Todd Alcott
16 July 2007 @ 09:38 am

So, a few months ago Sam (6) comes toddling into my office and says "Can we make a TIE fighter?"

And I say "You mean like get a modeling kit, where you put it together?"  And he says "No, I mean make it."  And I say "You mean, like, make a TIE fighter?"  And he says "Yeah, like make one."  And I'm like "Like, make it out of -- what, exactly?"  And he's like "Well, what are they made out of?"  And I'm like "Well, they're made out of some kind of metal from another planet, dude."  And he's like "Well, but what could we make it out of that we have around here?"  And I'm like, "I don't know -- cardboard?"  And he's like "Sure, cardboard, we could do that, right?  And tape.  And glue, right?"

Anyway, many months later, here is our TIE fighter, after countless production delays.  It wouldn't fool a stormtrooper, but I think it looks pretty good for a cardboard TIE fighter made by someone who's never made anything crafty before in his life (by which I mean me, not Sam).


For those of you troubled by the color scheme, there was a long discussion between the client (Sam) and the builder (me) about what color to make it.  In the movies, the TIE fighters are shown to be a pale bluish-gray.  The toy TIE fighter we own (a 1997 re-release item) is a tad more bluish, but the TIE fighters shown in Sam's Lego Star Wars video game are shown to be a dark cobalt blue.  Then we found out that George Lucas actually wanted the TIE fighters to be the cobalt blue, but it was too close to the blue of the blue screens he was using for his special effects of the time so they had to make them gray.  Sam is a stickler for accuracy, so for him the gray of the movies isn't accurate and neither is the bluer gray of the toys -- the cobalt blue of the video game is the most accurate color scheme.

Sam's initial plan was to have a working hatch on his TIE fighter, and an actual cockpit inside with controls and things for the pilot to operate.  Months of delays (while the builder worked on a TV show) forced him to accept a simpler version, and when he saw this mean-looking pilot hunkered down in his forced-perspective cockpit, all was forgiven.  One of these days I'll buy a ruler and I'll be able to accurately paint an octagon.

Watch out, Santa Monica!  There's a rogue TIE fighter loose among your suburban palms! hit counter html code