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Millennium Falcon (01211) 1:144


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Millennium Falcon (01211)

1:144 Carrera Revell via Bandai Spirits




Starting Christmas 2015, a new trilogy of Star Wars movies began that were set 30 years after the original, with new peril, new characters and new hardware, all of which we’ve now seen for better or worse. It also marked the return of the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy – The Millennium Falcon, which is perhaps the most widely recognised and iconic space craft, even though it's a work of pure fiction.  Although she’s grubby, broken-down and looks like she’s flying backwards or sideways, she became one of the most-loved ships of the Star Wars universe, and now after seeing her in pristine condition with her original shuttle between the loading mandibles, we know just what a hard life she’d had before we met her in the summer of ’77.


I'll not bore you with more of the history of this customised Correllian cargo ship, but in the years since she previously graced our screens by participating in the destruction of the second Death Star with Lando Calrissian back at the controls, there had been some changes, the most notable of which was the replacement of the old circular dish that got obliterated whilst escaping from the Death Star inferno with a brand new low-profile rectangular unit, which IIRC didn’t last very long itself. There had also been some minor detail changes to the "greeblies" that festoon the exterior of the ship, but from a distance she's pure nostalgia. Han was bang-on when he said "Chewie, we're home" at the beginning of The Force Awakens.



The Kit

Bandai attained the license for the new trilogy Star Wars model kits in the Far East, and trotted out kit after kit, beginning with some 1:12 figures that you really should check out if you haven't already.  With the subsequent Star Wars properties that have been heaped upon use, such as movies Solo, Rogue One, series The Bad Batch and The Mandalorian, which is also having a number of spin-offs of its own, Revell have obtained a license that has enabled them to release their own original toolings, as well as some reboxings of previous Bandai releases, of which this is one.


The Millennium Falcon is one of the larger kits in the range, despite its smaller scale, and it arrives in a much deeper box that has the same footprint as the other Bandai sourced kits, which is very handy for stacking as far as this Star Wars kleptomaniac is concerned.  Inside the deep black box are seven sprues in light grey styrene, although one of these ingeniously has the clear and transparent blue parts moulded into it, which is a technique that Bandai use a lot in their kits, injecting one colour and then changing the configuration of the gates to inject further colours, which adhere to the other styrene and make up one multi-colour sprue. If you've not seen it before, you’ve missed out. Another sprue is moulded in a putty-colour and holds the base and stand parts, with both decals and stickers included to cater for the modeller and the younger audience that perhaps just want to knock up a kit with their dad to play with. The instruction booklet follows the design cues of the box, and is printed on glossy paper in colour, but has additional English captions here and there, although it tends to rely heavily upon diagrams, icons and a pair of “snap” triangles where something of interest is to be noted.


The kit is designed to snap together without any glue, but don't be fooled into thinking that will mean a compromise in detail, because I was utterly stunned by the level of detail that Bandai have achieved with this kit when I first saw it.  Having built the older Finemolds kit of the original Falcon that purports to be 1:144, it is officially left for dead in the detail department. The first thing I noticed about the Bandai kit is that it is substantially larger and deeper than the Finemolds kit, with a distinct curve to the top and bottom surfaces that is much greater than the older kit. I did a little looking around, and it would appear from the data held on the Star Wars Wookipedia, that the Finemolds kit is underscale by quite a margin, leaving it 2cm shorter from the rear to the tips of the loading mandibles up front. It is also shallow, but as the figure included the dish that isn't present on this kit, it's more difficult to decide by how much, however when placing them side-by-side it’s very noticeable.


Another thing to notice is that the new kit is designed to accept a modular lighting kit that is available separately, but there are plenty of third-party lighting kits that are now available.  The official set comprises a battery box that slips into a compartment in the underside, with a number of LEDs threaded through holes in the model to clip into holders within the important areas such as engines, cockpit and gun turrets. There are also some fun poseable parts such as the crew access ramp, the turrets, dish, and the option to install landing gear or have the bays closed over.


















Construction begins with the cockpit, which although it comprises only two parts, has a full tub with four seats and instrument panel, plus a busy bulkhead and access door that will look great painted up. There are also a set of seated figures that are surprisingly recognisable at the scale, but Bandai have been producing these tiny figures for their Gundam kits for years. You get one each of seated Chewbacca, Han, Rey, and Finn, the outcast First Order Stormtrooper that tags along in the first movie.  The cockpit interior slots into the lower part of the cabin, which has a separate conical nose part, is joined by the upper tunnel that disappears into the hull, and then you have a choice of either a clear canopy with decals applied to the raised framing, or a styrene part that has no glazing, which is truer to the filming miniatures of the original trilogy.








The loading mandibles are next, with each one almost a mirror image of its opposite number. The two circular cut-outs are filled top and bottom by an assembly that snaps together from three highly detailed parts, which give a busy, layered look, and are held between the top and bottom halves, with the sides filled by detailed inserts, over which additional pipework and detail parts are installed. These parts are incredibly detailed and delicate, so will need handling with care when removing and cleaning them up.


The lower hull has various cut-outs for access areas and the optional battery box, which receive the same treatment as the cut-outs on the mandibles, after which the side detail parts are clipped into the hull on each side, with the lower gun turret detailed with a tub into which a seat is dropped, then covered with the clear glazing. Detail in there is superb for its size, and it really deserves some lighting. The docking ports on the sides are built up from an inner and outer part, which again has two layers of detail moulded in, and they clip neatly in place in their recesses. At the rear is the engine exhaust, which after the first films had a design created by ILM that has been replicated ever since, and here by a styrene outer part with rows of rectangular holes, through which the inner clear blue part will be seen. If the kit is subsequently lit, the blue glow will flood from the rear, amplified by the tubular ridges moulded into the blue part. If you elect to depict the engines shut-down, you replace the blue panel with three styrene parts that have extra detail moulded in that represent the exhaust ports. At this stage, the battery box is inserted if you have one, and the LED holders are slotted into position, which the LEDs push into, holding them firmly and directing the light accordingly. Fine exhaust petal actuators are added to each section of the outer lip, as well as the larger parts that appear along the underside, and the battery box lid is slotted into the aperture, with details added around it.


The upper hull's turret is identical to the lower, and fits into the central hole in the same fashion with the cabin and seat under glazing, which have decals on the sheet if you don't feel like masking and painting them. The upper hull has cut-outs to fill with equipment from layered parts, and the six circular vents on the rear deck have some exquisite detail moulded into the hull under them, so it's a shame and a bit of a head-scratcher that it'll never be seen again. More detail is added to the engine deck in the shape of actuators and general greeblies, and it's then time to bring all the assemblies together after threading an LED through a pre-cut hole for the cockpit lighting if you have it. The mandibles are trapped between the two halves on sturdy pins, which are also used to hold the hull halves and the cockpit assembly in place, relying on friction-fit to hold them together. This of course means that you could build your Falcon now and add lights later if the need strikes you.


Final construction begins with the new three-part rectangular dish, the cannon assemblies top and bottom, and ends with a choice of gear up or gear down. If choosing the gear up option, simple clip-in blanking plates are installed over the five bays. The gear down option is more complex, and involves building up seven two-part legs, then joining them to the upper gear legs and bay insert pieces, to which you add the gear bay doors. The double legs have one slightly different leg each, but the same process applies. When they are complete, you just slot them into the bays, and they're done, remembering to keep the gear-up covers in case you change your mind. The crew access ramp has a retracted option too, and a three-part assembly that includes the ramp walls, actuator struts and the walkway itself. Detail here is great, looking just like the movie, and as with the landing gear you can swap and change at whim.




The stand is typical Bandai cleverness, and although it only consists of four parts, it allows movement in all axes to pose your Falcon as you wish. There is a removable panel in the lower turret under which you'll find the socket for the stand – another nice touch. The counter-balanced base has moulded-in terrain, and is of the same interlinking type that is seen throughout the whole Bandai range, so you can link some or all of them together for a display, using the little clips supplied in the box.




As already mentioned, there are both decals and stickers in the box, but we'll concentrate on just the decals for this review, which are of good quality, if a little thick like some other Japanese decals you might be familiar with. They respond well to decal solution, but their thickness can limit your success, and I'd be a little wary of using the decals for the cockpit glazing, using paint and masking instead.  As well as the usual accent panels of various shades of grey, yellow and red there are also small decals not seen before, and six dark grey circles to use on the engine deck vents, which I'd much rather paint from a personal point of view, as the detail of the mesh is very fine and would be likely to trap bubbles, ruining the detail for good.








It's possible to build and decal/sticker the kit without a single lick of paint if you're so minded, but most modellers will probably give her a coat or two, as the light grey styrene is a little stark and far too clean, plus paint would give a better key for the almost obligatory weathering.  I used Xtracrylix Light Gull Grey (XA1137) on my old Finemolds Falcon some years back, and was very happy with the results, which you can see by following the link in my signature strip.






If you're going for ultimate authenticity, some of the weathering on the built-up kit in the instructions looks a bit bland, so you may wish to check your references.




If you want a 1:144 Millennium Falcon from the new trilogy, this is a highly detailed kit that's true to the published sizes and looks right.  I'm hugely impressed with the kit (I’ve got four, plus the big 1:72 one!), and as it’s now available through Revell’s excellent distribution network, it should do well for them.


Extremely highly recommended.  It’s the Falcon after all!


Carrera Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit

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