FM 1/72 Millennium Falcon Mandible Surgery

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Jaitea

Master Member
Ummmm, I know this can be a dodgy subject.....there can be some heated discussions.....but I have made my mind up and have taken out the hand-saw.

Back story

I bought a Finemolds Falcon in 2008, took my time building it....loved every minute, word came out that there was a goof with the orientation of the mandibles, I gathered my reference photos....and decided to bring out the saw.
I toed in the mandibles, not too much as they hit the jaw-box....But at least they weren't parallel anymore.

I slowly began to come out of my model making phase, the spare room that I had used as my cave had to be redecorated and used for the new love of my life, my daughter, and my model stuff moved out to the shed.

Jump forward to pretty recently....the end of 2011....my wife and I are separated, I have full custody of my 12 year old son & my daughter stays with me half of the time, and I see a joint group build in Starship modeller & Scale model addict sites building Millennium Falcon Kits.

I join in by building the Revell kit, but after seeing inspirational work by Merseajohn, Scratchy, Captain Han Solo, astroboy, and work out of the group build by Alaneye etc, I got enthused.

I bought the MPC kit and got stuck into that, I delved further into research & reference photos.....I came upon this article about the FineMolds kit:

Fine Molds Falcon mandible accurization. - Page 8 - HobbyTalk

On the site a guy called gourounaki showed the problem of toeing in the mandibles and also the oversizing of the jaw-box,.....so while working on the MPC....I brought out the saw again

I know what you're thinking....."don't do it!"....but it was annoying me now, soooo......

.....OK, this is it in place, marks on Jawbox indicate what the diameter should be
with.jpg

This is her without..
without.jpg

& compared with the other parts with the same dimensions

][pouytrewq.jpg

DISCLAIMER

Now, I know there are some fantastic FM 1/72 kits out there & the toe in & jaw-box problem DOES NOT detract from the fantastic work those guys have done (or are doing)........but me being me.....

Heres the modified top jaw faced with the un-modded lower jaw
711d97a5d962fccc341a41d3b9bb93b1.jpg

The pieces just set in....I re-removed the mandibles (I did this mod a few years ago, but could only toe-in the mandibles slightly due to the Jawbox size) and I like the angle they can achieve now

Screen Shot 2012-09-04 at 14.59.58.png Screen Shot 2012-09-04 at 15.00.16.png


Around this time I couldn't refuse purchasing another FM Falcon at a really good price here is the modified beside the un modified....
9f20e769a1056440b83df42aed9bdb42.jpg


Thats where I am at with the FineMolds kit(s)

J
 
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darth_daniel

Sr Member
So glad to see this, I read about this issue before even buying the kit and knew I´d have to do it. Haven´t had the time so far to start the kit, but now this thread will serve as kind of "instructions" for the mod.

Thanks for sharing, and keep it up! :)
 

Jedi Dade

Master Member
I was planning almost exactly the same modification. Drop those jawboxes into some rubber and make copies and you'd be my hero..

Jedi Dade
 

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Zombie_61

Master Member
I've read a lot of discussions online about removing and re-positioning the mandibles (including that Hobby Talk thread Jaitea linked to in the first post) but this is the first time I've actually seen someone do it. I'm one of those who agree the mandibles should have had a slight amount of toe-in on the Fine Molds kit, but I'm not brave enough to start cutting up a $200 model kit. Looking forward to seeing your continued progress on this Jaitea! (y)thumbsup
 

Stormy320

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow - That is much much better.

I don't really see how you did the "jaw" pieces so well, but it looks great.
 

Jaitea

Master Member
Thanks Capt, I'm either brave or dumb :)
If I could paint it half as good as your client build I'd be happy

Thanks clancampbell, shushhhh.....don't be saying that with all the fantastic builds done & in progress here

OK Stormy320, sorry I really did brush over the details,....I didn't take any progress photos, but I'll try and explain what I did:

MAIN THING

I repeatedly mentioned 'the saw' on my first post.....I really must admit I didn't always use the saw, for any areas of fine detail I used a scalpel blade and planed off layers of plastic:

Planing.jpg
Cut marks.jpg

Planing on this kit is slow due to the plastic being a good bit more stiff & brittle than the MPC kit.....a sharp scalpel cuts through MPC plastc quite easily.



As the jaw-box needed to be shortened, I had to find somewhere that I could try and hide where I cut pieces away in the details, another thing I would recommend is to try and mark where you are cutting and keep your marking & cutting as square and precise as possible, take your time, I tried to be as careful as possible, but I still had to dismantle the top jaw several times just to get it square, I'd learnt my mistake and the bottom jaw's mod went without a hitch.

J
 
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Avanaut

Well-Known Member
Oh dear, I had no idea, I just didn't see it. Modifications, no, corrections at this level just leave me flabbergasted. Splendid work! My Falcon is just a few weathering touches shy of being finished, and now I'm contemplating on starting another one.
 
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ozzyguanche

Sr Member
I have to admit I dont know as much about the 32inch Falcon as I do about the 5 Footer, and didnt realise how much difference there was in the jaw box and madables between the FM and SS.

You have an excellent eye as well as some exceptional skills J. Look forward to more falcon work.

PS: I have just cut off the Jaw boxes of the AMT, and am having a hell of a time trying to get them corrected to fit with the new curved hull so I know how much effort goes into a modification like this.

Again great work keep it up.

Ozzy

Ozzy
 

Jaitea

Master Member
Thanks Ozzy, don't know about the skills, ha...more like OCD.

Thanks for the encouragement Avanaut, do you have any photos of your build?

With all the FineMolds Falcon work going on here, I thought I'd give my MPC Falcon a break and do a bit more on the expensive one.

I added some details to the inside of the jaws even though it'll probably never be seen:

Floor 5.jpg

Busted pipes:
Floor 4.jpg

Added details:
Floor 2.jpg

Some of the inner parts extended:
Inside parts.jpg

Thanks for looking

J
 
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StarForge

Active Member
I've had my eyes on the Fine Molds kit for a while now and had no idea about this. Now that you've shown them side-by-side I have to agree your mod looks so much better! More for me to consider now I guess hehe. Great work so far, look forward to seeing more.
 

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Scratchy

Sr Member
Looking good Jaitea. I'm really considering doing the same to mine if I ever get a chance to work on the 72 MF.

Keep up the great work!
 

Alaneye

Well-Known Member
PS: I have just cut off the Jaw boxes of the AMT, and am having a hell of a time trying to get them corrected to fit with the new curved hull so I know how much effort goes into a modification like this.

Ozzy

This is why I wouldn't attempt it. I just know it's be too much of an undertaking for me and I'd probably ruin it.

But what you are doing is excellent, Jaitea, and really does look better.
 

Jaitea

Master Member
Thanks very much for the comments guys

I've been doing a bit more to the ship, I did a bit of a modification on the slopes of the turret:

P1050102.JPG

I also redid some of the pipework on the side of the jawbox

Floor 4 copy.jpg

Thanks for looking

J
 
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