Saturday, May 24, 2014

X-Wing: YT-1300 Conversion

With an X-Wing Bounty Hunter repaint under my belt, I thought it was time to move up a level and try my hand at converting one of the most iconic space ships in the history of sci-fi, the Millennium Falcon.

The Millennium Falcon is a heavily modified YT-1300 light freighter piloted by Han Solo in the Star Wars movies. In X-Wing, this ship is a beast. If you pick Han as the pilot you're getting a Pilot Skill 9 ship with 3 attacks, 1 defense and 13 points of hulls/shields and 360 firing arc. Tasty.

Having one Millennium Falcon in your list is nice. But having two is even better. A dual Falcon list can be very effective and very forgiving. It takes out noobs like nobody's business.

My only problem with running a dual Falcon list is that it looks terrible on the tabletop. Two identical models side by side. Plus its super unfluffy. After all, there can only be one Millennium Falcon!

YT-1300 before the make over
Deciding on the New Look

Cutting up a 30 quid resin model is a bit daunting and I was determined not to screw it up. Like all conversion projects, it is very important to have a clear vision of what your conversion would look like. Again not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I scoured the interwebs for examples of YT-1300 conversions done by other people for inspiration.

This time around there were loads of very well done conversions on the internet. However once again I was so impressed with Mr. TUZ's YT-1300 conversion on his blog that  I *ahem* borrowed it. Check out his version on his fantastic blog here: Hobby Before I Die!

With an idea of how I want my YT-1300 conversion to look I grabbed my hobby knife, said a prayer to the Primordial Annihilator and proceeded with the conversion project.

The Conversion

Removing the Gubbinz

The first step was to remove the guns above the view ports on the top and bottom of the ship. The guns are attached via two small pegs. These were easily removed by using the edge of a hobby knife to pop them off.

The next step was to remove the radar dish and cut off the the bits that the dish rested on.

Cutting Out the Cockpit and Access Corridor

This part is definitely the hardest and most daunting. The resin is around 1.2 mm thick in places and is very hard to cut all the way through.

I started by scoring the edges of the access corridor with my hobby knife. It's important not to rush this part as I found to my own detriment. It's very easy to go too fast and cut at areas you didn't plan to and ruin details on the ship. This happened to me a few times so take my advice and go slow!

After numerous passes with the knife I eventually broke through the surface. Once this happened it became a much easier task as I was able to start slicing at an angle.

 I sliced my way around the cockpit and access corridor until it began to break apart.

My patience finally paid off when the cockpit popped out nice and cleanly. I tidied up the edges with a hobby file.

Reshaping the Cockpit and Access Corridor

Using a hobby saw, I cut off the cockpit from the access corridor.

After a quick dry fit of the access corridor on the main section to see where I needed to cut, I reshaped the corridor by cutting off the unwanted bits and filing it down using a hobby file.

Shortening the Mid Section

Given that I wanted the cockpit to sit in the centre but not too far forward, I trimmed back the area where the new cockpit would sit by cutting out the unwanted section.

As I cut into the section, to my complete surprise, two resin panels fell out! These bits are perfect for replacing the side panel later in the project.


Replacing the Missing Hull Panels

To recreate the armour panels on the hull, I went to a local model store and bought Evergreen Scale Models plasti-cards.

I measured the dimensions of the gap in the hull and drew the required shape on the plasti-card using a black marker. I then cut it out using my hobby knife.

The plasti-card panels needed something to rest on. I had some Malifaux plastic sprues lying around from a previous project and I noticed that the corners of these sprues would make the perfect filler.

I cut them out, put green stuff on the ends so I can modify the height and glued them inside the gap in the hull. I dried fit the plasti-card on top and it really looked the business. Improvisation FTW!

 I did likewise for the small underside panel. To help blend the plasti-card panels to the rest of the model I cut out small notches on the edges of the panels.

Using the resin bits that fell out earlier, I cut a small section to use as the side panel between the top and bottom plasti-card panels. The details blended with the rest of the ship nicely.

I then lined a bit of green stuff on the underside recess and glued on the small plasti-card panel.

To help blend the large plasti-card panel to the rest of the ship I created grooves on the plasti-card by first drawing out the lines with a black marker and following it with my knife with successive scoring. This created the illusion of four separate panels.

I then cut out small rectangles and glue them on the plasti-card panel.

I also cut out bits of plasti-card to fill in the gap in the front section.

Relocating the Access Corridor

Having the access corridor in the middle was crucial in pulling off the new look of the conversion. It would look out of place if I was to simply glue on the cockpit in the middle.

To ensure that the access corridor sit flush with the central section I used a Dremel rotary tool to flatten the area.

I then glued on the corridor.

Putting It All Together

I then glued the cockpit to the hull and the large plasti-card panel on the topside.

Next I glued the radar dish system back on but at a different angle from before. I also glued the guns back on in the opposite direction. This helps further distinguish the ship from the Millennium Falcon.

Then as the final step I used GW liquid green stuff and small bits of actual green stuff to plug some of the gaps mainly around the cockpit and the access corridor.

The Reveal

Ta Da! Feast your eyes on the converted YT-1300 light freighter!

This was a really fun project. A bit nerve wrecking at times but also very doable even if you only have moderate modelling skills. You just need the right tools and patience.

I'm really happy with how it turned out. It looks completely different from the Millennium Falcon now which really sells the idea that the Falcon is heavily modified and very unique.

I hope this was somewhat instructional and dare I say inspirational? If it is, use this as a guide and go out and mod your own YT-1300. Fly my pretties fly! :D

Next up will be the YT-1300 repaint. Stay tuned.


  1. Do you do commissions? And if so how much for one of these if a yt1300 was supplied for you to kitbash?

  2. i would love to know too i would but one