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as205

1/72 PG Millennium Falcon Build

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RJjphvK.jpg

 

Well, I'm going to do it.  I have pulled out my Ban Dai 1/72 Millennium Falcon.  It is a great kit and I've seen some beautiful builds of it.  I'm going to try and come close the what others have done, but in the end I'll call it done when I have it where I feel good about it, even if it doesn't quite match the studio model.  It has a lot of parts, some are so fine that they put them in a separate box to protect them.  Anyway here goes.

 

I’ll be starting with the cockpit.  I don’t do figures or cockpits very often so they are not one of my strong points.  I hope I can do the model justice.  I started by spraying primer on the cockpit seats and the figures.

3iV4MLp.jpg

 

I then gathered the colors I needed for the figures, Flesh, Aged White, White Gray, Red Brown, Black, Blue, White, Light Brown, Gold, Sand Yellow, Transparent Yellow and Silver.  I used a small fine brush to get the faces and hands, then started on the clothes with the varying shades of white, gray and brown.

lzW8zl1.jpg

 

The padding on the seats got a coat of sand yellow.  C3-PO and Chewbacca got and undercoat of black.  Then C3-PO got painted Gold and then that was overcoated with the transparent yellow which really gave him a nice gold look.  Chewbacca got an overall coat of red brown.  His belt, face and legs got a drybrush of black to darken those areas. Then a drybrush of light brown.  The boxes on his belt were painted silver and his face got a light drybrush of black to bring out some details and highlight his nose.  The figures aren’t perfect but for me they turned out well.

ejivB5I.jpg

 

Next I started on the cockpit control panels.  BanDai includes a some nice decals for the instrument panels.  I have heard from many sources that the decals don’t lay down well over the control panels and decal solvents don’t  help much.  So in light of that, I made a set of custom decals using my decal paper and my ALPS printer.  The decals turned out well.

aRe5ARj.jpg

 

After clear coating the front control panel I applied the first two decals.  After several applications of Micro Sol the decals finally laid down pretty well over the raised details.  It was good that my custom decals are so thin, otherwise I don’t think they would have worked at all.  I'll apply some more Micro Sol on these to get them to lay down a bit better.

Le6J3yF.jpg

 

The control panel between the two main panels had some LARGE raised areas and when I tried to apply a decal to that area, the decal just would not conform well at all.  I ended up taking a fine brush and hand painting the area.

yRwbCiZ.jpg

 

Next I added the control wheels.

LYAJGg4.jpg

 

Finally I attached the control panel to the front seats.

bPrelQp.jpg

 

It looks like from that experience that the panels on the side walls will have to be hand painted.  I’m still holding out some hope that the decal for the back wall will work.  The raised areas on that panel are not that large.  We shall see.

 

More to come.

 

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I think you did better on those figures than I could have done. :thumbsup2:

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Thanks, PFlint.  I don't do them very often and I'm always anxious every time I do one.

 

Randy

 

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Brave move, Randy!  Got a kit myself that I haven't dared touch in fear of not doing her justice.  Too scared of that paintjob : )   Beautiful work so far.  Following along.

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Looking GREAT! Makes me want to pull out my Diag Falcon. Keep up the great work. 

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23 hours ago, as205 said:

RJjphvK.jpg

 

Well, I'm going to do it.  I have pulled out my Ban Dai 1/72 Millennium Falcon.  It is a great kit and I've seen some beautiful builds of it.  I'm going to try and come close the what others have done, but in the end I'll call it done when I have it where I feel good about it, even if it doesn't quite match the studio model.  It has a lot of parts, some are so fine that they put them in a separate box to protect them.  Anyway here goes.

 

It looks like from that experience that the panels on the side walls will have to be hand painted.  I’m still holding out some hope that the decal for the back wall will work.  The raised areas on that panel are not that large.  We shall see.

 

Randy,

Pretty cool stuff, you've done a nice job on the figures and cockpit area. You might

want to sand-down the back wall smooth, before applying that decal - therefore it

could work better for you. Will be watching this build and your progress, wishing U

much success!

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Thanks for the kind words crackerjazz, nyart17, and Underdog,

 

I'm sure it will be some slow going at first while I figure out how to attack the challenges.

 

Randy

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Posted (edited)

After the main console was finished, I moved on to the side walls of the cockpit.  After the experience with the main console, I had given up the idea of using decals for the side walls.  Instead I painted them with a clear flat and then started painting the gray areas.  From there I moved on to dry brushing the lights and buttons with silver.  Then used some transparent blue and red to color some of the buttons.  Here are the results.  I think it turned out relatively well.

RTcs70o.jpg

 

Here are some other views with the sides put together.

s6dsY6c.jpg

BPeRS1j.jpg

 

I then put the seated figures in the cockpit.

olIxHOb.jpg

 

In the first post on this build I indicated that I was going to try to apply my custom decal to the back wall of the cockpit. Here is the back wall light blocked and next to it the custom decal.

Jl0op2X.jpg

 

Well it didn’t turn out well.  I applied the decal using MicroSet, but it became evident very quickly that there were too many raised areas on the back wall and some of them were larger than I thought.  Off came the decal and I repainted the back wall with primer and matt black.  I then painted the lighter panels with Tamyia NATO Black, the padding around the door with Model Air Sand Yellow and the door itself with Tamyia Dark Sea Gray.

UJyAoZh.jpg

 

Then I started removing paint from the areas that I wanted light to come through.  I also added a bit of Tamyia transparent Blue, Red and Green to add color to the lights and buttons on the wall.  I used the transparent colors on both the front and the back to enhance the color.  I sanded the back side of the light bars to diffuse the light at bit.  I also sprayed the back side with some Matt Clear to add a bit of diffusion there as well.

AtD22ED.jpg

 

Here is a photo with the back wall in place at the back of the cockpit.

bO1weJH.jpg

 

More in the next post.

Edited by as205
Hit submit button too early!

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Before putting the cockpit in the hull I noticed that BanDai has intended for only the light bars to shine.  None of the buttons and lights would shine.  To remedy that, I did some surgery on the hull part.  This should allow some of the light to fall on the rest of the wall and not just the light bars.

 

Here is a photo with my cutting lines drawn and one section already removed.

8w8BNNT.jpg

 

Here is the completed surgery.  I did some test fits and it should not compromise the integrity of the unit.

h9it6m0.jpg

 

I then also saw that the LED holder had just tiny holes for the light to shine through.  I used a round file to open the holes up and allow more light through.  Here is a photo showing the original hole size and my modified hole.

uIzdFzu.jpg

 

Here is how it looks with the LEDs installed.

TUDwhV2.jpg

 

Once that was done I put the LEDs in place, turned them on and checked how it looks.

7Tcxqc8.jpg

 

Here is a photo showing roughly what you will see with the cockpit windows installed.

Uw21cfM.jpg

 

With that complete, I started on finishing the cockpit assembly.  I painted the inside of the window piece.  The lower section was painted black in line with the side panels and then the rest of the interior was given a black wash to show detail and give it a bit of a grimy look, then it was sprayed with Matt Clear.

g2QMpzQ.jpg

 

Next I snapped the hull halves together.  I then noticed that the halves would not close completely without some pressure.  Time for the plastic weld.  I glued the outside section together first, followed by the side facing the rest of the ship.  I was able to close all the seam lines except for the last section that would head toward the rest of the ship.  There was a gap that I just couldn’t close.

rUKxr7I.jpg

 

I pulled out some 0.05 inch plastic sheet and cut a small section to put into the gap.  Then I used my plastic weld on it and when that was dry I cut off the excess.  The gap is now nicely closed.

4zLkPZk.jpg

 

I then attached all the rest of the plastic bits that needed to go on, including an optional photoetch grill section.  The cockpit window section doesn’t quite fit right.  I will wait to glue that part in until I get it all painted.

XueonUw.jpg

 

On to the next section.  Thanks for looking.

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Randy,

I like the progress you're making, and how the kit is coming along. More so, I appreciate

your narrative explaining what and why it matters what you're doing. Extremely valuable

information for those who are planning on building this model themselves. So far, you've

been challenged with a few "speed-bumps," but you've been able to overcome them. Stay

focused and continue doing well on your project, very nice work indeed!

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Thanks Underdog,

 

It turns out it was good practice for when I get to the Turbo Laser stations.  There are no decals for those, so I will be doing the same thing I did for the cockpit side walls.

 

Randy

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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, as205 said:

Thanks Underdog,

 

It turns out it was good practice for when I get to the Turbo Laser stations.  There are no decals for those, so I will be doing the same thing I did for the cockpit side walls.

 

Randy

 

I'm planning on purchasing a copy of this model kit, building it and adding it to my 1/72

scale Space collection. So, what and how you're doing on yours really matters to me. Its

always beneficial having someone else (you) navigate those uncertain waters, and then

learning the dos and don'ts from their victories and disappointments. Once again, you're

doing a really good job in planning "what and how" is needing to be done, in building this

model. Trying to minimize the disappointments, and capitalize on the victories! Thanks

for stepping-up and being the Rabbit.

Edited by The Underdog

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Perfectly said, Underdog.  


Randy, we are following you build with anticipation and excitement.  I've got the same kit (along with the monstrous DeAgostini version) waiting in the build queue and will be following your lead.  Thank you!

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Randy,

Thanks to you, just today I "Pulled the Trigger" on this model from eBay. So this thread

will become a tutorial for me to use, when I start working on my model. I believe it will

become the centerpiece to my 1/72 scale Space collection.

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Underdog,

 

I think you will be happy with it.  The kit is very detailed.  The parts fit is excellent and I've had to use very little glue on it. I'll have an update in just a bit.  Be careful of all the small bits so they don't get damaged in storage.  Some of the parts are VERY tiny and thin.  I was lucky that I didn't damage some of the parts when I re-boxed the kit after I unpacked the parts bags when I first got it.

 

This is turning out to be a fun build (not necessarily an easy build, but fun nonetheless).

 

Randy

 

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While working on the next assemblies, I couldn't help myself and took some time to look at all the greebles that are all over the ship.  The ILM modelers used dozens and dozens of model kits to add bits here and there.  It is really interesting to see what you can identify.  I’m sure if I was a car or tank modeler I would recognize more bits, but here are a few that jumped out at me as it was going through the sprues.

 

Here is a Saturn V first stage heatshield.  You can see where the first stage engines would have been attached.

xFTshBf.jpg

 

An Apollo Lunar Module is hiding here.

dDnK71e.jpg

 

Obviously a transmission housing.

LpU88dY.jpg

 

This looks like a chassis for a car or truck.

L7Utay3.jpg

 

Another Lunar Module.

5C7lZ4o.jpg

 

Here is a thrust structure from a Saturn V third stage.

k6EChJv.jpg

 

These appear to be military style gas cans.

ZEKpujp.jpg

 

Sorry for the diversion, but I just couldn't help myself.  Every time I sit down and start working on a section, I'm amazed with all the greebles that are reproduced from the ILM miniature. Anyway, next post I'll be back to building.

 

More to come, soon...

 

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Posted (edited)

I was going to start working on the lower hull section when I noticed that one corner was damaged.  I don’t think it happened during shipping, I think it may have happened when I put all the part bags back in the box after I first looked inside.  It was obvious to me that I didn’t quite get everything back exactly as it was.  So there must have been some pressure put on that corner.  The plastic is very thin at that point and it had been curled back a bit.

 

I carefully bent the corner back into place.

E9h8ZQS.jpg

 

The edge had started to crack off from the rest of the part, so I needed to glue it back in place.  I used my plastic weld glue and after that dried I then used some Tamiya putty to fill the irregularities.

bQmhjlN.jpg

 

The underside:

u4xyIKl.jpg

 

When that had dried, I sanded it starting with a fine sanding stick and then progressing through extra fine and finally a polishing stick.  It looks good and shouldn’t be noticed once the paint goes on.

MERKm5F.jpg

 

The underside:

ulKs50M.jpg

 

With that repair behind me, time to start building...More on next post.

 

Edited by as205

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I moved on to work on the mandibles.  First, I worked on the circular pits, adding the detail parts and then spraying them with primer.  I put the primer on them first since once it is in place it would be difficult to get primer to the edges.  I’m not going to worry about not getting the base color into every corner of them, as this will add some shadow depth to them.

 

Once those were done I started assembly on the rest of the mandible.  Many of the parts, particularly the piping, come from the fragile parts trees that came in the separate box.  These are very nicely molded, but they are also very thin.  You will find it difficult to use nippers on some of them.  Therefore, care must be taken when removing them from the trees.  Many times I used an X-acto knife with a new blade to remove the parts.  So far I have only broken one part, and that was at the beginning when I foolishly tried my nippers.  The nippers torqued the part and snapped a pipe.  Fortunately, it was in a non-critical area and I was able to weld it back together and now looks fine.

 

Bandai did a very good job designing the gates on the tiny parts. (The gate is where the part attaches to the tree.)  In fact most of the gates are either on areas which are internal to the kit or are hidden by other parts when assembled.  With that said, it is inevitable that a few gates will be visible after assembly.  So you will have to carefully clean them after removing them from the tree.  Lots and lots of sniping and trimming.

 

Anyway, I got the mandibles finished and set them aside to be sprayed with primer later.

OXpjlEw.jpg

 

I then moved on the lower hull.  The maintenance bays had to be built up first.  These also had many tiny parts to complete them.  The amount of detail on this kit is truly amazing.  There are so many tiny parts that couldn’t have been included any other way than to have been separate parts.  There is no way to mold a single part that has that kind of 3D detail.  This kit amazes me with each section I complete.

y88ZLTX.jpg

 

I put primer on these parts before installing them in the lower hull.

bv2fsEA.jpg

 

When the maintenance bays were done I moved on the docking ports.  Once again a part that in many kits would have been just a handful of pieces was many large and small parts that end up beautiful.

3wQ1nPi.jpg

 

I then built the nose piece that fits between the mandibles.  The LED in the front landing gear bay was installed.  Then I attached the nose piece and maintenance bays to the lower hull.  I also added the back half of the lower hull.

zlHumYG.jpg

 

As you may have noticed, I am not exactly building this kit in the order laid out in the instructions.  I’m doing this to try and facilitate painting of the kit.  My plan is to get most of the kit assembled, with certain areas primed first, and then spray on the base coat.  After the base coat, I plan on applying the decals for the different colored panels and then start to weather the kit.  Because of this, I need to paint the engine grid, then install it, mask it off and then paint the areas around the grid.  That is the plan for today, we will see how it goes.

 

Here are a couple of the inner and outer grid parts.

tKuYvwo.jpg

 

I painted the back area of the grid flat black and the outward facing grid the base color (white gray).

7Jvn3lS.jpg

 

Then I assembled the inner and outer grid parts and installed that in the lower hull.

L9co26D.jpg

 

Then I masked it off in preparation for primer on the rest of the hull.

HsqY3xm.jpg

 

That is it for this update.  I’ll be working on the upper hull and preparing for primer of those parts next.

 

Thanks for looking.

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Posted (edited)

Great updates, Randy!   Those parts ID photos put a smile on my face : )  I used to frequent therpf to checkout parts IDs on the 5ft-long studio prop.    I read ILM was able to buy kits wholesale from a distributor back in the day and used all those tank, motorcycle, space and other model parts to detail their ships.   Those guys at therpf are really good at ID'ing those kit parts and building their own studio-scale replicas. I dreamt of building one too and managed to acquire the Entex 1/5 Mazda Wankel Rotary Engine (primed parts below) as well as the AMT 1/25 '57 Chevy Bel Air -- but nothing else --  as I realized early on how difficult it was to get ahold of OOP kits.   And to acquire whole kits only to use a couple of parts from each was a really expensive endeavour so I was ecstatic when this kit came out.   Not cheap but way less money than building a studio-scale model : )    I read Bandai spent a great deal of time taking photos and studying the 5-foot prop closely.  They must have had a blast checking out the Bandai kit parts.

 

49766918391_9365685223_b.jpg

 

Some useful references on the 5-foot filming prop:

- parts ID maps that someone shared --  if you're interested in building your own 5-foot Falcon: )

- Great close up photos by Forbidden Plastic here

- Great thread on therp about ID'ing the parts here

- Eagle1's 5-foot Falcon build

- NKG's Falcon notes 

 

I was planning on crimping the edges of the plating like on the studio prop but now you mention how easily the plastic breaks I'm having second thoughts about doing it.

 

Edited by crackerjazz

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If a person had a job in the ILM model studio must have been a blast!

 

As far as the plastic breaking, It will withstand a couple of bends but then it will tend to start cracking.  Removing some of the very thin piping from the trees is a scary process.  The pipe bends in different directions depending on where the torque is coming from.  I suppose if you had some small and very sharp nippers you might get some of them off with less torquing but I don't have those readily available.  I've been using fresh #11 blades and then cutting near the gate in slow strokes and I've had good luck.  Sometimes the part comes off easier by cutting from the backside of the part.  The assembly process is rather slow because of all the tiny parts that have to be added.  But the end result is worth all the time because it looks fantastic.

 

And this is all still fun.  It may sound like it is a pain, but it is a fun pain.  All part of the process of creating something cool.  I just hope I can get the weathering to look good enough to do the model justice.

 

Randy

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This is looking' pretty, pretty good Randy! I quite enjoyed your close-ups of the various model parts used in the build of this. The LMs and Saturn parts caught my attention ... so-o-o cool!

 

Like cracker jazz, I visited The RPF awhile ago and watched that HUGE Falcon getting built with all the attention to the various parts of such and such a kit ... but then, the thread ended prematurely. I don't recall why ...

 

Your step-by-steps are wonderful and your photos communicate perfectly ... it's too bad you're having fun building this, maybe you should take this build a little more seriously ... :rofl::thumbsup:

 

... kidding, just kidding!   :cheers:

 

Keep it up Randy!

Pete

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Thanks Pete,

 

It is coming together nicely.  Primer is getting applied and I'm almost ready to start the turbo laser control panels.  I'll have another update in a few days.

 

Randy

 

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Time for an update.  I moved on to the upper hull.  I primed and installed the maintenance bays and the antenna mount.  After some study I decided that I could go ahead and install turbo laser stations and mask off the open windows without having to remove them to install the cockpits.  The laser cannon cockpits can be installed from the inside so I will work on them later.

aViHFhU.jpg

 

I placed, but did not push down, the laser cannon backplates.  That way I can paint the whole hull with the base coat without the cannons installed and then put the cannons on after primer and paint.  If I put the cannons in first, it would have been difficult to get paint under the cannon and onto the window frames.  You can also see that I installed the cockpit to the upper hull and added as much of the piping details that I could without having both hull halves put together.  Some of the piping will have to wait since it runs over some of the panels that haven’t had their decals added yet.

OxyOzVH.jpg

 

From the front view you can see where the cockpit meets the upper hull.  If you remember I filled in a seam on the cockpit tunnel that wouldn't close.  It turns out that probably wasn't necessary.  The way the hull and cockpit go together you can't see that seam anyway.

0sVKgum.jpg

 

I also added detail parts to the covers leading to the docking ports and installed the PE grills in them.  I’ll install them onto the hull after the two hull halves go together.

gUgmUVF.jpg

 

I then moved on to the lower hull and installed the landing gear doors and turbo cannon stations.  Just like with the upper hull, I partially installed the laser cannon backplates.  I then started adding as much of the external piping to the lower hull as possible without having both halves put together.

OTlmM5j.jpg

 

There were a few parts that I could not install until I get some of the decals placed.  Those parts, some from the upper hull and some from the lower hull, were primed and painted separately.

tzVBL3V.jpg

 

I also sprayed a black grey pre-shade on the docking ports.

zYx9S9i.jpg

 

From there I moved to the engine cover.  I started with the PE grills.  They are very nicely etched.

XhOYbzs.jpg

 

They have a small flat spot on opposite edges that matches a flat spot in the cover.  That makes sure that the grills are attached at the proper angle.  I glued them in with CA glue.

SfngxFW.jpg

 

I then started adding the detail parts.  LOTS of detail parts.  A few needed to be glued in place to make sure they stayed in place, but most fit very well without glue.

ReQ0pMT.jpg

 

I dry brushed some silver on the turbine blades that go behind the grills.  I’ll install that part after I prime and paint the engine cover.

9TQaa7f.jpg

 

At this point I decided to check the fit of the engine cover on the upper hull.  It does not snap in quite as tightly as some of the other parts since it needs to be removed to turn the lights on or off.  It is good that I did a check first.  I discovered a slight warp in the engine cover.  I will need to get most if not all the warp out to make the cover fit well and look good.

0WPgyQi.jpg

 

I laid the part on a corner of the workbench and then placed a wooden block on the part and then put a heavy bottle on top to provide the weight required to flatten the curve.  I’ll leave the weight on a few days to see if the curve flattens.

dyT0cMo.jpg

 

That's it for now.  I'm getting ready to start painting the base color on the upper and lower hull sections.

 

Thanks for looking.

 

Randy

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Indeed! Beautiful job so far. It's a shame, as nice as the large Diag Falcon is, I wish they would have gotten so much more right like this Bandai kit did. Keep up the great work, can't wait to see more!

 

Bill

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