Our Collective 5-Foot Millennium Falcon Build

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
Yeah, some people think it's from the Payhauler 350, but I can't find a piece that matches, just a piece that you could make to look close by adding some sheet styrene, which I may end up doing.

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
The original Millennium Falcon studio filming prop miniature is exactly 66.93 inches long.

That's 170 centimeters, and is the length claimed in the Star Wars Chronicles reference book, with all the text in Japanese from the Millennium Falcon chapter pp. 50-60

Here, cut and paste for your convenience, is the translation of those pages...

Page 50


Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi negotiated with space pirate Han Solo for passage to the planet Alderaan on the Millennium Falcon. This Millennium Falcon was a spacecraft built for smuggling, which featured some major but illegal modifications to the YT-1300 model, which was the most popular light freighter in the YT series manufactured by Corellian Engineering. Captain Han Solo boasted that, “It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs!” The total length of the vessel is 34.75 meters.


This page: Millennium Falcon full-scale model. The original plan for the Millennium Falcon called for a long, slender hull design (which was eventually used for the blockade runner), but was hurriedly changed to a round, saucer-shaped hull. However, on Stage 3 of Elstree Studios, it was determined that there wasn’t enough space to install an entire full-size exterior of the huge hull. Because of this most of the left side of the hull was omitted and only the right side was created - with great detail. The back legs, which were not part of the scale model, were incorporated into the build of the set. The right photo is a close-up of the legs.

Page 51

This page: Various Millennium Falcon internal sets. According to Roger Christian, who built these sets, a large number of junk parts – from discarded airplanes and telephone exchange equipment -- were purchased for use in the creation of these interiors. He stated that these parts were assembled and installed to reproduce the look of a “well-used spacecraft interior.” The long ladder connected to the gun emplacement in the photo on the right is actually a set created for the blockade runner, and was used as it was. Therefore, it may look somewhat different from what you would expect the interior of the Falcon to look like given what you can see of the exterior.

Page 52

This page/Right page: The newly completed 170-centimeter (length) Millennium Falcon miniature photographed from the right rear. The upper and middle photos of this page are the front and back of the miniature.

Page 53

Photo to the right: One of the unique features of Millennium Falcon is the cockpit that protrudes from the right side of the fuselage. The windows of the cockpit are not glazed, as this is a miniature to be used for blue background photography. If you attach transparent parts into the window frames, the background blue for the blue background composition will be reflected.


Top view photo of the Millennium Falcon miniature. It is easy to see that it has been painted with thinned paint for the dirty/used “look.” Because it was considered one of the “leading characters” of the film it was built quite large. However, this fact actually made filming it difficult. Consequently a model about half that size (76 cm) was built for the sequel, Episode 5.

Page 55

From here to page 69: These black-and-white images are a valuable photographic record taken on October 30, 1978 by VFX Supervisor Dennis Murren, who later became the face of ILM. Take note of the skillful choice of the shooting angles of Dennis Murren, who was a talented young special effects photographer at the time. These black and white images, shot with 35mm negatives, have sufficient resolution to be enlarged for display on these pages. Although this Falcon miniature still exists, there are many small parts (particularly on the sides) that were repaired during production, at merchandising photo shoots, and for subsequent exhibitions, so unfortunately it is quite different from when filming occurred.

P 59


This page: A close-up photo of the underside of the cockpit and the front right opening before the repair. A lot of Japanese plastic model parts are used for such details (the most prominent internal detail in the photo below appears to be the body of a tank) Many of these kits are still available today.

Page 60

This page: From the front end of the central part of the lower surface of the hull to the turret. The box-shaped part in the front center area (around the middle of the above picture) is the storage place for the front legs, and the miniature is also built in this way. The bottom turret window and blaster parts seen in the photo below would be removed as they would block the view of the stanchions if it were ever put on exhibit (see photo on page 54), as such this photo is unusual.


And this also tells you something "quite interesting", which is that scaling it from 3475cm to 170 cm means the Millennium Falcon prop is pretty much exactly 1/20.44 scale.

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
Today's arrival at 1/20.44 scale is Purdy Close to the derived scale from 2 years ago of 1/20.5 scale.

So you get 1/20.5 scale by working "up" from the Bandai PG grade Falcon (made from digital scans of the original prop) to the studio scale original.
You get 1/20.44 scale by working "down" from the original lifesize prop down to the 5-foot filming miniature.

If you average them, you get 1/20.47 scale if you're looking for a "sweet spot" or Goldilocks number you can always rely on.

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
There, I fixed it:


I couldn't find the exact piece that goes underneath the Tamiya 1/35 M60A1 engine grille piece (#C15), so I cobbled it together from a similar size greeblie from the Payhauler 350 plus some card stock.

If anyone knows what piece this is actually from, I'd be keen to know and fix it again.

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
If you cut this one just right in two key locations...


You get three uses of one 8rad upper hull section, and (I think) a perfect imitation of how ILM approached their "leftover" pieces.


Left to Right: Port Side front mandible sidewall dressing, Jagdpanther maintenance pit greeblie, and Hummel vane assembly base.

In retrospect, I would have made the first cut 34mm from the end, as the .25 took off just a scoche too much of the detail visible on the reference material.


Sr Member
Yup -- already done. Want one, er, two, er three? If so, PM me ASAP as these molds will break down soon since most of these castings are already accounted for by others. The first ten are already gone, so you'd be getting a later "pull" which means more routing out of the undercuts.

View attachment 1569441
No I appreciate it, but my funds are low right now. Every time I fill up my truck I have to remove a kit from my wanted list, lol. That looks really good though. I was curious as to how you molded that. With all the undercuts. Do you clay them up ? Thanks,


Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
I found some more Koolshade!

But it's, like, literally, for Koolshading your eyes...


Apparently this was the way they marketed the product in the 1970's for Brooklyn Dodgers Fans. (And no, the eye-pieces are NOT, alas, large enough to cover an engine vent ring. That was the first thing I thought of as well).
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Studio Kitbash

Sr Member


You need a LOT of lateral forces driving evenly down on your M60 upper deck section to get it tight and flush and flat with the upper flat surface of the Yardley McLaren M23 monocoque body.

Even so, I had a small gap at the end...


So I had to use my favorite filler, Perfect Plastic Putty, to rescue my results...

And then my favorite disposable tool, the "Precision Tip" Q-Tip (no longer manufactured), to fair it all in and make it seamless:


Ditto for the other side...


But I'm happy with the results.

Next post, I'll show you how many greeblies go on the underside of this assembly, even though it never gets seen!


Sr Member
I recall it took some effort to seat the M60 part also, but with superglue & pressure holding it down & kicker... no problem.
You probably don't need the putty as the edge is wrapped in styrene rod acting as piping leading from the from down into the rear. ILM i would say added the piping to hide a not so good seam.

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
From the hidden research archives... the invisible greeblies dressing the underside of the Yardley McLaren monocoque:

IMG_2215 (2).JPG

You NEVER get to see under there on the full size model... but you know it's there, all the same.

IMG_2221 (2).JPG

These are all fuel vents, air gates, and static dischargers, as well as some internal mechanical linkages and engine flow turbochargers for the hyperspace pre-feed system... I still have a few pipes to add to make it hysterically accurate, but those won't be added until I'm actually building and connecting this subassembly to the main landing gear bay box.


Master Member
Studio Kitbash; looking at the pic using that "no-longer-available-Q-Tip", I noticed that mine are way more precise and pointy than yours (that's what my wife says ;-))... I'll try to send you a box! I think I have your address a few pages back if not mistaken.


Master Member
Studio Kitbash; looking at the pic using that "no-longer-available-Q-Tip", I noticed that mine are way more precise and pointy than yours (that's what my wife says ;-))... I'll try to send you a box! I think I have your address a few pages back if not mistaken.
Oh...wait! I discover an amazing deal on Amazon.com: type "make-up removal Q-Tips" and you'll see that there's a 3 packs/600 Q-Tips for $9.99!

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
By the way, about that underside business...

... I was just pranking you guys. There are no dressings on the underside, and I just had a lot of spare greeblies and thought it would be fun to try my hand at ILM-freestyle for an area that wouldn't get seen.

I thought you would know I was joking by the phrase "hysterically accurate" but since nobody came forth to call my bluff, I'm fessing up here.

But still, it looks kind of cool, no?

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