Friday, 22 April 2016

Bandai Millennium Falcon [WIP - Cockpit interior, external hull and canopy; assembled sans weathering]

It has been an extremely slow week for hobby-related activities as I've an ongoing writing deadline to meet. It took every little bit of precious free time I had just to glue together the Millennium Falcon's cockpit interior and external hull, except for the final 'windowed' canopy piece which was dry fitted just in case I needed to make changes to the interior. Two canopy options were available i.e. one with clear plastic 'windows' while the other had empty holes for 'windows'. I went with the latter choice. 

Bandai Millennium Falcon, cockpit sans weathering

Interesting bit of trivia - Industrial Light and Magic had used the same 'empty-holes-for-windows'  canopy during filming of the Millennium Falcon scale model in the original trilogy. From what I gathered, they did so to prevent light reflections from ruining any shots of the cockpit interior (and the actors seated inside) when it was in space. However, during the first Falcon scene on planet Jakku in The Force Awakens, the canopy with 'glass' windows was used. This made sense though as it was a desert scene and not having light reflecting of the canopy would have looked wrong.  

Without the final cockpit piece obstructing light, the interior is still highly visible at this stage
BB8 is not visible from a head-on angle, even in an 'opened-up' cockpit
Decals on the hull plating blended quite well into the paint job, thanks to a layer of matt clear coat

Prior to the final 'windowed' piece being attached, I took some shots of the assembled cockpit interior to show how things should look like if there were some LEDs lighting up the interior. You can check out those shots of the assembled interior in the three photos above and two below this paragraph. 

A last view of the cockpit ceiling before the final piece is attached
Millennium Falcon cockpit area (top view) prior to the final piece being attached

Only after the final canopy piece was dry-fitted onto the rest of the cockpit/exterior hull did I finally have an idea of how the whole thing really looked like without any interior LED lighting in place. And enough of the cockpit remained visible to the naked eye to dampen any misgivings I may have had of not lighting up the interior with LEDs. Hooray for the empty-holes-for-windows canopy!     

Millennium Falcon cockpit area (top view) with the final piece assembled
Use of the 'empty-holes-for-windows' front cockpit piece allows more light into the interior
At the moment, the final piece of the cockpit has only been dry-fitted not glued on
Rey's face is surprisingly still visible from this side-on view

Even at this early stage in the Millennium Falcon project, I'm already pretty happy with the results achieved using a combination of Tamiya/Mr.Hobby spray paints and Bandai water decals. It goes to show that a decent vehicle paint job can still be had, even without an airbrush and compressor kit .

Rey is thankfully still highly visible through the cockpit
BB8 peers out from the depths of an unlit Millennium Falcon cockpit

With the Millennium Falcon shaping up to be a long-term project, it looks like I'll be working on (and likely completing) some of Bandai's other less complicated Star Wars model kits in-between. One of their simpler kits is the 1/72 scale Tie Fighter from the original trilogy and that's the one I'll start on while still working on the Falcon. More on that in my next post. Until then, stay well and happy.


  1. Spectacular and most impressive!!

  2. This is looking so impressive, really looking forward to the next stage.

    1. Me too Michael ... this is a fun build and I'm looking forward to more progress on the Falcon.

  3. Absolutely delightful, as always! Projects like this are worth of all the effort :)

  4. Really wonderful, waiting for more!

  5. Looking fantastic.

    Such an awesome project to follow along with. Kudos sir. :)

  6. Looks awesome, you can really see what's inside :)

  7. Hi. I've cited your review at:


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