"She may look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid" -- the Millennium Falcon
I feel so bad because I’ve been so busy with work the last couple of months that I haven’t been contributing to the board the way I feel I should be. However, my son and I have been just as busy on the weekends building out four new projects that I’m going to be posting up for everyone to look at. And, I know I’ve gotten a couple of inquiries about some of our other builds as well that I’m going to answer as well. Please, if you’re reading our posts, keep those questions coming… I enjoy sharing everything that we’re doing and am more than happy to help anyone who wants to enjoy this awesome aspect of Lego building as well!
So, prior to beginning our building of the modular sets and some of the bigger projects we have been working on recently, my son and I were on a Lego Star Wars kick, and if there was a cool Star Wars set for us to work on, trust me, we had it!
One of the ones that I really enjoyed doing was the Millennium Falcon…. aside from the Death Star, it is absolutely one of the most iconic visuals from the Star Wars movies. So, I wanted to tackle adding the lights to it to see if we could really make it cool! I think our that our end result came out really well and I hope that everyone here thinks so as well. That being said, let’s get into it.
So, one of the big things that I wanted to do was make the laser cannons on the top and bottom have a flashing effect. So, each of those cannons requires four standard white picos lights (total of 8), two 1x4 expansion boards and a single function LEC to provide the effects (in addition to some short connecting cables to attach the 1x4 boards to the controller. Also, you’ll need to have 8 1x1 light grey round bricks and 8 red lightsaber parts. Also, you can make use of a 1x2 Technic brick on the inside in order to secure the wiring inside of the ship as well.
The bottom cannon assembly is exactly the same as the first, using the same parts and bringing the wiring up through the bottom plate into the center column, attaching all of the leads to a 1x4 expansion board, and then tying that board back into the LEC.
(little hint: you may want to leave the lightsaber parts off the cannons until after you’re done since they tend to fall off if you hit them too hard!)
Be aware as you can see from the pictures, that you will have to drill small holes in the top and bottom cover assemblies if you follow my instructions. For me, I like to hide as much of the wiring as possible from the exterior, but that’s my choice :) !!
Next, we’ll move forward to the forward running lights and the cockpit lights. The front sections and the cockpit dis-assemble very easily and allow for easy access to those areas. This is really straight-forward here, breaking down the two front assemblies and then running the standard white pico lights underneath the two 1x1 transparent red round bricks in the front section of the ship. After the lights are run, re-assemble the front sections and run the wiring to the underside of the ship. It should be noted here that the 1x1 transparent red studs in front need to be replaced with 1x1 transparent red round bricks, as the lights won’t fit properly under round studs.
The cockpit is your next area; I wasn’t too sure about doing this area, but it really does look cool when everything is done! For here, you just need 2 blue pico lights and two 1x1 clear transparent round bricks to hold the lighting in place. As with the front sections, bring the wring from the two lights back and down to the underside of the cockpit so that you can bring everything together beneath the ship.
Now it’s time to start bringing things together beneath the ship and keeping things as clean as possible. You’ll also need some additional Lego parts here to keep everything buttoned up nicely as well has holding the power supply for this one as well. As you can see from the pictures below, you bring the leads for the lights thought the Technic bricks on the bottom side of the ship and then tie them all together with a 1x4 expansion board. Then, use a 4x8 light grey plate to secure the wiring and expansion board in place (you can also run the wiring from the front section of the ship underneath the 1x12 plate in the front section, which is also shown in the pictures).
The next section is the engine lights in the rear of the ship. For here, you’ll need two light strips, one 1.5-inch connection cable, and a 6-inch connection cable. The installation of this area is clean as well, just requiring you break down the upper cover of the engine sections (there are three) and remove the blue soft piece as well. Once that is done, you can simply install the light strips behind where the soft blue piece goes, run the connecting wire down between the engine protection and down beneath the ship, and then re-assemble the rear section of the ship from there.
Next section to work on is the in-cabin lighting. For this area, you’ll need three light strips, two 1.5-inch connector cables, and one 12-inch cable. Also, you’re going to need three 1x6 dark grey Lego plates and four 1x1 light grey Lego plates as well. Take two of the 1x6 parts and place the 1x1 bricks on the top of them (leave the third one with no additional parts), and then attach the light strips to the underside of all three 1x6 plates. Attach one of the ones with the 1x1 plates on the left-most side, and the one without in the middle of those two. Use your 12-inch connection cable from the right-most piece.
Now for the installation of the lights themselves. It is advisable to remove the connection between the cockpit area and the center post (it’ll just get in the way while you’re doing this, I promise!). Then, attach each of the pieces as show in the following pictures, taking the 12-inch connection and running down the center post when you’re done.
Now, you’re ready to finish up the assembly of the entire model. For this last step, you’ll need a 6x8 light grey plate, the coin-cell battery power source, and a 1x4 expansion board. So, you need to tie the leads together from the different areas of the ship; you’ll have one lead coming from the front (the 1x4 connection for the front lights), one lead coming from the laser cannons (the LEC that controls all of them), one from the in-cabin lighting, and a final one from the rear engine assembly. Tie those for leads down to the 1x4 connection, and then run the power supply off to that board. From there, use the 6x8 grey plate to cover the area immediately behind the center column on the underside of the ship. This will serve as a perfect place to place that last 1x4 connection AND the power supply as well.
Make sure that the switch for the power supply is facing the rear of the ship. This allows you to turn the lights on and off by reaching beneath the ship.
So, after all is said and done, we have a fully lighted Millennium Falcon! Again, my son and I just think they look incredible (we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t!). I’d forgotten to install the lightsaber pieces on the bottom cannons when I took the pictures, but rest assured they are on there now.
As always, any questions are comments are always welcomed. And, as always, my thanks to Rob for all his help and for giving us the opportunity to do this kind of work!!!