Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Millennium Falcon (Modified YT-1300 Stock Light Freighter)

This was about a three day project back in 2001 or maybe early 2002. I had wanted to try to improve upon the existing Millennium Falcon as much as possible. Unfortunately, a lot of my ideas ended up on the drawing room floor due to the improper scale of the original toy. Obviously, my version doesn't compare with the enormous 2008 release of this ship, but was pretty pleased with it at the time.
Parts: I used a POTF2 Millennium Falcon right out of the box. The decals were set aside for later use.
Supplies: X-acto knife, super glue, emery board, file, brushes, Testors paints and Testors Dull-Cote.
Reference: Photo stills from Star Wars Epsiode IV: A New Hope.
For starters, the entire ship was given a touch-up paint job based on as many reference photos as I could find. Some access panels were painted a different color than the ship itself to indicate that it had been replaced. A lot of the edges were drybrushed with aluminum-colored paint to show where paint had been chipped off. The landing gear was painted a combination of black, silver, chrome, rubber and grey. I added some thin tubing to the landing gear to give the appearance of hydraulic cables attached to the landing gear struts. The original pilot's seat was cut in half and modified to form two distinctive seatbacks. The seats were then painted black with brown "leather" cushioning. Sheet plastic was cut to make the tubular walkway that leads from the cockpit to the lounge area. The entire cockpit was given an overhaul, adding more controls, wires and conduit. All of the laser cannons were painted grey, steel and black. I used a butane light to add scorch markings around the cannon muzzles. Additional scorching was applied near the cockpit and at various other points on the hull to simulate "battle-scarring". The gunner's station was encircled in sheet plastic, separating it from the main lounge. The gunner's chair and controls were painted chrome, black, brown and steel. The smuggling compartment and the landing gear wells inside the ship were removed to expand the lounge area. Because of this, the rear landing gear cannot be folded up anymore (that was not important to me, because the ship is eventually going to be part of a larger diorama which will require the gear to be down). Various pieces from accessory sets and leftover parts from other custom jobs were attached to the bulkheads inside the ship to look like random machinery. The entire ship was given several washes of very thinned out black paint to show oil leaks and general wear and tear. Testors Dull-Cote was applied liberally to every part of the ship, except the cockpit windscreen.

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