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One of the few drawbacks of the "Standard" edition of Bandai's "Perfect Grade" 1:72 Falcon kit is that it lacks an etched metal sheet for the fan grilles. Here's a printed substitute!
Your biggest fans
The Falcon has a set of six fan grilles on its rear engine quarter. These contained actual fans on the original five foot shooting miniature, which were used to cool down the extremely hot lamps used to light the engines. Not only did they contain working fans, but they had woven metal grilles made of an incredibly fine windowshade material called Koolshade.
Visible fan interiors
Since the Bandai Perfect Grade 1:72 Falcon is a scaled-down replica of the five foot model, it makes sense to try and replicate the fine engine grilles as much as possible. Solid fake grilles don't look as cool, since you can't see the fan mechanisms inside.
The initial release of the PG Falcon included an etched metal sheet for simulating the Koolshade, since an injection moulded plastic grille would have been quite fragile. However, the Standard Edition of the PG Falcon does not include the metal piece, and there are no third party etched grilles currently on the market.
Enter this product! This is a set of replacement engine grilles designed to fit the PG Falcon's fan grille openings. They're made of thin bars to simulate the original grilles, allowing the viewer to see the interior fan details.
Note, however, that the bars are larger, and the spacing is wider, than the original parts by scale. This is because they'd be impossible to print if they were truly scale-accurate. These products have the finest bars that can be reliably printed using Shapeways' "fine detail" technology. Even so, they're still really fragile and easily broken, especially when cleaning!
Also this set of grilles does not include simulated woven material at each join. The real Koolshade used extremely fine wires to hold the parts together. If you would prefer these simulated wires, I have another version of the fan grilles which has them.
The parts are joined by thin sprues (runners) to save you money, since Shapeways charges by the object. The sprues attach to the underside of each grille, and you'll need to trim off the pieces flush with sprue nippers or something similar.
Fan interiors optional
Bandai's original kit includes a large black piece of plastic which fits on the underside of the engine deck and which contains simulated fan mechanisms. However, there are some errors in this piece. The fans are angled incorrectly, the blades touch the edges of the fan opening, and the rectangular recesses in the middle vary in length. So if you prefer I have more accurate simulated fans based on photos of the prototype. These are designed to fit into the Bandai fan openings, and line up with these grilles.
Note that if you decide to use the Bandai fan plastics you will need to do some minor adjusting. This is because I deliberately made the frame and cross-bar sections of these grilles a bit thicker, so that they'd be a bit less likely to snap if bumped. They're thus obviously thicker than the etched metal pieces!
I painted these black just to prime them. But note that the original five foot Falcon shooting model did NOT have black engine grilles! Everybody seems to paint them that way, but they weren't. They had Koolshade mesh painted the same colour as the body, with some darkening and weathering effects airbrushed on. Some of the bars were twisted and painted a rust colour. The engine fans look black because the fan blade discs were black or dark grey, and the shadowing made the interior dishes look darker than the medium grey they were.
Please read the following if you're interested in this item.
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!