The Millennium Falcon.
(Credit: Tom Bingham)
If Han Solo has an axe to grind, he should try one of these sweet six-string guitars, hand crafted by a 65-year-old grandfather.
Retired printer and granddad, Tom Bingham from Corby, UK, has an unusual hobby: taking unusual materials and crafting them into guitars. So far, the luthier has built around 30 guitars, experimenting with vinyl records, oil cans, cricket bats, books and even a chess board.
They're all spectacular, but the guitars that won our sci-fi-loving little hearts were the four he's built based on George Lucas' Star Wars. These include two versions of the Millennium Falcon, Anakin Skywalker's Jedi starfighter and a B-Wing fighter, aka the Lulacaster 3, named after his granddaughter Lula. He doesn't build the guitars body's by hand, instead scrounging found materials from eBay and garage sales — Anakin's fighter, for instance, is built using a Hasbro toy as a base. Each guitar can take up to a few weeks to a few months.
Because each piece takes time to create, and because Bingham does not usually sell his guitars, but gives them away to local musicians and friends for his non-profit Corby Independent Creatives, it's not likely that you'll get your hands on one. Bingham is deeply involved in his local community, setting up groups such as Alternative Edge to support local creativity, and will sometimes barter his instruments; but he would rather help support local musicians and artists than make money from his work.
Nevertheless, we can certainly appreciate his talent.
You can see more of Bingham's incredible instruments on specialist website Guitar List and Bingham's YouTube page.