One of the ways I made good use of sheltering in place when COVID first hit the Philippines back in 2020 was to get serious with building model kits.
It started when I decided it was the best time to build the 1/144 scale Millennium Falcon by Bandai which was a birthday gift from my wife back in 2021. This kit is based on Han Solo’s infamous ship as it appeared in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Along with the awesome kit was a set of Tamiya acrylic paints, brushes, and clip holders. After going through hours of tutorials on YouTube, I then bought the other tools and equipment needed: primers, thinners, an airbrush, and even DIY’ed my own spray booth.
More than the final output, the process of cleaning the parts, putting it together, mixing paints, and fine-tuning my newfound airbrush skills was meditative and helped me keep anxieties at bay.
It even helped me with my writing as building the Falcon really got my creative juices flowing. Too bad that most of the writing at the time wasn’t for this blog so this time around I’d kick off the new year with my journey into building model kits.
Funny side story: I spent at hours painting the inside of the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit, which was my first crack at detail painting with a fine paintbrush, paying great attention to the buttons and knobs on the console only to realize that most of it would not be seen from the outside once it’s fully assembled! Paints used were from Tamiya, Armored Komodo, and Vallejo.
Still, it was another aspect of building model kits that I thoroughly enjoyed – shaking hands and eye strain notwithstanding. Weathering the kit was the part that I enjoyed the most as it allowed for greater creativity in terms of telling a ‘story’ of what the Falcon has been through and the places it’s been to. It also allowed me to get away with small mistakes here and there.
My pictures do not give the kit justice as Bandai did an excellent job with the details and quality, it’s the closest thing I could get to being one of the model builders at Industrial Light & Magic, making something that will be used for filming.
Naturally, the next kits I built after the Millennium Falcon were also from Bandai’s Star Wars line. So expect more posts about building model kits on this blog from here on out. Until next time, Happy New Year!
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