Our Collective 5-Foot Millennium Falcon Build

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Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I am newly persuaded that the actual, official, original, Zen-master calm CERTAINTY of the engine vent rings elusive measurements have been derived. There are six different measurements out there, and thanks to analyzing ALL of them, including my own, and including trying the Bandai 1/72 PG multiplier effect to unsatisfactory results, I am now reasonably confident that the canonical measurements for these should be...

Inner Diameter (upper lip, inside): 82.56mm, or 3.25 inches exactly.
Outer Diameter (at base): 101.6mm, or 4 inches exactly.

What factors lead to this conclusion? A couple of things:
1.) ILM used imperial measurements, never metric, because they were building in America and had American measuring tapes in inches and feet, not centimeters and meters.
2.) Joe Johnston designed the Falcon to be asymmetrically symmetric, and a 3.25 ID for the 6 topside engine vents would visually balance perfectly against the four topside forward mandible pits, which were 3 inches in their ID openings and 3.5 inches in their underside OD bays that held their own array of submerged greeblies. This would also give the vehicle a 'forward' looking direction and sense of speed and motion, as the details in the front of the vehicle are always leaner/slimmer than the rear of the vehicle where they are thicker/fatter, per Johnston's own love of Formula 1 Race Car designs, the Y-Wing design, etc.
3.) Taking the otherwise excellent and useful trick of using the Bandai PG Falcon at 1/72 and multiplying each of their dimensions by 3.51152 to arrive at the Falcon's 1/20.5 scale, is actually NOT helpful in this case. This is because these engine vents were not found parts or greeblies kitbashed from another kit, and it appears that this is one area where Bandai "evened things out" and "smoothed over some irregularities" on the mandala section. Because if you use their measurements as a multiplier, you get 79mm for the ID and 99mm for the OD, which are clearly way too low (in fact, the lowest of all six measurements out there.)
4.) The only "real way" of fail-safing these measurements is not actually against the original greeblies, which certainly helps, but against the vintage Koolshade, which you can theoretically derive from the 23-louvers-per-inch industry specs of the product. But in practice you can't. Because industry specs round up or down. In reality, the only way to get the real measurement is to a.) count the number of louvers visible in the Chronicles Vehicles books top-down reference pics, and then measure how much that is against an actual piece of vintage Koolshade. When you do this, you discover 76 louvers visible in the pic from top to bottom, and on the vintage Koolshade this comes out to exactly 82.56mm, or 0.01mm off of 3.25 inches. What THIS means is that vintage Koolshade is actually 23.38 louvers per inch, meaning that the industry spec has been rounded down.

So long story short, I originally thought these were 83mm ID and 105mm OD and I am happy to stand corrected and clarify that the actual, official, and bullet-proof specs for the 5-foot Falcon engine vents are...

3.25 inches on the inside diameter.
4 inches dead even at the outside base diameter.

I have YET to build the mandala, and so the final confirmation of how does it look against the greeblies, how does it "spread" across the rear-quarter mandala, how is the parts-to-the-whole ratio affected, etc, all has to be confirmed. But I am confident enough to print all six of these out at this point with these measurements and begin building. (nota bene: if you have downloaded, used, printed, or otherwise taken my previous measurements as canonical, they are off, so please modify yours accordingly.)

(And yes, if he wants to, Sean Sides can here rightfully accuse me of reinventing the wheel in this little exercise. His numbers were the only measurements of the six I found that were spot on.)
 
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eagle1

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just to clarify regarding Sean's engine vents & vent measures etc... .
Sean's build utilised castings from one of my 6 machined engine vents to get his 6 needed.
I am putting down my 6 originals now on my build.
I spent a goodly amount of time & effort researching these engine vents & can say I couldnt fault the measures. They fitted seamlessly on Sean's build with all kit parts also fitting as per reference as I am now finding on my build also.
 

Searun

Active Member
Thanks Studio Kitbash and eagle1for the measurement details by adding to this specific thread again. I have started to log some of these dimensions by rereading the applicable 5 ft. Studio Scale ANH MF threads over and over. When the Thresher went down, Admiral Rickover‘s testimony to congress was ”the devil is in the details.“ Sure applies to this build.
 

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Searun

Active Member
SK,
Need your Jedi measurement critique. Following, your advice and that of other masters, my Bandai 1/72 scale model arrived yesterday. Compared and contrasted the looks of the main landing gear wheel well rectangular foot print using Original blueprints, DeAgo bottom model parts & bottom view “painting“ drawing, the 1/72 Perfect and 1/144 Bandai scale models. The Bandai kits seem to have the length & width ratio of the MLG door rectangle longer & skinnier.

If they are all the same, l will return to taking my rubber duck to the bath tub instead of Falcon drawing & kit parts as well as getting my eyes checked and stop the evening shot of JD.
Searun
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I suspect you are correct, that the Bandai 1/72 PG kit took some artistic license with aesthetically improving the landing gear bays in order to accommodate their landing gear design, which would technically "not exist" (and thus not be replicable) on the original 5-footer, and thus would have been retroactively designed from scaling down the lifesize Falcon mockups used for live-actor filming. So there is no (that I know of) original greeblies from kitbashed sources that go into the landing gear, and thus everyone is left guessing what these are, including the measurements. Until I build/deck out my under gear bay (months away) with surrounding kitbashed greeblies, I won't be able to reverse-engineer precise measurements, but meanwhile would trust the numbers that Stu and Sean Sides came up with, because they did this area exceedingly well. (I also don't recall if they posted their measurements, and know Steven Neisen did a casting of these bay doors for at least one of them, so trawling through their build threads, or asking them directly, should yield a reasonable answer.)

Sorry to not be able to help further. I'm no Jedi in the measurement department, I'm just paranoid I'll get mine wrong and so have taken to looking at ALL the numbers/versions I can find, to see how others did it, and try to either imitate perfection when I find it or else derive "even closer" from what others took to be "close enough". Remember that a lot of early builders had to fudge certain areas because they had the initial dome dimensions off as well as the cockpit tube, so by 2021 a lot of these early blunders are now corrected by canon numbers that are a lot more reliable even if not perfected down to 1/10th of a millimeter (which is my paranoid-fantasy-level "sweet spot" for accuracy, and yet the empirical objective proof of which I've never achieved, having never been granted access to the Lucasfilm archives....)
 

Searun

Active Member
I suspect you are correct, that the Bandai 1/72 PG kit took some artistic license with aesthetically improving the landing gear bays in order to accommodate their landing gear design, which would technically "not exist" (and thus not be replicable) on the original 5-footer, and thus would have been retroactively designed from scaling down the lifesize Falcon mockups used for live-actor filming. So there is no (that I know of) original greeblies from kitbashed sources that go into the landing gear, and thus everyone is left guessing what these are, including the measurements. Until I build/deck out my under gear bay (months away) with surrounding kitbashed greeblies, I won't be able to reverse-engineer precise measurements, but meanwhile would trust the numbers that Stu and Sean Sides came up with, because they did this area exceedingly well. (I also don't recall if they posted their measurements, and know Steven Neisen did a casting of these bay doors for at least one of them, so trawling through their build threads, or asking them directly, should yield a reasonable answer.)

Sorry to not be able to help further. I'm no Jedi in the measurement department, I'm just paranoid I'll get mine wrong and so have taken to looking at ALL the numbers/versions I can find, to see how others did it, and try to either imitate perfection when I find it or else derive "even closer" from what others took to be "close enough". Remember that a lot of early builders had to fudge certain areas because they had the initial dome dimensions off as well as the cockpit tube, so by 2021 a lot of these early blunders are now corrected by canon numbers that are a lot more reliable even if not perfected down to 1/10th of a millimeter (which is my paranoid-fantasy-level "sweet spot" for accuracy, and yet the empirical objective proof of which I've never achieved, having never been granted access to the Lucasfilm archives....)
Thanks for your feedback on this. Paranoid good by the way as you pointed out in the past dimensions examples. Using Andre’s numbers on the main landing gear bay configuration and then played with some ratio‘s to come up with main landing gear door rectangles and shock strut spacing that matches 5 ft. model pictures and the original drawings. Found DeAgo model drawings better on dimensions in that particular area than 1/72 Bandai. That way I can proceed confidently. Certainly found the Bandai model very detailed and an excellent reference.
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ordered: December 2019
Delivered: March 2021
Lower Dome CU small.jpg

In case you're squinting, the caliper says 105.53mm

Lower Dome 105point53mm.jpg

That's 0.12mm OFF of perfect. And I'm aiming for 1/10 of a millimeter in accuracy. So that means I'm outside my ideal tolerance limits by 0.02mm, and thus it is BACK to the drawing boards...

Argh!

No, actually... just kidding. I'm happy. I can live with being 1/10th of a millimeter and 2 one-hundredths of a millimeter off. It won't be visible to the naked eye. And more importantly, it won't contort or constrict any of the greeblie plant-ons or subassembly layouts.

Verdict:
Worth the two-year wait.
Worth the 13 iterations.
Worth the repeated failures.

Roma uno die non est condita.

Now, on to construction!
 

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Searun

Active Member
Congratulations Studio Kitbash on your persistence with the disc and the help of others towards this major milestone.

Yes,”Rome was not built in a day.” But after starting this project, Dante‘s Inferno and the sign on the door to hell may become more applicable. Got a D in Latin however I remember something like “All hope abandon yeh who enter here.”
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Speaking of nine rings, there are TWO methods for cutting your wooden support rings....

1622134896640.png

Method 1: The seven-year-old assistant method.
Works for about five minutes until... "Dad, my arms are tired!"
"But son, we've got 15 more holes to drill!"

1622134820962.png

Method 2: The jig method.
No seven-year-old assistant required.
"Dad, you're smart! Can I go play with my Lego Y-Wing?"
"Sure, son."

Gettin' there...
1622134996859.png

The price of wood was NOT kind on the budget this year. Made three circle-cutting-jig mistakes with the Rockler router jig, and ended up having to buy 8 pieces of plywood total. Like everything on this build, three steps forward, two steps back...
 

Pyramidrep

Active Member
Studio Kitbash,
I’ve read a lot of your threads over the years, your perseverance to find the correct donor parts for this and other projects is truly inspiring. Hope the build goes well . We all know it’s not for the feint hearted and are in awe of any modeller who takes on the task of replicating this beauty.
 

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Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Um, teacher, can I be excused? My brain is full.

Here's the 17 kits it takes to build just one of the eight forward mandible maintenance pits:
1625159886101.png


Oh, and once I got the greeblies all laid out, turns out 3.5 inches is too wide a diameter for the circle of the pit itself, so looks like 3.25" for this pit in particular...

...and I thought the Y-Wing was time-consuming!
 

Studio Kitbash

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
...oh, and I forgot to mention, I don't have a key kit, so am fudging this maintenance pit by using a substitute which shows major differences. Anyone know where I'm faking it here?
 

Searun

Active Member
Thanks for the mandible maintenance pit diameter feedback Kitbash. Assume you are referring to “footprint” vs. Armor opening on top which is assumed to be 3” per one of the RPF web drawing references.

In any case, for what it’s worth, my measurement of those particular Bandai pit footprints is 1”. That may explain the scaled up 3.5 number that other references have stated were accurate for those specific sub-surface area. Still need to make a decision on greeblie type. Strong validation that kit parts point the way. My son has that job.
 

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