Original T.I.E. Fighter filming model goes on sale for $170k

Chris Davies - Jul 29, 2008, 4:38 pm CDT

Rich?  Love Star Wars?  Obsessed with collecting models used in the making of the original films?  Did I mention rich already?  You’ll need to be almost obscenely wealthy to win this eBay auction: one of four original T.I.E. Fighter models used in the filming of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.  In fact, this is the Fighter that helpfully collided with Darth Vader and allowed Luke to blow up the Death Star, constructed from resin and cannibalized parts from other model kits.  The auction doesn’t officially kick off until August 1st, but if you fancy you could drop an absentee bid at the starting price of $170,000.

903. Original T.I.E. Fighter filming miniature and original camera reports from Star Wars: A New Hope. (TCF, 1977)  During the nail-biting assault on the Death Star in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, this is the actual filming miniature of the T.I.E. Fighter that bumps into Darth Vader’s fighter knocking him out of the trench, allowing Luke to destroy the Death Star. This historic piece is from the collection of Academy Award-winning Visual Effects wizard, Richard Edlund. The design concepts for the T.I.E. (Twin Ion Engine) Fighters of the Galactic Empire originally came from Colin Cantwell and Ralph McQuarrie. Joe Johnston, who was the visual effects art director and overall storyboard artist for the entire trilogy was very involved in the final finessing of the ships and Death Star designs. Only four T.I.E. Fighters were built for the first Star Wars film. Grant McCune, head of the model shop, used a fairly heavy but stable resin for the body of the ship and other resins for the tinier parts. It has a central hollow aluminum knuckle with six-way threadings for top, bottom, front, back, left and right side mounting options with 11/16 in. hollow threaded rods as wiring conduits which attached to the various self-lit neon blue pylons. The hexagonal wings are created of fine expanded metal sheeting. Much of the intricate design detail was robbed from plastic model kits, then modified and affixed.” eBay auction detail

Yes, that’s right, $170k.  The estimate for the model is $150,000 to $200,000, which I’d normally say was ridiculous but, knowing some Star Wars fans, perhaps not. 

It measures around 18 x 14 inches and stands 24 inches on the display base.  The battle damage was added later in filming; you’ll get original camera reports confirming the model’s use and a color image of the model posing in front of a blue screen for filming.  Plus, of course, the happy knowledge that you just spent in excess of $170k on a toy you can’t really play with.

[via Geekologie]

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