Cleveland may feel like the fictional Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back some Octobers, but on this unseasonably warm one, it looks like the icy planet in a galaxy far, far away even sans the snowy tundra and eviscerated tauntauns. That's because in the southwestern suburb of Parma, (yes, that Parma from the The Drew Carey Show), one industrious elevator mechanic named Nick Meyer went and built a 19-foot tall AT-AT Walker in his front yard.
There's no telling how many space credits the Empire spent on each AT-AT, which can be tripped up rather easily by a steel cable, but the 39-year-old and his friend, carpenter Anthony Paroda, spent only $1,500 and tens hours a weekend for half a year to complete the impressive but not fully functional war machine. The building materials included plywood, hard foam, and plastic barrels.
“We’re both pretty crafty, but it’s not rocket science,” Meyer told the AP. “You just gotta' be willing to do it.”
The top of the hull nearly reaches the apex of Meyer's two-story home and has drawn onlookers to the side street since being erected the second week of October. The giant Halloween decoration is supported by several wooden support beams running from the legs and body to the front porch.
Halloween is Meyer's and wife Becky's favorite holiday, so they go big every year, previously building a pirate ship, mausoleum, and Friday the 13th -inspired cabin.
Ironically, Parma has been known since the 1960s for the ubiquitous plastic pink flamingoes adorning neighborhood lawns, which really couldn’t be more different than giant lumbering gray galactic forts. So even though he's paying homage the Empire, around here, he's absolutely a rebel. Maybe that's why he'll be dressing as Princess Leia this Halloween, while his wife, of course, will be Darth Vader, who was always around to "put him back on schedule."
This whole idea got us to thinking our mechanically inclined readers have probably created some amazing Halloween motifs, and costumes, too. If you are one of these totally amazing and creative engineers, please send photographic proof of your Halloween decoration or costume to [email protected]. We will post them all on Halloween and the winner will appear in the next issue of New Equipment Digest.