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nickdanger

Millennium Falcon

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So I've only been modelling in my adult phase for just under 10 years. I built lots of planes and sci-fi models as a kid, but I can remember quite distinctly around age 12 or 13 trying to paint a YF-16 in red, white, and blue and being so disgusted by my hand painting that I gave up completely.

After I fell back into model building, the clouds parted when I bought an airbrush and found ARC. Between the two, within a year I was turning out (IMHO) really nice models. Here's my first airbrushed model in my modern building phase back in 2007.

IMG_9249.jpg

I started the AMT/ERTL Millennium Falcon soon into this renewed phase. Exterior painting went pretty quickly. Preshade, gray, and here we are.

IMG_20150503_103017_715.jpg

Then I got it into my head that I ought to go full on: add lights, fiber optics, and electronics.

Modified the landing gear bays to accept a couple small switches:

IMG_20150503_104605_159.jpg

Bought wiring, lights, and fiber optics:

IMG_20150503_104610_293.jpg

And then just gave up.

Started to get re-inspired (especially by nicholassagan's work in the just concluded Star Wars GB - go check it out !) and then this GB came along.

Just yesterday got 200' of fiber in different gauges and started figuring out which drill bits work for which fiber.

Have already poked a few dozen holes in the Falcon.

More to come.

Edited by nickdanger

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This should be a cool build to follow. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Regards,

Don.

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Started drilling. Took apart the interior to make drilling easier.

IMG_20150508_223834_986.jpg

IMG_20150508_223842_106.jpg

IMG_20150508_223910_886.jpg

Testing different gauges of fiber.

IMG_20150508_224207_020.jpg

Firing up the LED

IMG_20150508_224531_955.jpg

IMG_20150508_224719_151.jpg

Only dozens more holes to go

IMG_20150508_224800_643.jpg

Starting with the main deck since it's pretty open. The cockpit will be trickier.

IMG_20150508_224944_621.jpg

Edited by nickdanger

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I have always wanted to do something aircraft or space/sci-fi wise that was lit up. The Falcon with lights...should be awesome.

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Thanks for the kind words!

Working on a number of fronts:

  • This version of the Falcon doesn't have anything in the gun turrets besides a seat hanging perpendicular to the turret window. Did a little scratchbuilding to jazz that up.
  • Had to finish up the blackout of the interior to insure against light leaks
  • Started to add holes in the fuselage for the headlights and landing lights
  • Experimenting with aluminum tubing to jacket the LED's to protect against light leaks and make installation a little easier

Some pics of recent work in these areas:

IMG_20150514_194856_455.jpgBlackout/light leak protection

IMG_20150514_200834_989.jpg Gun bay

IMG_20150514_204236_334.jpgHeadlight prep

IMG_20150514_205441_852.jpgDrilled

IMG_20150514_205537_733.jpgLED prep

IMG_20150514_205528_284.jpgActually not a transistor

IMG_20150514_205922_370.jpgHeadlight test

IMG_20150514_210026_003.jpgHeadlight interior

IMG_20150514_214102_367.jpgBottom side landing light test.

Edited by nickdanger

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Wow. So these kits have an interior as well. Very nice work with it! The lights really make it alive!

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Started installing the landing lights. Used Squadron White Putty and (obviously) did't worry too much about the aethetics:

IMG_20150516_203041_021.jpg

Between the aluminum tubing jacket and the putty no light bleed at all !

Started pulling fiber through the holes.

IMG_20150517_102948_886.jpg

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Landing lights and headlights are puttied in:

IMG_20150518_220239_668.jpg

Also did a quick fiber test with a red LED. The will be different colors in the end but just wanted to see....

IMG_20150518_221805_507.jpg

Edited by nickdanger

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All fiber installed in the main cabin

IMG_20150519_210118_033.jpg

IMG_20150519_210126_080.jpg

Quick test. Looking good.

IMG_20150519_205834_721.jpg

Fibers glued in with Elmers

IMG_20150519_210448_077.jpg

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Some more scratchbuilding. The boarding ramp in the OOB model ends in a clear sheet of plastic and a view into the inside of the model.

Bent some plastic sheeting and did a down and dirty paint job:

IMG_20150524_125033_633.jpg

Looks good enough when installed

IMG_20150524_125639_090.jpg

Trimmed down all of the now glued-in fiber:

IMG_20150524_141945_224.jpg

Quick fiber test....looking good:

IMG_20150524_142031_695.jpg

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I really didn't realize just how big the model was until you stood it up on its nose. Its got some size to it! Nice work... the Falcon is looking great!

Regards,

Don.

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Dealing with small stuff: cockpit, gun turret, turbo cannon, etc

IMG_20150527_212839_777.jpg

Ran the fiber for the cockpit instruments:

IMG_20150527_220825_837.jpg

Glued into place

IMG_20150527_221458_432.jpg

Gun turret chairs are glued in

IMG_20150527_221600_988.jpg

Started soldering LED wiring:

IMG_20150529_093805_733.jpg

Prepping for final outside paint

IMG_20150528_215600_037.jpg

Edited by nickdanger

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Gray panels are done (at least on the top):

IMG_20150602_213943_567.jpg

Finished wiring the landing light LEDs and realized that I had forgotten everything from high school electronics class. Soldered them in in series and....it was supposed to be in parallel:

IMG_20150602_081138_173.jpg

Back to the drawing board on that aspect.

Masked off the maroon top panels and added some liquid mask for weathering. We'll see if it looks good tomorrow:

IMG_20150602_213951_204.jpg

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Maroon/red/rust panels are painted:

IMG_20150603_221130_661.jpg

Little bit of overspray. Should be fine after weathering.

Did a first coat of Future to prepare for washes:

IMG_20150603_221148_030.jpg

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Rewired the landing lights in parallel and now everything is lighting up nicely:

IMG_20150607_115920_051.jpg

Looks good in darkness too:

IMG_20150607_120020_799.jpg

Need to finish the detail painting of the odd colored panels for the bottom before I close everything up.

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Masking bottom panels:

IMG_20150610_204556_652.jpg

In progress:

IMG_20150611_194139_843.jpg

Major painting is finished:

IMG_20150611_220103_273.jpg

Next on the agenda, solder two or three more general LED for landing lights and hallway illumination; plan the fiber optic LED circuits and solder.

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Don't think that I'll be finishing before the deadline. Been busy at work and heading out on vacation tomorrow. Did manage to get a lot done thanks to the GB.

Reassembled the main deck, adding LED's in the tunnels:

IMG_20150613_222035_311.jpg

Cockpit is installed:

IMG_20150613_212137_096.jpg

Two major tasks left. Get the fiber stuffed into the LED housings and come up with a grating for the rear exhaust. Think I might just by a 3D printed part. I've done enough scratchbuilding and figuring out how to make stuff fit and work. Time to make it easy on myself.

Will definitely finish before Episode VII appears but July 1 ain't gonna happen.

IMG_20150620_131924_129.jpg

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