The Thunderjaw UCS - Eye Lights

So I'm in the process of gathering the parts to build the Thunderjaw from the video game Horizon Zero Dawn. It's an enormous MOC ( based on my favorite game and so will have a place of honor in my collection. I really want to light the eyes but the way the eye rig has been built out leaves very little room for incorporating lights. As you can see from the image the six lights on one side of the head (it's exactly the same on the other side) are basically solid and packed closely together. I've tried seeing if I could replace a segment with a wider piece (like a 1x1 round barrel or tapered piece similar to the lightsaber light available here) but there's just not enough room to pack them in this densely. There's plenty of room in the rest of the built to accommodate wiring and control boards, its just the lights themselves I'm trying to solve for.

I wanted to see if anyone has any thoughts on how to approach this. Thanks a ton and let me know if you need more reference pictures.

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  • What a fantastic build this will be, Paul Scofield !  Looking at the screenshot above, I think the way to go is to create custom assemblies for each of the eyes with one 3mm blue LED mounted inside each eye part.  We would likely need to -GASP- glue each section together, as the LED would likely compromise the structural integrity of the part otherwise.  I think it would look great and it shouldn't be visible form the outside.

    When you have all of the eye parts, let us know-- we're happy to experiment if you want to send both eye assemblies to us.


  • Rob Klingberg I got some of my parts in and started playing with them along with an extra pico light I had from the Disney Castle Kit and I think you're definitely on the right track. Gluing the parts together instead of using the lightsaber blade to hold it together with the wire running up the middle of the hollow bits would work well, then gluing the pico LED on the end as a "cap." I think that's what I'll do. I'm gonna do the build first before I make the order (so I can figure out how long I need the wires to be). Thanks a lot for the input! 

    Also, once its all complete, I'll be sure to tag you on the instagram pics!

  • Could you use a short length of fiber optic 'tube' instead of the lightsaber blade?  That would really carry the light outwards.

  • Paul Scofield Awesome, sounds good.  Keep us posted!  This looks like it's going to be really amazing.

  • John Gerlach Good idea, but I think part of the design objective is to retain the blue LEGO lightsaber blade color for the eyes in the end.  Paul Scofield what do you think?

  • John Gerlach It's an interesting thought but mounting blue LEDs on the tips should get the effect Im looking for. In the game the eyes really shine bright.  Definitely gonna experiment once I have it together and get the LEDs working. I'll post my findings here. 

  • Hey

    Im doing similar, I'm adding in animatronics as I go along, some parts still in post so just building what I can for now..

    I've attached image of my LEDs in eyes, very happy with, I've dimmed them bit now, cable management was bit of a pain

    I've added in a few servos too, should be able to balance on own when done :)

  • Couple more pics to help if you fancy same setup

    I  drilled a 3mm hole in the end bit and replaced the tube with the LEDs. I'm using 3mm LEDs they were pre wired. The resistor and heat shrink mimic the other black bit and are nice tight fit.

    I'm waiting for some heat shrink to neaten it up, didn't have any small enough :(

    I've never played the game, I'll give it a little go when it comes out on pc this summer. I would be interested to know if any other areas should light up?

  • Levi Butler Looking good, thanks for sharing your progress. If you're looking for thinner wires, we sell two thicknesses, one of which is just 0.14mm thick. You can find them in our DIY section:

  • Finished…

    After I soldered together and heat shrunk cables weren’t too unwieldy.

    Maybe not best suited to this thread however i feel i should update on my animatronics progress i mentioned in my other reply.

    I have the 12 leds (im using 12v leds), 1 servo in each leg (for balancing), another 2 in the body for neck and tail and 1 in the head for rotation. Im using an MPU-6050 for IMU and a WEMOS board all fits very neatly hidden in the model with fairly minimal modifications.

    As I previously mentioned, I’ve been adding as I go along, I had tested the head and the legs before assembly but fully assembled this model is a different beast. Without the stand the legs struggle to support the weight (Lego parts). The tail and neck joints are very stiff while still having a large amount of play. I’ve applied 100% silicone lubricant to the joints in an attempt to free them up but still too stiff. 

    I think if everything was glued to remove some of the play and fragility and the ball joints sanded but for now but I think I’ll probably just stick to using as a static model.

    Nevertheless, very pleased with it. Good job Nicola

  • Levi Butler Thanks for the update!  Would love to see a video of your build in action with lights on if you're able to share.

  • Not wanting to disappoint ive spent some more time trying to make it work (with success)
    Video and a little overview coming soon, just waiting for more parts in the post.

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