Fine Molds 1/144 Millennium Falcon
|KIT #:||SW 11|
“What a piece of junk!!!” Luke Skywalker.
With that line we were introduced to a spaceship whose form was not based on a sleek rocket or animal but rather a hamburger and an olive.
The Millennium Falcon was Han Solo’s main ride in the Good Star Wars Trilogy. It was the fastest ship in the series (12 parsecs?) and could get out of many situations including being trapped by Imperial Cruisers orbiting Tatooine (by drifting slowly to the left/right) or weaving in and out of the rather cramped interior of the Death Star, but not when stuck in an asteroid belt near Hoth.
It was based on the standard YT-1300 Freighter which according to Star Wars lore was in my opinion the Honda Civic of the Star Wars Universe as it was a simple design that allowed for extensive modifications by the owner. According to the expanded Star Wars universe, the Falcon passed through several hands and name changes before Lando Calrissian won it in a Sabbac game (Star Wars poker???). After Han Solo won it in a Sabbacc (naturally) tournament from Lando, the freighter received extensive modifications to its equipment including powerful shields, jammers, engines and weapons to become the ship we see in the Star Wars Trilogy.
Han used it as a small time smuggling ship to get people and things that Imperial customs shouldn’t know about. It was during this time frame that he ran a foul of Crime Lord Jabba the Hutt by dumping Jabba’s illegal cargo of spice just as he was about to be boarded by Imperial Warships or customs vessels. He was temporarily saved from Jabba’s wrath by an even more desperate Obi Wan Kenobi and whiney youth Luke Skywalker who wanted to get to Alderaan system.
Funny tidbit, the original Falcon looked more like one of Space 1999’s Eagles till someone pointed out the similarity between the two vehicles. The original design was then modified into the blockade runner that was shown in the opening scene.
Fine Mold’s first came out with their 1/72 scale version of the Millennium Falcon. It’s incredible detail, size and almost $300 price tag blew the minds of SF modelers including the reviewer who was tempted to purchase this kit until he was reminded about the state of his bank account at the time. Instead Fine Molds has gone to a more manageable 1/144 scale Falcon with a much fewer parts count that the 800-1000 of the 1/72 version and about four to five times cheaper than the original 1/72 kit.
The Fine Molds 1/144 kit consists of five sprues of light grey plastic consisting of 89 parts (including a four piece stand), one sprue of clear plastic containing three parts, a decal sheet, detailed instructions, a color/decal placement guide and cut out masks. Among the parts include ones for a 1/144 scale cockpit.
The parts have very fine detail for the scale and are almost flash free while the clear bits are very clear with little distortion.
It is as easy as following the instructions, mostly. The fit of the parts is excellent and there were only two places where I needed any filler. The first place was the area behind the cockpit where it meets the saucer. The other area is located at the ring immediately behind the cockpit where the top and bottom halves meet. It took about one hour to assemble.
The one area I deviated from was adding the cockpit as I added it after all the hull parts will glued on. The reason I did this was to hand paint the cockpit first before installing. The cockpit is mostly black but I did dry brush with silver to pop out what little details there were. Next I painted the seats tan and then installed the cockpit bits into the hull. The final task was masking off the canopy and gluing that in place (I used Tamiya Extra Thin.)
One has the option of doing the Falcon in flight or with the landing gear extended. I chose somewhat uncharacteristically for one of my Star Wars Models to do it with the gear extended. The main reason was due to the fact that FM does not supply 1/144 figures so the Falcon would look strange with no crew flying it.
Lastly, I assembled the two quad laser guns.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
The Falcon is a very dirty bird so it makes for a rather interesting (for me) paint scheme. I opted to paint it like I would armor. The entire model was first painted flat black. Next I then sprayed two very light and blotchy coats of Tamiya XF-81 Royal Grey. It turns out that it was too dark even for a light grey so I went with a final really thin and blotchy coat of Gunze H338 FS36495. This actually gave the subtle weathered look I wanted.
Since the Gunze paint was semi gloss, I added the markings one by one. I used MicroSol for the initial solution for the decals, but went to Solvaset for the stubborn ones. I did the top decals first before doing the bottom one.
to the most fun. I used three
different colors (black, burnt sienna and raw umber) of water color for the the
weathering. I had to remember that
was working with 1/144 so it didn’t need to be as dirty as I initially wanted so
I went with a more subtle effect.
The excess watercolor was removed with wetted Q-Tips.
Finally I added some pastels for a more blotchy effect in certain areas.
Lastly I sealed everything in with two coats of
The windows for the gun turrets were added but I did not paint the frames as I was lazy and did not want to mask all of those windows. Finally the gun turrets were added and I had one completed Falcon.
It is expensive for a 1/144 scale kit, but then again not many 1/144 scale kits comes with the level of detail that comes with this kit. On the other hand, you get a very easy kit to assemble with extremely good detail that any level or age of modeler can build.
If you’re a fan of Star Wars or enjoy a quick kit to build then this kit should be one worth the purchase.
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