Animation artist Thomas Richner recently cleared out his basement by turning his cardboard junk into an epic Millenium Falcon model.
One of the things that people sadly tend to forgot as they escape the bonds of youth and replace them with the shackles of adulthood is the simple but pure joy of playing with cardboard boxes. Sincerely, go out and find a cardboard box large enough to fit your body into and try to have a bad time. Chances are unless you pay one of your shadier friends (you know the one we're talking about) to tape you inside and roll you into a December river, that you're going to have a good time.
And if you don't believe me, go ahead and ask Thomas Richner. Richner, an animation artist by trade, who recently converted the task of cleaning some old cardboard boxes from his basement into an opportunity to re-visit his childhood hobby of building Star Wars ships. This resulted in an epic project that transformed Richer's collection of junky boxes into an amazingly detailed 5-foot model of the Millennium Falcon complete with retractable landing gear.
While Richner admits he "took some liberties" with the ship's design, he stated in his Imgur gallery of the building process that he based his cardboard Falcon primarily off a snap shelf model kit, the 1977 Millenium Falcon Kenner Star Wars toy and some photos of the model used in the movie. He also "allowed it to be a little irregular to retain the feeling that it was made by a person." The overall building process took Richer a whopping 140 hours. That being the case, the end results would definitely point to it being time well spent. This would likely be a sentiment echoed by Richner himself who expressed that the experience alone was worth the work.
"This was a fantastic experience! I made Millennium Falcons when I was a kid, but it's been 30 years since I last made one," he said. "After working professionally now as an animation artist for many years (and reaching my mid-life crisis), I thought if I made another one, I'd go all out. So, mission accomplished! Cleaned out most of those boxes in the basement and have a five foot Falcon to show for it!"
Not content to rest on his laurels, even after finishing up a project that we feel comfortable branding as awesome, he took his completed Falcon (and a paper mache R2-D2) to a green screen at the Columbus College of Art and Design where he conducted a photo shoot. Here's hoping he creates some cardboard Tie Fighters so he can reenact some of favorite space battles.