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These are the scenic accessories you need to make a partial diorama of Docking Bay 9 4. Recreate the audience's first sight of the Falcon in the first movie!
The parts are scaled to match the Bandai 1:144 Falcon kit, or the now-discontinued Fine Molds 1:144 Falcon.
This set is "partial" because it contains only those props visible for that first view of the docking bay, and is thus cheaper than the full set. If you want all the props in the whole set, check out my full Docking Bay 9 4 set of parts. Or, if you're looking for parts for the teeny 1:350 "Vehicle 006" Bandai Falcon, I have a different version for that.
Please read the following if you're interested in these items.
These accurizing parts are not mass-market commercial products. I made them for my own use, and have put them here in case they're of interest to someone else. Possibly you, since you’re reading this.
These are components for the serious model maker who wants to build a more accurate miniature. They require finishing. If you don't want to trim, file, sand, and glue, then these aren't the parts you're looking for!
The parts are tiny, and easily broken. They push the limits of today's 3D printers. The detail in the digital previews is all there, but it won't always be visible at the miniscule sizes that this scale requires!
What you get.
This excitingly fiddly set includes crates, ground lights, a forklift, various greeblies. Illuminated parts have holes for optional fibre optics. Since no full blueprints or complete photos of Docking Bay 9 4 are known to be publicly available, the models are based on screen grabs and behind-the-scenes shots, so they aren't necessarily 100% accurate.
What self-respecting spaceport would be without a fine selection of space crates? Docking Bay 9 4 has a number of crates lying around - mostly cubes with circular patterns on each face, and bigger crates with rectangular grids. The grids are not modelled as they're too fine to be printable. The crates are too small to be printed individually, and so are attached to a flat plate. They'll need to be sawn off with a fine razor saw, and the sprue filed down. Or else keep the sprue attached and drill a 1mm hole in the diorama board. The parts are certainly much easier to paint on-sprue.
There are additional random greebly thingies scattered around the set, conveying an air of general mechanical decrepitude, and I've made models of many of them. However I've omitted a few that are too small or are difficult to make out in the screen shots. The greeblies include:
The angular blue box - maybe some kind of power supply? - that sits beneath the Falcon. It has two red lights on the top - quite possibly German-built Hella 2RL rotating beacons with the motors turned off. I've added holes for running fibre optics (either 0.25mm or 0.75mm - see which option works best for you) to these lamps, though you may need to clean out the printing support wax from there. You'll also need to mask off the beacons before painting the body, and clear-coat instead of priming them. Finish off the lights with a little transparent red paint. Be really careful - the lights are insanely delicate and fragile! Behind-the-scenes photos show that this box has a kind of rectangular exhaust pipe thingie protruding from the top back, but it's too small to 3D print properly.
One of the stacked barrel sort of objects - the prop shown to the left of our heroes as they first enter the docking bay. This has holes for fibres for the green (left) and red (right) lights in the middle. 0.25mm fibres are closest to scale, but you could drill out the holes for 0.5mm to have them more noticeable. There's also space for an SMD LED to be installed. Ideally you'll putty over the hole when that's done, though since these props are against a wall the gap isn't too noticeable.
Pipes that stand near the walls. One group also has a control panel on a short post, but since we never see the panel top I added a couple of random greeblies.
Finally there are low grey tapered cylinder things. These items are all attached to a flat plate for printing purposes.
Did you notice the ordinary British-made Lansing Bagnall red forklift (technically a "reach truck") in the docking bay? It's hidden in plain sight - just sitting quietly against the back wall, equipped with an enormous claw for lifting rolls of paper and other cylindrical objects. Since it appears in making-of shots, it was probably used to build the set in Elstree, England, back in 1976. And then it was just left there once the cameras started rolling. The model needs some thin wires for the safety bars and grid-like roof. These aren't included since they're unprintably small. I was barely able to get the steering wheel and pedals in there.
Both epsides 4 and 5 feature these round lamps on the ground. They're actually US military runway lights from World War II - “Bartow” type D-1 beacons built by the Line Material Company of Pennsylvania; widely deployed in Britain to illuminate the runways of US airbases. Thirty years later some of these beacons were bought as surplus scrap by Roger Christian and the set decorating team, and became a minor footlight, er, footnote, in movie history.
Unfortunately the beacons are really difficult to model at 1:144 scale as they're so small. So I've made two versions. There are complete versions which can't be lit, but which can be sawn off the base plates. And there are hollow versions with a hole in the bottom. These have to be cut off the sprue, and 1mm fibre optic inserted into the hole. This fibre will serve both as a post and a light delivery mechanism, allowing you to light the suckers up.
This is extremely fiddly work. The beacon's hole will need to be thoroughly cleaned of support wax, which means running it under very hot water and gently poking a 0.75mm or 0.5mm wire into the hole until you can scrape out the softened wax. This takes time. Experiment with the correct location for the fibre to be positioned inside the beacon - too high and it won't illuminate the clear section, and too low and you'll lose light. Keep the fibre run really short - put a really bright light source immediately under the baseboard at each beacon point. Regardless you'll find that the beacon won't light up that brightly, which is okay as they weren't in the movie either. You'll need to prime and paint the lower half, and clear-coat the upper lit half to protect the acrylic resin.
What you don't get in this set.
No human or alien figures. No robots. A bunch of objects such as tall posts and doors are missing from this reduced set, but included with the full Docking Bay 94 set.
There are a number of tiny details omitted - mainly because you can't see them clearly in the film, or they're too small or finely built to make into printable models. Simple objects such as the pair of yellow waist-high posts, aren't here since they're easily made with some stretched sprue. Building features, such as air intakes, pipes, and the SE cranes, are omitted. Finally I didn't include any hoses or cables since they're best made using fine wire.