80 UWS Star Wars Week – Promotional Video – 13th April 2016


UWS Paisley Campus, Paisley 18:00 – 21:30

Mission Report
Goodness me, that was a lot of fun.

The possibility of this even to shoot a promotional video for University of the West of Scotland to tie in with their screenings of The Force Awakens on across the campuses next month had been mentioned back in the middle of March so it was quite disappointing that it hadn’t been posted for discussion on our boards to allow more of the ISS to attend.  Fortunately our friends over at the Rebel legion seem a lot better organised and were able to field a reasonable number of cannon fodder for the Imperial forces in attendance to mow down.

Much mirth is made of the fact that Stormtroopers can’t shoot straight so it was with no small sense of satisfaction that our Fleet Trooper and X-Wing pilot on the night had problems coordinating the basics of walking.

It’s also somewhat surprising the galaxy hasn’t fallen under the heel of Imperial tyranny about 20 minutes into Star Wars having also witnessed the Rebellions inability to follow their cue resulting in multiple takes in an attempt to get them to close a book.  You begin to understand why George Lucas favoured CGI characters in later years…😉

As always with these video shoots, with their long periods of standing about waiting for 30 seconds of action, it’s the banter and interplay between the folk present in-between takes that never makes it onto screen which makes the occasion enjoyable and memorable.  In this instance I couldn’t have asked for a more fantastic, ridiculous, fun and silly group to partake in this event with.
Oh.  And once again, I apologise Gordy for kicking your corpse harder than intended after your heroic death scene.

Play us out guys…

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79 Greener Morton Open Day Swap Shop – 13th March 2016

Greenock Morton Football Stadium, Greenock 12:00 – 14:00

Mission Report
What to say… What to say…

This event happened. It was alright.

Suffice to say, the new film a few months back and did not fill me with a renewed passion for all things Star Wars, so when it came to about 09:30 on Sunday morning I was quite prepared to just stay in bed and not bother turning up for the 11:00 start.

The first hour was spent behind the line of troopers ensuring that cars did not hit them from behind as they edged further and further into the road they were position onto, nor were they rugby tackled to the ground by the inhabitants of Greenock. Actually all credit to the people of the town, it gets a bad rap sometimes, but there wasn’t a single poke, prod or attempt to engage in fisticuffs with the troopers that I witnessed the whole time we were out. Sure there were loud complaints from some quarters that the event they’d got *free entry* into held nothing of interest if you’re child “don’t want a picture with Star Wars [sic]” and I’m pretty sure the fence we were positioned next to for the first half was the boundary to one of the toilets judging by the number of small flies crawling about my head and face the majority of the time, but going on 1,300 people were happy-ish to see us.

Three out of that 1,300 were a young lad and with his parents in tow. He stood out to me particularly dressed as he was as the Seventh Doctor, a costume I have an affinity for, accompanied by Ace and I later discovered he had made a box of Doctor Who themed biscuits for us. Apparently he’s been a common fixture at some of our events and if I’m right, some time back the local community had rallied round to build him a TARDIS in the back garden due to a medical condition. Unfortunately I had no Barry trading cards on my person, but perhaps next time…

Thankfully for my increasing traffic related stress levels we relocated pitch side at the top of the second hour, or at least into the stand behind one of the goal mouths. Being a bit out-of-the-way the public footfall and requests for photos died down, but maybe by that time everyone who’d been likely to turn up and largely come and gone and we headed back to the changing area prior to the 14:00 wrap up. As it happened though the early finish was probably a good idea as we were being urged out of the room so it could be locked up while folk were still in the midst of trying to de-kit and pack armour away.

Once again Claire Mackie proved herself to be one of the greatest UKG-ambassadors-who’s-not-a-member that we’ve ever had, taking the time to speak to large swathes of the attendees, both filling them in on who the Rebel Legion and ourselves were and what we do and even reassuring one small girl who starting school in a few months would not be the massive trauma she was anticipating..!

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Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing, part seventy-five

To celebrate making it to 75 of these stupid posts I thought I’d take us on a retrotastic voyage back to 1982 and Firestorm, volume 2, issue 1 for the occasion.

Cover 173 – Meltdown Issue One

The reason I was messing around with ShadowPlay incidentally was that I needed a screen grab of the FX for the new Atomic power set in DCUO on the character creation screen as the usual screenshot methods didn’t show it.

I massively enjoyed recreating the vintage branding and indicia which is so much more vibrant and exciting than the corporate and sterile stuff we have these days.  I’ve no intention of Meltdown becoming a regular thing (the amount of work alone in creating a new set of creases on the covers each time would be stupid even if I had that many old books to work with) but the DC house style and The Fury  of Firestorm The Nuclear Man in particular altered about six times in the first 30 issues, not counting minor variations so it’s tempting to revisit her in future…

Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing, part seventy-four

I gave recording the screen using ShadowPlay a try to see if it resulted in any better a screen grab since I wouldn’t be trying to line up the camera and play the game as the same time.

Cover 172 – Mercury Flow Issue Seven

All I’ve ended up with is the inconvenience of not having the UI on show during recording, thousands of frames of video to look through and the same sort of over the shoulder shot as we usually do…

Covers for comic books I’ll never get round to producing, part seventy-three

You know the month after the first Mercury Flow cover I tweaked the “Mercury” bit of the logo a bit because it just didn’t look right. But every month since it still didn’t look right so I tweaked it again, until we get to this month and I’m beginning to wonder to myself if I was doing something stupid like changing it but forgetting to save the file at the end…

Cover 171 – Mercury Flow Issue Six

Now I’m happy with it and the “flow” part looks weird…