird 2, which the true Captain Scarlet version does not. Apparently this is how to distinguish between the two versions from the box art.
The Captain Scarlet version is overall lighter in colour, does not have the laser on the MEV, and does not have the spring loaded escape pod. It does have lettering on the side of the MEV though, but as far as I can see these are the only differences.
Caveats? A few.
The wheels are plastic, somewhat fragile and can be difficult to remove from their housing, you sometimes have to carefully pull them out with tweezers. I managed to break one of them off completely in the process, but superglue soon fixed it.
You need to be careful how you handle this one...picking it up can mean bits and pieces of it falling off...it's not really designed to be moved around too much, and it is a very weighty model.
The display stand...it's very small and the model just sort of rests on it about an inch off the ground, there is no hole on the underside to fix the craft to it. I can understand why, due to the weight and unweildiness of the craft...it somehow would'nt feel safe being too high off the ground. That's a shame if you wanted to display it in flight. Personally, I prefer the landing mode, because it gives more of a chance to show the crafts features, wheels, MEV tracks etc anyway.
Finally, the MEV has two black plastic panels that fold down to expose the tracks/wheels, but when folded down these tend to obscure the tracks themselves and indeed are the only part of the model that seem to jar with the overall look of the craft. There is a central screw on the underside of the MEV and I wondered if it may be possible to remove them. Not even sure why these are actually needed anyway, the tracks can be pushed up and hidden from view easily. Also, if I tool these panels off, I would be left with two slots either side of the MEV where they fit in. Still, could be the lesser of two evils, I suppose.
Like I say, the model has been available for some 5 - 6 years now, and can usually be obtained from ebay, or specialist Japan or US hobby/model specialists. It's not cheap (but not horrendously expensive either), but given that it's now somewhat rarer than when first released that's understandable.
But I would say if you are a fan of the Zero X craft in general from the Thunderbirds movie, then you will love this.
Errr...guess some photo's would'nt go amiss...
Aoshima Zero X Die Cast Model at FAB Gear
Scale Model Member