Return to the BUILD
“This issue brings you a selection of parts to continue assembling the Millennium Falcon‘s hull framework.“
Materials: The Hull Frames and Connectors are metal and the Front Panel is plastic.
Screws: I have designated the screws supplied in this issue as follows. See my Screws page for more details:
- Parts #4 = Type F for Frames
- Parts #6 = Type H for Hull Plating
- Starship Fact File – The Rebel Alliance’s Ultimate Fighter: X-Wing: Icon of the Rebellion
- Secrets of Spaceflight – Hull Frames and Plating
- Build the Falcon – Assembly Steps
Completing the Cockpit Console
Retrieve your Cockpit assembly from the previous issue. Press the two rectangular posts of the Cockpit Console Front Panel onto the matching tabs at the front of the Cockpit Base, orienting the part as shown:
Continuing with our painting efforts, I decided to add some color details to my Front Panel. First, I dry-brushed the entire thing with Tamiya XF-16 Flat Aluminum acrylic paint. Dry-brushing is a technique where we try to highlight the details on a part. This involves dipping a paintbrush into the paint and then and wiping most of it off on a paper towel or similar material, leaving barely any paint on the brush. Then, we lightly drag this ‘dry’ brush across the edges and raised surfaces to add the color. We can use this technique to add the appearance of contrast, scratches, and ‘wear’.
Extending the Hull Frames
Retrieve your Hull Frame assembly from Issue 02. Fit the Hull Frame TF-6 (marked TF-06) to the Hull Frame assembly, aligning its screw holes under the existing 4-hole Connectors, as shown.
Remember that the TF markings on each part should all be on the same side and facing up towards us:
Loosely secure Hull Frame TF-6 to the assembly at these locations with three (3) Type F screws.
TIP: When we attach Hull Frames to each other, we want to leave these screws on the appropriate Connectors slightly loose until the Frame parts we are connecting are aligned together correctly.
Fit a 4-Hole Connector to this corner joint of Hull Frame TF-6 as shown, and loosely secure it into place with two (2) Type F screws:
Fit the Hull Frame TF-5 (marked TF-05) to the Hull Frame assembly, aligning its screw holes under the existing 4-hole Connectors, as shown:
Loosely secure Hull Frame TF-5 to the assembly at these locations with two (3) Type F screws:
Fit a 4-Hole Connector to this corner joint of Hull Frame TF-5 as shown, and loosely secure it into place with two (2) Type F screws:
Once this step is completed, check the Hull Frames alignment and then tighten all of of the Type F screws we have just installed.
You may notice the 4-hole Connector in the previous picture fit crooked. I removed the Connector and found the edges of the panel were not aligned:
To align these parts correctly, I loosened nearly every frame screw we have installed so far and gently realigned all of my Hull Frames. It did not take much, but I was able to align these Frames properly and attach the connector straight. I then tightened all of the frame screws:
Fitting the Hull Plating
“There is no need to attach the hull plating permanently until you have completed the whole of the metal framework, but now that
you have completed a large section, you can fit the panels supplied with Issue 1 and 3 to see the principles involved.”
Retrieve your Hull Plating TP-1 from Issue 01. Fit the eight posts of this Hull Plating through the matching holes along this section of the Hull Frames, as shown:
Secure the Hull Plating TP-1 to the Hull Frames with eight (8) Type H screws.
As this is only a test-fitting of the Hull Plating, I did not install these screws. We will permanently attach this Plating later on in the build.
You can also temporarily fit the Hull Plating TP-2 (from the previous issue) to this assembly to see how it will look:
Unfortunately, as I was removing the Hull Plating TP-1 from the Frame assembly, a piece of the Hull Frame TF-5 broke off. I have never seen this happen to die-cast (ZAMAK) metal before. A closer look at this Frame revealed that somehow it is cast from different metal than the other Hull Frame components. It is slightly darker, duller, and much more brittle than the rest – perhaps a manufacturing fault:
I called the Fanhome Customer Service USA phone number at 1-800-581-2770 and they quickly arranged to have a replacement issue sent out – it arrived within a few days and the replacement Hull Frame TF-05 looked right and fit perfectly:
It is great to see our Cockpit becoming more detailed, but I am disappointed that my Hull Frame broke so easily. This is not the fault of Fanhome, as they are simply the partwork distributor. This is on the factory who created the parts. I am still excited to continue this build!
Issue 05 – Cockpit Bulkhead Lighting Panel, Left/Right Instrument Panels, Passage Tube Upper/Lower Sections