1st model build - Bandai PG 1/72 Millennium Falcon

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zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
A little late to the game but better late than never right? I've been spending the last several years on other props and never really looked at modeling too seriously. For one, as this post points out, I've never put together a model before....ever. But I was so focused in other areas that I really never gave it a thought until I saw this Bandai Falcon Build Reference Thread and all of the wonderful builds and tips shared throughout. Not only did this thread point me towards this Banda kit but it also summoned the courage, confidence, and motivation to tackle a build of this caliber.

So, in May 2019 I received this kit ($330 + shipping for reference) and it actually sat untouched for over a month. Still intimidated by this build I finally said what the heck and jumped in. I held off for over a year posting anything here since I really wasn't that confident I could pull this off and needed to get into this more. Well the more I got into it, the more confident I became, and the more fun I had. Hours were spent reading the thread I linked above and the countless videos on YouTube (I've compiled reference videos here) has brought me here today.

At this point, I'm one year into the build. This thread will start with my build progress from June 2019 and will eventually catch up to where I'm at today and beyond. Honestly, the upcoming build photos probably won't be much different that what you've all seen before but recognize this is coming from a total noob so it could be entertaining, hopefully informative, but is really geared toward the beginner builder. As I faced certain situations, I documented my thoughts, concerns, and solutions in a video series here My Falcon Build Playlist....as of this post up to Part 9. For the moment, this includes my plans for internal supports for a table top/wall mount, light blocking, customized light kit and wire management, spray booth setup, and some final modifications before the top and bottom were attached. The most tedious and critical steps are to come...painting and weathering.

That said, my plan with this build is as follows:
  • ANH configuration
  • Tamiya AS-20 base coat
  • Vallejo Primer
  • Vallejo Acrylics for details and panels (via airbrush - 1st time here also)
  • Tamiya weathering sets
  • No on panel decals, yes on other decals
In any case, I'll start by added photos of the stock kit and decals for reference.

02 Bandai Decals 01.JPG 02 Bandai Decals 02.JPG 02 Bandai Decals 03.JPG 02 Bandai Decals 04.JPG 02 Bandai Decals 05.JPG 03 Parts - Falcon Bottom.JPG 03 Parts - Falcon Top.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue A.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue B.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue BA7A.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue BA-7B.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue C.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue D.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue E.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue F1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue F2.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue G.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue H.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue I.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue J.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue K.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue L1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue L2.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue N.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue O.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue P.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue Q.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue S1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue S2.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue T1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue T2.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue U.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue V.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue W 1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue W 2.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue WA.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue WB.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue X.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue Y.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue Z 1.JPG 03 Parts - Sprue Z 2.JPG
 
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bwize

Sr Member
Those are probably some of the best, if THE best high rez photos of the kit part I have EVER seen, Thank you so much for these. Good luck and enjoy probably the best model ever produced.
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
So after spending a month or so building the model itself...maintenance bays, mandibles, etc.. (nothing exciting to share honestly), I decided to take a break and paint the figures. Besides laying down a coat of Vallejo gray primer all that was next was painting the actual figures with Vallejo acrylics.

Face/Hands - Iraqui Sand

Han: Hair - Leather Brown, Jacket - Black Grey, Shirt - Iraqui sand / Ivory mix, Pants - Prussian Blue, Belt - Leather brown, Shoes - Black Grey

Luke: Hair - Flat Earth / Iraqui Sand, Tunic - Ivory / Iraqui Sand, Belt - Leather brown, Shoes - Iraqui Sand

Obi-Wan: Hair/beard - Skye Gray, Shirt - Leather Brown, Tunic - Ivory / Iraqui Sand, Belt - Leather Brown, Shoes - Leather Brown

Chewbacca: Body - Leather Brown / Flat Earth / Mahogany Brown / Black Gray, Bandollier - Leather Brown / Black Grey / Silver Grey

Leia: Hair - Leather Brown / Mahogany Brown, Tunic - Cold White, Belt - Skye Gray, Shoes - Black Gray

C-3PO: Brass / Silver

10 Figures 01.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Next up is the falcon dash / control panel. First off, I did not use any of the decals in the cockpit. I actually struggles with this for some time, bouncing between 1) decals, 2) decals after sanding, and 3) painting. In the end, I went with #3 since I never used decals before, I didn't think trying to apply them to a bumpy surface would yield good results for a noob. And I really never considered sanding the details away seriously... I like the 3D effect of the details.

After a coat of obligatory primer, I sat down with my trusty 20/0 spotter and 20/0 round paint brushes (seriously...did not even know brushes this small even existed) and went to town. Afterwards I followed it up with a gentle brown / black acrylic wash...

Paint used: Black Gray primary base, Pale Blue Gray secondary base / panels, buttons - cold white, dark blue, fire red

In hindsight, I would've chosen a different, darker shade for the secondary panel color. A bit too green, probably lean towards a bit more gray....and the front panel I would've gone with an even darker gray. Not really trying to match anything on screen since we know now that this cockpit leans more toward ESB than ANH but I digress.... but a bit more color is nice.

12 Console 07.JPG
12 Console 08.JPG
12 Console 09.JPG
12 Console 10.JPG
12 Console 11.JPG
 

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zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
The back wall of the cockpit was the first painting challenge. Again, no plans to use the decals so that means I'm committed to painting. So first, some primer after covering up the 4 sections I want to remain clear for the LEDs with some Tamiya tape.
15 Cockpit Wall 02.JPG


After a layer of Black Gray paint, I taped off the piece for the next color layer of Pale Blue Grey....

15 Cockpit Wall 03.JPG


15 Cockpit Wall 04.JPG


Then some Desert Yellow / Flat Earth for the door trim, Metallic Silver & Gunmetal for the door, and for the little bits and details....dark blue, cold white, silver and flat yellow.

15 Cockpit Wall 06.JPG


I planned to use the stock Bandai LEDs for the cockpit lights but I also wanted to give the back wall more color. So I took the advice of others and decided to scratch off paint and put some Tamiya clear (yellow, blue, green, red) on the back to simulate colored buttons. Once dry, I added some Humbrol masking solution and sprayed the backside with black primer since I was getting light leaks. Basically I was so worried about losing detail that the color layers in the front were sprayed on too thin.

15 Cockpit Wall 08.JPG


I later touched up the sections where the black primer lifted after removing the masks.
15 Cockpit Wall 09.JPG


And here's how it looks with some light behind it.

15 Cockpit Wall 11.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Next was the left and right sides of the cockpit. Same process, primer, black gray base, pale blue grey panels, aged white / insignia white for the "shelf", color for the switches and some reflective tape.

16 Cockpit Side 10.JPG


16 Cockpit Side 13.JPG


And the final assembled cockpit.

18 Cockpit 03.JPG


18 Cockpit 06.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Taking a break from painting, I decided to take the advice of others and modify the cockpit tunnel where the stock LEDs sit. By removing some sections, it really allows more light into the cockpit. The Bandai plastic is easily workable so using my sprue / wire cutters I was able to quickly remove small chunks of plastic. Be warned though, DO NOT cut large chunks. The plastic is quite brittle and with enough stress (i.e. large chunks), cracks can develop.

I also drilled out where the actual LEDs sit but unfortunately I didn't take any photos of that.

20 Back Wall Mod 01.JPG


20 Back Wall Mod 02.JPG
 

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nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Looking great!

Though if you're going for an ANH look with Kenobi, go for the Paragrafix cockpit set and make the corridor open. ;)
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Looking great!

Though if you're going for an ANH look with Kenobi, go for the Paragrafix cockpit set and make the corridor open. ;)

Thanks and between all of the awesome afterpart markets from 308 bits, Age of Plastics, Paragrafix, and Greenstrawberry all of the possible improvements can be overwhelming. Honestly I would have loved to add on all of these various pieces but I think for this first build it would have been too much. I just need to prove to myself I can do this in the first place, if you know what I mean.

My reference to ANH pertained to the 3 landing pads (vs 5) and no exterior flood or forward lights. I do like the look of the ESB Falcon but that would've required too much work this first time around. Maybe the next build??? :unsure:
 

nkg

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
That's fair! :) And a PG Falcon is a pretty big project for a first build. I'm sure it'll be worth it, though!
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
To round out the detail painting, next up was the gun bays / turrets. I tend to use both of these terms interchangeably so please bear with me. Also, I wish I could take credit for this design but I can't. I saw this paint pattern on another build (sorry I can't remember who) and was quite impressed so I used that as a foundation.

After a layer of primer, I laid down a Pale Blue Grey base color, then used a variety of aged white, engine gray, and fire red for the various panels via an airbrush. Cold white, flat yellow, fire red, and silver rounded out the details and simulated light up buttons. Let's say a sharp hobby knife, Tamiya tape, 3x magnifying glasses, and my 20/0 brushes were my best friends during this process. Afterwards, a brown wash was applied to simulate grime and dirt in a used environment.

17 Turret Bay 10.JPG


17 Turret Bay 14.JPG


Looking back, it seems crazy to spend so much time on these small details that may never be seen. But it soothes my OCD that I know it's complete and adds to the realism of the model.

The finished gun ports with the seats installed. BTW, for the seats, I used a base of Engine Gray with USA Olive drab for the seat pads with gunmetal and silver accents.
17 Turret Bay 18.JPG


17 Turret Bay 19.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Back to the cockpit....once I had everything painted and assembled I ran some tests with the cockpit leds and noticed some light leaks around where the backwall meets the sidewalls of the cockpit. This was previously noted in the build thread so I took this opportunity to throw on some light blocking tape before final assembly.

18 Cockpit 12.JPG
18 Cockpit 13.JPG
 

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zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
As I was going through my photos, I came across this a clean pdf copy of the instruction manual. I forget where I got this from but in case folks need a reference, here you go.
 

Attachments

  • @Bandai PG 1-72 Falcon Model Kit Instructions@.pdf
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zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
In the Building Guide of Ultimate Millennium Falcon by Seiji Takahashi he mentions the gap that results when you assemble part U-21. I didn't take a picture of my gap but here's a reference photo from the guide section #001 72A

Gap.jpg


This ended up being my first fabrication challenge as I wanted to fill this gap. So I ended up cutting up a triangular shaped piece of styrene and sanding it to the proper thickness....0.23mm
21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 07.JPG


Inserted it into the gap
21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 08.JPG


Inside view
21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 10.JPG


I trimmed it down but noticed that I sanded the lower portion down a bit too much leaving a gap.....argh!! I would have started with a new piece of styrene but I already secured the piece with Tamiya Extra Thin Cement :oops: so I decided to tape it off and fill the gap with some Tamiya putty.
21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 12.JPG


21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 13.JPG


After some cleanup I think it turned out ok and should be less noticeable once primer, the base coat, paint and weathering is applied.

21 Cockpit Tunnel Gap 14.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Next up is the internal support modification needed to mount the Falcon to either a table top stand or a wall mount. One benefit in a build log write-up after the fact is that we can see what the end product is to give everyone a frame of reference, and then go back and provide details.

33 Mounted 01.JPG


So here's the concept....I want to use both gun bays, both sets of guns, and the ramp corridor. There have been many other solutions but the compromise is that you lose one or more of the above options. To help visualize this concept watching the main relevant videos from my YT playlist are Part 1 and Part 4 along with this build thread may be helpful. Note that my initial concept of the internal mount was not strong enough so I needed to reinforce it. If you attempt to follow what I did please see not just these two videos but also Part 2 and 3 where I touch on the mount as well.

That said, there's 3 main components to this portion of the build. Stand mount, connecting rod, and internal mount support.

Stand Mount
I'm using a Panavise CCTV mount from Amazon.
There are plenty of options so this should not be difficult to source.

The threads on the Panavise is a 1/4-20 (standard camera mount).

Connecting Rod
To utilize this mount I need two additional parts....1) a rod of sorts to attach the mount to the Falcon and 2) internal support structure. Both of these are the final reworked versions of my initial concept.

1) The rod consists of a coupler and a threaded rod (both from Ace Hardware) which I've modified so let me explain.

Coupler: I rounded off approx half of the coupler down to a diameter of 9mm. I needed this clearance to allow proper insertion into the Falcon for the mount to work properly.

Rod: I shaved down the middle of the rod to remove the threads. One end is threaded into the coupler to a depth that matches the shaved down section or half of the total coupler length. The other threaded end will be for the washer/nut and was trimmed down further during final assembly. I also secured the threaded rod / coupler portion with some E6000 to prevent any loosening. I thought about red locktite and even epoxy but I wanted something removable if my plans changed.

Both of these were modified using a drill press, files, and sandpaper.

32 Mount Fix 20.JPG


Next up will be the internal mount support....
 

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