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Lobot posted a topic in LEGO Star WarsPrologue: Following the countless hours I productively wasted last year building a 10143 UCS Death Star II (link here), via Bricklink, I’ve been looking for another project. Next on my list was the 10030 UCS Star Destroyer, but after sourcing about 50% of the parts I admitted defeat as I couldn’t obtain several of the rarer ones inside Europe. I briefly debated building an Endor Landing platform, using instructions which I’d purchased from Ebay, but it wasn’t going to big enough for my UCS shuttle so that was the end of that. Back to the drawing board, ho hum. To be honest, since I’d ‘Bricklinked’ the Death Star, normal sets (the ones that come in a box with all of the parts in numbered plastic bags) seem a bit too easy somehow... and I like a challenge!! I considered numerous options, but kept circling back to the idea of a UCS Falcon. I would like to say that I did try to stop myself from starting this for several weeks, but finally gave in. My wife gave me her, classic, disappointed look when I mentioned my plan to her and, to be fair, she did have a point as I already own one! My logic: My current Falcon is the third one I’ve owned (long story) and I paid £750 for it MISB a couple of years ago just before the prices got really silly. I built it once and displayed for a week in a darkened room before my irrational fear of dust & light damage made me disassemble it and return it to the safety of its packing box. Hence, there was some logic to this project after all....if I could build one (relatively) cheaply I could then display it long-term without any fear of i) daylight ii) dust or iii) one day finding our cat asleep on it!! Now I know that this project has been well-documented before by BobBongo and jFox but I thought you might like to see how my project develops, building it my way. Firstly, I’ll admit that I’m rather OCD about Lego; it has to be new! Secondly, I wanted to see how cheaply this could be done, keeping to the original colours wherever it was sensible to do so. Some of the costs I’ve seen for building one seemed ridiculously high and I was determined to do better, at least that was the plan.... My Strategy: Firstly I checked the Lego PAB website to see what parts were readily available to set a ‘benchmark’ cost. Next, using a spreadsheet, I recorded the cost of the parts which were available in four of my favourite stores, not overly scientific but it was a useful starting point. Using a few formulas I estimated that I could do this for about £550, give or take some postage. Before I forget I’d like to pass on my thanks to both gizmocom and KRAM who supplied a total of 1,541 parts, in 50 and 67 lots respectively. Their excellent service deserves a shameless plug; both sellers are 100% Lobot recommended! Bricklink: I’m not an expert in Bricklink, but if you haven’t sourced a lot of parts before, I can offer the following advice: i) Buy within your own country wherever possible; the cost of long-distance postage really adds up after a while. If you’re in the UK also be very wary of any potential Import taxes so try and order from the EU if you need to go further afield; I got stung a couple of years ago and it resulted in a cheap purchase from the US being a very expensive one!! ii) Don’t get too obsessed about saving the odd penny here and there; it’s far more important to minimise the total number of orders. During my searches I set myself a minimum 100 (ish) parts per order; otherwise the postage gets prohibitive. iii) Having said that, I’ve adopted a policy of ‘grabbing’ parts wherever I could. For example the Falcon requires 243 x 3021 ‘Light Bluish Gray Plate 2 x 3’; these are £0.10 from PAB, so that’s £24.30 unsurprisingly. However, if you can buy 20 @ £0.07 from a seller, as part of a larger order, you’ve just saved yourself £0.60. Now that doesn’t sound much but if you manage to source all 243 for that you’ll save £7.29, as long as you don’t incur any additional postage charges. I’ve found that most sellers use weight bands (0-250g, 250-500g etc) so provided you keep a careful eye on the total weight of each order, via the shopping basket, you can make significant savings. For my orders I estimated that the weight of the packaging would be a maximum of 30g, so kept all 250g orders below 220g. iv) PAB can look expensive for some parts, but for some they’re unbeatable (for example the 3069b ‘Light Bluish Gray Tile 1 x 2 with Groove’ & 3068b ‘Light Bluish Gray Tile 2 x 2 with Groove’); also they have a fixed shipping charge which can be very helpful if it’s a large order. You need to bear in mind that lots of plates will be heavy, and even if you can get them slightly cheaper on Bricklink the cost of postage may eliminate any potential saving. v) Don’t automatically disregard sellers with only a small (ish) parts inventory or feedback. By using the Bricklink filters I used several with 50-150 feedbacks; their service was at the same level as those with 1000+ and frequently their price per part was significantly less. Progress to date: I managed to find 414 new parts from my own collection before I started ordering. These were mainly small Technic connecters etc and realistically they were probably worth £15. During the last 6 weeks I’ve made a total of 13 orders for 3,747 parts at a cost of £374.74, excluding my own stock. 6 orders were from the UK, 3 from the Netherlands, 2 from Germany, 1 from Denmark & 1 from Belgium. Including my own stock this adds up to 4,161 parts, or 80.42% of the set which I’m quite pleased with, breakdown as follows: Orders Parts Total Cost (£) Cost per part (£) Source Own 414 £0.00 0 N/A 1 873 £46.99 £0.05 UK 2 668 £36.52 £0.05 UK 3 443 £42.68 £0.10 UK 4 343 £37.40 £0.11 Denmark 5 311 £34.46 £0.11 UK 6 147 £28.35 £0.19 Netherlands 7 103 £20.56 £0.20 Netherlands 8 100 £30.22 £0.30 Germany 9 111 £15.70 £0.14 UK 10 96 £12.30 £0.13 Belgium 11 206 £24.76 £0.12 Netherlands 12 98 £13.82 £0.14 UK 13 248 £30.98 £0.12 Germany To date 12 orders have arrived, totalling 3,913 parts (75.63%). So, what does this look like? Scroll down to find out: A large box: Han in part heaven (insert the music to American Beauty here): And what can I build so far: “She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts”...Han paused and then, with a deep sigh, continued...”Ok kid, I’ll admit it’s total rubbish” I’ve just made two orders for another 457 parts, including the technic beams, so I should be able to make some tangible progress soon. I add another update soon. Cheers, Robin