So it has been a few weeks since I’ve committed myself to building the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon and it has not been simple. and one part has slowed my progress. The part in question is Lego 4592c05.
I have been able to substitute most of the expensive parts (see below) however the part that has eluded so far seems son insignificant that I wondering what I let myself in for.
“…they cost from £0.02 to £4.96”
The UCS Millennium Falcon needs 60 pieces of this small inconspicuous part; on Bricklink.com they cost from £0.02 to £4.96 if you wish to buy in bulk.
At the lower prices they are in limited quantity, if I were to buy the lever in small quantities from different sellers, the shipping costs would ridiculous!
I could not justify spending that amount of money for a single unique piece, so in the end I found a Bricklink seller who made custom levers which he simply painted and varnished. I won’t know the quality of his work until I see them but I know it is a compromise I’m willing to make.
In the meantime I have a huge stockpile of Lego pieces in various states of storage. One thing I did not fully account for was the specific type of storage and sorting this project would require.
Many people on various Lego forums and on Facebook have suggested the actual “Blueish Grey” colour of the Lego 4592c05 isn’t necessary, but I part agree; I am not prepared to pay over the odds for such a tiny piece that is purely cosmetic to the build.
I am currently trawling Bricklink, Ebay and other sites to see if I can find this part but in a different colour however at time of writing even the variants of Lego 4592c05 are rising up in price!! I don’t think Gold goes up in value this quickly!
*** UPDATE ***
Someone is selling Lego 4592c05 specifically painted to match blueish grey, see below. I have ordered some and let you know when they arrive.
Just a very quick post to let you know about an issue with the Lego Stormtrooper helmets.
I ordered 10 Lego Stormtroopers from Bricklink.com specifcally LEGO SW036. They came from the Netherlands so it took just over week to arrive so my anticipation was palpable.
Upon arrival I hastily ripped open the small cardboard box and inside were my Lego Stormtroopers in various pieces. I put them all together, lined them all up and I felt a very silly smile across my face.
I wanted to photograph my latest Lego haul so I got out my macro lens and shot various close ups and scenes and duly posted them up on my photography blog which you can see here. I must point out I have digitally corrected those images on that page.
However it wasn’t until I shared the link on a Lego group page on Facebook that the helmets look odd; in fact he described the Lego Stormtroopers has having “French mustaches”, upon a much closer look he was right!! Once you see it, you can’t “un-see it”
You could argue that it is such a minor detail that it isn’t worth raising, but to me Star Wars Episode 3, 4 & 5 Stormtroopers are as iconic as Vader and Skywalker! So it is important to have them look right.
I have contacted the seller from the Netherlands and we are working towards a solution; she says she has sold many Lego Stormtroopers without issue; I do believe her but Stormtroopers with French mustaches just doesn’t work for me!!
What do you think? Am I making a Montagne out of a taupinière? Comment below, let me know!
It has been brought to my attention that the French mustache Stormtroopers are possibly fake. Can anyone comment and let me know? I paid £4 (€5.5) for each Lego minifigure.
It is currently December here in Buckinghamshire so there isn’t much daylight to shoot anything outside, and also it is very quiet in my photo studio. So, since I have recently rekindled my love of Lego I took my latest purchase the Motorized Excavator, Lego 8042.
I have several backdrops one of being a colour called ‘Mandarin’, I was concerned the colour might be too close to actual colour of the Lego kit but after a few test shots they compliment each other well.
For the noir shots, I did have issues with the flash syncing on a cheap flash, my Canon 600EX was fine; but you can read more about that soon on my photography blog. Subscribe to learn more.
You can read build log, in the meantime let me know what you think? I’m always curious about other people’s opinions on my work.
Thank you for taking time to read my journey to build the Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. This post you are reading will be in updated over time; obviously I cannot acquire all of the pieces while I build so please subscribe to my website to keep up to date.
Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon: 12 December 2015: An Idea Awakens.
If you are reading then there is a chance you have coveted the one of the most sort after Lego sets NOT available. Lego 10179, also known as The Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon, has brick statistics that would make any Lego fan drool! This Lego set has 5,195 pieces, it was originally priced at $499.99 back in 2007, now it can fetch upwards of $5000 in mint un-boxed conditions. It measures 33″ (84 cm) long by 22″ (56 cm) wide and 8.3″ (21 cm) tall. IF you’re still reading then you know the rest.
Ever since I knew this existing, which unfortunately has only been a couple of years, I really really wanted it but money was tight and it was not a priority. Now in 2015 money is less tight but I still cannot be irresponsible on what I buy, after all I have a cat to feed. There is no way I will spend over $1500 on what is essentially a collectable toy, that’s insane. However there is another way…
Looking for gold in tiny brick shaped forms.
Lego is EXPENSIVE! I appreciate it has been marketed as a toy but I consider Lego to be a luxury toy, before the internet any hope of building a model without buying a set was difficult. Now in 2015 we have BrickLink.com which is like the stock exchange for Lego parts.
You can buy all the parts for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon not only as the original retail set, but also as a sum of its parts. There are BrickLink retailers who have already sourced the pieces together with the exception of a few rare and expensive bits, and they will sell it to you as a set but minus the stickers, the manuals and the box (which can retail for £300+ buy itself!).
BrickStock is your friend.
My first point of was a page I found while researching; Dag’s Bricks has a page devoted entirely to building the Millennium Falcon on a smaller budget. I strongly recommend reading his page for some great tips on cost cutting. From that page he links to Brickstock which is an intelligent way of cataloguing Lego pieces you need while informing you of the current prices.
Brickstock is the best tool for keeping track of prices and in some way the pieces that you have ordered. The Lego Ultimate Millennium Falcon has over 300 unique pieces; combined that equates to over 5,000 individual pieces. Thankfully you can import the Lego pieces from an existing database.
If you have a Bricklink.com account (if you haven’t then I strongly suggest you do) then you can download and import your ordered items. There is a function to ‘subject’ your ordered items from your list but it does not work correctly, after several attempts I’ve taken to subtracting the ordered items manually.
Tips for sourcing and purchasing
As of 25th December 2015 (Happy Christmas everyone) I have ordered several batches from various BrinkLink supplies totalling £274 ($408 US). Below are my sourcing and buying tips
Use a cataloguing system that suits you; that can be a simple spreadsheet, paper & pen or Brickstock. Do not be afraid to try a few methods initially after your first small order
Form a budget, but be flexible. Lego parts are like the stock exchange; the value of a individual part will rise and fall on a daily basis. If you are clever, then you can use software like Brickstock to set maximum prices you are willing to pay, then you export that a data file to Bricklink.com. As a guide, I’m keeping to a budget of around £500 ($750 US)
Be flexible about the parts. When compiling the bits for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon you will come across some very minor items which are ridiculously expensive. As I write this, the panel known as “#3456 Plate 6 x 14 DARK RED” is £20 per piece! I am sure you could find the same item in a slightly different colour that would still work.
Buy storage containers. The Lego Millennium Falcon has over 5,000 parts, you will probably gather a majority of those parts before you can build because you won’t be able to source the parts chronologically according to the manuals.
Commitment, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The quick way to get a Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium is to spend £3,000! The longer but cheaper way is to be patient. This will take weeks or even months to compile everything together. Don’t panic and just buy everything in a rush without checking the value first which leads me to…
Search multiple sources for the best prices. You will be buying some parts in bulk so every penny counts. I have found some of the bricks cheaper on eBay but they not in the right quantities; in those cases I had figure out if the additional postage would be worth it. Most of the time if a seller has the quantity I want but costs a ‘little’ more then I’m happy to do that.
Often buying used parts is cheaper than buying new. You will have to compromise on some of the bits finer details; some of the bricks I have bought used does show wear and tear. Personally I am happy to do that if it means I can save several pounds, like I said I’m all about cutting corners where I can.
Currently I am nowhere near to the actual building, I will update this post as and when I make progress.
In the meantime, please comment below if you have any questions.
Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon UPDATE: 24 Jan 2015
I’ve been pounding Bricklink for the past few weeks looking for bargains. One massive tip I can offer you is try and try to buy the parts locally in your country; the cost per brick in the UK is generally higher, but unless you’re buying in a large bulk then it is worth it.
I live in the UK so Lego parts are generally more expensive. I’m a month into this project and it is more daunting that I first appreciated.
Low volume parts order from your country, bulk items order in Europe.
Some parts are stupidly expensive; for example Lego 4592c05 can cost as much as £5 per brick!! That’s crazy expensive when you consider I need sixty of them!! Currently I’m hoping to get Lego 4592c05 cheaply by having them painting in the correct colour!
As the parts come in from the UK and Europe, the magnitude of what I’m attempting is a bit scary; the logistics of checking what parts I have ordered, if I have ordered enough of a unique part and making sure I tick orders off the main Brickstock list!
Another tip is look for storage boxes with little compartments, it really does help the sorting process. And you have to do the sorting, it is tedious but well worth it. I’m currently building the Lego Death Star which comes under 3000 pieces; if I didn’t sort then it would be very slow process.
There are many desirable Lego Technic sets in my opinion, but few are as compelling as Lego 8043, the Motorized Excavator.
There are bigger Lego Technic sets out there; Lego 8043 only weighs in at 1123 pieces according to BrickSet.com but because the articulating arm has so many moving parts running through one artery, the gearing is incredibly intricate.
The instructions comes in three parts with book 1 being the most difficult as that illustrates the drive tracks, the wheel base and most of the body detail as well.
“..Not suitable for kids”
As we have come to expect from Lego, the manuals are clear and generally precise although there are a couple of illustrations that did make my scratch my head. This is usually because the piece to be added is obscured by another part, you do need to make a few educated guesses in those cases; because of this I do not believe this is suitable for young children.
The base is relatively simple to build; it’s just a framework with only few gears to install. Even so, it was great fun install the tracks!
The real work (if you call Lego “work”) is the main body. This is where the bulk of the clever stuff happens; the body has to hold all the switching, a majority of the gearing and cogs, the 4 motors which are usefully heavy to offset the weight of the articulating arm, and the battery compartment which holds 6 AA batteries.
The gearing is powered by 4 motors aligned in parallel, 3 power the wheel tracks and the 3 point articulating arm, bizarrely one powers a switch so you can remotely alternate between move the entire Excavator OR move the arm; you cannot choreograph both simultaneously.
If you are interested in mechanics then you will absolutely love this build. Even thought I put it all together myself, there are several layers of parts that it is easy to confuse the function of each gear and axle!
The engines of Lego 8043 is powered by four of these moderately powerful motors. If anything I wish Lego would update these motors to something a bit more powerful, they are capable of making things move along but there’s no harm in more yumph! 🙂
After 3-4 hours I had made good progress but, excitingly, I realised there is still much to do but in a good way. Some Lego builds can be predictable however some of the recent sets I’ve aquired have stimulated many rainy evenings!
If there was a downside it would be the price. Since its release in 2010 when it cost £143, it can now fetch up to £300. I personally would never pay that for this set, I found it for significantly cheaper. The good side is that the value of Lego 8043 can only go up in price.
I thoroughly enjoyed sorted out the parts and savouring the moments putting it all together. In the 7 hours build time I was never bored but I was stumped a couple of times due to the illustrations not being entirely clear.
I have always been a Lego fan and a Star Wars fan, so it makes sense that when these two cultural giants collide then I want a piece (or several pieces of that).
With all the hype around The Force Awakens I did what I shouldn’t be doing… shopping for toys.
I wasn’t going to actually buy anything, but an offer for the Lego 7965 Millennium Falcon appeared on Gumtree.com in my town!! It was clearly a sign.
So here we are a couple of days later and the Lego Millennium Falcon is finished.
I cannot tell you how I felt picking up the box from the seller, it was reassuringly heavy and rattled as the plastic bags shuffled inside. I had a stupid smile across my face while driving home, I just had to post an image onto Facebook to share my excitement.
I started the build the following day (I’m a freelance digital designer with a bit of time on my hands) so I stuck on Netflix in the background and carefully opened up the box.
Within an hour I had already made a lot of progress, too much to be honest; I always want the builds to last longer as they are so much fun, however at this point the foundations had already been built.
I love the silly detail that comes in the Millennium Falcon on this scale; for example these simple bits made two beds! Very simple and clever…well, clever to me anyway 😛
At the rear of the build the Lego designers have come up with some ingenious ways to make the Millennium Falcon look used and lived in, there are random blocks that placed in the corners, the two round blocks represent part of the engine; I’ve never seen the internals of the Falcon before and I’m sure Lego used some reference material in the design. Either way it was interesting to see it come together.
Any Lego set, other than the Technic range, would be incomplete without the mini figures so when I see a head, a torso and a leg in one of the bags I have to put them together immediately! I love Chewbacca’s semi surprised face and the quirky smile on Han Solo. These figures are magnificent!
Once I started building the walls and shell of the Millennium Falcon that stupid grin of mine came back; it was starting to take the iconic shape. Once again I was so impressed by the clever use of Lego parts to create the shapes; as well as forming the shell, there are tiny parts that give the Falcon that imperfection we are so used to.
Before Star Wars, films always represented space ships in a clean and clinical way; they never looked beaten up from use or battle scarred; Geore Lucas and his amazing special effects team created a look that has influenced sci-fi directors ever since. It’s nice that Lego have included this detail.
As I write this, the Lego Millennium Falcon has to be the most nostalgic Lego build I’ve ever done. I frequently hark back to 1978 when I was a young lad in Eastleigh going into the cinema by myself after being dropped off by my mother. Back then I did not fully understand the story (I was only 7) but I do remember the young farm boy, and old wise man, swords that had beams of light and a space ship that could go faster than anything else.
The entire build was around 5 hours, and I was taking my time doing it! There is nothing complicated so I believe a passionate 8 year old could build this with a little assistance from an adult.
I loved building this Lego set, I managed to buy it at a truly bargain price but at £130 the retail price is quite steep I think.
Do yourself a favour and buy it if you can find it on GumTree or eBay and get a bargain.