Building The ANH 5'Millennium Falcon

Discussion in 'Studio Scale Models' started by eagle1, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well here we go!

    After 30 years of wishing & wanting the ANH Falcon, it is finally time to realise this dream!.

    Really there's no excuse not to. Having collected around 60% of the required donors & all the known ref, now seems a good time to give the 'old girl' a go.

    This really has come about through the dedication by some members here in Nick's ID thread. The info found there is just staggering & I am duelly indebited to all who have contributed their knowledge.

    I intend this thread to to be a no holds barred, all questions answered, full construction documentation of just what it will take to construct the Falcon with all her eccentricities.

    After a few years now of just pouring over ref & ID'ing , I'm confident around 90% of the Falcon has been ID.
    There's still a few donors that elude us but they will not put a stop to me making a start. It is just mindblowing when I look through my Falcon parts bags, just how many parts there actually are waiting to be placed.

    The pic shows a portion of confirmed donors in my collection. Duplicates make up another similar pile:rolleyes

    First up for construction for now is the cockpit. This area is surprisingly complex & takes a good deal of thought in how it was originally made. I will document this area over the coming weeks.
    One thing I have found which was almost immediately apparent is the size of the main cockpit tube. It was always a given that it was 6" tube. I agreed too in the past, but now that I have delved into the details, placing donors etc... 5 1/2" tube fits the bill exactly!
    More to come.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  2. TK9120

    TK9120 Sr Member

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    This should be good. I'm always amazed at the guys who do a build like this. Good luck!
     
  3. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    Bout ****in time..... No sense living in denial..... You were ALWAYS gonna build this one. 32 inches just don't cut it. (that's what she said).
     
  4. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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    Good luck with this monumental build, Eagle1. I would say this is the Holy Grail of studio scale builds so there will be many who will be following thi thread intently, no matter how long it takes.

    Hopefully one day I can follow in your footsteps.
     
  5. Guy Cowen

    Guy Cowen Sr Member

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    We're with you all the way mate, really looking forward to this ride.
     
  6. Scratchy

    Scratchy Well-Known Member

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    Oh great, another awesome thread to be placed on the "Watch List".

    Eagle1, will you be building this with a wooden frame and heavy,... or will you be making it lighter so that it would be a little easier on your back to move around?
     
  7. sdmicp

    sdmicp Active Member

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    WOW, this is gonna be cool to follow. I'm looking forward to seeing all the photos.
     
  8. batguy

    batguy Sr Member

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    For a model that big I would vote to give it a steel inner framework of some kind. Most of the model's understructure could still be wood & plastic but IMHO it would be good to have a basic steel layout underlying all of it.

    Wood or plastic is fine for smaller models, but you're talking about a hell of a lot of mass and size with this thing. Steel is perfectly straight by default when you buy it, which becomes a much bigger issue on a 5ft model than a 1-3ft one. Steel doesn't expand & contract & warp with moisture or time. It's easier to build strong areas far out from the center of the model. It flexes & bends when pushed over its limits instead of cracking apart. It sounds pretty heavy but it's not bad compared to wood for this job if you build it right.
     
  9. Stormy320

    Stormy320 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You can do it. Go for it.

    I agree with metal armature. If you don't weld, just take it somewhere local and give them a few bucks for some welds. I do it all the time.
     
  10. Tsophika

    Tsophika Well-Known Member

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    Yes, there is a metal armature being designed. I don't see any other way. But dimensions have to be finalized.

    I'm glad you're back onboard all the way, Stu! No small task as there are so far around 90 confirmed kits, not counting duplicates. I can't wait to see what you've been working on.

    Craig
     
  11. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks all for the support & opinions, I'm really gonna need all the help I can get here:).

    Ah the basic armature question. Seems to be the main topic here.
    Well, I'm still finalizing from a plastics firm here just to the exact size they can blow mold the 2 hemi's. I would rather go this way.
    If this falls through I have a second option, but both options have a tubular steel armature with 6 mounting points.
    The basic form to hold the hemi's would be wood formers.

    Either option I will be happy with in the end. One just involves alot more work making the hemi's:rolleyes.

    Simon, yeah, the 32" just doesn't do it for me anymore, even sold all my bits for the 32" to put some funds into the 'real Falcon' model:lol

    Back soon
    Stu
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  12. Blackbeardcrazy

    Blackbeardcrazy Member

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    This is the thread I was looking for :thumbsup
    Take all the time you need to make a success of it ! Good luck with this great model. I will follow your progress.
     
  13. crackerjazz

    crackerjazz Sr Member

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    Wow - I'll be watching this, too - this is the main event! :) Good luck on your build and thanks for starting this thread.
     
  14. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Right! Woohoo! Great stuff Stu.

    I've started a half-shell mockup myself, to place parts. You will need a BIG build table for this bird. Not a bench, benches are way too small. :)

    Guess I'm back into it too. I've been restricting myself to juggling single projects but eff it, life's too short.

    As with you, I'll be sharing 100% of whatever I come up with. Call us raving commies if you must. :lol
     
  15. Jedifyfe

    Jedifyfe Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ahhh. I hate when I stumble on an epic journey like this and it's only just begun. I like it when I find threads like this and they are 99% complete! Now I will find myself checking this everyday!!!

    And to quote a certain space pirate "Good luck...you're gonna need it" ;)
     
  16. Dao2

    Dao2 Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck, I will watch this thread with great interest :)
     
  17. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    I hear ya mate. I will get back to this one day. Spent about $1500 on donors for the Narc and even more on the turbo laser donors so once they are out the way I should be on to the $10,000 or so needed for the 5 footer...:lol


     
  18. SofaKing01

    SofaKing01 Master Member

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    Hi Eagle

    You're absolutely right "...Really there's no excuse not to...". With that said. GET TO WORK! :)
     
  19. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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    Okay. It's been over 24 hours now. Where's the progress photos??? Thought you would have had it half done by now.
     
  20. Gort

    Gort Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stu,

    Way to go mate, you know it makes scary mad sense. Good luck with it all. Sounds like you guys who are actually building her, will be the best source of dimensional blueprint type info. Your observation re the cockpit dia is interesting straight away. What made you decide on the 1/2" reduction?

    Still not sure the best way to compile the dimensions though. I think we need clear elevation images on which to keep updating the sizes as they get confirmed rather than having lots of scraps of info dotted about.

    BTW ahem...its Nick, not Neil. I may have started the thread but you guys are driving it. I'm just a sort of archivist at the moment :)

    Can't wait to see your progress

    Cheers
    Nick
     
  21. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    I was wondering WTF is Neil.... And where his thread???...:lol
     
  22. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nick, a thousand apologies mate for re-naming you, I'm just crap at remembering names, I just can't think why this Neil popped into my head?:facepalm. Thread duely amended!.



    I came to the final size of the main cockpit tube as being 5 1/2" as really, it fitted in with all my other dims. Doing a rough placing of kit parts on the un-cut tube & on paper, all seemed good to the eye for me.



    NOTE: Please do not take as absolute gospel my dimensions & findings. I'm only going with what I find to be correct & am happy with.


    Right, here's the start of the cockpit then. Starting with marking out all the relevant dims of the tube on paper with a 60 degree cut the dims come out as:

    172mm long side
    95mm short side
    132mm middle point
    160mm eliptical cut


    Had to bring in my tech-drawing days to get the eliptical shape for making the templates to cut the tube. After marking out all the points a rough saw cut was done & finished with sanding on a flat surface, came out perfect:)
    Next step is marking out the plating & the holes that are visible under the Koolshade.
    Back to work then.
    Stu
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  23. ckwanwoo

    ckwanwoo Sr Member

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    Hi Stu,


    Actually, I could't even imagine building the 5' flacon in my hobby life.
    Please keep to share the progress pics in this thread regularly.

    Cheers~~~

    thanks Eric.


     
  24. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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    How many Wankels is 5 1/2" (remembering back to the thread where the Wankel was virtually agreed upon as being the official unit of measurement for this bird)? :lol

     
  25. Tsophika

    Tsophika Well-Known Member

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    Hahaha! That is indeed the official Falcon Unit of Measurement!
    Craig
     
  26. Colin Droidmilk

    Colin Droidmilk Sr Member

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    Fantastic start. Best of luck!
     
  27. ralphee

    ralphee Sr Member

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    This, is really happening.......i mean like, im not having one of those dreams when you wake up, your really let down? :lol. Go get it Stu!

    lee
     
  28. Ford W Maverick

    Ford W Maverick Well-Known Member

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    Looking at all of those donor kits makes me wonder, has anyone gathered together all the necessary parts, made resin copies and set about making some kind of kit? I mean, you would still have to make your own base structure, but it would be a whole lot easier to be able to get all your greebles in one place.

    I understand that for some people the hunt for the parts is almost half the point, but I know that I would be a lot more likely to undertake something like this if I had the kit option.

    Or did I just answer my own question? ;)
     
    Supercruise likes this.
  29. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    At one stage the idea was to cast up sections as we went along. So a Mandible kit for example with all the kit parts to go with it. Stu already did a run of the 5 exhaust ring thinghy's some time ago. Doing a ltd run of some parts weeds out the boys from the Men. This is a big undertaking building the 5ft er and the cost is .... Well bloody huge..(think Galactica). Very few are crazy enough to tackle such a monster but I sure am Glad Stu is opening up shop and sharing his build.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  30. astroboy

    astroboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    out of curiosity, has ANYONE ever made a SS 5' falcon? without the ESB mods?
     
  31. wookieefood

    wookieefood New Member

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    this will be epic
     
  32. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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    Faustus was building a 5ft Falcon a while back but not sure of the status of this build at the moment. Not sure if it has TESB mods though.

     
  33. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Faustus, Whiskey, Kitbasher, a few people have done it or are in the process. Can't recall offhand on the ESB bit.
     
  34. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yes, I'm aware of those folks building Falcon's too, but I'm not aware of a thread showing a blow by blow build from start to finish. That's what I aim to do here chaps. Every little detail will be documented, every problem encountered & delt with. Also every donor kit part find will be here too, no secrets here!.

    My build will be as she appeared in ANH, with all the missing kit parts placed as to my best ability, no extra landing gear boxes & with the original 'underneath pit' details. May have removeable landing gear too!.

    Will post some pics soon of the cockpit build-up, it's proving quite a challenge to get things just right & in the correct orientation. Even marking out the exact placement of the koolshade holes is a nightmare. Hope to get those drilled this weekend!.

    Back soon
    Stu
     
  35. jedimaster

    jedimaster Sr Member

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    Hurry up...
     
  36. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Geez, no pressure eh!:lol
     
  37. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    Stu, I've been trying to reconcile your 5.5" cockpit tube with the overall hull 50" diameter we got from the Wankels and M23 stuff and failing. Closest I can get with a bit of fudging is 5.75".

    Then again we could never get a really good match with the dish either, dang photo foreshortening or lengthening is just too strong. Anyway, what overall hull diameter are you working to?

    I need to get some more hardware together but I've taken steps on that. :love
     
  38. Junk Pilot

    Junk Pilot Sr Member

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    Where is the REAL 5ft model now? Maybe someone could organise to view it when it is either being set up or being moved to it's next location and get some actual measurements from it.
     
  39. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    It's on tour as usual, I guess. It's usually displayed in a wall case or a purpose-made standalone case, mounted on the lower mount.

    It's rolling to the left and pitched upwards, so it isn't easy to get hard measurements of the model from the case. I took pics with a marked-up ruler against the case, but couldn't get far enough back to get the whole case in frame.

    It's been on show in that standalone case in Sydney twice, btw.
     
  40. Tsophika

    Tsophika Well-Known Member

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    It's in Kansas right now. I was actually planning a trip to take photos, but that's not happening right now. New job and a big move happening at the end of this month instead. :unsure
    Craig
     
  41. Moska

    Moska Well-Known Member

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    Hey Stu.
    Are you crazy? ... A 5-foot Falcon? ... Really? :eek

    ...GGGAAHGAHGHHGGGAAHGHGHH...
    (drooling like Homer Simpson)

    I don't want to miss a single step of this amazing project.
    Go for it, Stu! (y)thumbsup:thumbsup

    My best wishes.
    Rafa
     
  42. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm working to a hull diameter of 1146mm (45.1") ish, give or take a 10mm or so at the mo. Length comes to 1586mm (62.44" or 5' 2.4") ish.

    I seem to keep coming back to this diameter & length & all donor kit parts fit ok, including the major players such as the M23, never done a Wankel measure though!.

    ILM did use 5 1/2 tube on hand though, it's used as the centre dish for the docking rings which all the detail parts sit in.

    To my mind & measures, no 6" tube was ever used on the Falcon. The real problem with building the cockpit is to get all the details in the right orientation, as the detail area's are not placed dead centre/top/bottom etc... part of the challenge I guess?.
    Stu
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012
  43. ozzyguanche

    ozzyguanche Sr Member

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    Congrats on starting your falcon build Stu, I see this becoming an epic thread.

    Ozzy
     
  44. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Martyn, I now think your'e right with the tube not being 5 1/2"!. It is closer to being between 5 3/4" to 6". I'm swaying more to 5 3/4".

    Why the change of heart in tube size you ask?. Well, I spent quite a few hours drawing the details on the tube itself & placed the Panther side skirt & fender strips around the tube in the correct placings & they came up to long.
    This being the case, it pushes the other donor parts, such as the King Tiger part underneath, which butts up to the Panther strips, around to far & looks wrong from a front view perspective:cry

    I'll have to place an order for the 5 3/4" tube & go from there. Oh, well whats another few weeks:rolleyes

    The conversion figures Iv'e been using, have been adjusted as well, probably why I was out on the tube. My new conversion seems to work better this time, so will have to adjust my basic measures once again.

    Luckily I hadn't glued any donors on the 5 1/2" tube, so all's not lost. I'll probably draw out a proper cockpit schematic this week so there's no mistake along the line.

    My new golden rule is: Donor parts never lie, they are your true measurement.:lol

    Stu
     
  45. faustus100

    faustus100 Well-Known Member

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    Eagle-
    IMHO i think youd be better off playing this whole thing by eye.
    Dont get so caught up on minute measurements that you dont
    see the overall picture!
    Let the greeblies do the talking and you cant go wrong.
    Its been my experience with this build that its the best way to go!
    Many times my measurements came AFTER a section was built.
    Remember its reverse engineering!You cant really measure something you dont know for sure.


    These pix are old but for example:

    This

    [​IMG]

    To this

    [​IMG]
    to this

    [​IMG]

    To these

    [​IMG]

    To finally these

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ofcourse some OVERALL measurements are important.But for the most part when I completed my build there were still sections being cut to fit when already glued to the frame.I did this to make sure it was correct.I know its a strange way to work lol,but it works!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  46. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wayne, thank you so much for chiming in, I hear what your'e saying & I feel you are so very right!.

    The greeblies do indeed unravel the true dimensions of a section, such as the cockpit, so if it looks right & the donors fit, it is right. My undersize tube is so obviously wrong in a few donor part fits, no problem, go up a size or two & retry, I'll get it right to the eye in the end.

    I'll take your advice & try & build out each section as a subsection then bring together as a whole, this will be a better way to go.

    I'll get to work on the cockpit cone while waiting for the new tube, so as not to loose too much time.

    Many thanks for the pics Wayne, stunning work on the docking rings mate!. My favorite section too!.
    It would be so easy to just ask you on measures wouldn't it, but that's not the point. I'm having fun tweaking them for myself, much more satisfaction in the end me thinks. :)
    Onwards & upwards,
    Stu
     
  47. faustus100

    faustus100 Well-Known Member

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    Stu-

    I understand you want to do it yourself and thats admirable!
    Just keep certain things in mind.,one of the things that helped me get the dims on the tube itself was counting the ribs in the Koolshade:thumbsup

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
  48. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks Wayne & cheers for pics of your cockpit, looks amazing!.

    One thing I hadn't thought of till today & sort of hit me while drawing out some dims, is I hadn't factored in the plating & Koolshade taking up some of the diameter & also the Panther strips not being pulled absolutely 'tight' around the tube. Funny enough 5 1/2" tube could still be a go!. I'll do a few more measures tommorow, but 6" seems out of the equation & 5 3/4 is a push!.

    A couple of things I noticed with your cockpit Wayne:

    You seem to have the 'newer' Koolshade with less louvres per inch. Where the Koolshade covers each 1/2" hole, yours has 8 louvres, while the actual prop & my Koolshade has 12 louvres over each hole. Counting the vintage Koolshade louvres wouldn't give a good approximation IMO.

    Your Panther strips aren't in the orientation to match the actual prop, they look great, but the rivets/breaks etc... don't quite match. I'm still convinced these strips give the right tube size & donor part orientation. These strips are a nightmare to work out though, a few times Iv'e had them the wrong way around so as giving a false dim on either the top or bottom. One point of reference with the fender strip though, is that one rivet is in exactly the half way mark, so that's a start & a ref I keep going back too.

    If it turns out my 5 1/2" tube is ok I'll be a happy chappie, just needs a bit more time to be sure.
    Stu
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
  49. Nwerke

    Nwerke Master Member

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    And I'll be revising my hull template diameter downwards. :)
     
  50. eagle1

    eagle1 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hmmm, tis a case of constant tweaking Martyn.:lol

    To me, if we go off 6" for the cockpit tube, it really pushes out the overall dimensions to around 5' 5" ish. I really don't feel she's that big & besides other dims come out wrong.

    As Wayne said & he's right, we have to build each section individually as much as possible & then will the overall dimensions become apparent. So, it will be quite a while before I have a handle on fairly accurate overall dims.

    Of course if someone can get to the actual prop & measure her from head to toe, only then will we be sure:lol
    Stu
     

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