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Star Wars › Fine Molds Millennium Falcon 1-144

Fil des billets

jeudi, 24 janvier 2013

Cockpit Lighting

Back on the lighting after some hesitations, where I opted to light the cockpit by the existing hole in the floor of the part.


All instruments and dashboards are captures and images found on the web and printed to scale. Here is a first test on white paper:


It is not obvious in the photo, but it lacked a bit of sharpness and color depth, so the final prints were on glossy photo paper. After the painting is done, the instruments panels' "wallpapers" were prepared, glued and then covered with a matt coat.

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The LED is boxed to give it support and prevent light leaks


Dry test of the lighting

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Once all this prepased, bad surprise, I can not close the cockpit and two elbows access corridor part no longer fit. So, it was necessary to sand here or add a bit of material (plastic card) there, and especially that I was obliged to seriously shorten Han and Chewie by cutting thier back...

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The assembly is complete. After a short session of masking, it will move to the paint workbench.

Falcon detailling

In the meantime, I kept on detailing :

- Photoetched landing gear baffles were prepared. The conical section is shaped around a pen. It looks a lot better than the original parts, completely sealed.

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- 2 small vertical rectangles are prepared to be added under the Falcon skirt.


- The side panels were glued to the lower half-shell, and a small gap is to seal the front of the mandibles


lundi, 14 janvier 2013

Falcon lighting

The lighting is actually quite new to me, so I experiment a lot on this subject (and burn few LED on the way!).

- Power

The electrical circuit will be powered by a small plug, at the end of a rod. The location is then hollowed into the cabin


As this plug will not be sufficient to hold the Falcon into position, as I had originally planned (the socket is unfortunately not strong enough), I was obliged to add an additional support rod, and thus provide a location and thickness to get her firmly plugged.

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- Thrusters

My first intention was to scoop out the part from the inside to get an hollow mesh. It turned into a disaster, so I had to order the upgrade kit on Starship Modeler with this part molded in transparent resin and a complementary photoetched mesh.

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The resin part was all bent when I received it. This time, I tested to heat the part in a microwave oven. It worked, but surprisingly it took a really long time, so I went back to the proper method with hot water. (Sorry, no photos)

The engine location is hollowed inside the two half-shells, and a box is built, ended by an array of LED. I used cold white LEDs, that tend to a blue tint, which is perfect for the Falcon engines.

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To keep access to the inside, the half-shells will not be glued but just remain stacked (and they hold very well as is, once the side panels are in place).


- Cockpit

The access arm to the cockpit itself also stay in place without glue (like a snap-kit), so I will leave the module cockpit and arm module removable in case of internal operation. For cons, the electric circuit needed to be adapted, which is done with brass terminals. There is a hole in the cockpit floor, I'll certainly keep it as is, and use it for the lighting. A small box for the LED is done with a piece of pen tube, each ends closed with plastic card bits It is not yet finalized, so it is possible that may change, as I want to paint the cockpit to see what happens before closing this box. If it does not please me, so I will look at other options: switch to a warm white LED (rather than cold white), open the door and make the inside corridor, replace the cockpit wall by a backlit transparent on...

- Turrets

In the kit, they are movable and clogged. I will fasten them, pointing forward. The bottom is sanded, and connect to a PVC tube. This will give a sense of depth (without trying to be "accurate" here). A pen tube is taken up again in order to insert the LED, to have an indirect lighting.

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- Headlights:

They are made with 2 1mm fiber that fetch the light from the turrets LED

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Everything inside is blackened to prevent light leaks.


With the PE part, the thruster look pretty good

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dimanche, 13 janvier 2013

Han and Chewie

The cockpit is empty without Han Solo and Chewbacca.

For Han, I modified a small German WW2 soldier from a 1/144 panzer kit (purchased only for its parts).

For Chewie, this is a long hair woman from a 1/170 Macross Hangar diorama, which simulates perfectly the wookie's hair wig. Her chest is sanded, and his muzzle is done with a dot of putty. He also needed to be change from standing to sitting position.

This looks rather ugly on the pictures, but do not forget that they are 1 cm high only. So, painted and hided in the cockpit, they will do the job perfectly.

Initially, I also intended to add C3PO (from Gundam characters in space suit), but it was not really possible for him to sit without completely cutting its legs, and there was not enough space in height to let him stand up. So Han and Chewy will stay alone.

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vendredi, 11 janvier 2013

Improving details

As the lighting is more complicated for me... I will start with the simplest part of the job, improving details :

  • After I asked myself if I would replace the pipes in the openinf by brass rod, I did only changed in two places where it was really noticable and aesthetics.

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  • The mandibles are separated from the clamp, ("Scalpel, Doctor Ross")

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  • The escape pods panel lines. Ideally, it should have been all filled and re-writing, but I played lazy here and only simulated the offsets by accentuating recessed engraving on one side or another (with more or less success finally! )

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  • Laser impact, and this is not what is missing on this ship...

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As well as on the escape pod, and cockpit access arm.

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  • The inside of the clamp is detailed with plastic bits.

Some pictures of this aera on MR Falcon, with and without camera flash :


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the mod :





  • plastic strip on the lower clamp


  • Small circle on a side corridor


  • Scoop out some tiny hole (clamp...):

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  • Adding, modifying or refining various details, in pictures :

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  • The dish should have a top and bottom piping around the edge, which proved to be difficult to reproduce, so I simulate the reverse by removing some material where there should not be any piping.


  • The pins of landing gear doors are refine to be able to be inserted without strength, and without offsets.


jeudi, 10 janvier 2013

New projet : the millennium falcon in 1/144 by Fine Molds

Now that my works at home are completed (until the next ones ?), I can finally throw myself on my favorite hobby.

And I started with the 1/144 Fine Molds Millenium Falcon, that was making eyes to me for some time!

Han : You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon ?
Ben : should I have ?
Han : It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs!
Han : She's fast enough for you, old man


It is a nice model, well detailed, easy to build. In short, she looks like a little gem. More closely, it nevertheless has a few imperfections, as we shall see later.

It is based on the Empire Strikes Back Falcon with five landing gear, and additional wells under the saucer. For ESB movie, a new model of the Falcon was built, smaller but more convenient to handle, then the A Nen Hope one. The ANH Falcon was also modified to be upgraded for ESB, so with wells added. Nevertheless, Details remains different between these two models. One easy ways to recognize the ANH to the ESB Falcon, is to focus on two raised parts that connect the saucer to the mandibles on each side of the central clamp. On the ANH Falcon, their front shape is trapezoidal, where it is cylindrical on ESB one.

The box art of the kit is as a photo model ANH, and does not represent that found inside the box!


  • As I said, the level of detail. I compared it to the Master Replicas (which is the same version of the Falcon), and it's really correct. Hard to beat in injected.
  • Correct proportions
  • A common scale with Gashapons kits (F-Toys), which allows the creation of dioramas of a reasonable size (compatible with display cases for example).


  • The external escape pods recessed panel lines are straight, while much of them should present kinks
  • The mandibles: as on 1/72, FM is wrong here, but this is less viewable due to the tinier size of the model. By cons, mandibles are curiously connected to the clamp, and need to be worked.
  • The pipes are molded into the body (which is logical given the fineness of molding), by cons it is noticable in 2 or 3 places, when they dive into the access openings.
  • The access ramp is lacking, which is a shame for ground and hangar dioramas.
  • I would also have liked some characters to enhance the cockpit

In short, the shopping list of things "to add/modify" is quickly drawn up :

  • Lighting the engine, the beacons in the mandibles, the cockpit, and why not the turrets
  • Improve some small details here and there, mainly due to the constraints of casting, except inside of the clamp where they are missing
  • Complete capsules recessed panel lines
  • Add the impacts that dot the armor shield of the saucer
  • Add some 1/144 characters in the cockpit
  • Despite I will mainly showed her in flight, improve the landing gear with a photoetched upgrade kit (in case she stoppes in a possible diorama hangar).

All parts are reviewed one by one, and black marks are drawn directly on them where they need modifications. IMG_9151 IMG_9152 IMG_9153 IMG_9154 IMG_9155 IMG_9156 IMG_9157 IMG_9158 IMG_9159 IMG_9160