Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Studio Scale Captain Needa’s Shuttle
This is one of those rare instances where I was able to make things up within the “world of Star Wars” as I built a studio scale model, trying to think of how ILM would have constructed a riff on their TIE Bomber model. It all started when a discussion sprung up among friends about which models from the original Star Wars trilogy were left to document and build. Someone mentioned Needa’s Shuttle, which I must admit I didn’t even remember seeing. You see, about one hour and ten minutes into The Empire Strikes Back, we catch a glimpse of Captain Needa’s shuttle exiting a Star Destroyer and rocketing over to Vader’s Super Star Destroyer. It occurs between Yoda’s “That is why you fail” line and Vader’s “Apology accepted, Captain Needa” line. Most model fans agree that it was most likely the TIE Bomber model, with it’s wings flipped around (so that they angled outwards), but the resolution is so poor and the model is so small against the screen, it could be anything. The ever-well-connected-and-talented Gene Kozicki unearthed a storyboard that showed the Bomber model-esque configuration, which supports the theory. So as a fun exercise, a group of us (led by Gene) decided it would be fun to make our own shuttle models as a creative exercise. I got a little carried away, using all styrene and machined pieces in conjunction with lasercut wing extensions, with the model and firmly mounted to an adjustable rod on a laser etched display base. A price of $1,600 was realized and this piece now resides in the collection of David Adami.
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A wonderful addition for David from Jason…
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Jason Eaton is a model builder who has spent the past fourteen years working with Star Wars license holders including Master Replicas, EFX, and Sideshow, creating paint masters and prototypes for many of the studio scale and scaled props, ships, and characters seen in the Star Wars films, and is honored to continue the work in this new era of Star Wars subjects. He has also performed this service for many other licenses and license holders such as Palisades Toys, Quantum Mechanix, Hollywood Collectibles Group, and Chronicle Collectibles, as well as the occasional private commission work for various private clients. His passion and dedication has sent him to the Skywalker Ranch archives, Tokyo Japan, and many other places, always striving to better the hobby and the work. He’s more of a builder and less of a collector, so sometimes his personal work will “leave the nest” to make way for the next hare-brained project! He also thinks speaking in the third person is weird.
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