Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Star Wars Millennium Falcon (The Force Awakens) - Bandai 1/144 Scale Plastic Model Kit [Completed]

And so another journey ends. Having begun more than four years ago, the project initially gathered momentum; then faltered; inevitably got shelved; and like a shy phoenix it was tentatively resurrected before the current stay-at-home exile saw the 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon finally completed. A replica of the iconic spaceship as seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Bandai plastic model kit is chock-full of movie accurate details fantastically rendered even at this scale. Let's have a look then my take on the Falcon with its water decals, paint job, panel lining, and weathering effects.      

Bandai 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: The Force Awakens [completed, top view]
Bandai 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon from Star Wars: The Force Awakens [completed, bottom view]

Although I had painted the entire cast of 1/144 scale figures, in the end I only used Rey, BB-8 and Finn for the final photo shoot. Even then, only Rey is visible as BB-8 is mostly hidden in the cockpit while Finn sits obscured behind the Lower Hull Turret. I'm saving the Han Solo and Chewbacca miniature figures for a landed version of the Falcon which I hope to work on eventually. My plan for this future version is expected to involve a different basecoat hue, an installed LED lighting system as well as airbrushed paints instead of water decals for the colored panels. That's the plan anyway. 

At this angle, Rey can be seen through the cockpit while BB-8 is hidden from view

From the get-go I had had my reservations about the small size of the Desert Display Base provided by Bandai. To me, the base does nothing to suspend disbelief and increase realism in the Millennium Falcon vignette piece. In fact, it does the exact opposite and makes the entire vignette look toy-like. The base feels like an afterthought. Both incomplete and underwhelming. That's one of the reasons motivating me to work on another version to make it into a more realistic diorama.  

Bandai Star Wars 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon and its Desert Base Display
A key gripe for me is that the Desert Base Display is smaller than the Millennium Falcon
Millennium Falcon 'floats' above its Desert Base Display courtesy of a rigid stand (hidden)

Being the "unlighted Sublight Drive Engine" yet "in mid-flight" version of the Millennium Falcon, this particular representation of the iconic ship was intended to mimic a scene in The Force Awakens in which Rey shuts down the Falcon's engines and let it free fall in order to evade a First Order TIE Fighter. At the same time, Finn is seated behind a Quad Laser Cannon in the Lower Hull, fingers poised at the trigger, ready to blast the TIE Fighter to smithereens. If only I had a 1/144 scale TIE Fighter, this vignette would've been complete. Alas I do not, so just imagine it ... pew pew pew.

Angled side view (port side) of the Bandai Star Wars 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon
Weathering effects were done using Tamiya Weathering Master pastel-like applicator sets
Rear Exhaust Vents had long streaks of soot trailing towards the Sublight Drive Exhaust
Weathering effects were kept as subtle as possible to prevent it from overwhelming painted details
Angled side view (starboard side) of the Bandai Star Wars 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon

Apart from the overly small size of the rectangular base, I also had issues with the display stand that supported the Millennium Falcon in its 'flying' pose. It's understandable that Bandai made the girth of the stand thick in order to support the weight of the Falcon. However, the least they could've done was supply a clear display stand to give viewers the illusion of a ship in mid-flight.   

Starboard side of the Millennium Falcon, which rests atop the Desert Display Base
Most prominent structure on the rear of the Millennium Falcon is its Sublight Drive Exhaust
Sublight Drive Engines within the exhaust is not lighted up as there isn't any LED system installed
Port side of the Millennium Falcon, which rests atop the Desert Display Base
Thickness and solidity of the Display Stand takes away from the illusion of a spaceship in mid-flight
Front end of the Millennium Falcon as seen in a head-on closeup view

While I was tempted to include a video to showcase a wider gamut of angles of the fully completed Millennium Falcon kit, I decided to hold off for now. I feel that I still need more time with the Vegas Pro 15 Edit video production software before I can make a video about this Star Wars project that isn't a complete snooze-fest. Until then, these set of photos you see here will have to suffice.

Forward Mandibles and Nose Section (containing concussion missles) of the Millennium Falcon
Square Radar Dish marks this Millennium Falcon as a the one from The Force Awakens
Rear Exhaust Vents had long streaks of soot trailing towards the Sublight Drive Exhaust
Closeup view of the Starboard Escape Pod (round structure)
Cockpit section of the Millennium Falcon, with Rey and BB-8 seated inside

That's yet another tick off my hobby checklist. It feels good. Really good. And thankfully there isn't any sign of a hobby burnout despite the longer than usual hours spend on the hobby during this past few weeks. Surprisingly I actually feel more invigorated to tackle more projects, both new and old. With the Falcon now finished, my focus will shift onto the other Sci-Fi ship project on my worktable. It's a somewhat less neglected project but one that has yet to really take off. I'm speaking of the Space Battleship Yamato 2199 (Cosmo Reverse Version). Assembly on the Yamato should start soon. 

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As always it seems I will end my blog post with yet another quote. As we live in such surreal times whereby the whole world seems to have come to a standstill, I find this recurring quote in the TV series Westworld most apt ... Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? Well have you?

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12 comments:

  1. The base aside, which I don't think is that bad, this has been another fabulous build, wonderful work throughout.

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    1. Thank you very much Michael. Your kind words are much appreciated.

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  2. Yeah that stock base is crap, but you could always build a custom one ;) Great job, she looks perfectly weathered.

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    1. That's just it ... I'm just too darn lazy to build a base of my own :P Thanks for the kind comments :)

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  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Michal ... very, very kind of you to say so.

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  4. It's beautiful. It really is. I understand and support your reservations about the base though, it kind of draws plausability to the piece. I would have rather preferred a mere, simple black stand or other kind of display. Whatever the case, your take on this one is magnificent. I will eagerly wait for the Han & Chewie version :)

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    Replies
    1. Yeah you are right. Even a plain black stand would've been so much better. And thank you Suber, for yet again being so kind and supportive of my latest piece of work :)

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  5. Fantastic work ! Love it !
    Greetings

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  6. Awesome my friend, awesome!!

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