These images show how Russian cosplayers who built a life-size replica of the Mandalorian’s ship before it was destroyed by bad weather have doubled down with an impressive replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing.
Newsflash spoke to Ayaal Federov, 29, in an exclusive interview about the new X-Wing starfighter and he said that “construction of the ship took three months” after they started building it in July.
He joked that he would happily go to space to return Russian actress Yulia Peresild, 37, to Earth if she needed a lift. Peresild was sent as part of a film crew to the International space Station (ISS) to shoot a feature film.
The longtime cosplayer and his friends first decided to create the replica Razor Crest spaceship after watching the first season of The Mandalorian, the hit Space Western TV series in the Star Wars franchise, but it was destroyed by bad weather back in April this year.
Ayaal explained that he and his friends had originally planned to make a fanfiction video featuring both of the ships so that the Mandalorian could meet Luke Skywalker in their clip.
He said: “We planned the X-Wing during the construction of the Razor Crest and thought it would be very cool if the Mandalorian met Luke Skywalker in our fan video.”
He said: “This time we took into account all the mistakes of the first ship and everyone knew what to do.
“We started with the skeleton of the ship and began to strengthen it. The ship is made of different materials. We mainly used wood, etc. Plus there is also organic glass, its background is metal and plastic.”
Ayaal added: “In addition to the ship, we also made a Luke Skywalker suit for the pilot, as well as a C-3PO and an R2-D2. We did the whole process at the same time.”
He explained that they have six people on the team: “Vanya is responsible for the installation, while Kolya, Ivan, Dima, and Arsen are responsible for the costume and the construction of the ship.”
Moving the ship could prove difficult but Ayaal said: “While we cannot participate in different festivals, we can still show our work to the world.”
He also said that it was not out of the question that he and his friends will organise their very own cosplay festival, adding that he started cosplaying after watching A Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger when he was 11 years old and decided to make his own knight’s costume.
He said the entire project to build the X-Wing, along with costs for equipment and storage, came up to about RUB 400,000 (GBP 4,000; USD 5,600). He said that with everyone moving around the workshop, it was kind of “like an anthill”.
Ayaal, who hails from the city of Yakutsk in Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District, told Newsflash earlier this year, at the time he and his friends built the Mandalorian ship: “As fans of Star Wars and The Mandalorian in particular, we decided to create the Razor Crest because no one in the world had built such a ship before.”
Work on the project started in November last year. Ayaal said: “To begin with, on the internet, I looked for pictures of the ship from different angles.
“Everything was important to me: the front, the back and the side views, the colour of the ship, the details. It was especially difficult to find the layout of the cockpit. To do this, I took screenshots of the ship while watching the series. I printed all this and hung it on a wall.”
However, despite Ayaal’s drive to complete his project, he ran into many obstacles. He said: “At the time, we did not have enough funds to implement this project.”
Ayaal sold his car and spent all of his savings to complete the project, which required construction materials and garage space. However, it was still not enough.
He said: “My subscribers began to help, and sponsors of various organisations also helped, for which I am very grateful.”
Ayaal’s incredible replica measured 3.8 metres (12.5 feet) in height, 14 metres (46 feet) in length, and 10 metres (33 feet) in width.
He even managed to find a suitable hangar in which to store the spaceship, which was no easy task, given that temperatures in Yakutsk averaged minus 41 degrees Celsius (41.8 degrees Fahrenheit) around this time of year.
Ayaal and his friends used materials such as fibreboard, wood, and Styrofoam in the spaceship’s construction. He said: “The most challenging task for us was building the engine. It was necessary to make the engines as light as possible so that during installation, the ship’s frame could withstand the load.”
The young men eventually used a crane to transport the nearly-finished replica from the hangar to a hill, where the final touches were made to the spaceship over four days in temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit).
Ayaal said: “It feels like we’re in the show right now fixing the Mandalorian’s ship.
He added: “I am inspired by people who work on making films, coming up with costumes for filming, constructing entire cities, but the audience does not even know who these people are.”
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