|Bandai Star Wars Model Kit - Millennium Falcon 1/144 scale|
|Detailed pictures of a completed Millennium Falcon on both sides of the box|
With this new Bandai project I'll be entering the unfamiliar territory of vehicle painting and weathering. It's perhaps a tad suicidal that I will be doing so without an air brush (I'm under no illusion as to how difficult it is to paint large surface areas smoothly with a normal brush versus an air brush) but that painting tool is something I can ill afford in such testing economic times. On a brighter note, one thing within my budget are weathering kits of which I'll have need of to render realistic effects on the Millennium Falcon. As far as I know, the most readily available (and more importantly affordable) weathering kit where I live is the Tamiya Weathering Master. At least a few shops claim to stock it but I'll have to go there myself to see if they've the colours I need.
|Bandai Millennium Falcon 1/144 scale model kit unboxed|
|Instruction manual for the Millennium Falcon model kit|
|Still looking for an English translation of the manual as the one in the box is all in Japanese|
|Model kit contains decal and sticker options for the Millennium Falcon's markings|
|Model kit comprises a total of 10 sprues/runners|
In terms of scale, this model kit will be the largest I've ever attempted. Size-wise, the closet rival would be the Black Legion Forgefiend which I completed two-and-a-half years ago. Placed next to a paperclip, both the upper hull and figurines included in the model kit show in relative terms what the Bandai 1/144 scale means visually. I'm hugely impressed with this Bandai model kit - quality, detail and scale are all spot on as far as this Star Wars fan is concerned. It even has space for LED lighting which is a whole other level of awesome cool. Sadly though, the model kit in question does not include the LED lighting system. That piece of hardware is sold separately.
|For scale, a paperclip is placed next to the Millennium Falcon's upper hull and the characters|
|Numerous finely detailed pieces are to be found on the sprues|
Below is a look at the various sprues that came in the box. In total there were 10 sprues altogether labeled A, B, C, D1, D2, E1, E2, F (two identical sprues) and SWB. All are still wrapped in clear plastic as I'm loath to remove them yet for fear of accidentally damaging the pieces. A key thing to note for Star Wars fans who are particular about which version this Millennium Falcon is, is that the radar dish of this model is rectangular in shape as seen in The Force Awakens. The old round dish was torn off in Return of the Jedi during the Death Star attack. I'm down with that as ... [Last warning, major spoiler ahead] ... the death of Han Solo (my son had this awful news sprung on him by a classmate who delights in spreading movie spoilers) means the Falcon is now in the hands of Rey and Chewbacca. So it's fitting that she has a new radar piece to mark this new journey.
|Sprue A: Clear pieces, small detailed pieces and figurines|
|Sprue B: Upper Hull|
|Sprue C: Lower Hull|
|Sprue D1: Mandibles and misc|
|Sprue D2: Mandibles, cockpit (exterior hull) and misc|
|Sprue E1: Sidewalls, cockpit (interior), escape pods and misc|
|Sprue E2: Sidewalls, escape pods and misc|
|Sprue F (X2): Gun turret, escape pods, subspace hyper-drive and misc|
|Sprue SWB: Base|
To date, this model is not 'officially' available to consumers in the US and Europe. Due to licensing issues the Bandai Star Wars model kits are only available in the Far East. But I'm sure this isn't going to stop resourceful modellers in that region from getting their hands on the Bandai model kit. Even now, I see them being sold via Japanese specialty hobby shops in Amazon.com. I'm still pinching myself that I now actually have this model in my collection. Holding it, I am that 5-year-old boy again who was utterly enthralled by the spectacle that is Star Wars. Home again ... about damn time!