I finally finished the Perfect Grade Millennium Falcon. In case you hadn’t noticed I’ve kind of been procrastinating on the weathering. It always intimidates me a bit to weather a model. I’m always afraid that I’m going to ruin it. It usually turns out OK but the trepidation is still there. The only real thing that caused me to really pause was that the pressure regulator on my air compressor broke and I had to get a new one. I also found another distraction by starting to learn Autodesk Fusion 360. I’m planning on getting a 3D printer in the near future and I decided I needed to learn how to create 3D models.
Anyway, I finally got off top dead center and started weathering by making a 50/50 mix of Vallejo Black Gray and thinner. I then sprayed that on the open maintenance bays and the battle damage. I also sprayed some mist layers on the front sections of the mandibles. Then I moved to the back and sprayed the engine grills and some of the vents in that area. The vents on the top of the docking tunnels also got sprayed.
Then I started making the grime streaks on the Falcon. I started with the bottom side first. I was using the Tamiya Weathering Master pigment powders. I got off to a bad start as the pigments just would not stick very well to the Vallejo clear coat I had sprayed earlier. I could only assume that the clear coat was just too slick to take the pigments properly.
I decided to give the bottom side a light covering of Vallejo Matte finish. Then I tried the streaking again. This worked much better. I also used the brush applicator to dirty up some other areas around vents and major hull intersections. When the bottom was done I sprayed more clear matte to fix the pigments in place. When that dried I turned it over and gave the upper hull a light coat of matte and when it dried started applying pigments. I applied it to the spine details on the cockpit tunnel and the side details between hull halves. I kept applying it to different areas until I got close to the effect I was looking for. I know I could have gone further, but I didn’t want to go overboard. Then it too got another layer of matte to fix the pigments in place. I’m happy with the result and hope others will like it.
Here are some photos of the under side of the weathered Falcon.
Here are some photos of the upper hull.
I then assembled the stand and put the Falcon on it. It’s a bit wobbly as I’ve seen some others note. I might have to search for something a bit more stable.
It is finally finished and I’m quite happy with it. It is an expensive model but it is worth every penny in my opinion. Now I have to decide what I might work on next. In the meantime I’ll be learning Fusion 360.
When I posted the last update I was at the stage where I needed to scratch build the S-I retrorockets. I used a short section of 0.125 inch styrene rod about an inch longer than I needed. I chucked that in my Dremel tool and used it like a lathe. I used my #11 X-acto knife to shape the forward section of the retrorockets. They have a rather odd shape. It starts out like a cone and then has something like a button on the end. Once I had the shape right I removed it from the Dremel and cut off the excess. They were then painted white with the bottom black. The below pictures show the before and after.
Now that I had them completed I needed to get my decals printed. I ended up printing three sets. I felt like I needed extras in case I screwed something up and to give me some extra white decals in case I needed to double them up to cover the black. Here is one of the sets.
After I printed that one I realized that I did not print enough of the blowout covers for the interstage. There are eight blowout covers not four. So the next set I printed I had extras. I also found out that my decal paper is getting old and sometimes the thermal ink doesn’t stick as is should. Time for an order of new paper from Tango Papa. I was able to get enough good decals with the paper I had so work can continue.
Before installing the retrorockets or the S-I engine nozzles, I decided to apply the decals. It is a bit simpler to put on the decals without the retrorockets. The trickiest part of applying the decals was the S-IV and the interstage. All those details made getting the decals on an interesting task. I found the best way was to cut the decals into sections that would go between any protrusions. The checkerboard decal also required a few careful snips to fit around the hydrogen vent pipe standoffs. The black/white stripe decals that went at the base of the S-IV also required cutting into sections. It took a few hours to get them on in decent shape. I did have to do a bit of touch up with black paint in a few places. Also the curved decals that went around the S-IV upper interstage confirmed my cone calculations were correct. They went on smoothly and look quite nice. Once all the decals were put on I installed the S-I retrorockets and gave it a coat of clear. When that had dried I then sprayed on a clear flat. Here are some photos of the completed decals.
After the decals went on I installed the engine nozzles. The inside of the bells were painted with Tamiya smoke.
Here is a view of my Saturn I family. The only one I need to add is SA-10 the last S-I Block II. That will give me a model of each significantly different version.
Now I guess it is time to get back to the Millennium Falcon and start weathering it. I’ve put if off long enough.