Starship Modeler (masthead)

Star Wars® Hardware Reference


Starting in 1997 and running through all of '98, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC, held an exhibit of the models, props, and costumes used in the creation of George Lucas' first Star Wars® film trilogy (episodes 4 thru 6). This outstanding display allowed the public (and Starship Modeler) to get a good, close look at the ship models from this landmark series. Naturally we had cameras in tow, and the results are displayed here. The display has since begun touring the country and around the world, with props and macquettes from each new film being added.

A special thanks goes out to Mark Dickson, Jim Berteges, David Ferrell, Bob Keyes, Mark Bolden, Jacques Duquette, Richard Moore, Ken Rice, Mick Selas and Murray Swift for their additional contributions to this gallery.

More reference images are online at Dan Grumeretz's Star Wars Reference Page.

The sections below are divided up by ship type and grouped by alliance.

Rebel Ships | Imperial Ships | Other Ships | Miscellaneous Items


Takin' the old bird back to Papa Lando...

Image 1: Underside rear starboard quarter.

Image 2: Forward starboard side view (cockpit area).

Image 3: Rear, port upper surface - open panels.

Image 4: Port cargo mandible upper surface.

Image 5: Looking in towards both mandibles.

Image 6: Another view of the port mandible, upper surface.

Image 7: Rear, starboard upper surface - open panels.

Image 8: Upper quad laser, side view.

Image 9: Upper quad laser, back view.

Image 10: Full-on front view.

Image 11: Upper engine area.

Image 12: View of the starboard docking ring from slightly above.

Image 13: Underside starboard docking ring.

Image 14: Overall top view. Most people don't know that the large falcon model had 5 champion spark plug decals radomly placed on the top of the model.

Image 15: Front underside.

Image 16: Cockpit close-up.

Image 17: Back of main sensor rectenna.

Image 18: Damage aft of dish.

Image 19: Damage just inboard of starboard mandible.

Image 20: A good, close look at the cockpit.

Image 21: Another look at the docking clamp, this time head on.

Image 22: Another look at the upper rear panel detail.

Image 23: A view of the quad cannon mount from the other side.

Image 24: Overlooking the bow from the port side.

Image 25: Detailing along the mandible, forward of the cockpit.

Han Solo's battered old YT-1300 freighter is certainly one of the series' biggest hardware stars. Heavily modified since its emergence from the shipyards, the Falcon has served as a steed for a number of smuggler captains. The two most recent are Lando Calrissian and Han Solo. Through Solo's clever tweaking - not to mention filling the engine compartment to overflowing by applying a hyperdrive twice the size of the stock spec - the Falcon became known as one of the fastest smugglers in the galaxy.

In addition to its overblown drive system, the Falcon features an enhanced weapons array, including ventral and dorsal quad laser cannons, a small antipersonnel blaster, and a rack of concussion missiles. The ship also has a series of hidden compartments designed for carrying contraband. Solo was drawn into the Rebel cause after he was hired to shuttle Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker to Alderaan for a rescue mission.

The Falcon model on display at the Smithsonian was quite large. While it was the last thing you saw on the tour, the impact of seeing this icon was not at all lessened by the plethora of Star Wars artifacts seen before it. This model is very large (about 5' across) and deliciously detailed. It was housed in a low glass case, so it was difficult to get the shot one wanted without glare. Still, we managed to shoot this glorious model from a number of angles and zoom in for some key detail shots. You may note some unusual glowing strips in some of the photos. The model was adorned with an odd pattern of Scotchbright tape strips, which only showed up during flash photography.

Bob Keyes' photographs were photographed at the Toledo Museum of Art in December, 2001

Image 26: As above, closer to the cockpit.

Image 27: A good, sharp shot of the bow

Image 28: Upper rear decking.

Image 29: Another look at the top/rear deck

Image 30: Port side

Image 31: Bow on

Image 32: With smaller model

Image 33: Top view

Image 34: Mandible, underside

Image 35: Cockpit, closeup

Chicago Museum Of Science & Industry, October 2007

Image: Rear deck, showing grilles. This the larger ESB version.

Image: Right/rear sidewall detail

Image: Cockpit

Image: From front, showing the rear wall instruments

Image: Right/front mandible detail

Image: More. There was no apparent 'toe-in' on these mandibles.

Image: Left/front sidewall detail

Image: Amidships

Image: Looking over the top of the hull

Image: Underneath


It may be over 20 years old, but it's still a cool design!

Image 1: A three-quarter front view showing the whole ship. This is a nice angle and picks up all the key details and panel work.

Image 2: A view just off the top, starboard wing, looking inward. Again, the detailed panel work is obvious in this shot.

Image 3: A peek between the wings, showing the detail of the exposed surfaces in that area.

Image 4: A close-up shot of the upper starboard gun pod.

Image 5: Looking into the cockpit from the front. The detail on the pilot and instrumentation was impressive!

Image 6: Swiveling around, we're now looking towards the cockpit from the rear. This gives a nice sense of the some of the subtle colorations on this model.

Image 7: A shot looking towards the back of the model. Dirty bugger, ain't it? I guess the Rebels don't have much time to wash these things.

Image 8: A clear shot of the upper deck behind the cockpit.

Image 9: Another rear view, this time from underneath the port side.

Image 10: Cockpit of one of the filmining miniatures

Image 11: Inside the S-Foil, looking at the engines

Image 12: Another look at the port side, from the cockpit aft

Image 13: Red 2, top/rear view

Image 14: Left/rear view

Image 15: Top/front

Image 16: Left/rear, from hisgher up

Image 17: Right side

Image 18: Top/right

Image 19: Left side

Image 20: Top/left

With quad laser cannons and dual proton torpedo launchers, the Incom T-65 X-Wing is the pride of the Rebel fighter fleet. A space-superiority fighter, the X-Wing's deadly blend of maneuverability and firepower has been instrumental in the survival of the Rebellion. In a head-to-head dogfight with the standard Imperial TIE fighter, the X-Wing will almost always come out ahead.

We're not sure where the X-Wing in the Smithsonian's exhibit was used, but it was big. About four feet, big! This certainly wasn't one of the ones used in the original film. The detail on this model was rich!

Image 21: Red 3 was a large model

Image 22: Red 3's cockpit area

Image 23: Topside, between the engines

Image 24: Closer look into the shield generator area

Image 25: From behind

Image 26: Red 3, underneathCourtesy Robert Nidds

Image 27: Head-on

Image 28: Overflight

Image 29: Underneath the starboard side

Image 30: Another look

Image 31: Right/middle

Image 32: Larger image, including nose

Image 33: At Chicago's MoSI; fron/left view

Image 34: Right/rear, showing armature

Image 35: Left/rear, showing engine and top fuselage detail

Image 36: Detail on cannon

Image 37: Cockpit area, left side


[Big deck, little ship]

Image 1: Front view of fighter coming right at you!

Image 2: View from above and to the rear, with engines lit.

Image 3: Same general view, from a lower level.

Image 4: Forward oblique view.

Image 5: Opposite side, on filming stand.

Image 6: Side view, with ruler for scale

Image 7: Bottom of the studio model

Image 8: Front view, with ruler

Image 9: Top view

Image 10: Rear view

The Alliance A-Wing interceptors were the fastest starfighters in the galaxy at the time of the Battle of Endor. Designed to outrun anything the Imperial Navy could field, they cram devastating punch and blistering speed in a frame only 9.6 meters long. All that speed and power, though, comes at the expense of armor and redundant systems; A-Wing pilots have to rely on speed and insanity to stay alive in a brawl, as the ships are extremely susceptible to damage. Moreover, it is a challenging beast to fly, demanding the utmost of pilot skill.

The A-Wing has been seen only in Return of the Jedi (so far). The studio model is reasonably detailed and a little over two feet long. ERTL's kit, the only mainstream model of this ship, is a surprisingly faithful replica - outside the cockpit, at least.

Image 11: Detail of the pilot and cockpit (almost looks life-like, doesn't he?)


Man, who thought up this design??!

Image 1: A view from above, looking from the cockpit over the length of the wing. The upper "mid wing" is partially deployed so that its gun is visually in line with the main gun, from this perspective.

Image 2: Rotating our view to the front and slightly to starboard, we get a better sense of the ship's total layout.

Image 3: Swinging back to port, we get a better view of the top of the "mid wings" and the cockpit.

Image 4: This is the same angle, but zoomed into the cockpit area. This shot gives you the best sense of the level of detail present on this model. The model does not feature any cockpit glass.

Image 5: This is a detail shot of the main gun, sitting on the end of the wing.

The B-Wing fighter appeared for the first time in Return of the Jedi. This Rebel star fighter remained true to the series' design ethic, which introduced truly new shapes and configurations for media spacecraft. Ships like the B-Wing, Medical Frigate, and Millennium Falcon brought a refreshingly new look to the series.

A few pieces at the Smithsonian exhibit resulted in disappointment when the detail and craftsmanship failed to live up to what was shown or implied on the screen. But the B-Wing was at the other end of the spectrum. Measuring around 18" across (wingspan, if you will), this model was a little gem. It was striking in both detail and in its panel coloration. It was displayed in such a way that we could get views from many angles.

Image 6: A shot of the underside, again looking from the cockpit out across the main wing. The filming support rod plugs into the engine housing and obscures some of the detail on the lower "mid wing".

Image 7: Looking into the cockpit from dead ahead and slightly above centerline.

Image 8: Front view of the ship.

Image 9: Side view of the cockpit.

Image 10: Rear view of the engine cluster.

Image 11: Top/front view


Y-Wing? Why not??!

Image 1: A side view, showing the whole ship. From this angle, the Y-Wing really has a sleek profile.

Image 2: A close up of the side of the central body area. This shows much of the craft's complex "plumbing" details.

Image 3: A shot showing the rear of the craft, in totality.

Image 4: A close up of the rear part of the center section.

Image 5: A close up of the engine "vectoring" assembly, at the end of the nacelles.

Image 6: In this shot, we get a closer, detailed look at the cockpit area.

Image 7: Rear view

Image 8: Top/left view

Image 9: Same, but more towards the front of the ship

Appearing for the first time during the Death Star attack sequence in A New Hope, the BLT-A4 Y-Wing serves as a versatile backbone to the Rebel fighter fleet. It's multi-role abilities make it a valuable asset to the Rebellion. In A New Hope, we saw the craft being used mostly as a light bomber, leaving most of the "space superiority" role up to the sleeker X-Wings. While not a cutting-edge fighter, this craft has had long-standing appeal with Star Wars modelers.

Three large Y-Wings were built for filming (not counting the pyrotechnic models). These varied in both decoration and in minor details. The most commonly seen ones are the yellow-striped models, one of which was displayed at the Smithsonian.


You think your day's goin' great - then you get splashed by a Walker! Bummer...

Image 1: A long shot, showing the whole vehicle.

Image 2: Looking from the back, towards the rear crew seat.

Image 3: The snow speeder's open air brake, in detail.

Image 4: Looking from the back into the cockpit area. The pilot's instruments can be clearly seen.

Image 5: Looking into the cockpit from the front.

Image 6: A head-on view.

Image 7: Profile view of the starboard side.

Image 8: Top/front view

Image 8: Front view

Image 9: Left side

The Incom T-47 snow speeders (technically "airspeeders") were standard small aerial attack craft used by the Rebellion. Originally designed as civilian transports, the Rebels added various weapons to the craft. The Rebellion's speeders are two-man affairs, with two, powerful forward-facing blaster cannons. The rear crewman operates a pivoting gun, which in The Empire Strikes Back, fired a kind of grapple which was used to tangle the legs of Imperial Walkers.They appear for the first time in The Empire Strikes Back, where it's mentioned that they had to be specially outfitted for Hoth's cold environs.

The Snow Speeder studio model was around 16" long and was finished reasonably well. Our pictures contain some cockpit detail, which is one of the AMT/ERTL kit's main failings. The photos also give you a sense of how these models were weathered.


Ackbar's sweet, sweet ride

Image 1: A sleek looking view facing back from the ship's nose.

Image 2: A close up of some of the upper surface's detail.

Image 3: An even greater close up of the detailed upper surface.

Image 4: And aft, underside view, looking into the engine area.

Image 5: The upper surface of the aft engine area.

Image 6: Even closer look at surface detailing and damage.

Image 7: Top/front view

This is the larger of the two Mon Calamari ships from Return of the Jedi. The "Art of Jedi" book identifies this as Admiral Ackbar's Headquarters ship. The model was quite impressive and one of the larger ones on display. It's organic lines epitomize Lucas' visual design philosophy for the two sides of the conlfict (Imperials = hard edged surfaces, Rebels = curves and organics).


[Run away! Run away!]

Image 1: Good, clear shot of the engines.

Image 2: Under construction.

Image 3: The basic structure of the model. Note the radar, which gets changed later.

Image 4: Here the model appears complete, with exposed wiring.

Image 5: Completed model on a filming stand.

Image 6: Top view of the drive section, showing details.

Image 7: Front view, showing where the cockpit would have been had this design become the Millenium Falcomn as originally intended.

Image 8: Completed model, from the rear perspective.

Chicago Museum Of Science & Industry, October 2007

Image: Right/rear view

Image: Engines

Image: Right/front

Image: Looking down the hull from front/left

Image: Head

Image: Left side

Image: Forward/ventral turret

Image: Left side, midships, low

Image: Where the armature enters the model

Image: Left/rear

Image: Another look

Image: Left side, midships

Image: Another view, looking back

Princess Leia's Tantive IV, the notorious 'Rebel Blockade Runner, was a specially outfitted version of the common Correllian Corvette. This vessel boasted a modular design that could be configured for cargo, passengers or even military duty. The design is among the most common in service during the period covered by 'A New Hope'.

The design was originally meant to be Han Solo's ship, but Lucas was unhappy with it and switched to the now-familiar "flying hamburger" for for the Millenium Falcon.

Almost from the first moment this ship was seen on screen, modelers have been fascinated with it. No kit was ever produced of this ship, and it seems unlikely one will be. These pictures should help the interpid modeler wanting to scratchbuild one, however.


[Collapsed freeway bridge, flying]

Image 1: Side View of the front end.

Image 2: Rear View, showing engine detail.

Image 3: Entire ship, in the view seen at the end of 'Empire'.

Image 4: Port side of the ship, from the rear.

Image 5: Similar view to Image 3, in color.

If Rebellion ships are supposed to be rounded and more 'organic' in design, this is an exception. That could be because the Rebellion captured many Imperial ships, however, turning them against their erstwhile owners. This ship was seen as a frigate modified for use as a hospital ship in the last scenes of 'Empire'.

Next: Imperial Ships

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Last updated 6 December 2007. This page copyright © 1998-2007, Starship Modeler.