Building the Millennium Falconâ„¢: A Modeler's Journal



A Modeler’s Journal

By Kevin Dove


Copyright © 2015 DigiGraph Media LLC

Cover photographer: Kenneth Claytor

Editor: Veronica Dove

Design: Kevin Dove

Publisher: DigiGraph Media LLC

STAR WARS characters, names and all related images and indicia are trademarks of & © Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC. All rights reserved.




This book is dedicated to a childhood friend and fellow Star Wars™ fan who taught me the correct way to use a spray can, Danny Cusick. Your memory lives on with every model I’ve ever built and ever will.


I’ve had this kit for over 30 years sitting in its original box unassembled… until now. I started painting the model while in high school and stopped when I realized that this was not the way

The basement workshop (AKA “Mantopia”).


I wanted to pursue this project. The Falcon deserved better and I wanted to do it right. I figured I’d wait until I had amassed the perfect set of tools. Well, since the ’80’s, I hadn’t collected that perfect set of tools nor have I built a kit like this in three decades. Regardless, it was time. A force had awakened within


and the Millennium Falcon™ deserved a revisitation,

a new hope.

The build is true to the original kit in that I kept the large sidewalls and oversized radar dish. But, there are a few special touches added that didn’t break the bank to pull off. Scratch built modifications were made to the cockpit interior with the addition of a console and two rear seats. Crossbars were added to the cockpit canopy to more closely resemble

the actual studio model.

A few extra greeblies were added to the side walls for enhancements in places I felt were understated.


The original kit had a very odd lever protruding from the rear right side wall. This was the power switch for the grain of wheat bulbs that illuminated the engines,

A new circuit for an old model.

Photo by Kevin Dove.


gun ports, landing ramp and cockpit. That system worked fine for 1979 but I knew that I had to do something a little more up to date with the lighting.

The new electrical circuit consists of two 9 volts and their connectors which are hidden in the compartment designed to hold two C

The new power button greeble. Photo by Kevin Dove.


batteries, two feet of 3mm fiber optic, six 5mm LEDs, two resisters and roughly three feet of wiring. Oh, and one nicely hidden switch (greeble) within the left rear side wall. The end result is an illuminated cockpit, two head lamps on the front mandibles and rear engine exhaust with a beautiful blue hue.

Assembling the model was easy with the exception of some warping of the parts which I will attribute to the aging of the polystyrene. Because of this, I found it necessary to use different kinds of glue to keep the warped pieces from pulling

Photo by Curtis Waring.


Photo by Curtis Waring.

“Hot glue was my go to for rein-forcement of the side walls…”


apart once assembled. Hot glue was used in those instances. Model cement worked just fine for the smaller parts. But for elements such as the upper/lower hull assembly and side walls, I found super glue to be a better solution. Hot glue was my go to for reinforcement of the side walls especially in areas

Photo by Curtis Waring.


where, again, warping was a challenge.

Less than 5% of the paint job is airbrushed. The majority of model was painted via spray can; off whites, two shades of gray, rust and flat black. Once the base coat was completed an acrylic wash was applied to pull out the fine detail. Oil paints were used on individual

Photos by Curtis Waring.


Photo by Curtis Waring.

[*“Less than 5% of the paint job is airbrushed.” *]


Photo by Kenneth Claytor.

Photo by Kenneth Claytor.

panels to add color variation and streaking. Because of the brightness of the LEDs the inner parts of the Falcon were painted dark gray or black to insure that light would not show through


Images depict green screen photography used to create a mask or matte. Color correction was needed to remove green spill on the model resulting from backdrop reflection.

Photo by Kenneth Claytor.

areas where the plastic

ran thin.

The “hairspray” technique was very useful in chipping areas of paint on certain panels. This technique requires that surfaces where chipped paint is needed be


treated with a coating of hairspray. Once dried, the surface is painted and allowed to set. A water soaked brush reactivates the hairspray allowing flakes or chipping of the top coat to occur. Scratching was another approach that worked nicely in places. Fine tuning was done with enamels (off white and steel) applied with a toothpick to add dings, scrapes and additional paint chipping. Once dried, a final matte coat was applied.

Photo by Curtis Waring.


Photo by Kenneth Claytor.

Now that the Millennium Falcon™ is complete and I’ve rekindled a fire nearly forgotten, I’m looking forward to my next build.



Unfortunately, I don’t build models for a living but I am an “artist” by trade; motion media artist, graphic designer, illustrator, creative director, whatever title best fits the occasion.

I would like to introduce you to a small sampling of my other passions.



As an advocate for family friendly entertainment, I wanted to create a series of fun and simple game apps for all ages. If you own an iOS device you can download “There’s My Cheese!” and “Bat Flap” for FREE! “Frog On It!” can be yours for only $.99.

Find all three games at:



“…you can download “There’s My Cheese!” and “Bat Flap” for FREE!”


My oldest daughter inspired me to rewrite and publish my first children’s book, Sir Nick of Tyme. It started off as a college project. Fifteen years later it became a mission.

The story is centered around Nick, a baker’s son, who dreams of becoming a knight in medieval times. Nick is taught the value of hard work by his father and is well known throughout the hamlet of Tyme because of it.

Ebook cover for children’s book written for early readers ages 3 to 5.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on Sir Nick.



Sir Nick of Tyme is a story of kindness, compassion, dedication and reward. It’s a tale of values and vision.

If children’s media with old fashioned substance appeals to you then this is a must have. It just may challenge that special young person in your life to dare to dream of greatness.

Get your ebook today for only $1.99 at…

• Amazon.com – http://tinyurl.com/nl6uac3

• iBooks Store – http://tinyurl.com/kwbdblc


Sir Nick of Tyme[* is available in print for only $10 at Amazon.*]

  • *



Thank you, Father God, for

the blessing of a creative spirit.

Thanks to my wife and kids

for their support in letting

me rediscover a lost love.

I also want to thank Curtis Waring and Kenneth Claytor

for lending their time and

talent. Without their photography this book

would not be possible.

[email protected]

Lastly, thank you George Lucas. Your vision and passion has inspired many; awakening creative forces worldwide.





Kevin Dove is the CEO/Creative Director and co-owner of DigiGraph Media LLC with thirty years of experience.

Dove is an illustrator, 2D/3D animator, visual effects fanatic, all around nice guy and family man whom you can follow at https://twitter.com/Tymebandit.


the Author

a[* *]little

Photo by Kenneth Claytor.


[_Original box cover for the 1979 MPC model kit with the added _]Empire Strikes Back™ sticker circa 1980.

Photo by Kevin Dove.

be with


“May the FORCE

Building the Millennium Falconâ„¢: A Modeler's Journal

  • ISBN: 9781311010131
  • Author: Kevin Dove
  • Published: 2015-12-25 04:22:11
  • Words: 1369
Building the Millennium Falconâ„¢: A Modeler's Journal Building the Millennium Falconâ„¢: A Modeler's Journal