DeAgostini Millennium Falcon One Month In Review…

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The internet s***storm over this part work continues, with people who aren’t buying into it taking time out of their lives to like and join the Facebook page just to comment on its price and criticise the people buying it. A month in–what is it actually like? Well, my fella is buying it, so I can tell you.

It’s in bits. And they don’t all connect together at this point. However, issue one came with that cool 1:1 blueprint for the model, so you can get a nice sense of scale by looking at where things are going to go. And really start to think ‘where is this beast actually going to go?!’.

The parts are nicely detailed, and judging by the odd hole there are going to be add-on greeblies, so not all the detail is going to be moulded into the panels as it might with a toy, but will stand out.

So far, the parts have focused on the cockpit, the gun turret, and the top over one of the escape pods. The cockpit is building up nicely, and from what I’ve read it’s a bit more detailed than the Master Replica version, with the door frame in that being just a decal and not a distinct part as in the DeAgostini. The sticker control panel on the back wall should look pretty decent when it’s backlit.

The magazines are OK. The covers are less glossy after issue 2, so a switch to cheaper paper, but to be honest, despite all the work that’s clearly gone into the content with its design, graphics and background info, I doubt people are buying this for the magazine.

I’ve read through a couple and I’m curious as to how much of the fictional background that’s provided for the Star Wars locales is canon now that Disney has the franchise. When they took over there was another Internet s***storm over the decision to make much of the Star Wars universe established through the books and comics as non canon as ‘expanded universe’, or ‘it didn’t happen’ or ‘JR didn’t die, it was all a dream and a massive waste of fan investment’. Say what you like about George Lucas, but he and Lucasfilm held the reins in what could and couldn’t happen in the non film products and I wonder how much effort Disney will make in stressing what has and hasn’t happened and what can and can’t happen in the Star Wars universe. Hard to be interested in the fictional background when it might be disregarded as the new franchise takes off.

The only real criticism I will level at this project is that much of the promotion that DeAgostini has put out is that when this is built you’ll have a replica of one of the Millennium Falcon models from the original trilogy. That’s kind of true, you will have the model, but judging by the paint job on this it’s going to look like a very detailed toy.

One of the DeAgostini videos does state though, that there will be guides on how this model can be weathered to look authentic. However, I think this ship is going to need a bit more than that. The coloured panels and the weathered hull plating puncture detailing on the central turbo laser surround piece are too bold and give it a toy like quality. Also, two sections that fit together over the escape pods have very different weathering levels (the base color is consistent though). Judging by other build reports it’s not just our ship–due to the difference in weathering you could end up with a patch work ship if you build it as is. Also the cannons are supplied in raw metal and will need spraying up and weathering, as will the seats, and I suspect the whole ship could need a total respray and weathering. If you aren’t an experienced modelmaker then your end product could be a disappointment.

DeAgostini are not helping themselves in that they haven’t released any images of the finished product–not even in the magazine. I’d like to see more comparisons with the parts they are giving us with the parts they were modeled from as a bit of quality reassurance, or at least as a painting reference. Hopefully they’ll do this in the magazine–and online soon enough to reassure collectors and shut the critics of the quality up.

Some DeAgostini part works are model kits that require modeling skills–just think about those wooden galleons that need glueing, varnishing and painting, but this hasn’t really been advertised as a model to that degree and I think the company is going to get some justifiable complaints about that.

In my last post about this model I defended the cost of it as being subjective in regards to your personal value system, and the variables in the geek merch market. I think I can now say that the resale value of this will be determined by the builder’s painting skills. And as such, the more professional the finish the greater the added value to the finished product. Something to consider.

But what does my Millennium Falcon building husband (who is wearing his free ‘Build the Millennium Falcon’ T-shirt) think?: ‘It’s good’.

High praise indeed. 😉 He’s actually loving the build. He can’t wait for his deliveries and is enjoying the micro build nature of it through it being a part work drip fed to him. He did have a wobble when we realised the work that’s going to be needed on this, as he’d been hoping for a nice easy build considering the price, but he’s a model maker and I’m sure he’ll be able to work his magic on this as he has on his raw model kits where he even custom made the lighting too.

So far, so good. Let’s see what the future brings. Have you taken on this project? What do you think so far?

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