A cameraman who worked at the Tokyo Olympics spent his time at MIQ in Christchurch building a model of the Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars films, using the packaging from his meals.
Earl Kingi, from Dunedin, used recycled juice bottles, burger containers, lunch bags, salad containers and lids, a Meal Mates box, and the packaging from a six-pack beer to create the model, which took him four days.
The project had helped him pass the time while in two weeks he had achieved isolation.
“On the last day in Japan I saw the interior of a model store with a model this size and thought I could do it in MIQ, but it was in such a huge box that I didn’t think I had it at home.
“When we take our daily walks, there are works of art downstairs that the people who have been to MIQ have left behind. Some people painted the view from their windows and things like that, but I wanted to make a sculpture.
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“After four days of looking at the stuff I had put together, I thought I could make a Millennium Falcon,” he said.
He was blown away by the blueprints he found online that helped with the construction.
“I recommend anyone entering MIQ to have a sharpie pen, a roll of duct tape, and a pair of scissors.”
Star Wars purists will note that he inscribed the number 2205 on the top of the Falcon.
“It’s my room number – I don’t think anyone who’s been to MIQ would forget their room number,” he said.
He also built up cast members and began incorporating his model into movie footage.
“I’m going to make a Princess Leia this afternoon with her buns,” he said.
Kingi is at the Sudima Christchurch Airport Hotel, where he has been since returning from Tokyo on August 10. He has worked on the coverage of rugby sevens, football and modern pentathlon at the Games.
He’s not the only one who uses his time to build models – Newshub correspondent Lloyd Burr built a replica of the Sky Tower while he was at MIQ.
Kingi’s stint at MIQ ends on Tuesday, when he and the Millennium Falcon return home to Dunedin.