WIP: AMT/ERTL Millennium Falcon

Picking Up Where Left Off Years Ago

A long time ago, not in a galaxy far, far away…

I bought a Millennium Falcon model from Amazon.  I opened the box with excitement, only to be hugely disappointed by what I found.  Flimsy plastic, poor sculpt quality, and worse; the most horrendous cockpit “detail” you could imagine.  In fact, it’s an insult to refer to the cockpit as having “detail”.

For a Star Wars fan to open a model of their favourite star ship, and find the cockpit at two atrocious pilot figures, and only two seats and know control panel, at first I couldn’t believe that was all the cockpit detail the kit offered!

I started to scratchbuild a cockpit, but it was pretty ropey to start with.  I ripped this out and started again, and sat the model in a plastic container until I had the energy to pick it up.  That was probably, erm, maybe five years ago!?!

I have to admit that I have since purchased a number of far better Millennium Falcon models, but I really want to finish something I’ve started, and also the challenge interests me.

Scratch Built Cockpit

The original kit has no control panel, and quite frankly looks awful.  I have a photoetch cockpit for another falcon, but I couldn’t bring myself to use it on this kit.  Instead I’d use the photoetch as inspiration for a scratchbuilt panel.

I created a control panel using plastic card, and chopped the original cockpit seats into separate seats.  I had some other seats I ordered years ago that I’m using for the navigational panel seats.

This was already primed black all ready, and looks passable.  I’m happy enough to with it.

Han Solo and Chewbacca

If the cockpit was sparse, the quality of the Han Solo and Chewbacca models was laughable.

I thought long and hard about what to do about this, and eventually it struck me!  As a kid I had a Star Wars Micromachines toy that had two seated pilots for the Millennium Falcon.  I dug these out at my parents house, and as if by miracle, they fit perfectly!  I couldn’t believe my luck!

Today I broke out the airbrush to add an undercoat.  As these figures are a rubbery plastic, I know I have to be careful with a primer to make sure the acrylic paint sticks and doesn’t come off.  I used straight white, rather than zenithal primering as I would normally, just because the scale is so small, all shading will be done via washes.

The scale is close enough, and although Micromachines are hardly the most detailed figures in the world, they still look way better to the ones in the stock kit.  I think it’s going to look way better, and I’m looking forward to painting them.

Next Steps

I’m planning on adding some extra detail to the cockpit windows (it’s missing a “strut”), then putting it together without the pilots.

The pilots will be painted simply, neatly and shaded with washes going for an overall effect over heavily detailed, as you won’t see much of them.  Once done I’ll stick them on their seats and make sure everything fits together.

I won’t put the console and base panel and glue it all, as I’ll need to take it apart to paint the externals (it will need some masking).  As there aren’t many parts, once the cockpit is sorted, there won’t be much more to build once this is sorted.

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