Our Collective 5-Foot Millennium Falcon Build

joberg

Master Member
You do you (y) (y) I'm always "Pro-artistic Liberties" with all my models (exception: the 2001 SS Docking Bay). Saying that; only some of us will recognize such and such a piece wasn't glued the '75-76 way (minority) while the others will aahh & oooh over your build not knowing the minute details of the original SS MF. ;)
 

bwayne64

Sr Member
Two build philosophies: exact replica, or super-accurized model?

View attachment 1583845

On the left -- exact replica. On the right -- super-accurized.

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So here is a rather longish post on the philosophy of miniature replica aesthetics. Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, you'd better commit early to the one you're going to have to live with for a long, long time...

You see the original Falcon in all it's glory, and it blows your mind, impresses you, and inspires you, even as you silently say internally, "There is no way in hell that ANYONE could EVER replicate a model of that complexity." That's if you're sane. Then ten years go by, and you've now built a garage kit, or a scratch-built Y-Wing, or some lesser but still-quite-daunting project, and the idea begins to dawn on you, "Maybe, just maybe..."

Then you figure, what the hell, you might as well try it, as you're going to be ten years older in ten years anyway, so why not have something to show for it. So you start collecting greeblies, measurements, secrets, kits, collections, images, references, and every single book on the subject of the Falcon you can find, including all the old back issues of Starlog you never got as a kid in the 1970's...

And a day comes when you have enough stuff to start building. And you do, in small non-committal ways at first, just a small subassembly here and there, just a mandible pit, a greeblie plate, a FalGal plate, maybe a docking ring door assembly. But rather soonish the day will come when you have to decide what you want the thing to "look like" at the end of the day. Because it's SUPER cool to see the real Falcon up close and see ALL the dozens of mistakes, oversights, shim, wedge, trim, and shave jobs that are evidence of the "over-budget, behind-schedule" rush of the whole film production, and you keep reminding yourself that it looks THIS ugly ONLY up close, in a static environment, whereas on screen, at 24-frames-per-second, and jumping into hyperspace, it looks just freaking awesome. So now you actually have to decide your aesthetic philosophy, as YOU are not a moviemaker, and YOU are not ever ever ever -- even once -- EVER going to get to see your model fly by at 24fps or make the jump to hyperspace. You are going to sit and look at it for the next twenty to forty years, at which point the next generation will get to look at it.

So the question: do you build an exact replica with all those rushed mistakes? Or do you suspend your disbelief even further and decide to build a YT-1300 freighter the way the original factory would have, with no gaps, no missing pipes, no falling-off pieces, no section that looks like a kitbashed-greeblie-nightmare-slapped-together-in-a-rush, but rather like George Lucas originally wanted, a vehicle with each section connecting to each other section with an industrial design hot-rod philosophy that made it look like it actually worked, and like each section had a reason, and each section could be explained with a mechanic's manual if you could make up the right language to describe the futuristic technology that was in fact, so "old" it took place "a long time ago" in a galaxy farther away than Van Nuys, California?

So me, I'm going for the super-accurized YT-1300 option. This means I'm building a model that works, and has its seams filled, and has its flaws hidden, covered, or creatively interpreted so as to no longer be flaws. This DOES mean, in some small areas and ways, that I'll be "interpreting" beyond authorial intention and "making a lot of special modifications myself" to her as though I'm the new owner of this one-of-a-kind vehicle, and that's both exciting and daunting. But it also means, sub specie aeternatis, that I'm not going to let my Tamiya 1/35 Kampfpanzer Leopard parts #A25 and #A26 HOVER above the Bandai 1/24 M60 long box parts with the semi-circle indents, because that just looks flimsy and like they'd fly off as soon as you jumped to hyperspace. So the area it sits on, I'm sanding flush, so the grill piece looks integral, intentional, and "designed" that way, rather than "these two model pieces, from two different models, were slapped together quickly".

I know this is metaphysical violence, to some of you, for whom the only proper way to build it is to imitate exactly what ILM did, and didn't do, in 1975-76 prior to filming. The other way I justify it is to simply say that the model was the inspiration for the life-sized prop, and the life-sized vehicle doesn't have these mistakes, or at least not in any of the "filmed up-close" areas, that I'm aware of. So that's my decision, and my aesthetic commitment, and the way I'm proceeding. And I'm happy with it and I like it for the same reason my 10-year-old Star-Wars obsessed self would like it: it just looks cooler.

And no, you don't have to worry: if you're using my castings, I'm VERY very conscious that many/most will not be building this way, so I'm making all my castings in raw or "original" form, so that if you want to you can also do what I'm doing, but so that the default setting will be to duplicate what ILM did originally. So the parts pictured above were cast and set aside long before these particular decisions were made.

Anyone have strong feelings on this? In a certain sense, I don't think I'm doing very much differently than the "perfecting" and "harmonizing" that Bandai did when they made their 1/72 PG Falcon aesthetic decisions. At 1/72 scale it's not even that noticeable, whereas on the original scale it will be very noticeable, but I still think there's an audience that will secretly prefer it to the "warts and all" approach.

Would love to hear your thoughts.
I had the same issue on the Studio Galactica I've been " building" for 35+ years. There is a coffin on the bottom that is severely off center and caddy wompas. I mean really off. I had to decide if when I get to that part in 2049, if I'll build it like the studio model or like you described, from the factory. I decided on factory fresh. Cause I imagine if the Apogee/ ILM modelers had more time, they would have made it symmetrical. It causes some issues with part placement but I can fudge that. And I think the Colonial shipyards would be using non-Cylon robots to build these things. They wouldn't be placing parts on the ship off by 30 metrons. Sorry can't remember the unit of measure, ; ) Anyhoo, I like your philosophy, but I see both sides. I'll still want the bent up panels, and koolshade on the 5 footer. She is a hunk a junk after all. But that's just a preference. I like the idea that there will be a pristine YT 1300 out there. As long as it doesn't have a duck beak between the mandibles, ; )
 

Treadwell

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I imagine it's harder to decide on which approach when it comes to Galactica, because (correct me if I'm wrong) it seems to me, compared with the Falcon, there's a lot less bashing (trimming different parts and integrating them to create individual greeblies and arranging them to make it look like they perform functions together) and a lot more just slapping on whatever fits in any particular spot....snip from tree and plant, repeat. TV budget.... I made that observation to Mark Bradley, who did the first restoration of it, and he agreed.
 

bwayne64

Sr Member
I imagine it's harder to decide on which approach when it comes to Galactica, because (correct me if I'm wrong) it seems to me, compared with the Falcon, there's a lot less bashing (trimming different parts and integrating them to create individual greeblies and arranging them to make it look like they perform functions together) and a lot more just slapping on whatever fits in any particular spot....snip from tree and plant, repeat. TV budget.... I made that observation to Mark Bradley, who did the first restoration of it, and he agreed.
Yea, I think most parts are just put on as is. There is some trimming but not as much as the falcon. But the sheer number of parts is horrifying, lol. Especially the underside, which is weird. Under the bow section are hundreds of parts, crammed in. I believe there are 138 or 148 individual kits for that one. Not counting duplicates. So she's a beast. I'm only missing 5 or 6 kits on the list. But they're the most expensive things out there. Sealab, Bandai 1/24 tanks, 3 of those. And a few others I forget. Luckily many of the big G kits are used on the Falcon and other Studio models. So the 4 or 5 thousand I have in kits will be spread out over many projects. Sorry I passed out for a bit there. 4 or 5 thousand. What the hell ! We are crazy. But in a good way, ; )
 

jcoffman99

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yea, I think most parts are just put on as is. There is some trimming but not as much as the falcon. But the sheer number of parts is horrifying, lol. Especially the underside, which is weird. Under the bow section are hundreds of parts, crammed in. I believe there are 138 or 148 individual kits for that one. Not counting duplicates. So she's a beast. I'm only missing 5 or 6 kits on the list. But they're the most expensive things out there. Sealab, Bandai 1/24 tanks, 3 of those. And a few others I forget. Luckily many of the big G kits are used on the Falcon and other Studio models. So the 4 or 5 thousand I have in kits will be spread out over many projects. Sorry I passed out for a bit there. 4 or 5 thousand. What the hell ! We are crazy. But in a good way, ; )
Let’s just hope that new Sealab kit matches the way we need it to.
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Before:
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During:
1655926284118.jpeg


After:
1655926316893.jpeg


I only took off 6mm from the bottom of the M23. Does anyone here know if the front of the white M23 monocoque "abuts" the green Sheridan tank deck at the same height, or if it just barely "slides under" it, and if so, by how much. From what I can tell, it abuts it while "looking like" it slides under, but doesn't actually go under at all. Waiting on my Bandai 1/15 Tank IV F2 to arrive so I can put the final greeblies on and see how much real estate is left once they go on top of the M23 in front of the M60 tank section.

The greeblies are one thing. The geometry of the whole thing is quite something else!
 

t2sides

Sr Member
FWIW - I highly recommend you go back and look more deeply into the reference photos of what’s going on there between those two big pieces and might want to rethink how much you need to trim off of the M23. I definitely wouldn’t go with where you are right now. The parts aren’t going to match up between this and the gun platform (F1parts) if you don’t correct it.
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
On a 57 Les Paul. :)
That's actually a PRETTY GOOD guess!!!

It's from the "Honeydew" list, as in, "Honey, do you think you could put your modeling skills to fixing the water leak/drainage problem in our shower?" And I said, "Sure, sweetie, what do you need?" and it turned out to be this custom-molded conforms-to-the-curvature of the shower pan jig so that when water runs around the square ring that was installed at an uneven angle (not by me, please), this contraption "catches" it and guides it back into the lower pan instead of out the door onto the bathroom floor.

"Wow. You're a really good model builder." How many times have you heard your wife say that to you in your life?

Yeah, me neither. This was a first, so I thought I'd share... (but I also thought some of you might be fooled into thinking it looked like an internal ribbing structure from the rear engine assembly)
 

joberg

Master Member
Every time my wife is praising me/agree with me; I mark the date on the kitchen's calendar.:lol: Yep...we, as model/prop builders, have to find solutions to challenges. That's our aim in life! Building something from scratch helps with the everyday challenges that life/spouse throw at us:p
 

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