Commissioned Millennium Falcon REBEL BASS Guitar

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

This is my second custom Millennium Falcon-based guitar. My original one was the first functional guitar that had been posted on the internet- and seeing my work had led to a commission from Australia. This time, it would be a bass, or as some people (as many have now been building Falcon guitars) call it, “THE REBEL BASS.” Which is awesome.

I gathered the parts, built the interior slightly differently, but still with a strong maple core. The ultimate recipient of the guitar (who currently is unaware of what’s coming, as it’s a gift) apparently is also a fan of the Hofner Ignition (McCartney Beatles violin) bass, which he doesn’t have. Once I learned this, I went after 2 Hofner bass pickups and a control panel.  Hopefully, this fills the void in a very different way. The best thing about using this with the Falcon is that the control panel features a number of switches, one of them including “SOLO” as an option. After some fine etching and the application of black paint, this is the only Rebel Bass with a “HAN SOLO” option. Please see the pics.

Using the Hofner Ignition style control panel, I had to decide where to mount it. I decided to replace one of the side panels on the ship to preserve the visual aspect of the Falcon. The retro panel might’ve looked a little too wacky on top; placing it discretely on the side, while not truly “handy” seemed more tasteful. So, you can see that “I’ve made a lot of custom modifications myself.”

The guitar features brass inserts in the neck to tighten the joint between neck and body, a TUSQ (simulated bone) nut instead of the stock plastic piece, and LED strips in the hyperdrive that accompany the LEDs that originally came mounted in this POTF2 edition Falcon body that I picked up.

The peg head has a simple design based on the ship’s body details. The neck plate has a hand painted “Travis Stevens Nerd Crafts Rebel Bass” logo with a comic-esque rendering of the Falcon in flight. The ship itself has been detailed for better movie accuracy. I was even able to keep the landing struts AND the original handle this time. All of the lights are powered by two C batteries (as came standard on the original and POTF2 toy) and the LED strips in the back by 2 9 volts strapped conveniently into the cockpit for quick replacement.

Thanks for the commission, and I hope it goes over well!

See my original Millennium Falcon guitar here.

Looking Back: The Original Millenium Falcon Electric Guitar

A few years ago I saw a picture online. It was a Bass guitar neck stuck on a vintage Star Wars Millenium Falcon playset. I looked at it and saw the challenge posted below the image – daring someone to build a functional version. I decided to do it.

After gathering the parts, it took a few weekends to put everything together. As this was one of the first major guitar projects I had done in a while, my wife became acquainted with “the mad scientist.” The guitar was built with a low budget just to see if something reasonably playable could be made. I opted for a single. coil-sized humbucker for best sound quality and the least “damage” to the Falcon itself. I even installed super bright LEDs in the hyperdrive (and on the front mandibles) to really capture the Falcon’s essence and gave it a movie-accurate paint job.

The peghead of the guitar featured a “light speed” paint motif with a Micro Machines Millenium Falcon serving as the truss rod cover.

It has been a few years, and I’m suddenly realizing I didn’t actually put the guitar in my guitar blog. After Cole Stryker posted the original photos on things really took off… unexpectedly too. I was interviewed on live TV in California.

…and I’ve seen a number of awesome Falcon guitars that followed. I remember – there was one guy criticizing mine because it had 1 pickup. He had more than one, so he claimed it was clearly superior; his guitar also had Falcon parts like the radar dish glued on where they didn’t belong, no paint job, no lights; functional, but no style. After that I’ve seen many that are incredible, with much higher quality parts and attention to detail, and the end result is that much better. I’ll probably do another sometime, and try to figure out how to up the ante. I still think my movie-accurate paint job holds up to the competition, at the very least.

From that point, I’ve built more guitars and gotten more exposure, not always quite as dramatic, but still fun. I hope to keep building, and hopefully to receive more commissions. Here are the original pictures, and the original (AND TERRIBLE) video I made for Urlesque.

Han Solo in Carbonite Electric Guitar

This started as pieces of maple, mahogany, and basswood and now is a guitar body.

Mr. Ben Moody (Evanescence, We Are the Fallen) owns this axe. I never ever, ever expected to have a guitar end up in the hands (or on the wall) of a professional musician or as a feature in Guitar World.  My thanks to Rich and Kelly (friends that bought the guitar for Ben)!