Introduction: K'NEX Star Wars Millennium Falcon
"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?"
- Han Solo
If so, that is about to change! Because in this instructable I will show you how I made my K'NEX Millennium Falcon from the original Star Wars movies! This spaceship was long on my list of things to build, as the Falcon is a really one of my favourite ships due to its somewhat asymetrical, flat and round shape. I am a Star Wars fan myself and I've already made some of the other spacecraft I love out of K'NEX, like the Imperial Lambda-Class Shuttle and the Rebel B-Wing Starfighter. Currently I'm working on a TIE-Fighter, a collaboration with Linkin_J_Knex. In the future I plan to make: X-wing, Y-wing & Jedi Starfighter, Walking AT-AT and a big Imperial Star Destroyer.
But let's talk about the Millennium: it includes 1395 pieces, and the model is roughly on 1:50 scale. The original ship is namely 26.7 meters (87.6 feet), while this model is 53.4 cm (21 inch) long. It has several functions such as moving Quad laser cannons, retractable Landing gear and a boarding ramp. You can either play with it, by holding it in your hand, or you can display it on the stand. It's not lightweight: it weighs 1.7 kg (3.75 lbs). The model was built in about 20 hours total, spanning several weeks of designing. With each step, I will tell how I made the part.
The steps are accordingly to this list:
- Things & Parts Needed
- Landing Gear & Base Structure
- Side Elements & Boarding Ramp
- The Hyperdrive!
- The Front side
- The Cockpit
- The Top Cover
- Antenna & Quad Laser Cannon
- Display Stand & Enhancements
Each step has an appropriate Han Solo quote to keep the theming right ;)
Step 1: Things & Parts Needed
"I have a good feeling about this..."
I'm not going to give the set an age-range, but it is for medium-to-experienced builders. The steps should be able to follow. If you're having trouble, please ask in the comments-section
Set specific pieces:
Beasts Alive Bronto Building Set, Item: # 34483 Price: $28,-
- 45x 4-way Black connector (otherwise, the model will become green-ish)
- 7x 5-way Dark grey connector
- 219x Black rod (16 mm)
- 184x Silver rod (32 mm)
- 11x Flexible purple rod (32 mm)
- 57x Blue rod (52 mm)
- 6x Flexible blue rod (52 mm)
- 26x Dark grey rod (86 mm)
- 2x Flexible orange rod (86 mm)
- 1x Red rod (128 mm, from the Beasts alive set)
- 1x Grey rod (190 mm, from the Beasts alive set)
- 9x 8-way black connector
- 31x 7-way blue 3D connector
- 65x 4-way silver 3D connector
- 141x 5-way grey connector
- 61x 3-way dark grey connector
- 30x 2-way (V-shape) grey connector
- 33x 2-way (long-shape) brown connector
- 116x Clip with hole end dark gray (1-way connector)
- 12x Hinge blue part
- 14x Hinge black part
- 46x Metallic spacer (1½ width)
- 23x Blue spacer (½ width)
- 94x Black clip with rod end
- 7x Metallic grey clip with rod end (for aestethic purposes)
- 23x Clip with Ball end
- 1x Clip with Socket end
- 13x Clip blue
- 6x Interlocking clip Tan/brown
- 8x Ball and socket Large
- 4x Clip with Splice end Orange
- 1x Gear small Push-on Grey
- 3x Tri panel mini blue
- 8x Tri panel mini silver
- 2x Tri panel small silver
- 1x Wheel 25 mm Open centre black
- 2x Hub Motorcycle Grey
- 2x Hub/Pulley Medium
- 4x Hub Racing wheel 37mm Grey (if you have/buy them, I would take Black)
- 6x Tyre Small
Micro K'NEX: Buy at K'NEX User Group
- 42x Connector 4-way Light Grey
- 1x Connector 8-way Metallic blue with 6mm hole
- 13x Rod Dark Grey (40 mm)
- 16x Rod Black (14 mm)
- 2x small pieces of scotch tape
- 2x miniature elastic bands (1 cm / 1/4" diameter)
- 1x A4 Size paper and a colour printer
This time, I have not included a separate list for the Display stand, as its parts are common and it doesn't require a significant amount, in comparison to the Falcon itself. The listed items are both for the model and the Display.
Step 2: Landing Gear & Base Structure
"Here's where the fun begins!"
First, you start off by making the bottom circle and the quad laser cannon, after which you attach the landing gear. During the whole instructable, the model will rest on the landing gear. If you want to put it on the display stand, you have to retract it, as shown in the video from the Introduction.
Although it is the first step of this ible (for building reasons), this part was not the first part I made while designing. I started from the Hyperdrive (seen in Step 4) and then made the middle column (cylinder), to which everything is attached. This gives the model it's strength, so that you can lift it without being scared that the model brakes. I modelled the landing gear as best as possible to the original spaceship. Normally, the Falcon has 7 "feet", but as I wanted to make them retractable, I had to reduce this to 6: The front one is missing.
Step 3: Side Elements & Boarding Ramp
"Don't worry, she'll hold together... You hear me, baby? Hold together!"
In this step, you will start by making the top-half circle, where in Step 8, the top quad laser cannon will be attached. Then, the rear end will be prepared, so that later the Hyperdrive engine can be attached. Then, the front ends are attached, in the same manner. Then the right side element is made and attached, after which the boarding ramp will attached. Then, the left side element is made. It is the mirror of the right, apart from the fact it does not have a boarding ramp there.
From the middle column, I started to design the left and right side elements. These have a specific 6-edge shape, which was quite challenging to make. Additionally, the end has a round shape, which is made by a medium wheel hub, clamped within 4 rod ends. It was a lucky, but sturdy fit!
The boarding ramp I made later, after the important shapes were made. It uses a technique where a 5-way connector is clamped between 2 clips.
Step 4: The Hyperdrive!
"It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs"
In this step, you first make the thrusters, then you create a structure around it and add a ventilation port (number 2 of 6) Then you attach it to the back of the Falcon (which can be tricky) and attach it to the sides as well.
The Hyperdrive is a very recognisable feature of the Falcon and has a specific arched shape. That makes it also one of the hardest parts to make of the model. Therefore, I designed this part first. When the Hyperdrive was made, it also defined the scale of the model: Big!
Step 5: The Front Side
"Never tell me the odds!"
First, you will make different parts of the frontside of the Falcon. Essentially, both sides are their mirror image, apart from a few pieces. It becomes one big piece that is later attached, as whole, to the ship. This can be a bit tricky, as the front flaps have to be closed. (That is why they were left unattached to each other in the first place).
I made the front parts relatively quickly after I made the Hyperdrive. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't hard to get the angle right, or perhaps I was lucky by finding something nice at the second trial. In the next step you will attach the cockpit.
Step 6: The Cockpit
"Hurry up, silver rod!"
In this step, you will first make the part to which the Cockpit is attached (in the spaceship, this is a kind of walkway for pilots/passengers). Then you will make the Cockpit itself, and attach it with two big ball-joints.
It took me the most time to get the cockpit at the correct angle. I found a way to do this by having big ball joints attach to the Front and the right Side Element. I knew I wanted to have a medium sized wheel to create the same round effect of this walkway. I was probably going to make it with paper, which I finally did. But, I also wanted to make the cockpit out of paper. One afternoon, I started making something with Micro K'NEX (as I had already made the Antenna with micro K'NEX) and this was the result. I'm quite satisfied with how it looks. It still has a sort of "window" where you could imagine Han and Chewie sitting :)
Step 7: The Top
"I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big light blur."
This is the second-to-last step to finish the Falcon, where you will make and attach mostly flat sides to the Top (actually the four quadrants) of the Falcon.
Quite soon after I finished the Hyperdrive, the centre column and the Front, I started making the back cover. First I was thinking to also cover the bottom, but as the retracted landing gear take in quite a lot of space, I decided not to do this. The third part to make was the quadrant where the Antenna sits at, it was more easy than I thought, altho it is not completely accurate to the original ship: The round shape is overlapping a wheel. The part covering the hole near the cockpit, I made last.
Step 8: Antenna & Quad Laser Cannon
“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
In this step, you make the Antenna (from the original Triology, not the more rectangular shape from the new VII movie) and after that, the only K'NEX guns I'll make: The Quad Laser Cannon. It can be moved up and down and swivelled left and right by a joystick. Then the Millennium is done!
I quickly knew I had to work with something else than regular K'NEX, if I wanted to create the round shape of the Antenna. This came down to micro K'NEX, which I do not prefer, but it looked good. First I had a different kind of movable cannon, but it was very fragile. When almost done, I changed it to this version that is easy to play with, when you're playing with the Model.
In the next step, I will show how you can add a paper piece to enhance the looks. Furthermore, you can choose to display the model, when you are done playing.
Step 9: Display Stand & Enhancements
"Great kid, don't get cocky!"
In this very last step I will show how to make the Display Stand, as well as a paper cutout that you can stick to the model so it looks slightly better. The final 4 pictures show how you can put the Falcon on it's Stand, and the final model.
The Display Stand is always a very custom thing to make, and in the case of this 1.7 kg model, it has to be sturdy! The only real attachments are 2 rods, that are put slightly at an angle in both Z and Y-axis. That gives the model a more "flying" look. Further more, 2 supports are added on the side, so that the Falcon won't wobble on the rods. But even without them, the model is so well balanced that it stays put. I have created a .pdf-file that has the fact sheet and the paper cutout. My inspiration for the information plaquette comes from the LEGO Ultimate Collectors Sets, but this time, I made it my own, from scratch. I only used MS Word & Paint, it can be seen how I made it here.
If you built it: great job! I would like to see how it looks. Also if you used other colours, I'm curious what the result is. Thank you very much for scrolling through or visiting this ible! If you want you can give suggestions for Star Wars models that I can build next, if they are not already on my list!
"May the force be with you"