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Mike

YT-1300 CEC Transport "Millennium Falcon"

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Corellian Engineering Corporation YT-1300 Transport



1:144 Finemolds

boxtop.jpg

...or as it's better known, the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's ride for the first three Star Wars films.

I grew up on a diet of Star Wars, and had all of the AMT kits when I was a sprog, including the Falcon, which was a damn impressive piece of plastic to a young lad such as myself. I missed out on the earlier Finemolds Falcon in 1:72 scale, and probably wouldn't have had anywhere to put it even if I hadn't, so I was very happy when the announcement of the smaller version, particularly as the larger one is getting harder to find. Given that Finemolds had already done the work for the larger version, it was a pretty safe bet that the new kit would be of similar quality.

The box arrived this morning from Hobby Link Japan in one of their sturdy double-walled boxes, inside of which was the shiny kit box with a well known picture of the Falcon emblazoned across the front, with the iconic words Star Wars in the top left. Lifting off the lid of this handy sized box presents you with two main sprues of parts, two separate parts for the top and bottom of the Falcon's hull, a further sprue for a rather chunky stand, a clear sprue, decals and a small sheet of masks for the canopy windows and gun ports.

It didn't take me long to remove all of the plastic bags, and the first thing that struck me was the level of detail moulded into the hull parts. A lot of this integration contributes to the reduction in parts count between the two scales, down to 93 parts for this kit.

topside.jpg

underside.jpg

Do not despair however, as the moulding couldn't be more crisp if it came in a Walkers bag. The detail is everywhere, from the notched panel lines to the complex "exhausts" on the rear deck. The recessed equipment bays are all there as separate parts, with some super-fine detail in every one - a bit of a feat for such small one-piece mouldings, and a credit to the master makers.

sprue1.jpg

sprue2.jpg

The landing gear bays are however moulded into the bottom of the hull, and appear to be quite shallow, begging the question "where to the landing struts go when they're retracted?". Frankly though, it doesn't bother me one iota, as this is Star Wars, and not everything makes sense. The letter box shaped engine exhaust is again reproduced according to the larger kit, which I understand was engineered in connection with Lucasfilm, so is as "authentic" as it possibly can be. The slots in the parts are blanked off however, so anyone hoping to light the exhaust has quite a job ahead of them to hollow them all out.

Detail on the sides is similarly good, with many of the old Tamiya car and ship parts used to create the original shooting miniatures evident in places. It's quite a thing to see a model part of a model part, if you see what I mean.

The cockpit is provided as a two-piece tub with integrally moulded seats. Sounds horrible, doesn't it, but it isn't. The seats are quite good, and the long "dash" is quite neat with lumps and bumps to busy it up. The instructions would have you paint the whole thing black, but I'm sure the purists will be referencing their movie stills to get the colors just right. There are no crew figures at this tiny scale, but that's not a major problem, although the cockpit canopy/glazing is rather crisp, so the view in will be quite good. The inclusion of a set of masks is also a great idea, but I would have preferred them to be pre-cut, as it takes a lot of room for error out of the process.

cockpit.jpg

The crew accessway at the back of the cockpit is recessed to give it a bit of dimension, and the back is blanked off to prevent a see-through look. The floor stops at the doorway however, which could be useful if you're planning on lighting the cockpit, as there's a small hole that could be used to allow light though.

clear.jpg

The other glazing is for the gun emplacements, with one top and bottom of the ship. These are again nicely moulded and very clear, and a little detail is provided round the edges to fool the casual observer. The cannons are each made from 3 parts each, and although you're instructed to glue the two cannon parts to their mount, these could be left loose to allow the builder to position them later.

The freight loading jaws at the front are nicely detailed in every aspect, with some nice add-ons to hide the seam at the front of the two jaws. More inserts hide the seams at either side of the big round things (for want of a better description) either side of the hull, and the round things themselves are separate parts.

The cockpit and access corridor tube attach to the main hull along panel lines with some chunky looking socketed pegs, and the cannon enclosures drop in and secure with tank-turret style retaining lugs, so you can position them at will, and the big dish antenna drops into its mounting using a shaped peg to keep it pointing the right direction. This all leads me to suggest that the whole kit can be built without the use of any filler, which would be nice.

The landing gear can be used, or left off with covers provided, but sadly we don't get an access ramp for the crew to alight wherever they land.

The decals consist mainly of the colored panels that appear randomly on the hull, and some of the brick red ones even have some wear built in. The dark grey ones don't however, so the more pedantic modeller might want to mask and spray these to get the effect they're after.

decals.jpg

The stand is an odd affair, consisting of a couple of shaped plates that interlock with a pair of shaped feet and allow the modeller to position the finished model at a slight nose-up attitude to show off their handiwork. A blast with some dark paint, and maybe some stars masked and sprayed on should minimise the impact of the thing, but as it's overhung on every side, it shouldn't detract from the look too much.

stand.jpg

Conclusion

Did you really think it was going to be anything other than massively positive? It's the Millennium Falcon! From the original Star Wars films! The fact that it's by Finemolds just seals the deal for me, and I'm 100% happy that I can finally possess a display cabinet friendly model of the space ship that I grew up thinking was really cool.

The detail provided in the box is excellent, and my memory of the films and the AMT kit tells me that they've got it bang on in terms of shape and detail, although I think that if you were to be picky, you could say that some of the smaller details were perhaps a little proud? It doesn't worry me unduly though, as once I've primed, painted, battle-damaged it - a feature not moulded into the kit by the way - and weathered it, it should look just right.

This kit won't stay unbuilt for very long.

EDIT: It didn't stay unbuilt for long - a full Build Article can be seen here, and pictures of the finished kit just below these words:

complete1.jpg

complete2.jpg

complete3.jpg

complete4.jpg

complete5.jpg

stand.jpg

Review sample courtesy of hljlogo.gif

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I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want

...taking deep breath.....

I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want I want

Ok i will calm down now. Was tempted to get it when it landed at HLJ but going to wait for it to arrive in the UK.

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Fantastic review Mike!

Mine is on its way from Japan right now as part of my 45th birthday present.

Can't wait to get started on it.

Richard.

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Cheers Richard - I'm still very tempted to start building this avo... I suspect it will fall together in very short order. I already roughly clipped the two hull parts together, and they're such a good fit that they stay in one piece. :thumbsup:

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Great review Mike of a great kit. It was always too much to expect that it would have the same detail as the 1/72 version but again FM have it in the bag.

Looking forward to the build thread starting this avo!!

Now where is that wish list of other SW vehicles that could do with the FM treatment.

Thanks again,

Warren

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Nice review, boss. Looks like a great kit, and not a bad price either.

Just one thing, don't compare it to the AMT kit (or your memories thereof) for accuracy, the AMT/MPC/Airfix version has many known flaws.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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I neeeeed one. So what will one of these set me back?

Clicky, which according to the currency translation on the site equates to about £34 plus shipping :)

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Great review Mike - Top marks. :speak_cool: I have one on it's way from HLJ...and I have the 1/72nd version...now worth about £300..I might just hang on to that rather than biuld it and do this one, which will fit in my cabinet too.

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Great review Mike - Top marks. :speak_cool: I have one on it's way from HLJ...and I have the 1/72nd version...now worth about £300..I might just hang on to that rather than biuld it and do this one, which will fit in my cabinet too.

Cheers chap :) More nuggets of info on the way shortly ;)

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I really ought to get one of these, I've got plenty of reference material to use.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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Where to get the 1/144 Ties and xwings. Should be able to knock together a 1/144 trench run with this coming down ala "death from above".

F-toys do some and those packs of 10. Need to look out for some.

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I really ought to get one of these, I've got plenty of reference material to use.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

Can I have some of those refs please Jeff? All my Star Wars books are lofted at the moment, and if you'd seen our loft, you'd know what a problem that is :S

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I'll try and do a bit of scanning over the next few days, although my main reference book is so heavy it'll probably break the scanner!

Would you prefer reference pics of the original SW version, or the new model built for TESB? Or both?

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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Okey-dokey.

Obi-Jiff :fish:

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Just a quick FYI.

The Fine Molds Falcons are based on the filming miniature that was built for Empire. ;)

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From HLJ it now equates to £45 thats a bit of a jump was that a preorder discount Mike?

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From HLJ it now equates to £45 thats a bit of a jump was that a preorder discount Mike?

Not sure where you get that figure from old chum - I checked again and the list price of 4,700 yen equates to £36.55 on their site's built in conversion chart (hover over the Yen price). I double checked it with XE.com, and it comes out the same within pennies :)

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ahh i added P+P i thought you did as well. No worries.

My pants are itching to get one but i have spent a few checkles this month as it is.

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ahh i added P+P i thought you did as well. No worries.

My pants are itching to get one but i have spent a few checkles this month as it is.

I hear ya. Worth the dough though - I've just unmasked the glazing on mine, and it's looking t'riffic ^_^

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