Skip to main content

This guy made a flying TIE Fighter with an off-the shelf toy and some spare drone parts

Star Wars -- First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
Ahead of this month’s release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, an enthusiastic fan has converted a Star Wars Tie fighter toy into a realistic flying model of the Imperial starfighter. The build used only the stock toy, 3D printed mounts, and some spare drone parts that allow the toy vehicle to take flight. The building process is detailed in step-by-step photos on image-sharing site Imgur.

As created by Imgur user woodpiece, the base of the spacecraft is a $169 Star Wars The Black Series First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter. The 6-inch scale model of the starfighter with working cockpit is sold by Hasbro and is designed for kids and kids at heart. The replica is an accurate representation of the Tie Fighters from the movies, but it lacks electronics and is a basic model that adults can put on display or kids can run around with while they pretend to fly like Darth Vader.

Building a flying version of the Tie Fighter was a surprisingly simple job that took advantage of the open cockpit and roomy interior of the larger-sized replica. The first step was the installation of the 250 quad motors and its rotors, which were installed at the front and the back of each Tie Fighter wing. This step required both the removal of the Tie Fighter wings and their wing brackets, which were Dremeled to make room for the long motor sticks that connect the front rotor to the rear rotor. The drone motors were installed using 3D printed mounts, and the wiring was run inside the body and frame of the toy, making for a very clean-looking overhaul. Each wing also was notched to allow the rotors to spin freely.

All four rotors were installed in the same square arrangement as a standard quadcopter, making it easy to control the flight of the Tie Fighter model. The flight controller for the drone, a third-party Flip multiwii 1.5, was installed inside the base of the Tie Fighter cockpit, which opens for easy access. Also placed inside the cockpit body were the motor controllers and the drone’s 1000mAh battery. All the components fit comfortably inside the Tie Fighter Model with no additional modifications other than the initial Dremel holes for the motor sticks. The only thing missing from this fantastic mod is a video of the Tie Fighter’s maiden flight — we can only hope the first flight was as good as we imagine it to be.

Kelly Hodgkins
Kelly's been writing online for ten years, working at Gizmodo, TUAW, and BGR among others. Living near the White Mountains of…
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more
This bracelet helps you fall asleep faster and sleep longer

This content was produced in partnership with Apollo Neuroscience.
Have you been struggling to get the recommended seven hours of sleep? It's always frustrating when you get in bed at a reasonable time, then toss and turn for a hours before you actually sleep. The quality of that sleep is important too. If you're waking up multiple times during the night, you're likely not getting the quality REM cycle sleep that truly rejuvenates your body. If traditional remedies like herbal teas and noise machines just aren't helping, maybe it's time to try a modern solution. Enter the Apollo wearable.

Now we understand being a little skeptical. How can a bracelet on your wrist or ankle affect your sleep patterns? Certainly the answer to a better night's sleep can't be so simple. We considered these same things when we first heard of it. We'll dive deeper into the science behind the Apollo wearable, but suffice it to say that many people have experienced deeper, uninterrupted sleep while wearing one.
A non-conventional approach to better sleep

Read more
The 11 best Father’s Day deals that you can get for Sunday
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

Father's Day is fast approaching and there's still time to buy your beloved Dad a sweet new device to show him how much you love him. That's why we've rounded up the ten best Father's Day tech deals going on right now. There's something for most budgets here, including if you're able to spend a lot on your loved one. Read on while we take you through the highlights and remember to order fast so you don't miss out on the big day.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 -- $200, was $230

While it's the Plus version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 that features in our look at the best tablets, the standard variety is still worth checking out. Saving your Dad the need to dig out their laptop or squint at a small phone screen, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 offers a large 10.5-inch LCD display and all the useful features you would expect. 128GB of storage means plenty of room for all your Dad's favorite apps as well as games too. A long-lasting battery and fast charging save him the need for a power source too often too.

Read more