Bandai 1/144 Millennium Falcon

Thanks to Edward DrGunpla and Darren Bloomfield, I unexpectedly got a Millennium Falcon (aka MiLF). I must say, this model is quite impressive given the mind boggling and crisp details that the trademark of Bandai. For those who are curious, this is the version of the Millennium Falcon the film Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Hence the rectangular radar dish.

My main aim of this model is to light it up and not compare it with the Finemolds version of the same scale. (Because I do not have one). There are so much details on the actual studio model and I am not those who can tell the difference between the 32″ and the 5-footer. But, here is a good review from The Millennium Falcon Notes.

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These are my Falcons, thanks to Derek Ho of Neo Plamo – Ipoh Scale Model Hobby Shop, Edward DrGunpla and Darren Bloomfield
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The size of the box is almost that of a 1/100 MG Gundam.
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Every Bandai kit will have a multi-coloured/clear runner and the Falcon is no exception. There are three clear parts and one transparent blue engine grill!
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Like all other Star Wars kits, you can either use the transfer decals or…
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… you can use the water-slide versions.
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For a 1/144 scale, it somehow feels slightly bigger than the Finemolds version.
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The figures. No, I cannot find BB8
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Cockpit details and seats
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Anyone who has built the Falcon will know the extra details in the 6 vents. But to use these grille details would cover up the beautiful details are unheard of! Paul Bodensiek of ParaGrafix Modeling Systems, you have your work cut out for you now! 😃
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Man, the details on this side piece!
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Rough scan of the manual says you can either build it with details or lit up.
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The first thing I did was to get the parts out for the cockpit and man, the details are incredible! However, since I have not see the Trailers, I am not so sure about the inner wall/ceiling details because they look, well, different from the Original Trilogy. And the ‘nose’ is bare without those ‘plated details’.

Anyway, the ‘wall’ is about 1mm thick and the door is half closed or something, a fact which you might want to deal with since if you’re putting a LED behind, the lack of details is quite obvious if someone were to peek through.

Yep, I would just backlit the wall piece and that’s it. I’m not even going to light the front consoles here.
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If you look at the insides of the Falcon closely, you will notice some ‘additional’ peg holes (yellow arrows) which does not do anything. These are for you to place the TWO plastic LED holders (yellow) that comes with the model kit, for Bandai’s own Lighting kit which, surprisingly, gives you two LEDs.

Here is the bad news about the Lighting kit: There are only two LEDs and you will need to choose between:

1. Either to just light the Engines only, or
2. “the cockpit and the ramp”. 😕

Anther note is that the hole inside these pegs are 4mm, so you cannot fit the 3mm nor the 5mm LEDs though it. Its designed specially for Bandai’s own Lighting Kit.
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One nice thing about the ramp options is that you can either have it closed or lowered. On the right are the three parts to make the lowered ramp. Whenever you want, you can change to either set ups as they are friction fitted.

But for me, the challenge is to light up the ramp’s ceiling where the 8 arrowed spots are. The blue arrow is the hole where the LED from the Bandai kit shines through, if you had the Lighting Kit, that is.
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I’ve spent the whole day on Friday looking at the various lighting solutions for the Falcon’s engines. Most of the solutions were quite good but this would mean increased parts costs and also the redesign of the circuit to ake in higher voltage. Something which I would never agree with.

And so, coming back down to Earth, wide angle white LEDs are the best compromise. In this shot, the two LEDs were quite bright and looks good too.

(The Nikon D50 adjusted itself and that’s why the picture was dark.)
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It’s amazing what a single LED can do once you have chosen the right type. This is a 2x5x7mm White LED where I placed it just right, and the thin plastic lights up the whole gun turret.

Of course, when its fully painted, the effect would disappear. I initially plan to sand through the circle but now, I’ve decided against it.
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And so, after 5 years, the project continues and I found the type of LED strip I was looking for.

This is a flexible COB LED which runs on 5 volts and is about 50cm long (I could only afford this length for experimentation)
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And yeah, you can cut the strip at the designated markings. I have not done this yet since it’s quite late in the evening already.
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For 5 volts, it is surprisingly quite bright. Once the eyes have settled down, you can see small dots of LEDs.
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Toning down the brightness a little, you can see the LEDs in there. Although it is flexible, it does not mean you can bend it 180 degrees nor pull it.
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Some of you would start to ask, why do I need this 5volt LED COB strip for, any why not use those 12 volts version instead?
For one, these 5volt strips are cool to the touch and even after a few minutes, it did not get warm.