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Bringing the UCS Falcon to life

I posted to Instagram a few months ago that I was finally building my UCS Millennium Falcon - set 75192. Then life and work got in the way and stopped me from finishing off that project with proper lights!

With Christmas around the corner I just had to go for it, and here we are.

I've taken the fab Light My Bricks lighting kit of course - and then made a few little tweaks.

Here's how it looked when I finished building the Falcon. Note that I built this on the brilliant Efferman Stand. This stand - presumably invented a chap called Efferman - is made of Technic beams. I think it was about £40 for parts, and the design is free.

I built the Falcon on the stand - from about bag 4 as I recall - and I fitted the lights with it up at this angle too. It makes working on it much easier, and it looks fantastic.

Initially I fitted the lights exactly as shown in the instructions. The only exception is that I didn't fit the red lights to the cannon underneath the Falcon - because they could never been seen when displaying the model upright like this.

Here's the kit components:
As I went I kept an eye out for where the expansion boards had room for more, or for changes I would like to make.

1) The Hyperdrive Generator

I like the use of flashing lights where appropriate - in this engine room scene there are two flashing green lights which add good ambience. But I want that engine to move a bit.

Here's the static view:

And here's the flashing lights:

To change this around a bit I took the flashing bit light from the wall on the right and swapped it with the one in the Hyperdrive unit. Here's the result:

Much better I think!

2) The cockpit

As standard the light kit looks pretty damn good. There's a white light at the front and two blue lights under the seating area to illuminate the cockpit.

But a lot of people like to customise the cockpit as the LEGO design had a few flaws. So can we also do the lights a bit better?

Let's look at how the cockpit looks in the movie - and the best photo I could find is a behind the scenes shot. My favourite - since I used to do special effects and sets for a living!
Credit : https://www.starwars.com/news/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-the-millennium-falcon
Looking at our model now the blue is a bit overpowering - so I took out the blue LEDs and moved the white down right below the cockpit seating module which gives a more subtle light.

The defining characteristic of the cockpit - and really any such set - is blinky lights. Lots of them. Thousands of buttons and switches and they all have lights on them.

To make something similar I took the two 2x1 slopes which are the control consoles in at the front and made a few teeny tiny holes in them. To fit a light I also removed the central pin underneath. (Sorry purists - I drilled holes in LEGO!). The effect is great and more in keeping with the movies.

And here's how it looks when put together.
To achieve this result I needed just the following extra parts:
  • 2 x Custom 2x1 Wedges with Control Panel Prints (or just brutally damage your original pieces!)

Next steps : I think there's some spare ports on the expansion board near the cockpit. We could add a few more lights to the control panels at the back too!

3) The rear engine lights

This has to be The Big One.

As standard, the UCS Falcon has the rear lit up with 6 x White Strip Lights. And it looks pretty damn good!
I took the advice of a very fine fellow on Facebook to replace these with Blue Strip Lights. I think it looks fabulous in blue.

And this is the end result with the hull plating back in place.

Still not satisfied however I added a Multi Effects board. Just to see how it looked.

But seeing the blue lights pulse on and off I was still not happy.

For comparison, here it is with the white lights set to pulse using that same Multi Effects board.
I finally decided to just go for it. I added BOTH white and blue lights, and connected both to separate outputs on the Multi Effects Board.

Remember these strip lights are connected in series - a daisy chain - so only require one port to power them. As such the Multi Effects Board with two outputs was great.

Here's how it looked:

And here's a close up of those lights:

Note that the White and Blue lights are right next to each other so the pulsing effecting is quite awesome. Next I'll add a strip of cardboard all around the rear, behind the blue pipes, and will try attaching the light strips in series along it. I think this could create some cool special effects.

I am very happy with this result as it stands. I also tried different light settings and speeds on the board and could come up with some really nice effects.

To achieve this result I needed the following extra parts:

  • 6 x Blue Strip Lights

  • 7 x 5cm Connecting Cables

  • 1 x Multi Effects Board

I will probably continue to look at ways to take this model a bit further - stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Oliver
elegantbricks.com


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Bringing the UCS Falcon to life