Satya's blog - models/swfalcon/
I found the LEGO Star Wars Millenium Falcon on sale. This is kit number 4504, ages 9+. It has 985 pieces. Does that include the extras? It comes with a bonus gun, I think it's called an E-WEB blaster or something. This is the box:
It look like the model at the top left of the back of the box (the third picture above) can be constructed from the pieces provided, if you don't mind taking the Falcon apart. Looks like it's some crazy Episode I/II/III ship, a Republic cruiser or something.
The box contains the LEGO instruction manual, a label sheet, and several plastic bags full of parts. I guess the parts are packaged according to the manufacturing batch or unit. They're certainly not by color or size or type (except by size, maybe). The kit also contains a few mini-figures a.k.a. LEGO figures a.k.a. mini-figs. This one has Leia, Han, Chewbacca, and an Imperial snowtrooper. And C3P0. They're all "Empire Strikes Back"/Hoth/asteroid types.
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 12:59
The building instructions for the LEGO Millenium Falcon, like all modern LEGO instructions, show you the pieces required for each step. That way you don't miss the single piece that's at the other end of the model from the main area that the step is concentrating on. You also don't spend time looking for pieces while building a step.
Here we see the floor of the Falcon. The front is to the left of the picture. The boarding ramp mechanism is near the top and the bottom rectangle is going to be open. That's where the escape pod fits. Some people have mentioned that this weakens the structure. I agree the "real" Falcon would be weakened but the model is fine -- it has other structural problems, in the roof.
Since the ramp mechanism is built so early, it is well-integrated in the structure and that makes it hard to completely "flip" it as I did later.
The ramp mechanism is quite clever: pull on the docking port and the plate is levered downward:
Here we see the interior. On the left is the game table and on the right is the hyperdrive and engine room. The center square is the top quad-laser mount. This model does not have a bottom quad-laser.
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 12:58
Here we see the LEGO Millenium Falcon's engine room and crew area. The infamous hyperdrive and the famous game table. The sides of the Falcon are made with some cheater pieces (the black bits and the brown bits). It gets pretty fragile from here on. One question: when the escape pod isn't there, what's containing the air pressure? Hangar-style force fields?
Here's the (presumably fake) port docking port. It swings up to release the escape pod. You can also see the detail that makes up the edge of the saucer section. The starboard docking port is for real and also contains the boarding ramp and associated mechanism. That's in the background, behind the cockpit access corridor which in the model ends in a blank wall because of the way the cockpit structure is constructed. It sort-of "hooks" onto the central quad laser mount.
And now the top is being constructed. It just consists of a bunch of tall triangles on hinges. Very fragile. The docking ports could be made to hook onto the center column with a couple of flat plates but they haven't done that. At least the fragility of the radar dish is true to the films.
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 12:59
These next few photos of the LEGO Falcon show the cockpit neck and the mandible assembly. The neck had to be re-built in a mirror image when I 'flipped' the Falcon later:
Here's the assembled neck and the parts for the right mandible. The mandibles are not quite symmetrical:
When I set up the pictures in the albums I forgot that the 'triangles' are called the loading mandibles. Here's a frontal view of the assembled mandible and the cargo doors:
And here are pictures of the complete Falcon. I'll just link to them:
Now compare the completed Falcon with the flipped model:
Here are the parts I had to change. The cockpit was intact, bits of the mandibles had to be switched, and the 'neck' was rebuilt. And two of the top sectors were switched:
It would be more complete if the ramp and escape pod switched places but that requires a ground-up rebuild. I might do that someday but things are going on and I built the other ship pictured on the back of the box instead -- the one for which there are no instructions (not even on the net as far as I know). I took pictures of that and they'll be up someday, too.
As always, the pictures link to the larger images.
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 13:00
The LEGO Star Wars Ultimate Collection Series Millenium Falcon has some box art which indicates an alternate design model. I have no idea what it's called and the instructions don't include it. I couldn't find anything on the net except what appear to be studio pictures of it, which are the same as what's on the box.
So I decided to build it going by the picture on the box, which is hard because it's only from one angle and you can't tell what's under it. I tried to remain true to the box art but there are slight deviations. The under-side, especially, is complete guess-work.
Of course, I took pictures: Millenium Falcon alternative model. I won't post a build log here as most of what I could say (now, months after building it) is already in the picture descriptions.