DeAgostini’s Millennium Falcon: Issues 18 thru 21 – May 2015

Well we are well and truly over the hump on the DeAg Falcon Hall. So it is time for a quick update on what we have achieved ahead of the June Issue 18, 19, 20 & 21 (which largely consists of relatively simple assembly without painting). It has all come together now. There was a short wait for various 3D printed items to turn up then I decided to replace the Hall pipes with 13mm dia acrylic rod. So that had to be ordered online from EMA Models. Then I faffed around for an entire week trying to get the paintwork on those pipes correct! What a nightmare. But we got there in the end.

Once the pipes were painted then the final assembly of the hall became a matter of screwing everything together. However we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. In our last update nothing had really been painted. A matt dark grey was airbrushed on which gave a base which is good for the dusting on of ground soft pastel dust. However this was not done until all the detail painting went down. See photo left. Several light grey colours were used along with some black, white, red, yellow, silver and blue. I also washed some grimy black into the wiring conduit inserts.

After detail painting the soft pastel dust was applied. Mostly a black was used to create shadows, grime and definition around the hall. Given its dirty and dark appearance we had fun doing this! This is something that makes the Falcon different from the Sukhoi project. The Sukhois require a discipline as they are required to be accurate. They are a labour of love. Hence they have taken so long. The Falcon is a fun project so you can mess up without much harm done. You can slosh weathering around with little consequence! Accuracy is less of a concern on this one.

It really doesn’t matter how “accurate” it is as long as it looks right. Next a coat of Klear was laid down to seal in the pastel dust. This provided a tough base for enamel and oil-based washes. I went a step further inside the bunk and used a Flory Models dark grey wash. I am not applying any LED lighting nor and fibre optics to this kit like I did with the Fine Molds Falcon. All the little lights on the DeAgostini Falcon are just picked out with paint. The control panel in the bunk compartment was recreated with a simple decal from the spare box. It proved effective as it will hardly be seen.

IMG_20150509_185019The next stage was the general weathering wash. I started with Tamiya Smoke on the heavily dirty areas. Then I followed-up with a black oil wash. Usually I just squeeze the oil paint from a tube and apply white spirit but this method is proving unsatisfactory. The pigment grains separate out in suspension and you end up with a gravelly effect. So this time I experimented with some thinners and some gloss varnish in an attempt to keep the pigment in suspension. It does work but the resulting wash tends to be too thick. Live and learn. I will try Mig products next.

By this point you can see [from the above picture] that I was painting the hall pipes. Having decided to use 13mm dia acrylic rod my first mistake was painting them too dark a grey. I only noticed after I started painting the coloured stripes. I had to mask and re-paint the base colour. Then I managed to miss a significant reference for the pipe stripe colours hence realised I had done them wrong. So I had to repaint them. I ended up repainting them several times before I was happy that the result matched the pictures of the movie set. I think I got there in the end.

Next we started assembly. I worked my way around the hall in approximately the sequence DeAgostini suggest. In fact it doesn’t matter very much what order you do it in. You will find that the DeAgostini engineering means a very tight fit on some parts so you will need to remove excess paint and be prepared to file down certain areas. Apart from that everything slots in and is screwed into place. I super-glued the rear pipes of course as well as the game table (its position & orientation is wrong if you use the supplied lug). I also assembled the corridor section.

We must not forget the cockpit at this stage. The cone was painted up at the same time as the hall. Dark grey was used for the cockpit although the framing is a lighter grey. Everything here was weathered and washed as per the hall and the raised details were dry brushed. The rear seats had been detail painted, washed and dry brushed so it was time to add them. I took my time dry-fitting these into the existing floor lugs so that they fitted and looked right. I then set them at angles as seen during the movies. They didn’t always face forward during the movie.

I also added the seats to the hall and that is as far as I got. For now. Everything is still in its last coat of Klear hence is too glossy. I will be applying a matt coat whenever I get around to it. I admit that as soon as I got this far I decided to take the pro-photos and move onto work on the two Sukhoi cold war jets again. I still plan on adding the cups and plates seen strewn around the Falcon hall but I am in no specific rush.

The next issues 18, 19, 20 & 21 have now arrived. They turned up five days ago although I was only able to collect them from the Post Office yesterday. I have read through the issues and they look pretty straight forward. Mostly just simple assembly on hull and corridors. The latter items look pretty good out-of-the-box to me. They need a coat of matt before their appearance is darkened with pastel dust and weathering washes. I may need to airbrush on the same dark grey colour I used on the floor to the hall onto the floor of the corridors to blend them.

Other than that I think we are on easy street as I cannot see that we’ll need much more complicated hardcore model making through June. Glancing through the pro-pictures here I can say I am quite pleased with the result. Not really my best work. Certain elements are thrown together without a lot of care and the weathering is a little rough and ready in places. However, for what it is, I think it will withstand scrutiny long after I have forgotten the pain that went into its birth. It looks like the movie set. And that was the point.

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