It’s not the kind of thing you see everyday in a prairie downtown. Over the Christmas holidays, the town of Watrous celebrated in a galactic way with a full size replica of the iconic Star Wars TIE fighter, casually parked in its downtown core. The replica was fully outfitted for the Christmas season and was a must-see on everyone’s drive by twinkle tour list.
The curio was a labour of love for enthusiasts Derek Bushman and his father Ken who built the spacecraft to support the Watrous Food Bank. It’s not the first model the father-son pair has crafted. Past efforts include inspiration from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon the Flintstones including the house and the foot powered car.
For the TIE fighter, the pair headed to the original films and internet for design ideas. Once the craft came together, the enlisted the help of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars cosplay unit, to drop by and add the final realistic touches.
People could actually access the cockpit of the replica where the Bushmans had installed an illuminated control panel. Kids could “ride” in the unit and experience “laser fire” and the thrill of navigating through an interstellar dog fight. The fundraiser generated over $3000 for the Food Bank.
Derek Bushman notes that based on community response, they’ve set the bar pretty high for next year’s project.