Star Wars Millennium Falcon, ILM Concept model

Leafing through the old Star Wars models and props book I came across some Concept sketches made by the ILM SFX crew. They spent a third of the miniatures budget on one of these before George Lucas changed his mind and indicated a burger he had bitten and indicated that this was the new Falcon shape he wanted, and the rest as they say is Movie History.
concept art for Millenium Falcon a
So wanting to do a scratch build using mainly household junk and some extruded plastic, brass tube and wood dowel, I chose the model below.
concept art for Millenium Falcon c

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the first step was to do my own construction drawing so I can extrapolate the details that are only lightly sketched, that’s all I have, one concept sketch from one angle.
side elevation
The main body, or as I will refer to it as the Fuselage, will be made from drink cans.


an Ice cream cone top.

the diameter is the same for the can top, amazing luck.
cockpit dome a
and some interesting basic supplies from the model shop, the AT AT will have to wait.
dowel rod and tube

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Look forward to seeing what you do with it.

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first of all, using serious glue to join the fuselage segments.
first three joined
the Cockpit sprayed and joined to the fuselage
windscreen a
cutting the upper tube carefully and joining that to carboard rings covered in sheet styrene.
both tubes up

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with the lower smaller gauge tubes glued securely to the fuselage rings, it’s time to start scratch building the frame that run longitudinally along the Fuselage.
lower tubes in
using strong extruded plastic for the frames main members.
LADDER construction a
once you have integral strength you can add finer display detail
LADDER construction
the frame added to the upper and lower tubes
one lADDER side on

with both frames added, the model can rest squarely on the worktop and stop rolling around.
on the ground c

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the engines outboard of the side frames will be made from 20mm dowels 30cm long, with domes cut from two spares box aircraft tanks.
dowels with tips
I think the domes are from a 1/24 scale Hawker Hunter.


didn’t need the tanks as I was converting the model into the Duke Hunter air speed record machine for my local air Museum

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the Dowels will be sprayed in High build primer to get rid of the grain.
dowels with tips gv

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while the Dowels dry, it’s time for some styrene bashing, making the rear engine supports.
engine supports
these won’t take any weight, they are just for display, the weight of the wood dowels will be taken by steel rods from wood to the frame lower brace.
engine support starboard

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Interesting to see how you progress.

One thing always made me smile about the prototype was the nose that was so clearly a Soil Vent Pipe Top shroud.

Keith

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whatever they could get their hands on at ILM that looked space like or could be disguised, the MF they used on star wars has Tiger Tank rear decks, a Jagdpanther upper hull, F1 car and you can defiantly see landing gear from something.
So far the test fit of the Nacelles, slip those off to detail them to look like engines from a long time ago in a Galaxy far away.

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Looks like an interesting project!

It reminds me of the Eagles from Space 1999.

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Great idea and superb execution so far!

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Interesting that you should spot that, part of the reason Lucas rejected the long Fuselage design was because Gerry Anderson had just released Space 1999 and he wanted to avoid any comparison with the Eagle Lander, going one further from 1999 Eagle with Millennium Falcon. He was also of the opinion that the Eagle Lander was more realistic and likely something NASA would be using in a few years time, this was 1975.
digging through some spares for likely Greeblies.
spares box
styling the Nacelles up with mini fins
tail end of engines

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with the engine Nacelles bonded onto the mounts, it’s time to styrene bash the large tail fins out.
tail fins b
their appears t be a slight curve to them
tail fins curve

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the support struts look to be substantial too.
tail end

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oh I’m following this for the long haul!

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the Horizontal tail fins and the struts ready to go on.
tail fin parts
fitting and holding the main struts in place
struts and stays

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a quick check, offering up the fin for clearance.
trial fit of tail fin

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both fins fitted in position.
tail fin gv
the nose cone appears to have a box like structure under the chin, with two projections either side facing forward,
cockpit and nose
using a spare ice cream clear plastic cone for reference, to mark the curve, the cone sinks into the top surface of the box.
nose cone attachment ag
the bases of the projections are made from spare Typhoon Rocket warheads.
nose cone attachment c
The Typhoon I made a while back.

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the chin box held in position as the glue dries

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