Thursday, June 3, 2010

"The Little Differences" - Bespin Lando

This is my first installment of "The Little Differences". This will be an ongoing segment that will feature simple upgrades and mods to Star Wars figures and vehicles. I will show you how to make existing product near perfect without paint and in most cases, without tools. I am very meticulous when it comes to matching main characters and troops to their screen counterparts. I will admit that I have OCD in this area of the hobby, as you will find out, consistency is really important to me. Enough of the set up, let's get this Cloud City Party started!

Lando Calrissian is one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe! How could anyone not like Lando? He wears a cape, sports a smooth mustache and has the shiniest shoes in the galaxy! When the 2004 VOTC Lando was released he was a very well done figure (for that period of time in the lines run). While he was lacking ball jointed elbows and a removable cape, he still is the best Lando to date! Despite my overall happiness with the figure, I always thought that the previous 2001 POTJ Bespin Escape Lando's head sculpt did a better job of capturing the likeness of Billy Dee. The inside of the cape pattern was also more accurate but I digress. The 2004 head sculpt lacked that Lando charm yet Hasbro used that head sculpt as the base for the Skiff Guard Lando and  General Lando figures. When TAC's Smuggler Lando hit the scene I was very excited to get a never before made Lando, but even more excited that it sported a great head sculpt.

 "So how do you make the smoothest player in the galaxy look more accurate and even smoother?

Once I saw that Lando I was hopeful that a simple head swap would work, after all, the Smuggler Lando reused most of the parts from his 2004 Bespin counterpart. Below you will see that the head swap did indeed work out. On the left you will see the previous head sculpt with a side by side shot of the beauty of consistency - both Landos with the same 2007 head sculpt:

While the skin tone is slightly lighter it does match the Bespin Lando neck post fairly well. This modification requires no tools and the more accurate Smuggler head fits fairly snug over the Bespin Lando neck post so it will not fall off easiley. I also swapped out the hands to match the overall look more. PLEASE NOTE: I recommend placing the forearms of each version in hot water to pop and swap them out. The 2004 era figures with swivel wrists tend not to pull out easy and can break when pulled out without heating them up. If you are going to make this mod you are going to invest in extras, so it's best to nail it in one shot. Placing the parts in hot water or gently using a blow dryer will ensure the wrist breakage is avoided.

So until our favorite galactic player gets another Hasbro upgrade this simple mod will help keep your Bespin Lando cool as a cold, crisp Colt 45! When done right, this mod will work every time!

As you can see the "Little Differences" can make a big difference to your figures! Until next time!

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