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Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:48 pm
by tbmmbt
Hi,

First post here so sorry if I'm in the wrong forum. It's my Star-Wars-mad daughter's 6th birthday in a couple of weeks and all she wants is a Falcon after showing her photos of what I used to have as a kid!

I haven't got a huge budget so I've managed to buy an OK condition 1995 one for £35 (with a Snowspeeder minus lasers thrown in). It's missing a few bits so I've been trying to fix it up as best as I can but I can't really justify spending loads on replacing with original pieces. This is what I've made DIY so far:

* A smuggler's hatch (measured and printed a photo then stuck onto thick card and laminated plus re-inforcers to strengthen the holes)
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* Jedi training arm & ball (Lego construction into a small drilled hole - even though the '95 one didn't have it I thought she might like it!)
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* Radar dish (Lego again)
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For the gunner's seat all I've got is the frame (no seat, no glass holder and no gun) but I've managed to make a holder today from the top of a drinks bottle and hoping to use part of a pen lid to stabilise the chair (!)
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It actually fits pretty well but seems a bit lightweight so I've got some Sugru that I was thinking of sealing around the edge to make a rubbery seal. I've never used it before but it says it won't bond well to polyethylene which I guess the bottle top is probably made of. Does anyone have any genius tips or ideas to help me complete the gun/seat/base? Like is there a part of a pot noodle lid that magically is the exact size to make a ring that would stabilise the turret gun (to be made from Lego again)!

I've also got the landing ramp struts to try and make from something - suggestions welcomed!

I know my DIY skills will probably horrify you all here and it obviously won't ever be of interest to a collector but it's been made with love so I'm hoping she'll like it! It's purely a DIY job so she can have fun playing with it and I'm not looking to make it collectable in any way!

I'll also be moving on the Snowspeeder after and already have plans for Biro tubes with Milliput/Sugru unless anyone has better advice!

Thanks in advance for any tips!

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 1:05 am
by tbmmbt
Just in case it helps anyone in future, I ended up using Milliput on top of a cut and sanded squash bottle base for my DIY gunners glass and it worked perfectly. Tough, rigid and smooth and I know it's grey and not glass but does the job perfectly! Then I made a hinged quad gun turret out of lego, glued it and sprayed it silver/grey. Fully movable and works great!
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I also made a DIY blast shield helmet and stand (drilled a small hole to attach the stand) and made some extra stickers to customise the interior a bit (with her name subtly sneaked in!) Might try and pimp it up a bit more if I can find some ideas.
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Then took it all apart and cleaned corroded battery terminals inside (completely dead before) so the lights and sound all work fully now.

So I've managed to get it nearly fully working, if a little bespoke! No ramp struts or cockpit glass but will try and make those if I can. But all I really need now is the gunners chair which I'll probably try and make sometime this week. Not sure whether to just use a strong card or find some rigid plastic that I can shape and spray blue.

I know it's probably shabby compared to what some of you do here but I'm actually quite pleased with it and hope she gets as much fun playing with it as I did when I was a kid!

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 1:13 am
by tbmmbt
Oh and this is what I managed for the Snowspeeder with missing cannons!
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Crude but functional and the lights work!

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 10:32 am
by Mini99
tbmmbt wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 1:05 am
I know it's probably shabby compared to what some of you do here but I'm actually quite pleased with it and hope she gets as much fun playing with it as I did when I was a kid!
And so you should be...
The job you have done to bring the two ships back to life for your daughter to enjoy is amazing.
Congratulations 😀

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Wed May 13, 2020 9:21 pm
by grinchy
Hey, welcome to the boards
I think you have done a brilliant job restoring the two ships, creativity that's what its all about, they both look great, well done :D

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Thu May 14, 2020 3:16 pm
by tbmmbt
Thank you both - I know it won't win any beauty contests but hopefully her 6 year old imagination will fill in the gaps!

Next step today was the landing ramp. When it arrived it was kind of OK but tended to fall off when used. I tried gently heating it up and bending the hinges slightly but that just made it worse. So in the end I just clipped off the 2 end hinges and remembered that Lego is a good fit for fixing these kind of things.

I cut off the clip part of 2 Lego hinges, carved out a couple of notches in the ramp and glued them in. It fits perfectly and the ramp is really stable now and should withstand a 6 year old's handling!
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I'm just adding these photos now in case it helps anyone in future. When I was trying to find ideas for fixes I found a few YouTube videos on restoration but not much else so maybe these will give someone some ideas of what you could try :)

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 1:24 am
by Sundancer Squadron
Some good stuff, over the years I have repaired a few toys that are destined to be played with by a younger individual. Its good to breath some life and play value into something that would probably ended up in the loft or worse.


If you have not found this channel, worth a watch. Even the none SW specific stuff is interesting to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCesf-O ... uHyTRMgKVw

Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:22 pm
by tbmmbt
Sundancer Squadron wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 1:24 am

If you have not found this channel, worth a watch. Even the none SW specific stuff is interesting to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCesf-O ... uHyTRMgKVw
Yes, that's exactly the one I came across first and gave me the inspiration to start fixing! In fact I used a free downloadable PDF template from his site to make a cape for this little fella!
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Re: Any advice on budget DIY/restoration for Millenium Falcon?

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:42 pm
by tbmmbt
I've only got a week before her birthday now but here's some more I did for the gunner's seat yesterday using an old ice cream tub, double sided tape and some blue spray paint:
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Just time for a few last tweaks now before next week. I have found a couple of thin bamboo sticks that might be the right size for the ramp struts but not sure if it will work...