Even though Thomas Richner graduated from UCLA, spent six seasons as an animation artist and timer on The Simpsons and is now an Associate Professor of Animation at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, it’s hard not to see this cardboard model of the Millennium Falcon as his crowning achievement. He could have singlehandedly resolved tensions between Israel and Palestine and it’d still be his crowning achievement, frankly.
It took 140 hours over two months to put the thing together, involving nights with less than two hours sleep, caught in that fugue of construction where time can drip away. The model itself is not meant to be a completely exacting replica, instead integrating the particular feel of the materials and the way its imperfection can resolve over distance. An effect he compares to matte paintings – imprecise in life but, as he says, “they work in the film”. Anyways, the Falcon always was a patchwork kind of thing, perhaps his model captures the spirit better than some slavish recreation.
His blog post on the project is here, the build gallery is on Imgur and some pictures you won’t find anywhere else (including a bonus picture of his previously completed R2D2 replica on display Big Fun Toy Store in Columbus, Ohio) are here because Thomas was nice enough to send them through. Thanks Thomas!