Building Lando Calrissian’s Millennium Falcon Part 1
Bandai just released a new Millennium Falcon model depicting the legendary ship under the ownership of one Lando Calrissian, as it appears in the movie "SOLO" before Han won it in a game of cards. The kit is beautifully molded and very well detailed for is diminutive scale (1:144). Oddly Bandai chose to release this kit with out the options of landing gear, open boarding ramp or sub-light engine that is not powered up. Thankfully I saved these unused items from my previous Falcon build and they fit this kit with zero required modification. I guess maybe an alternative boxing will be released or this was done to get modelers seeking these options to purchase two kits to the tune of $120.
A clean desk and ready to build
I started by building the major sub-assemblies of Lando's Falcon and hitting them all with a coat of my favorite primer, black Stynylrez. Once the black was dry I laid down some highlights of warm taupey gray color. The overall color of the early falcon is a very light, almost white gray. I mixed a color to my liking out of 95% XF-2 white and 5% XF-18 medium blue. Initially I stopped short of the correct color because I was so pleased the with the color modulation I had achieved but after staring at it for a day I knew I had to go lighter. Happy with color I could resist a preview of the Falcon on her perch.
Building a baseAfter the success I had with my previous Falcon "vignette" I knew this would have to have a base of some type to set her on or it wouldn't feel complete. I didn't want a massive diorama just a small slice of landing pad to bring the Falcon to life. the "saucer section of the Falcon is roughly 7.5 inches in diameter so I selected an 8 inch artist cradled panel as my base. The idea for the hex-tile base was sparked by my bathroom floor tiles. I've always been fascinated by the"honeycomb" pattern as it is something that forms in nature but is also very clean and modern looking, The base draws inspiration from two very different things, Giant's Causeway in Ireland and pre-formed hexagonal pavers used by the Soviets to build remote airbases in the 50's.I started by cutting 60-ish .75 inch hexagons out of polymer clay and texturizing them to look like volcanic stone. After baking them they were then glued to the cradled board, the edges sprayed with some textured Krylon paint to blend them with the base and given a uniform base coat of black. I applied a heavy coat of kosher salt and begin to lay down layers of color to simulate the dark gray volcanic stone. Not happy with how the the colors where blending I misted the base with water. I was unsure of how the the acrylic paints and washes I used would react but I couldn't be happier with my experiment. The base was then sprayed with a coupe coats of Testor's dullcoat and set aside until a few supplied I needed arrive to complete it. A Sunday Amazon delivery provided the Olfa circle cutter, frisket film and ballast I need to move forward with the base. I added markings, "ballast" between the stones and some spots of grass. If my skills are up to it I will fabricate some type of coms tower to go with the base.
1 additional image. Click to enlarge.