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Mastery: Reconstructing the Millenium Falcon

by Josh | Categories: collectables, geeks, technology

Why do we geeks spend so much time on our obsessions?

In his talk at the 2009 TedGlobal Conference, Dan Pink makes the case that financial rewards can have detrimental effects on performance. Using research by M.I.T economists, Dan suggests that there are three needs that if met will produce higher performance: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Let’s face it. Most of us don’t get to pursue these motivational needs at our day job. In order to escape our micromanaging bosses or create something that isn’t doomed by sacred cows, we geeks must pursue Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose in our spare time. This is why we play video games, jailbreak our iPhones, or—like Tim Ketzer—reconstruct the Millennium Falcon using the exact model kits that ILM used 30 years ago.

Tim’s mastery knows no bounds. He spent years researching and purchasing the various model tank, airplane, and car kits that ILM used to “kit bash” the original Falcon. Tim doesn’t stop there—his Falcon features an illuminated cockpit and thruster using Lightsheet—the same stuff that’s used in an Indiglo watch. He also used 6 CPU cooling fans and a AC-DC converter to give the suped-up spacefreighter its characteristic sound.

Of course, it helps that Tim’s day job is in visual effects, creating complex scenes for films like Watchmen, Peter Jackson’s King Kong, and Armageddon. However, most of his modelmaking has been a personal pursuit. His other projects include a USS Enterprise and an Imperial Star Destroyer—both realistically illuminated with fiberoptics. For more of Tim’s modelmaking and to view some his prop replicas, visit his website at

Do you have a cool project that has allowed you to pursue “Mastery” in your spare time? Tell us about it and your project may be featured in our monthly Mastery post. Submit your project here.


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