First of all, the Millennium Falcon is still sitting on the bench and still getting some love now and then, but life has most definitely slowed a lot of hobby time to a major halt. So, five months after my first build diary entry, here is the second part, which focuses on the smaller sub-assemblies that come together to make the big ship seen above.
Up first, the cockpit attaches to a sub-assembly of the hallway to the rest of the ship. The first set of lights attaches through here and then threads through the ship to the light control box at the back.
The next part of the build was the front mandibles and their corresponding side walls. There were so many tiny parts to add on the sidewalls and in the exposed holes on the top and bottom side.
There was a small amount of gapping when the two halves were combined, but a little glue and clamping helped solve that problem.
tAfter the mandibles came the bottom and top hull parts with all of the exposed inner parts as well. The mandibles fit well onto the bottom hull, and the fit between the top and bottom hull was surprisingly good.
Finally, all the sub-assemblies came together to create a pretty good picture of the final size and look of the model. I decided to assemble most of the kit and then start the painting instead of painting each sub-assembly and work from there, but everyone prefers different methods, so a different choice might work better for someone else.
Most of the assembly was fairly straightforward, but because of the level of detail on many of the sidewals and exposed hull parts, some of the tiniest parts definitely required a good pair of tweezers. I think I only broke two pieces total, and I was able to glue them back together once they were in place.
For part III, coming sometime in the future, I will move onto priming and basecoating. Thanks for reading and following along!
Over the summer, I began work on my biggest model project yet, the Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon made by Bandai. This kit is what those of us in the hobby call a "Grail" kit, as in the big, most desired kit of the most popular subject. Obviously, the Millennium Falcon is a character in itself and has countless model kits based on all the different versions from the different movies. This one, however, is the most detailed and biggest mass-produced kit you can buy of the Falcon. Based on the filming model from the original Star Wars, there are an insane amount of parts on this kit and the box is huge!
After I got this kit, it sat in my garage for a long time. I had many excuses to not get it out: too time-consuming, other kits I wanted to do first, and any other excuse you can name. In reality, I was scared. I wanted this to be perfect, and I was scared that I would mess it up and irreparably ruin the final product. Thanks to the pandemic this year and the shutdown of much of our economy, I decided I did not really have an excuse to put this off anymore. I was most of the way through my stash of kits, and the time seemed right.
Because of the size and length of this build, I will be posting build diaries through each of the major steps. Today's focus is the cockpit and the figures that go in the cockpit.
I was not totally satisfied with how the lighting in the cockpit turned out, but I am happy enough to let it go. For me, the focus is on the rest of the ship, and I probably will not have the cockpit light unit turned on a lot of the time. There are a lot of really excellent builders out there who turn their cockpits into an incredible labor of love and skill. I am not one of those builders, but I am glad I put the time into improving it just a little.
Next up: Starting the Sub-Assemblies.
Solo will likely never be remembered as the best Star Wars movie for a variety of reasons, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, not least because it gave us a new version of the Millennium Falcon. The number of Millennium Falcon kits on the market is vast, and there are many versions in many different scales from the tiny Bandai 1/350 version up to the amazing Perfect Grade 1/72 scale version from A New Hope. I have the big box Bandai Perfect Grade version sitting in my stash, but I cannot quite bring myself to build it yet out of some elusive idea of needing it to be perfect. One thing the other models of the Falcon do not have is the unique coloring and style of Lando's version. This difference and the smaller size drew me to this kit as a potential stepping stone to the big one in the future.
This 1/144 scale kit was a pretty standard build from Bandai. Easy snapfit parts and great engineering make all of their kits fun to build. As I think I have written before, the decals are one aspect of Bandai kits that I am less impressed with so I found a great set on eBay from user yogurt80. I do not believe he has any Lando's Falcon sets available right now, but he makes a lot of great sci-fi decals.
One of the fun parts of this kit was the small inside portion of the ship. I ended up painting a lot of this because even high quality decals had a hard time with all of the crevices. Ultimately, this part is not visible in the final display of the model, but I had fun with it.
Another challenge for painting was the tiny cockpit figures, which include Han, Chewie, and Lando. In this picture you can just barely see Lando sitting in the back behind Han. Figures in 1/144 scale are difficult to paint well! At least any imperfections are hidden by the cockpit! On the subject of the cockpit, this kit does not come with any clear window parts, but a few of them would have been so small, I can see why the open cockpit makes sense.
I did not do a large amount of weathering because Lando likes to keep his stuff in top shape, so I did a basic oil wash and then used some oil brushers for the engine exhaust. The final look gives it the just barely used and kept in decent shape look. I was pretty happy with the final results.
Finally, I bought one of the basic lighting units from Bandai for the iconic blue engines. There is an access panel on the bottom of the Falcon, and I love the look with the engines turned on. It is easy to install, and while definitely not the highest quality lighting unit, it does the job well enough for me.
Quick note for those interested in building this kit. There is no landing gear included, so you will have to scour the internet to find a set. I know there are several out there, but I tend to prefere in flight displays on my models.
Model builder, board gamer, and all around lover of small scale stuff.