New LEGO Millennium Falcon 75105 Customization with The Last Jedi Update

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Over the years, I’ve built several customized LEGO Millennium Falcons (including here and here). I like taking the stock models and making them more screen accurate combined with imaginative embellishment. With this customization of a stock 75105 Millennium Falcon, I initially tried working this model that I had built about a year ago. However, I got really frustrated trying to work out how to implement some of the customizations that I had in mind. So, I disassembled the model and rebuilt it. Doing this helped me remember the logic of its design and construction, and it enabled me to rebuild some of its foundational features more easily than the piecemeal way I first attempted to do. The way that I did this rebuild also jumped around the instruction booklet, because the LEGO process of building is generally height-by-height across the whole model. I needed to focus on the modular aspects of the model, which is helped by building each module (circumferential ring, cockpit, docking ports, etc.). Due to rebuilding it from the ground up, this project took several days. Scroll through this blog post to view detailed photos and descriptions of this customization.

Cockpit and Mandible Details

Taking inspiration from Flail’s Millennium Falcon mods on Brickshelf, I rebuilt the cockpit with chairs and control sticks. This looks really nice, especially with the windows affixed. However, the chairs don’t work with Chewbacca’s minifigure. 75105 includes a Brick 1X4 W. 4 Knobs on either side of the fore mandibles. The side studs invite customization, so I added extra detail to these.

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Gun Turrets, Dorsal Vents, and Ventral Covering

Inspired by Flail’s mods on Brickshelf again, I built these lower profile top and bottom guns. I beefed up the dorsal venting system by putting Plate Round 4X4 With Ø16Mm Hole with a Plate 2X2 Round in its center. The Disk Ø24 with vent sticker connects to the round plate in the center. The bottom of the falcon is buttoned up with plates covering the Technic support system–some of which I modified to remove the arm underneath the cockpit support system and added a staggered rounding to the four corners.

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Main Hold Entrance, Nav Computer, and Dejarik Table

Using 1×1 roof tiles and an upside-down technique that I developed for a diorama of the Falcon’s main hold, I built this entrance into the main hold leading from the passage way from the entry ramp. The Dejarik Table and seating is borrowed from 75192. The Nav Computer area is very tight in the size of this model, so I couldn’t fit as large tubes adjacent to it as in the diorama linked above. Instead, I used two short tubes and moved the Nav Computer one stud to the left to accommodate the Falcon’s machinery. The main hold’s med bay is raised to accommodate a drawer, which I detail further at the end of this post to avoid The Last Jedi spoilers for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.

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Port and Starboard Docking Ports

One disappointing aspect of the 75105 model is the docking ports. It sandwiches 1×2 plates between two Plate 6X6 Round With Tube Snap and covers that with two Plate 2X4X18°. The trouble with this design is that it doesn’t really show the cone-like taper of the docking ports. Earlier Millennium Falcon sets 4504 and 7965 did a better job with the docking ports. I decided to keep 75105’s sandwich to give the ports height, and then built up a capped tube circled by 1×2 plates each topped with a Roof Tile 1 X 2 X 2/3, Abs.

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Wall Tile Extensions Around Circumference

The Millennium Falcon dorsal and ventral domed covering extends over the circumferential edge. The 75105 model comes with 1×6 flat plates to demarcate this edge overhang, but it doesn’t really look right. I picked up a lot of Wall Element 1X2X1 on Bricklink to replace these 1×6 flat plates. In addition to showing this circumferential trench around the edge of the Falcon, it gives the model an overall flatter look, which emphasizes the Falcon’s on-screen appearance.

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Engine Compartment

Instead of the Falcon having a monolithic motor, it seems more likely that it would have a segmented, modular aerospike engine. With this in mind, I designed the engine compartment to have a ring of engine modules with supporting hardware, cabling, and pipes. I created a larger, ringed passage way with an entrance way leading into the engine compartment.

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Entrance Ramp and Other Compartments

I stole the hydraulics from 75103: First Order Transporter and added to the Falcon’s entrance ramp (which makes the ramp look like the Kenner Millennium Falcon vehicle from the original Star Wars action figure line). Also, I shifted the entrance ramp one stud out from the central gunner turret assembly. There are two side compartments–one for storage with weapons in a crate, and one for another bunk (with a copy of the Death Star plans).

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New Engine Exhaust and a Little Joke

Instead of using the ribbed, transparent blue tube that comes with 75105, I opted for white tile backgrounds covered by transparent blue flat tiles (1×2 and 1×4). As a hidden joke, I included a trailer hitch under the engines (isn’t the Millennium Falcon is a big rig in the stars?).

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The Last Jedi Update

At the end of The Last Jedi, Finn puts Rose in the Millennium Falcon’s med bay in the main hold. The camera focuses on the drawer under the bed when Finn looks for a blanket. The audience realizes that the drawer also contains the Jedi books on Ahch-To. To represent this, I raised the med bay, added a drawer beneath, and included a book (from The Hobbit set #79003: An Unexpected Gathering).

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Customized LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 75105 from The Force Awakens

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Introduction

After watching Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens for the first of four times (so far), I purchased the new LEGO Millennium Falcon 75105 (LEGO website page and Brickset model page). It is a wonderfully designed model that balances play with detail. This latest Falcon model from LEGO captures how the passage of time and change of hands has affected this storied ship’s appearance in the film. Despite the interior and exterior greebling, the layout of the Falcon is spacious and accommodating for customization by the LEGO builder. It was my intention to customize the Falcon to be more screen accurate in the main hold and cockpit, and more detailed in the engine compartment and rear storage/bunk spaces. Through the process of customization, I worked on the exterior dorsal and ventral sides (including an improvement to the boarding platform. Below, I offer some explanation and photos for each before and after stage of my customization, including the cockpit, exterior dorsal, exterior ventral, interior fore, and interior aft.

Cockpit, Before Customization

The original cockpit accommodates two minifigures–one sitting forward on the right (pilot) and one sitting one row behind on the left (copilot). It comes with a single lever for control and a printed wedge brick with cockpit controls. Due to the conical elements used for the cockpit, space is extremely limited. However, the rear of the cockpit has a strange design that is not evocative of the rear of the cockpit, which would have controls, lights, and a door. I targeted these issues in my customization seen below.

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Cockpit, After Customization

In my customization of the cockpit interior, I raised the control panel by one plate and gave the pilot and co-pilot handle-bar controls like in the films. Above the directional control bars, there are three adjustable levels sitting on top of the printed control panel wedge brick for controlling the engines.

 

Exterior Dorsal, Before Customization

These images are of the Falcon’s exterior before any customization. Of note, the Millennium Falcon’s fore running lights are red instead of clear (a change depicted in The Force Awakens), and a less clean exterior to illustrate its aging and modifications.

Exterior Dorsal, After Customization

The one external element that I wanted to accentuate as much as possible was the slightly raised panels above the rear quarter over the engines. This was easily accomplished by adding a single plate above the hinge for each sectional panel, and adding a single plate height to half of the bordering panels. The latter, however, also required finding 1×3 flat plates for the segmented panels as seen below.

Exterior Ventral, After Customization (no Before photos taken)

Originally, the boarding platform does not have hydraulic lifters and the bottom of the Falcon is largely exposed to the Technic beams that form the support skeleton for the model. I added the lifters and covered much of the bottom (more can be done when I have the bricks available to accomplish a better approximation of the Falcon’s bottom exterior (angled forward pods and rear hold pod beneath the engines).

Interior Fore, Before Customization

The 75105 Millennium Falcon model continues the innovative “petal” design forming the dorsal fuselage of the spacecraft, which first appeared in the 4504 set and was improved in the 7965 set. The best change from the earlier designs is for the forward bisecting panel leading from the mandibles to the gun turret. Instead of opening up toward the turret (4504) or opening forward toward the mandibles (7965), the panel now swings forward and down between the mandibles thus giving easier access to the builder for play inside the Falcon. The navigational computer is more accurately captured with a sticker applied to a flat plate than printed wedge bricks in 7965, and the Dejarik table is printed on a round shield element. My complaints with the interior design have to do with the inaccuracy of the placement of the Dejarik table/benches and bunks. I focused on this in my customization.

Interior Fore, After Customization

In my customization, I moved the Dejarik table and benches across from the navigation computer, which required rebuilding part of the mandible supports and the swing components for the center panel (to clear the center bench back). I relocated one of the bunks to the end of the hold to create the medibay where Finn bandages Chewbacca’s arm. In the main hold, I constructed a forward wall with panel details taken from the First Order Snowspeeder 75100 set.

Interior Aft, Before Customization

The engine compartment in the rear of the model is similar to the one in 7965. This part of the Falcon captures the junked essence of the Falcon in general and the effects of the passage of time and unkind handling of the Falcon depicted in The Force Awakens. I wanted to keep its garbage appearance while giving the engine compartment greater substantiality.

Interior Aft, After Customization

In the rear hold/engine compartment, I constructed two storage rooms/bunks with swinging doors (I would have preferred to have sliding doors but I don’t have the elements to do this while conserving the limited space available), and I designed additional mirrored engine modules that go on either end of the original engine included with the set, which I hope makes the engine look more substantial for a spacecraft capable of completing the Kessel Run in 14, er, 12 parsecs!

Conclusion

I hope to further customize the 75105 Millennium Falcon. As I acquire new bricks and elements, I would like to think about how to better integrate the engines into the design and aesthetic of the YT transport. Other goals include, integrate a mechanism for lowering and raising the boarding platform, similar to the 4504 set, design screen accurate landing gear that raise the Falcon by at least one plate higher while on display, and further integrate my customization into the model so that it attains a unity of design instead of a piecemeal added-on quality.

If you have customized the 75105 or other Millennium Falcon sets, please sound off in the comments. Thanks for stopping by!

Lego Creator 5766 Log Cabin

IMG_4544, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace.

While I was out running errands for a sick Y last night, I thought I would see if Toys R Us had any new Lego sets. Luckily for Y, Toys R Us apparently put Lego Creator Set 5766 ‘Log Cabin’ on the shelf about a month early (Lego is currently running a Creator reveal and countdown page for 5766 here). The set includes instructions for a log cabin, a country retreat, and a river hut. Y likes the arched window design of the country retreat the best. It is a moderately priced set at $29.99 for 355 pieces including one minifigure. I like how the box is smaller and the pieces appear to fill the space nicely. Perhaps Lego is moving toward less packaging for their new sets, which will reduce waste.

I told Y that she will have to park her favorite Lego vehicle–the street sweeper from City Public Transport 8404–next to the cabin. I will land the Millennium Falcon on the other side.

Flying Around CERN in the Millennium Falcon

This is a very rough cut of an image that I’ve had in mind to make for awhile, but I thought I would show off this early draft. There’s a poster of the Falcon flying into the heart of the second Death Star in ROTJ, so I thought I could recreate it with Lego. I pulled this image of the LHC tunnel 1 and applied a motion blur. Then, I cut out  photos of my 4504 Millennium Falcon and 6212 Luke’s X-Wing Fighter. I added engine effects and lights to the front of the Falcon. With more time and effort, I believe that I can turn out a very nice composite reproduction of the ROTJ poster. Though, I will need to take a new picture of the Falcon with Billie Dee and Nien Numb at the controls. If you know of a better tunnel image with exposed pipes, please mention it in the comments.

Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7190 Custom Rebuild

And here it is–my custom rebuilt Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7190 model. It took me several months of tinkering to get it in the shape that it is now–beat-up, derelict, and having it where she needs it.

In the following, I will show how the model began, how it evolved, and then a more thorough description of the changes that I made to the model.

Below, you can see how the 7190 Falcon looked after I initially built it. It gestures toward what the Falcon should look like, but it has too much non-battleship gray color and the design is aimed toward play more than appearance.

Below are two pictures of the interior with the upper hull removed. Again, the emphasis is on play instead of accuracy. The interior is segmented by straight walls and there is no visible engine, which I believe a big, fast ship like the Falcon should have.

Initially, I hadn’t planned on redesigning the interior. I thought that there was more to be done with the exterior, with the large quarter panel pieces that could make the 7190 rival the newer 4504 model.

Below you can see how I have selected a single color for the upper hull, reduced the profile for the gun turret, increased the size of the engine compartment at the rear, and changed the forward cargo loader from a single flat piece to a more accurate raised profile.

Also, I improved the cockpit so that it bends into the main hull and connects to it with a single flat round brick. Below are detailed photos of the cockpit redesign.

In the final version of the 7190 redesign, I opted to replace the cockpit with the same one found on the 4504 model, the parts of which I found on bricklink.com, an excellent resource for finding sets and bricks at reasonable prices. In the future, I may reincorporate the curve and passage way in the above pictures into the 7190 redesign. However, I do have some other ideas about how to make it look more accurate, following the ideas in the 4504 model, but I need additional pieces to make this work.

So, here are more detailed photos of the 7190 redesign as it now stands. I will include exterior shots first, and then I will show the extensive and exciting interior redesign that I made.

As you can see in the two photos above, I streamlined the front prongs into the main hull, extended the port and starboard hatch covers so that they are level, added surface color and detail to more accurately match the Falcon, and utilized the natural design of the quarter panel spacing for the rear engine compartment exhaust grills.

The cockpit is the same as the one in the 4504 model, but I used a different computer display brick in front of Han and Chewbacca. Also, I designed the cockpit-to-hull connector to indicate the connection while making it easy to remove the upper main hull. I believe that I will continue working on this in the next iteration of the model.

Below are images of the interior of the Falcon based on the films and my own ideas about the engine for such a large and fast ship. I departed from the designs in the 4504 model with my design of the engine with built-in hyperdrive.

Below, an all-inclusive shot of the interior of the Falcon. In the upper left, you can see everyone gathered around the Dejarik table. In the middle front you can see the cargo storage area followed by the passage way leading to the cockpit. The central column holds the gunner stations. In the rear, you can see the main engine with integrated hyperdrive.

Below, a detailed shot of the cargo area with a nod to the Lego Space series.

Below, a detailed shot of the crew area and Dejarik table and navigational computer.

Below, a detailed photograph of the main engine and its support structure, integrating it into the framework of the space craft.

Building my custom version of the 7190 Falcon model is something that I’ve wanted to do ever since I first owned the 7190 when it first came out at the end of the twentieth-century. The nice thing about Lego is that I can continue changing and altering the design as my imagination shifts and permutates.

Besides the awesomeness of building with Lego bricks, you may be wondering why I have devoted a good deal of space to my Lego work on dynamicsubspace.net. This is something that I am continuing to work on, but I see Lego as a transitional example of what Haraway calls the Informatics of Domination. Lego serves as a metaphor for the dilemma and its solution. Lego is a double edged sword, swinging both ways, but holding a promise greater than its representative ills. Expect to read more about these ideas in the near future.

Below, I have included a gallery of more images of my custom 7190 Millennium Falcon. Enjoy, and thanks for visiting.

Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon Midi-Size 7778

I’ve posted before about the Lego Star Wars Millennium Falcon midi-size model 7778, but I wanted to post again with more pictures just because this set is so dang cool. Above, the Falcon is pictured with the mini TIE Fighter 8028, which I think scales very closely to the “midi-size” Falcon.

I am currently cannibalizing an extra 7778 set for my refit of the Falcon 7190 set. Unfortunately, I have had no time to build with my Legos for over a week due to reading and teaching beginning again. See below for more photos.