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

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Internal Mount Support

This consists of two sections....the mounting plate and connecting rod support. First up, the mounting plate.

Started off with a template using notecards. Needed something stiffer than regular paper.
31 Mount 03.JPG


Transferred that to some aluminum sheet and cut out using a dremel.
31 Mount 04.JPG


31 Mount 05.JPG


Test fit is good. Now in hindsight I would have made the opening around the gun windows slightly larger. As it is, I can not remove them after the plate is installed. Likely not a big deal since once everything is close, you're not going to remove anything but just something to note.

31 Mount 06.JPG


31 Mount 07.JPG


31 Mount 08.JPG


Since I wanted to use the ramp corridor as well the metal plate was a tad too thick. So I milled out a section using my drill press and some milling bits and some creativity....lol. A few mistakes and slips here and there but got the job done.

31 Mount 22.JPG


31 Mount 21.JPG


31 Mount 24.JPG


31 Mount 25.JPG


The second part to come....connecting rod support.
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Connecting Rod Support

So I guess I should start with what DID NOT work for me. This was version 1 and it was simply not strong enough. It consisted of another coupler (a portion was thinned down as described previously), inserted into a washer and everything epoxied in place using JB Weld Plastic Bonder. In short, the rod support separated from the plate just below the washer / plate interface. Now this did not occur immediately but once I started adding the wiring and working on the Falcon and stressing it, something more robust was needed.
31 Mount 28.JPG


So I decided to reinforce it with some brass tubing stock I had left over from a previous project. Made some cuts that would support the mount to the Falcon.
32 Mount Fix 04.JPG


32 Mount Fix 07.JPG


32 Mount Fix 08.JPG


32 Mount Fix 10.JPG


32 Mount Fix 11.JPG


Notches around the ramp support plastic
32 Mount Fix 13.JPG


Dry Assembly / Mock Up
32 Mount Fix 14.JPG


I also planned to use different adhesives to secure this...E6000, JB Plastic Bonder, and Original JB Weld.

First, a layer of E6000 on the underside of the brass tubes to set in place while I prep for epoxy. Avoid getting E6000 into the milled area. I also had to remove some epoxy where the plate was attached so the brass tubes could site flush.
32 Mount Fix 15.JPG


JB Weld Plastic Bond (cream color) applied to the interface between the brass and the plastic walls.
32 Mount Fix 16.JPG


JB Weld original formula (gray color) epoxy applied to the coupler / brass tube / plate interface. So far this has resulted in a much stronger mounting point and is what I settled on.

By the way, the plate itself was secured to the Falcon using JB Weld plastic bonder. I applied it around the perimeter of the plate at the interface of the aluminum and plastic sections.
32 Mount Fix 18.JPG
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Staying with the mount topic, lets move to the modifications needed on the Falcon itself. Since I wish to keep the both the upper and lower turrets, and I wanted the hole through the Falcon to be as discrete as possible, I decided the best place to enter the Falcon was through the bottom gun bay panel. Plus, if I ever decide to NOT mount the Falcon (and display it with its landing gears), I would like to replace the gun bay panel and hide the hole.

So that said, I trimmed away some plastic and opened up the hole to fit the rounded portion of the connecting rod coupler mentioned previously. My sprue cutters and some mini files made this go quite easily.
31 Mount 15.JPG


31 Mount 19.JPG


Here's how the hole looks from the exterior. I also trimmed away the stock cover alignment posts. More on this below...
37 Bottom Turret 03.JPG


So what I noted was that when installing the stock guy bay cover, the fit is quite nice stock and once it is pressed down all the way, it becomes extremely difficult if not impossible to remove. I wanted an easier solution. Please refer to Part 8
and follow along for additional explanation.

So I decided for all of this to work I needed to trim down the stock gun bay cover and use magnets to attach to the gun bay. I would also need to raise the "floor" of the gun bay. And while I'm at it, add some greebles to make a plain piece of styrene more interesting to look at and blend it into the overall look of the Falcon.

So after cutting off the posts, I used some square 2mm Styrene pieces to build a frame where the new floor will sit.
37 Bottom Turret 04.JPG


37 Bottom Turret 05.JPG


Then I needed to build the new floor with a piece of styrene. So left to right, i) notecard mock up, ii) styrene mock up, iii) version 1, iv) final
38 Bottom Turret Cover 13.JPG


As for the cover itself, I had to trim off quite a bit of plastic.
38 Bottom Turret Cover 09.JPG


To make all of this work, I needed to use small 2mm diameter magnets on the new floor and on the trimmed down cover. I also added some detail to the new floor.
38 Bottom Turret Cover 10.JPG


38 Bottom Turret Cover 11.JPG


One thing to note that might not be obvious is to create enough clearance for the gun installation itself. And since I assembled the gun assembly backwards, I needed to fill in the exposed channel with some Tamiya putty.
37 Bottom Turret 07.JPG


37 Bottom Turret 09.JPG


Final images of the completed section with a coat of AS-20.
38 Bottom Turret Cover 15.JPG
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Next up will be my take on upgrading the lighting of the model. The relevant YT video is here... Part 3

So the first thing I needed to decided was how far to take this. Word on the street is that the stock lighting kit from Bandai is maybe at best satisfactory. So I wanted to improve this but also not ready to go full enchilada on a 100% custom kit with fiber. If I had the time or skill I would have gone this route and put fiber in the cockpit and gun bays. But if I went to that extent I would have wanted full ESB lighting....but if I did that then I would want 5 landing gears, not 3, but.........I digress. So needless to say, the decision was simple...ANH...lol.

But seriously, the main purpose of my upgrade plan was
* ditch the stock Bandai battery box
* add engine LED strips
* remote control of the lights

The plan....
* re-use the stock LEDs for the cockpit, landing gears, ramp
* re-purpose the stock LEDS for the top and bottom gun bay
* add 1/4 watt 33ohm resistors to the LEDs
* add 5v 5050 white strip leds
* new 3 x AA battery box with on/off switch
* add RF wireless remote control
* utilize JST connectors so everything is modular

So after a bit of soldering you see the pigtail on the left, the battery box, RF remote and control module, the stock LEDs with resistors and the engine LED strip. What you don't see are the cockpit, front landing and ramp leds which were already installed.
56 Wiring 01.JPG


Rough wiring diagram
55 Wiring Diagram.JPG


So let's focus on the engine strip leds...started with a piece of styrene and made the approximate cuts. I did make some adjustment cuts once the led strip was attached and test fitted in the Falcon.
51 Engine LED 01.JPG


I did pre-shape this by attaching the strip to a large pot with some blue masking tape and filling it with hot water (sorry no photos). I found using indirect heat was better than using a blow dryer (not hot enough) and a heat gun (too hot and can't uniformly head the strip...too much warping).

Then using the white LED strips, I cut them to length and attached them to the styrene strip. Note the adhesive on the strips were not quite strong enough so I ran some CA glue along the edges and that was sufficient. I used short jumper wires to connect the +/+ and -/- wires together on the right side.
51 Engine LED 05.JPG


As you can see in the photo above, the black and red wire leads are on the left. This interfered with one of the mounting points so I later re-wired it. I just simply used a pin vise with a 1.5mm or 2mm bit to drill through the styrene backing and the led wire copper pads and re-soldered the wire leads. I was being lazy and didn't want to bring out the hot glue gun so I used some E6000 around the base of the wires to give it some reinforcement.
51 Engine LED 06.JPG


And while we are on the topic I also carved out some channels in the plastic for the wires to run more smoothly through the interior. You can see one of the cuts in the photo above, more below.
52 Wiring Channels 01.JPG


52 Wiring Channels 02.JPG


52 Wiring Channels 03.JPG


52 Wiring Channels 04.JPG


Final top down view
IMG_1296.JPG


I'll share what I did on light blocking and the battery box next.
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
With a quick summer vacation getaway in the mountains and with school starting, time simply got away. But now I can continue with the updates.

The focus here were: (i) light leaks between the outer walls, (ii) leaks when viewed from the front, (iii) the ramp and (iv) managing the engine light area. Part 6 Youtube link

For the side walls, I used some strips of styrene and using the various notches and supports as a guide, I cut out sections of the styrene so the strips essentially lock into place. Here's an example:
34 Light Shield 02.JPG


Then I painted the inside section black. This was sufficient to cut down and minimize any stray light.
In this photo you can also see the gaps between the outside walls. Had I planned things out better I would have filled those gaps with some putty.
34 Light Shield 05.JPG


For the front, I had to be a bit more creative as the front structure didn't have the same features to lock in the styrene. So these pieces were attached using some CA glue.

These pieces were attached to the upper half of the Falcon. Lots of trial and error to make sure there is sufficient clearance with the bottom of the Falcon when both halves are joined.
34 Light Shield 07 Front.JPG


The inside sections were painted with black as well.
34 Light Shield 10 Front.JPG


You can see all the areas that I added these strips in the following two photos including the small piece near the cockpit. Measure carefully around the cockpit as it can and will interfere with the bottom if you are not careful.
IMG_1296.JPG

IMG_1298.jpg


The ramp was probably the easiest of these tasks. Some thick aluminum tape did the trick. This was also the same tape I used in the cockpit....(1) small strips for light reflection and (2) light leaks
34 Light Shield 12 Ramp.JPG

16 Cockpit Side 13.JPG 18 Cockpit 12.JPG

The engine area was by far the most complex and where I spent the most time to manage the light. What I wanted to do here was to control the light within a "box" of sorts so that the light will be reflected and focused out toward the rear of the Falcon as much as possible.

So to start I lined the bottom of the engine light area with the same reflective aluminum tape.
34 Light Shield 17 Engine.JPG

Then I cut a piece of styrene to match the curve of the led strips and the engine light grills including cut-out notches so it will sit flat. Once this was done, I lined the underside of this with aluminum tape, and then attached it to the led strip.


34 Light Shield 15 Engine.JPG

34 Light Shield 16 Engine.JPG


34 Light Shield 13 Engine.JPG


Final look installed.
34 Light Shield 20 Engine.JPG
 
Last edited:

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

JoelSG

New Member
Great build, very clean! I used a lot of these ideas in my build. Your the only other person I've seen use the styrene baffle pieces, I don't know how people can get by without them. Additionally I painted my entire interior with black primer for extra light blocking.
IMG_3528.JPG IMG_3882.JPG IMG_3896_01.jpg IMG_3896_02.jpg 0Z0A0411.jpg
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Great build, very clean! I used a lot of these ideas in my build. Your the only other person I've seen use the styrene baffle pieces, I don't know how people can get by without them. Additionally I painted my entire interior with black primer for extra light blocking.
View attachment 1341266 View attachment 1341267 View attachment 1341268 View attachment 1341269 View attachment 1341270
Great to see you here. You had some awesome ideas, especially the baffle in the front, so thank you for that. In turn, you are the only one I've come across using these baffles. I chose not to paint the interior black...hopefully this won't come back and haunt me later.
 

zjunlimited

Well-Known Member
Part 7 Youtube link

Next up is the battery box. Initially I wanted to use a rechargeable battery pack as my power source and found one on Amazon from hitlights.com.....2800mAh Li-Ion with 12v and 5V USB output with an on/off switch. Great right? Not so much, I didn't like the various stock locations in the Falcon that could hold this pack and with dimensions of ~3.78" x 2 3/8" x 7/8", it was compact but still a bit large to fit conveniently without modifications.

I then experimented with a spare battery box I had from a different project that can hold 3x AA batteries with dimensions of ~2 3/4" x 1 7/8" x 3/4". Wouldn't you know it, it might just fit in the stock Bandai battery box location. So after some thought and potential future proofing (more on this later), I decided to go forward with this smaller box.

First, here's the unmodified stock battery location.
35 Battery Tray Mod 01.jpg

What I decided was to basically even out the height of this box to the lower front edge . And that meant taking out my wire cutters, files, and mini-saw and giving this box location a trim. Now I could have simply removed the stock box entirely but since I was the leading wall was part of my internal mount support, that wasn't an option....but that would have cleared up a ton of space.

I was a bit too aggressive and impatient with my cuts and I developed a crack about 1/2" long in the top left corner of the box (in the picture below). No problem, I used some Tamiya extra-thin and it was all good. But be careful with those cuts.
35 Battery Tray Mod 02.JPG


After the cuts, the starboard side of this box has this diagonal cut out which did not allowed the battery box to slide sideways if the Falcon was moved around. So I built this area up with a couple pieces of styrene of different thickness and secured it with more Tamiya extra-thin.

The picture above shows this already from the "outside" and what follows is an "interior" look. The thinner piece of styrene was needed to give the interior a bit more space to fit the length of the box. The thicker piece gives the wall much more rigidity....the thinner piece of styrene was just too weak and flimsy.
35 Battery Tray Mod 05.JPG


Here's how the battery box fits into the modified location.
35 Battery Tray Mod 08.JPG


I also installed these wire clip mounts as anchor points for the rubber band used to secure the battery box. Very easy to remove to replace the batteries and easily accessible once the rear engine deck is removed.
35 Battery Tray Mod 09.JPG


That all said, this also allows me to upgrade the battery box later. How so? Well, because I leveled out the stock box location, it gives me a flat surface to mount the Li-Ion battery pack I mentioned earlier. Some additional modifications may be needed but it should be minor and easily accessible once the rear engine deck panel is removed.
 
Last edited:

catboat

New Member
Thanks for this thread. I bought this kit this summer and have not really touched it since after watching people on YouTube sand away everything to use the decals, I really didn't want to do that. So I have been searching for other options and after building the 1/144 falcon and 1/72 x-wing, I am still unsure of what to do. I would love the 308 Bits kit but there are no instructions after talking with him. I did see a video with the building completing his build with fiber optic and building his own boards to run/power everything. I would love to go that route if I could find something to start me on it.

After reading this thread I will probably try and paint the cockpit, unless I try decide to go the 308 route. I bought the paragraphix kit and after painting and applying the decals (thought they were too thick) I totally destroyed it when bending. I found Greenstrawberry and looking at that too. I also bought the back wall from 308 (no modding).
 

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Don't want to see this ad? Sign up for anRPF Premium Membershiptoday. Support the community. Stop the ads.

Top