The lights are on
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Over the weekend, I took some time to bond with the kids. After traveling for most of August, it was nice to sit down and work on a big project. Shortly before I left for Gamescom in Germany, we visited the Lego store at Bridgewater Commons and walked away with a number of sets.
After putting together most of the smaller ones, including the very simple Star Wars Droid Escape set (purchased for R2-D2 and C-3PO minifigs), we got started on the Millennium Falcon.
The Millennium Falcon is a daunting 1,254 pieces, so I was quite surprised (and happy) to see that the brick bags were labeled in steps. The build has six steps, with the early phases for setting up the structure, and the later stages for detail work. There are over 100 steps, and the kit comes with two manuals. Again, this seemed a bit daunting until I realized that each stage of the build was so smartly compartmentalized.
The kit comes with six minifigs: Darth Vader, Luke (Episode IV), Obi-Wan, Leia, Chewie, and Han. As I mentioned, the least expensive way to get C-3PO and R2-D2 is currently the Droid Escape set ($20). That kit also comes with two Stormtroopers (covered in sand) and a speeder bike.
Luke's head has two sides, one for his normal face, and one covered with the blast shield. These go with his blond hair and his blast helmet (for training with his lightsaber). All of the other figures come with a weapon, too. Leia and Han have blasters, Obi-Wan and Darth Vader have lightsabers, and Chewbacca has his bowcaster. Luke also has a blaster (which is clumsy, of course).
The first step of the build is to create a solid base for the build. This starts with a lattice-like framework that the larger planks are then snapped onto.
Step two starts to build up the outer rim of the ship. It also sees the creation of a center tower. If you look closely, you can see two red pieces in the center. It wasn't clear to me what those were for until the end, and it's a brilliant part of the build. Step two also sees some of the first detail work, including the game table and benches.
Step three is when the unique shape of the Falcon starts to come together. The odd angles are handled by a number of train-like pieces. Each one of them is built slightly differently. This allows for more pronounced angles while still being connected and stable.
And here's how they look when snapped into place.
The third phase also sees the blue glow of the engines put into place. This is a long straw with two small blocks inserted in the ends.
Step four sees the construction of the turret on the underside and legs to stand the Falcon on. The ship also has four missiles that will "shoot" with a push and a gangplank for boarding.
With step five, the top of the ship comes together, including a lot of the additional detail work. The top turret is put in place, the radar dish and front center of the ship are complete.
And here's how it looks complete. The cockpit is made of two pieces, and to place a minifig inside, it needs to be removed entirely.
The top pieces are all hinged and can be pulled back to reveal the inside of the ship. Here's A look at our heroes relaxing. (Let the Wookiee win).
Remember those red pieces in the center I mentioned earlier? There is a standalone piece that hides underneath the turret. It slides in and out with those little red pieces as guides. If you recall the scene in Episode IV with Han and Luke opposite each other in the top and bottom turrets, you'll be happy to know you can recreate that scene.
There you have it. This was my largest Lego build yet, and now I'm very tempted to pick up the new Ewok Village set. That might have to wait, though. This is an expensive video game year, and investing $250 in a Lego set might not be the best way to live peacefully in my house.
Stay tuned, though. This definitely won't be my last build.
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