Published: 23/11/2017 08:55 - Updated: 21/11/2017 16:06

Speeder bike is out of this world

Speeder bikeA 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.”

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