When LEGO released the sneak peek photos of the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon (75212), one of the things that really stood out was the colour and lack of twin mandibles. Okay, maybe that's two things.
Keep in mind, pictures of the model dropped earlier than the Star Wars Solo movie trailer and the internet was abuzz with thoughts and theories of the peculiar design.
It was a weird sensation, seeing the Millennium Falcon in this shape and colour - it was like meeting an old friend you haven't seen in a long time. But, because the Falcon is a ship, it doesn't seem too far-fetched that it has been upgraded, altered and changed over time.
From an aesthetics point of view, the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon doesn't quite look as cool as the version we're all used to. It looks sleeker and streamlined, rather than the hulking and stubborn "bucket of bolts" we've all grown to love.
That being said, spaceship design set aside, LEGO is simply working with the material that it was given. When comparing the movie trailer, LEGO has done a reasonable job capturing the look and feel of the Star Was Solo variant.
Apart from mini-scales and promotional releases, 75212 is the eighth LEGO Millennium Falcon! As you can imagine, there would be plenty of collectors that must have every Falcon available.
On to the build!
The LEGO Kessel Run Millennium Falcon has 1,414 pieces in total. It has about 100 more pieces than the last (non-UCS) Millennium Falcon released back in 2015 and comes with seven minifigures - Han Solo, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, Lando Calrissian, Quay Tolsite, and a Kessel Operations Droid, plus a DD-BD droid. Each of these characters' designs is unique to this set.
The build is enjoyable, yet simple. One of the design member's 5-year-old son managed to build this set without any assistance - having said that, he's quite an exceptional LEGO enthusiast and has a keen eye for these kinds of things!
So compared to the UCS Millennium Falcon (75912), the Kessel run version is much more of a toy, rather than a full-fledged collector's item. But given fact that LEGO has released so many Millennium Falcon variants, we know fans will want this as part of their collection too!
Once the build was complete, the end result looked great, albeit in a strange kind of way. Despite being another Millennium Falcon LEGO release, there are quite a number of different features that come with this set to perhaps justify its own release.
The most obvious difference is the absence of the iconic twin mandibles. However, the strange looking front nose of the ship is actually a docked cargo pod. Star Wars fans might already know that the Millennium Falcon was originally used as a cargo freighter and the front mandibles would dock with cargo containers. It's only up until now have we seen that in action.
Now whether this pod is for "cargo" or not, remains to be seen until the movie comes up. But it's large enough to fit a minifigure in there, so one could speculate what its eventual use could be...
Overall, the LEGO Kessel Run Millennium Falcon isn't the most challenging build and one could finish this set off quite easily in one lazy afternoon. Having said that, it is a fun build and for those that don't own a LEGO Millennium Falcon set just yet, starting off with the "original" Falcon could be a good place to start!
Adding lights to the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon (75212)
Lighting the Kessel Run Millennium Falcon was largely a simple affair for us. Most of the structure was the same as the 2015 version, which made things a breeze for us, both from a lighting perspective as well as a documentation one.
However, we did implement a few differences given that the set isn't exactly the same.
Firstly, we added some flashing lights at the front of the ship to give the new (old?) Falcon some added realism. These were positioned underneath some trans-red plates.
Next were flashing lights for the hyperdrive componentry, located at the back of the ship. We added this little feature to make it look like the stubborn engine system was active (or playing up!).
We also added some strip lights for the internal structures. Luckily our flexible strip lights can be moulded and positioned underneath the LEGO arches, creating a natural looking downlight. The strip light effect helps enhance the realism when you release the cabin doors!
With the Falcon's weaponry, we decided to use red lights instead of the embedding our standard bit lights into trans-red plates. This decision was made to help preserve the original look as much as possible. We also applied the emergency effect from our multi-effects board to simulate the cannons firing at the crew's enemies.
The greatest challenge posed to us was the lighting of the cargo pod. Before we started, we weren't quite sure how to pull this off. But as we inspected the final build of the Kessell Run Millennium Falcon, we noticed that the internals of the cargo pod was a perfect size to house our flat battery pack!
This was obviously an ideal situation for us because we wanted the retain the playability of the set. Being able to separate the power source meant the cargo pod could be removed from the main vessel and still be able to be lit up!
Overall, this was a relatively simple lighting project for us. And although it pales in comparison to the UCS Millennium Falcon, we're quite happy with the end result and collectors and fans of Star Wars sets will get lots of joy seeing the latest Falcon lit up amongst their collection.
The Light My Bricks Kessel Run Millennium Falcon Light Kit is now available at our online store!
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