A SCIENCE-fiction fan from Forres has built his own spaceship.
Mark Donald (41), a mess hand at Kinloss Barracks, spent the last two-and-a-half months engineering a 10ft speeder bike in his log cabin on Castle Street.
He said: “I’ve loved Star Wars all my life, particularly Return of the Jedi, and owned a toy speeder bike as a kid. I always wanted a life-size one for myself but there were never any for sale so I decided to build one.”
Speeder bikes, AKA jump speeders, first featured in Return of the Jedi, the third instalment of the original Star Wars series, released in 1983.
The super-fast transports use repulsorlift engines to fly in the fictional films’ universe.
Return of the Jedi features a speeder bike chase in which lead characters Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa use them to chase down scout troopers who might reveal their presence on the planet of Endor.
Film-buff Mark used used plastic, wood, foam board, screws, glue, metal, expanding foam, filler, fibreglass and spray paint to recreate the hover bike.
He said: “There are no working parts but there is a control panel with arcade machine buttons and silver sprayed fancy screws to imitate the real controls. I also added sounds from the movie via an app on a spare mobile phone I had.”
Mark, who lives with partner Kerrie, daughters Nicole (8) and Caitlyn (5), and grandmother Margaret, is considering renting or selling his replica before moving on to a new project.
He said: “I plan to make more Star Wars model-props in the near future. I might create a home museum full of them and I’ve been asked if I’d hire it out for a comic convention but I don’t know yet.”
His family and friends love his creation ... and his enthusiasm.
“They think it’s amazing and think I’ve got a talent, he said. “Who knows, maybe I could make a business out of it.”