Millennium Falcon: Construction

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View image at flickr

I'm now well on the way to finishing 75192 Millennium Falcon but after 12 hours I am still not done: I still have three numbered bags to go.

So, in this part of the review I'll take you through construction of bags #1 to #9 (out of 17) and with luck I'll get the model finished today to be able to write the second part tomorrow.


Bags #1

Construction begins with the internal chassis upon which everything will be connected to. It's robustly built using studded Technic beams and plates so is very rigid as a result.

Most of today's sets use colour coding of parts to make it easier to find them in the pile and also easier to see them in the instruction steps, and this set does just that: different sized beams are different colours, certain sized plates are tan, others are grey, and so on. The result is a bit of an eyesore but it'll all be covered up so it doesn't matter.

I knew that designer Hans stated that he based this chassis design on that in the original UCS Falcon but I didn't realise until looking at the instructions now just how similar they are:

View image at flickr

The build time for this section was about 75 minutes. It's fairly straightforward, thanks to the colour coding, but you will want to ensure you have every Technic pin in exactly the right hole otherwise you're likely to run into problems later.


Bags #2View image at flickr

Next, six of the seven landing gear legs are constructed. They are identical, thus repetitive to build. You'll probably want do as I did and set up a 'production line' to build them all at once: I don't like going back through the instruction book to start again!

View image at flickr

The central axle of each mates with an axle hole on the bottom of a brick with side pins, The other two axles fit into round holes to keep them straight. This makes removing them easy should you wish to display the model without them.

It seemed a bit strange adding the landing gear so early on but it soon becomes apparent why it's been done.

Build time for this section: 35 minutes.


Bags #3View image at flickr

Two sections of interior and a section of the bottom of the ship are constructed next, and just when you thought you were done with repetitive landing gear builds, the seventh leg is added at this point.

The sections are built as subassembles that are then attached to the Technic frame using pins. From now on virtually everything is added to the frame in this way.

This is great, because it never feels like you're building a huge model, but lots of small ones that just happen to connect together.

At this point of the build, though, I didn't know that would be the case otherwise I would have photographed each sub-section before attaching it: I didn't start doing so until later, for other reasons I'll explain at the time.

The reason for adding landing gear early in the build is now apparent: these sections, and subsequent ones, are put into position from below.

View image at flickr

I'm not going to pretend I know what these rooms and the items in them are, because I don't. CapnRex101 will cover all that when we look at each section in more detail when the model is complete.

Needless to say that a lot of detail has been crammed into the space.

View image at flickr


View image at flickrBuild time for this bag: 75 minutes.


Bags #4

Two interior sections for the back of the craft are built next. The one closest to the camera is full of detail: two corridor entrances and two escape pods, but the one on the other side is empty. I had wondered if it would be filled later in the build but it is not (unless it's in bags 15,16 or 17 which, at the time of writing, I've not built yet).

View image at flickr

The corridor entranceways are cleverly constructed, with the top half build upside-down.

View image at flickr

The escape pod doors can be opened.

View image at flickr

Build time for this bag: 60 minutes


Bags #5

With the interior now done, attention turns to the back and underside of the craft. A lot of time, effort and parts are expended on a curved section that, once done, is mounted upside down at the back, hardly to be seen! You'll see it properly in one of the photos below.

It's while building this part that you get a feel for the crazy amount of greebling that's prevalent across all exterior surfaces of the vessel.

The familiar blue thrusters (?) at the back are formed from six hoses which, like on the original UCS MF, are shielded by two grey rigging pieces (4502460: Lattice 3X28M Ø3.2). Yes, the same part that some BrickLink vendors are selling for $900...

Build time: 50 minutes, just under 5 hours so far.


Bags #6View image at flickr

Now, the frames of the front mandibles are added. They aew fashioned primarily from Technic beams then absolutely laden with greebling details on their outer surface. They are connected to the chassis at one end by pins and at the other by click-hinges.

View image at flickr

It takes a while to add all the small parts: 50 minutes


Bags #7

The underside of the mandibles are constructed next then, once again, attached to the frame using pins. You'll see them more clearly in the photo below.

Build time for bags #7: 45 minutes


View image at flickr

Bags #8

By the time the sections in bags 8 are added the underside is largely complete. There's an impressive level of detail on the bottom of the craft given it'll not really be seen when the model is on display. Greebling has been kept to a minimum, though, except on the curved section at the back which was added from bags #5.

View image at flickr

Build time for this section: 45 minutes.


Bags #9

Now we turn our attention to the top of the mandibles, which are built primarily from plates but with arches used to form the circular holes in the top. The details seen through them were added in bags #8.

View image at flickr

Build time for this section: 60 minutes.


So, after eight hours of building, nine bags out of 17 have been opened, and step 727 out of 1378 completed.

It's been very enjoyable so far. As I said earlier it never feels like you're building a large model because everything is built as a small-ish subassembly that is connected, usually by Technic pins, to the main chassis.

Much of the time you are building left- and right- hand sections of the model. In some sets this can lead to repetition and tedium but I've not found that to be the case here because, while left- and right- might look superficially the same they rarely are: there are subtle differences in the greebling and colours that help keep construction varied and interesting.

It would be inaccurate to describe the build so far as arduous because it is not, but it is sometimes fiddly, and you will need to be meticulous in your approach if you don't want to be left with a handful of pieces at the end of each stage that you shouldn't have.

So, so far so good. I'll crack on and report back tomorrow, hopefully with a completed model.


Now would be a good time to mention something about my building and photography arrangement that will influence the rest of this review.

My building room is on the second floor of my house, but my photography studio (oldest daughter's bedroom now she's moved out) is on the first. That means I have to carry models downstairs to photograph them.

Now, something that's not apparent from the photos is just how heavy the model has become by this point. Carrying it up and down the stairs is becoming more difficult, not only because of the weight but also because it's becoming increasingly fragile and there are no longer many places to hold it securely.

So, from now on I'll just be photographing the subassemblies rather than the entire model!

60 comments on this article

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By in Norway,

why didn't Lego use the printed helmet from 75081? it's exactly the same as the one that appeared in A new hope!

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By in Singapore,

Still deciding to buy or not...

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By in Norway,

I would like it if you made a pros/cons article about this to help undecided people like me

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By in Czech Republic,

Can you please add photo of parts list?

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By in United Kingdom,

@ELH2806. Easy

Pros: Everything
Cons: The price. Good value but expensive if you can't afford it, obviously!

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By in Norway,

Great review. And fun to hear about your separate building and photography areas!

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By in Norway,

@Huw. what about what about the fact that there are only 2 exclusive figures, 1 Mynock and several large stickers?

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By in United Kingdom,

Did you need to turn it upside down for bag 8 or was that just for photos of the underside ?

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By in Australia,

So far looking good. If only I had the space for it....

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By in United Kingdom,

@ELH2806 If it came with eight exclusive figures, people would be up in arms about that instead, for making collectors buy a thousand dollar set just to get them. I don't think the focus of the set is the figures this time!

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By in Portugal,

Word of the day: "greebling"! :)

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By in United Kingdom,

We'll cover the minifigs in a separate article.

It helps to turn it upside down to fit the sections but it can be done without.

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By in Norway,

@JonMarten. they could've at least included an old Luke Skywalker figure! especially when the set comes with 2 porgs

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By in United Kingdom,

@Huw - Great review so far! May I ask if you had one or two extra black pins in bags 1? I have two and can't seem to find where it goes.

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By in France,

Thanks for sharing this delightful moment and exceptional experience with us who cannot get it Huw. And for sure to see the build close and step by step will probably convince many of us to change our minds, forget all the good reasons we have to resist and purchase it eventually... In a few weeks.

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By in United Kingdom,

^^ I think there may have been, but I can't remember for sure.

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By in Switzerland,

Oh boy, I know this is the largest, most expensive, most awesome, etc, but the site is only about this set for days now. 7 articles about Falcon in a row...this is going to get really old very soon.

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By in Sweden,

The interior sections certainly look great, just wondering why there's all that unused space at the back, would have been perfect for a couple of beds etc.

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By in Netherlands,

I'm no fan of SW, but the hype has triggered me, so I had to read this. And I have to say, although I'm still not buying this, this could help to convince someone to buy this set. Good writing and nice photo's. Can't wait to read the next part.

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By in United States,

Nice review. Can't wait to see part 3. One of my biggest complaints on 10179 was the extensive over-use of the mini-antenna/joy-stick pieces. After all these years, they will not stay in any one position and just flop around. I'm so glad they've removed those for ver 2.

And again, landing gear remains the worst part of the build. I hate repetitive builds - but necessary in this case.

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By in United States,

I just moved my Episode 7 Falcon and I have to say that for a tenth of the price I'm very happy with it.

A LEGO set really shouldn't be so fragile that you can't move it. IO9's review model was already destroyed in a space crash.

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By in United States,

I was already going to get it (if I could), but these articles make me want to get it now! Who knows when it'll be available for sale again. Although maybe that will let me wait for double points or something (though I wouldn't be surprised if this is excluded or something).

Say, it looks like there is a lot of space where you might put lights behind the engine strip.

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By in United Kingdom,

I'm tempted to swap the dark grey curved pieces (for the holes in the mandibles) with the light grey ones on the bottom. Have not seen any images to suggest it shouldn't be all light grey on top.

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By in Netherlands,

So if the boat mast pieces are the same, I'm wondering if the radar dish will be too ..

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By in Canada,

Its not surprising that the technic frame would be similar, seeing as how 75192 has pretty much the same dimensions as 10179. As with 10179 when I first built it, I could not believe just how many pieces went into just frame alone.

Perhaps the empty section is the smuggling compartment that they hide in after being tractored by the Death Star in a New Hope? although it would need a roof with a handle so you could hide minifigs in.

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By in Australia,

I'm not remotely interested in having this set, nor any Star Wars set for that matter, but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all about it and of people's excitement and anticipation building as more details were released (and yes I read every comment in the huge thread on the forum). I don't mind at all that there have been so many articles about it in a row - this set is clearly worthy of the attention.

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By in United Kingdom,

Thanks for your comments everyone, you've encouraged me to redouble my efforts to get it finished. Just 2 bags to go now!

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By in Poland,

^ Well, thank you... Great job as always.

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By in Hungary,

Great review so far!
I am really looking forward getting this set as soon as possible (and turning it into a coffee-table in the end with the Docking Bay MOC).

Just one question:
Appr. how many parts are in one numbered bag, or how many "smaller bags" are in one?
Just asking because I have about double bed available for constructing the Falcon, and a table to put it on while working on the smaller assemblies.

Or is it time to start moving the furniture around for more space? :D

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By in Italy,

Do you like how the changed engine exhaust with those tubular azure pieces? It looks like a step behind for me.

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By in United States,

Is it really worth $800 is it that cool? Or what would be a better reasonable price?

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By in United Kingdom,

@grimdrag, you will need a big space. A double bed sized area will be more than enough.

The instructions alone are 85x29cm when opened so take a lot of room on your building table.

To start with, while constructing the main chassis, you'll need the model on the table as well but once that's done it could be elsewhere while building the sub-assemblies, so not so much space will be needed.

Each of the bag numbers have 3 or 4large bags, some of which have smaller ones inside.

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By in Canada,

I hope Lego appreciates the influence these reviews have. Brickset has been the reason I have decided to purchase sets I was on the fence about so many times - this one in particular because of the absurd pricing (no way is this 7x the cost to produce as a 1000 piece set). Thanks Brickset team for your high quality work! :)

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By in United States,

I'm thinking, especially now after seeing detailed build pics (thank you Huw and Brickset for another awesome article and all you do!!) that a full complete interior could have been added, or at least the build could be modified to include a full interior. The long technic pieces used to ensure structural integrity could remain in place, however not filled in. Such as a long technic piece along the top and bottom (where they would block a hallway or room) could be done, and shored up in places where an opening isn't required. Those long technic pieces along the top and bottom would then be blended into the hallway or wall sections. If I had the money, and the time, I'd love to have a go at it.

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By in United States,

>>Yes, the same part that some BrickLink vendors are selling for $900...

So, what you're saying is that you can save money by buying this set for $800.... :-)

Looking forward to the rest of the review.

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By in United Kingdom,

Let me get this straight: If I sell my 4502460 piece, I can then buy this set . . . ? Wow.

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By in United Kingdom,

^ Yes. But I wonder if the bottom has fallen out of that particular market now!

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By in United States,

Loving all the MF coverage and articles. As one who can't justify spending that kind of money on Lego (at once), but still loves it having all of this first hand knowledge and experience is fantastic. Keep up the great work and thank you!

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By in United Kingdom,

The interior of the ship seems like a wasted opportunity. I remember a lovely fan built Falcon a couple of years back that had a full interior with hallways etc. When I first heard that this set had 2000 more bits than the previous UCS Falcon, I assumed we'd be getting a much better interior.

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By in United States,

Great review, I'm still not sure $800.00 is something I would spend, but we'll see.
Thoughts on the empty space in the back: Could it be used to store the landing legs when they are unattached?

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By in Canada,

Thanks for sharing Huw! And good for you that TLG sent you this set. An excellent reward for running Brickset!

Now let's watch the price of the grey mast pieces and radar dishes on Bricklink plummet :-)

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By in United States,

I think the after market price for the lattice piece will drop but it will still be expensive. Instead of it only being available in this color from a retired $500 set from 10 years ago, it is now only available in this color in an $800 set. For those who will try to build this set by parting it out, they still need two of 4502460 to make it authentic. The cockpit canopy piece will be ridiculous until it makes is way into other sets.

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By in United Kingdom,

Excellent review. Glad to hear about the sub sections, would make a group building night much easier!

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By in Netherlands,

Huw, So glad you used a grey backdrop for this review! Normally you're using blue and I always found that this disturbed the reception of the colors way too much. As a professional in the printing industry I can only suggest to use white or grey background for future reviews. It will show the colors of the bricks to stand out more natural/neutral.
Look forward to the next section of this review, you're doing great so far!

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By in United Kingdom,

Model is complete, will hopefully get it photo'd tomorrow!

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By in United States,

The two things i dont like are the number of figs, and the stcker hallways instead of REAL halls. For $800 u better give me a full interior.

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By in New Zealand,

Pleased to see the landing feet and full frames are constructed pretty early.
I'm going to have to build some sort of angled stand so I can fit this into a narrow shelf. Should be able to have set up based on the early version of the MF. Saves trying to make something work with a completed 14kg monster!

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By in Bosnia And Herzegovina,

I love everything about this set, thinking now to start building that ultimate 11.000 pieces Falcon and sincerily hope that next year Star Destroyer will come in similar fashion in huge box with 6500+ pieces :)

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By in Canada,

Looks like I could put some LED lights back there for the engine! I can't wait to build it myself!

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By in Australia,

Aww what! No out-of-the-blue, unnecessary, 6 x 14 Dark Red Plate on the base?

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By in Netherlands,

Thorougly enjoying the build and I am only beginning with bags 4. Main difference in the chassis between 10179 and 75192 is the central spine section that is 8 studs wide in the old one and only 2 studs for the new one, allowing the interior sections to be ‘hung’ between the beams..

The section you build first with the moveable cannon is very weird!

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By in United Kingdom,

@huw, excellent review so far, thank you.
I actually got to see this in the flesh for the first time today and was astounded by the level of detail achieved with the greebling and the sheer size of the build but it does look fabulous.

Just wondering if there are any plans to do a comparison piece between the new version and the old?

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By in United Kingdom,

Unfortunately neither Chris or I have the old one but we will be comparing it with the latest regular one.

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By in United Kingdom,

Interesting unboxing and build articles I can read through to keep the availability rage at bay temporarily, as I wait for 'new stock' on my backorder! Kind of seems like I ordered it when it was was actually sold out (although it is a confirmed backorder) and I'm left in limbo but we'll see...

I'll look forward to see the additional sub assemblies - particularly the construction of the cockpit and corridor area. To be fair I think the MF deserves a lot of coverage now for a few days or so - sure there are other elements we could be looking at but a.) I am in the minority of people interested in Dimensions b.) the Ninjago movie doesn't come out for weeks so it's good we have a review break and c.) The Last Jedi doesn't come out for months so there's plenty of time for reviews there.

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By in Canada,

Awesome job as always Huw, but I'm not reading them that much to avoid being spoiled :)

After all will be said and done (will it ever?), will Brickset consider publishing an article about the different display options for this behemoth? grimdrag mentioned the docking bay MOC, Virgilnz is thinking about building an angled stand, and a quick googling is reallyeye-opening... But I'd love to have them passed through Bricklink's filter and read trusted reviews of whatever is / will be on the market (yep, even if it something designed to display the Lepin knockoff shows up). All gathered in a single article, like Capnrex101's recent "A brief history of junk".

I'll sure try to encase it -- but it's so large! -- to keep it dust-free, something I failed to do for our modulars, Saturn V and other fantastic display sets.

Once again, keep up the excellent, highly useful work.

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By in Austria,

Impressive piece and after looking at the pictures (plus a few videos on youtube), I'm convinced this is the best Lego set ever. It's only the price.. And where to put it after built.

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By in Denmark,

We will have a full interior version in at latest 2027. Just wait and see! The MKIII version offers the hardcore UCS collector with strong arms and great patienceness 10.000 pieces and cost more than a Fiat 500 :-)

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By in United States,

Hi, I have a question regarding the build. I just completed bag 1. I have a few extra pieces left over. I know Lego usually does some extra small pieces per bag. However, I have TWO black technic pins left, which makes me feel like I should have used one more in the build. Did you or anything else have this issue?

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