Star Wars fans crowd-building a full-scale Millennium Falcon
Almost six years ago, Star Wars fan Chris Lee started a project that has since become an internet phenomenon and a perfect example of how the online community can unite to achieve amazingly ambitious goals. Lee decided to build a 1:1 full-scale replica of the Millennium Falcon, both inside and out.
Posting his declaration on dedicated website fullscalefalcon.com back on 1 February 2007, Lee originally aimed to create the life-sized model himself. "I am planning on building the ultimate Star Wars model: a 1:1 scale Millennium Falcon with complete, correctly scaled interior," he wrote.
"Construction methods to include a welded steel frame with marine plywood exterior skin that is weather-sealed, and a heated/cooled interior space with all the amenities that a smuggler’s ship would have.
"For detail parts fabrication throughout the ship (full scale greeblies, etc), I’m currently building a 4-foot x 8-foot CNC router table and a 2-foot x 4-foot heavy duty vacuum-form machine.
"Yes I have completely lost my mind, just like my friends say. Except for my Star Wars fan friends, who say 'cool, can I help?'. So, this will likely take me several years, but isn’t the journey the reward after all?"
Those fans have since turned from well-wishers to actual team members - helping to source parts, blueprints (Dorling Kindersley's blueprints book was invaluable), and even building 3D computer models to work from.
Another way fans have been helping with the project is through funding. Lee didn't want to put his idea on to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter, not least because of the copyright issues of making money from the venture.
"We value our relationship with Lucasfilm Ltd," he said. "And respect their intellectual property rights. As such, we will not be publicly soliciting funding through any type of online or other fundraising mechanism. This is a fan-driven project."
You can buy a T-shirt, however, which costs $25 including shipping in the US, $37 if shipped internationally. And you can visit fullscalefalcon.com to learn other ways in which you can help.
"Are you a prop builder? Model maker? Painter? Artist? Contractor? Big fan? Electrician? Plumber? Special effects tech? A/V installer? Something else? We need ‘em all," the team says.
Mad or utterly brilliant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...