DeAgostini Millennium Falcon: The Faults Awaken…

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The DeAgostini part work to build a 1:1 studio model of the Millennium Falcon has had a rough ride from those that think it overpriced. I met those criticisms and rejected them, but then it became clear that to achieve a replica finish the builders are going to have to be capable of a professional paint finish–not ideal for the amateur but fine for the experienced modeler and perhaps something that should have been made clearer by the company, which I explored too.

My partner, who is collecting this, hasn’t been swayed by either of these issues because he’s sure he’ll be able to do the model justice and end up with a studio scale replica well worth the effort and expense. Until now, that is…

He’s following the forums and several build diary blogs and vlogs and a couple of accuracy issues have come up… Firstly, the round window beneath the upper gun battery is misaligned and the windows that wrap around the round window in the nose of the cockpit canopy don’t go down as far as they should. Writing this down it seems like a very geeky small thing to pick on–after all, who, but an ultra know-it-all is going to know?

Except DeAgostini is priding this model on being a 1:1 studio scale replica. And all the pictures on the accompanying magazines show the windows as they should be and not how it’s actually been rendered. The canopy is also a focus piece if there was one. It’s going to contain a fantastic little interior, but you have to look through an innaccurate piece to see it. Plus, fans. Fans tend to know their stuff.

Daring folk on the forums have had a little play around and have come up with some solutions. That round window beneath the gun seems to be an easy fix, just (very carefully) pop it out of the section it sits within, turn it to the right position and press back into place. Bish bash bosh. Done. The window in the cockpit is a little more fiddly. Some people think the side windows should start higher up, and so they have filled in the two side windows to raise them. My other half is an experienced modeller, and filling and getting a smooth finish is not all that easy. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying that even with all his experience he might struggle to manage a smooth finish. If he does mind, then… *awkward* sorry about that…

Other people have different thoughts on how this cockpit should be fixed, that the semi circle of windows that wrap around the round window on the very tip of canopy nose needs filing down so that they wrap a little bit more around that central window. This, to us, seems the best fix (yeah, I’m a back seat modeller).

Really, though should these errors slip through the quality control and require such modifications on a replica? Plus, ‘replica’ is the very description which made it easy to counter the critics who said just buy the toy or a model kit as it’s cheaper, but doubt has crept in about the accuracy that can be expected from this ‘replica’ now. We are left wondering how many other inaccuracies will creep in over the two years, and how many it takes for this to go from replica 1:1 studio scale model, to just a model the same size as the studio scale model.

Adaptations are often called for on shelf-bought model kits, and there is a business in add-on detail to correct or improve those models within the hobby. In my mind this type of modification, requiring professional modelling techniques, shouldn’t be required on a £900 replica. DeAgostini should certainly be addressing these issues. So far there’s been no acknowledgement within the magazines in the form of a correction sheet, and there hasn’t been an ‘officical visit’ of the forums to address the issues either. My other half emailed DeAgostini about the inaccuracy of the cockpit and while they have replied, they have simply apologised and will be sending him another copy of the part and the magazine–although it’s going have the same error, it’s not going to be retooled which is what it needs to avoid having to make alterations to it. I guess having a second one to practice the alterations on is something, but he doesn’t feel listened to. There’s now talk that the semi-circular couch that wraps around the holo-chess table is inaccurate too–the seat should extend further around than the back.

There’s been a surge of ‘I’m out’ in the forums, and I don’t blame them. My other half had a wobble, but he’s decided to hang on in there with this project, but only just. Me? I think I’d quit now, keep an eye on the forums, and if there wasn’t any more quality issues buy back in further down the line. I know it means more money in one hit, but hey, I’m risk averse. There just really shouldn’t be an accuracy issue like this considering all the boasts of digitally scanning the original model to make this. Interestingly, Revell has acquired the licence to produce some of the recently discontinued (and well regarded) Fine Mold models and the Millennium Falcon is among them. If this DeAgostini model is going to just be a model and not a replica then I’d be inclined to go with the smaller and much cheaper Revell model as the DeAgostini is not protecting its unique selling point. Size isn’t everything. It’s quality that counts.

Are you building the Millennium Falcon? What are your thoughts on this?

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2 thoughts on “DeAgostini Millennium Falcon: The Faults Awaken…

  1. Hi. Over in the official forum, a DeAg representative has said they’ve taken onboard what has been said by others & that a new cockpit has been approved and will be made & shipped in a later magazine. No pictures or ETA but it is said to be more accurate.

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    • Hi, yeah, that’s a great result. It’s taken them ages to do something about it, and they didn’t respond to all the complaints when they arose. Very poor customer service. Glad they’ve acted though as the worry was there might be more issues with parts later to the point where it gets away from the accuracy it promised. Are you doing this project? How you getting on with it?

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