A short time ago, in a galaxy we call home, two self-described ‘sci-fi geeks’ launched a Revell Star Wars Easykit into space. Phil St Pier and Matt Kingsnorth spent months to become the first team to send a Star Wars ship into orbit. They were also hoping to grab the attention of Star Wars Episode VII director, J.J. Abrams, in order to score a couple of tickets to the movie premiere later this year. The duo had been working on this ‘audacious’ stunt for 6 months, and put the video up on YouTube.
It would be awesome if they did get the attention of Mr. Abrams (as well as the tickets). They did, however, get the attention of Revell, the makers of the model X-Wing fighter that was sent into space. The company sent out a press release, clearly just as excited as many of us were about the stunt.
In an audacious attempt to secure tickets for the new movie, a pair of fans has sent the Revell Star WarsTM Easykit X-Wing FighterTM Pocket into space! The resulting stunt for Project Helium Tears (http://projecthet.tumblr.com/) has so far racked up over 400,000 views on YouTube.
St Pier and Kingsnorth worked for hours, meticulously assembling and painting the X-Wing model, and it shows when you see the amazing photos. Once attached to a weather balloon, outfitted with a GoPro camera, Luke Skywalker’s famous star fighter was launched from a field near Cambridge University. It took the small one-man fighter roughly two hours to reach the edge of orbit. Once there, the balloon popped, due to the low pressure. The craft spiraled back down, caught in Earth’s gravitational embrace, much like Luke’s descent into the swamps of Dagobah. Surprisingly, the model survived the crash landing.
I spent many hours of my childhood assembling model kits, based on many of my favorite planes, cars, and of course, space craft. Revell was one of the brands I always loved. I’ve since fallen out of the model kit loop, but hopefully this nice little stunt will spark more interest into the hobby. I know I plan on taking another look. Maybe this time I’ll actually paint the models, so they don’t just look like plain plastic representations.
Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For details visit www.revell.de/en