Thursday, December 16, 2010

Restoration Project: AMT Millennium Falcon (StarWars)

"What a piece of junk!" --- Luke Skywalker
"She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts." --- Han Solo

Story behind the kit:

I've got this kit from a fellow modeler back in my hometown few years back. The kit was half built and some of the parts were missing. He lost interest to complete the model and willingly he gave me the kit without asked for anything. I accepted without prejudiced :D I told myself that i would complete this kit when i have time to do it. 

After almost 13 years... i think now is the right time to do it (yup! after George Lucas complete all 6 episodes!!!). So after so many years kept in one of the boxes, i decided to restore and salvage the kit and sharpen my scratch-building skills and make this a respectable Millennium Falcon in the universe!!. (Han and Chewy will be proud off! ;)

prior to that... let's take a look what is inside the box and what it takes to revive this kit back to life...


What's inside the box... (note the plastic bag!) 

the top half

bottom half

previous sub assemblies... note the glue mark (in yellow)

The interior... which i don't intent to do...

the pink plastic bag contain all these parts.. the clear part for the cockpit and the whole radar is missing. Darn!

You really turn me on!!!!

Alright... after evaluating the damage, the kit was not in bad condition at all. Some important parts were missing, the clear parts for the cockpit, the radar, some small details parts, etc. The landing gear is about to break (I intend to scratch build a new one). But overall, its acceptable with minor work required.

This particular kit was a re-production of MPC kit. When AMT/ERTL took over the mold they added the interior and re-issue the kit. It was a hot selling items ever since with the announcement of continuation of the StarWars trilogy of course.
(The original Millennium Falcon model kit was first available in 1979, and was reissued for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. According to Tomart's Price Guide to Worldwide Star Wars Collectibles (Second Edition, Sansweet and Tumbusch, p. 122), the model has been available in four packages:
  • Ertl Star Wars Han Solo's Millennium Falcon (w/lights)
  • Ertl Return of the Jedi Millennium Falcon (w/o lights)
  • MPC/Ertl Return of the Jedi Millennium Falcon
  • AMT/Ertl Return of the Jedi Millennium Falcon

For the work, I opted the interior and decided to pose this "flying Hamburger" on rested position (believe it or not, the design of the Millennium Falcon was based from a Hamburger?!!). So I would focus more on scratch build the cockpit, the Quad Laser Canon (recreating the accesstube) and the entrance ramp door interior. Last but not least... the Sub-Light Engine. It's funny when ERTL just provide a clear window alike part for the engine grill!

So let's start to break some plastic!!! yeah!...      

Some of the earlier assemblies.. the Maintenance Access Bay 

I strengthen the joint by gluing triangle plastic rod 

the gap... the top half warped over the years and need a lot of super glue.. messy! :(

Parts were glued, strengthen and back into shape... 

Joint seams is not visible... yay!

with some extra attention, the joint gap  and the use of putty can be avoided

First released in 1979. ERTL re-produce when i was 14. This is a very old kit... but proven still one of the best Millennium Falcon in the market. 

Now the bottom half...

See the gap... i need to break this apart.. carefully...

The door ramp... thinking of recreating the interior... 

More gap... 

and more....

the parts that been dismantle...

Ok... let's refresh our mind now with a clip from Episode 5 before we continue for the next section... (mind the subtitles... this is the best i can find!)

After browsing the internet i found out interesting information about the MF. There's a lot of discrepancies and inaccuracies that are debate-able on the floor plan/ blueprints of MF. Of course, the advantage of building a sci-fi subject there's no right or wrong since these subject is fictional. However, it is interesting when there's people really look into details and functionality of a spacecraft itself to make this fictional subject to life. 

So, i would try my best to affix and adapt the modification as close and detail as possible. But as long as the project won't too long to complete ;) . There are few links that I include for references. (Thanks to link below) that now i have guide to correct my MF :

(Thanks to these guys for making an effort to discussed, research about the Falcon!!)

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