Monday, 24 June 2013

X-Wing - Millennium Falcon Conversion

One of the things I love most about the hobby is converting minis and I've completed some challenging and rewarding ones over the years. But on the night the ol' knife blade hovered above the Millennium Falcon, I felt a sense of nervousness. This would be a one way ticket, no room for error. If I screwed this up, I'd be left with a scarred chunk of resin and Han and Chewie would be lookin' for a new ride...

If you fancy converting your Falcon, read on friend :)

It was 2am and I had the head torch on. Crazy things happen in the dark...
As the knife cut in, the first thing I noticed was how thick the resin was on the Falcon. I ended up having to apply some serious pressure to cut through to the other side. Once I'd made an initial insertion, I took my time 'scoring' along the line of the cockpit access corridor and eventually the piece began to pry out. To help when handling the model, I also popped the guns off (they're on little pegs) and removed the radar dish.... It was time to hit the sack.

The next morning, I inspected the previous nights' work and was pleased to find that things were looking pretty good. I cleaned up the model with a needle file and flipped her over to get a rudimentary view on how she would look with the cockpit located down the middle. You can see from the picture above that I also toyed around with tacking the guns on the sides and added an alternate radar dish - All helps to show how different options may look...

Next job was to fill the gap left by removing the cockpit access corridor. I measured off a piece of plasti-card and carefully trimmed it down until it sat flush in the open space. I then spent a good 10 mins filing and sanding the joins down to try and create as smooth a finish as possible. A quick wash of white paint over the area helped to highlight any areas that had been missed...

I 'scored' lines on the plasti-card to represent the edges of the new hull plates and added in some assorted gubbins down the side of the ship to blend it through. I also cut some tiny squares and hexes out of thin plasti-card and added them to the new hull plates, echoing those found across the ship.

Next job was to trim back the area where the new cockpit would be attached. This could be considered as optional, but I wanted the cockpit to sit a little further back in the ship as opposed to sticking too far out the front of the ship. The gap in the middle was again filled with plasti-card, cutting two bits for the gaps down the sides and one to cover the front. A bit more sanding down and you should be left with a nice smooth finish.

The cockpit itself was also trimmed down to fit comfortably in it's new housing. You may need to skim a bit off each side of the cockpit to ensure it slides comfortably into the gap. The arch from the top of the old access corridor was also filed down ready to go into it's new position down the 'neck' of the ship. This simple touch will help tie the conversion together and ensure the new cockpit looks a little more like it was supposed to be there in the first place and not simply just stuck on the front...

'It's Alive!!!'

With the conversion finished, it was time to crack on with the paint job. From an early stage, I knew I wanted the ship to be white with a blue motif - in homage to the Millennium Falcon's previous guise as the 'Stellar Envoy'...

I've read a number of forum posts that give advice on stripping your X-Wing models for re-painting. I personally didn't feel the need to go down this route on this particular mini and as long as you don't go heavy with your paints, you shouldn't risk covering up any of the original detail. With this in mind, the model was primed with a light coat of white primer...

I reversed the top-side gun turret so the awesome looking view port could be seen in all  it's glory... 

Once the base coat was dry, I gave the whole model several washes of Citadel black ink, taking time to load a bit more ink around the recesses and engine vents. The blue motif was kept fairly simple, following the edge of the hull and cutting in along the line of the escape pods. To help make the blue really 'pop' on the model, I added some shading and highlighting around the plate joins and edges...

The underbelly of the beast...

The final element to paint was the infamous 'engine glow'! Load up some dark blue paint on your palette and slowly add in some GW 'Hawk Turquoise' and pure white. Take your time and you should be able to blend through successive highlights to give you a fairly effective finish...

YT-1300 Power!!!

I'm really pleased with how the converion turned out. If you're thinking about converting your Falcon, I urge you to give it a go. If you take your time and keep faith in your skills, you should end up with something that is both unique and looks the business on the table-top. Hopefully this post has given you some inspiration to make the first cut :)

Of course there is one more thing that needs to be done. The ship needs a name!

Hailing from the ship yards of the Corellian Engineering Corporation, I give you the 'Albion Star'


  1. That is Awesome! :D

    Would you consider making another for somebody with no crafty abilities at all? ;D


    1. Hi Bert,

      Thanks! With regards to making one for you, I'm flattered that you've asked...

      If you're happy, let me have a serous think about it and I'll message you back to see what opportunities we may have :)

      Cheers, TUZ

    2. That'd be awesome if you could! :D

      You could use a different highlight colour, of course - make it distinct from yours that way. :)

      Let me know what your thoughts are on the topic, and we can take the discussion to email. :)

      Thanks for replying!

      Bert V.V.

  2. Awesome, ever since the first Star Wars film came out I have thought that the cockpit belonged right where you relocated it. It always seemed odd to me that it was off to one side and made everything asymmetrical. Great job!

  3. Amazing Job!!
    I´m Red Five, the webmaster of the X-Wing Spanish Blog
    I´m interesting in translate and public this tutorial in the Blog. Can you contact with me? ( Sorry if this is not the best place to put this, but i can´t find your email. Sorry and Thanks

  4. Awesome work!!! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Excellent work on both the Falcon & firespray, have already spent £50 buying both models again, the conversion on the falcon is 90% done & though doesnt look as good as your looks decent enough, thanks for the inspiration

    A.B, uk

  6. Cheers bud! I've really enjoyed converting and painting X-Wing models - Lots of respect to you for taking the plunge on the Falcon conversion, good on ya :)


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