89 May the Toys be with you – 18th March 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 11:00 – 13:00

Mission Report
It’s odd how sometimes the best events take place in facilities most unsuited for trooping.  Case in point, the Paisley Museum, something of a warren of display halls, stairs and multiple levels as befits a building of its age designed and built before the word “accessibility” entered our lexicon.

On arrival, slipping and sliding up a treacherously wet and slimy ramp we were given a brief tour of the Star Wars toy exhibit before our host literally led us up the garden path (and multiple sets of steps) towards the Coates Observatory staff room proposed as our changing area.  The space was somewhat small and would probably have required splitting the attendees, but our time in the building did offer the opportunity to view the newly restored orrery being unveiled to the public and (for those able to deal with the height) a chance to see the 19th century telescopes the building houses.

Following this diversion we returned to museum itself, ultimately settling on an admin office for our uses and after a brief emotional moment, we set about the business of the day.

The first task was to navigate the afore mentioned wet ramp with the less stair-capable troopers for the press photos of the opening of the exhibit at the front of the building.  Professional photographers are clearly invulnerable judging by the way the one in attendance bounced across the main road, crouching admits oncoming traffic for the sake of framing his ideal shot of the costume competition winner declaring the event open.  A fair crowd had already assembled at the front of the building for this and our presence attracted additional passers-by camera phones held aloft.

Once this duty was discharged we returned to the main atrium via my rampy-nemesis for a few additional official photos, before the public were admitted stopping for their own picture opportunities before making their way to the exhibit.
While the costumers separated into two groups after half an hour or so, my group and I remained in the same area for the duration as the building in general was very hot and the open side door allowed something of a no-doubt welcome cooling chill to permeate the reception area.

The short event was brought to a close with final visit to the front of the building, this time negotiating the main stairs to allow a film crew to capture some promotional material before our return to the changing area to allow everyone to de-kit.

Our presence had been very popular, in conjunction with the exhibit itself, bringing an estimated ten times the usual weekend visitor numbers through the door and we were looked after very well by the staff.  If only all our event refreshments were catered by an outside company!

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88 Rutherglen Comic Con – 4th February 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Town Hall, Rutherglen 09:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
I have to admit I rather unfairly misjudged this event in advance, assuming it would be a small comic mart of interest only to back issue bin raiders and the presence of more than one costumer would be overkill.  Suffice to say I was proven very wrong, the town centre locale and token admission fee making the event apparently very attractive to families, despite the cold winds and periodic bursts of heavy rain on the day. As a result the venue was heaving from start to damn near finish, to the extent that it seemed regardless of where we tried to position ourselves conflicting queues for photos would spring up, either interfering with the routes between areas or, much to their ire, blocking the publics access to the stalls of certain vendors with regular frequency…

The location and nature of the event led to a very different crowd from that which we would see at larger events, one for which our appearance was a novelty and the resulting throngs were expertly managed by our two guest Jedi from the Rebel Legion through the day. This meant the gig passed very quickly, only noticeably slacking off when the place began to clear out circa 15:00 as attention moved to the Cosplay competition being held further down the road at the local library, so much so that breaks were few and far between – but given the cramped changing area which was being shared (my only real gripe) with other amateur groups this was probably a blessing.

I hope the organisers continue with these type of offerings, there’s clearly a market for them although given how much lighter my wallet was by the end of it I’m probably best off steering clear of any sign-ups for them for the foreseeable!

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Building a Better Jawa – part two

build-a-better-jawaAs promised, here’s the template for the “Y”-shaped part which attaches the holster to the shoulder strap…

Clicking the above should open the diagram at actual size. Although it will fit on A4, if printing, please use A3 as the page size and do not scale to fit

Clicking the above should open the diagram at actual size. Although it will fit on A4, if printing, please use A3 as the page size and do not scale to fit..

As before I drew this onto my pre-weathered pleather (in this case twice to double-side it for thickness and to conceal the backing and later glued them together) using the blue crosses as the position for the holes that my “rivets” would be located in.

Using the double row of 10 rivet holes this can be attached to the main holster like so:

You’ll notice the two rows of three rivets at either extremity. These are to attach to the shoulder strap, but I won’t go into any detail about that beyond saying it should be about 30mm wide and the length will obviously vary depending on your size. I added some thong to these connection points to reinforce the paper fasteners I was using to connect the parts together but haven’t annotated those on the diagram as I don’t believe them to be strictly screen accurate.

Once again the finished article:

87 Erskine Edinburgh Home Christmas Fete – 3rd December 2016

Erskine Home, Edinburgh 13:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
There didn’t seem to be many takers for this event and rather than allow it to be cancelled we made the trek through to Edinburgh despite ongoing car troubles for this odd combination of Christmas Fete and hospital visit.
Luckily we were joined last-minute by Chris as Vader as I’m fairly sure the majority of folks would have had no idea what Gordy and I were supposed to be since neither of us were really wearing an iconic costume.

The venue wasn’t particularly small, but with stall tables occasionally taking up one side of the corridor and some of the residents requirement for wheelchair access circumnavigating it sometimes made for a difficult and treacherous path. The preference for a single route from the entrance past Santa’s fireside and back also meant that we largely kept pace with specific groups of visitors throughout the day rather meaning photos were often with different arrangements of the same families and in the same locations.

I’m not entirely sure I agreed with the brief diversion upstairs to visit some of the more bed-bound residents though. While I can understand the desire to make them not feel left out by being unable to journey to the ground floor, my feeling was that the majority of them had no idea of what these strangers were supposed to be representing and left at least one gent confused and mildly upset by our intrusion into his room…

That said though I can’t complain about the more general reception we received. Our attendance was certainly appreciated and we were well looked after by the staff for the duration of the couple of hours we were there, even if it was slightly extended by us inadvertently standing front and center for the drawing of the raffle tickets meaning we couldn’t quietly slip away as proceedings went on and had to stay on beyond the end time while they drew. Every. Single. Ticket.

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86 Dreams Come True shopping experience at Hamleys – 6th November 2016

Hamleys Toy Store, Glasgow 10:00 – 12:00, erm… 08:00 – 10:00

Mission Report
There seems to be a reoccurring pattern of us turning up for events at St. Enoch’s when we’re not expected, the latest occasion of which was for this troop. Somewhere, amongst the Chinese Whispers between the chain of folks involved in us actually being allowed to turn up at events these days, the start time for this got mixed up with the equivalent event in Manchester, thus the majority of us arrived (an hour ahead of our start time) just as the Shopping Experience was coming to an end…

Due to our long relationship with the Hamley’s staff though they were happy to open the store to the public early and have us wander about for a few hours regardless. Although the place was quiet at that time of day there were a decent number of punters passing through the shop and even in the slower periods… well… the staff there are highly versed with keeping immature minds occupied and wandering hands from pulling all the stock off the shelves!

Cementing his place as most sickeningly talented member of the squad, Yee not only managed to knock out an accurate rendition of the Star Wars theme on the piano, but somehow did it using his feet. And while fully kitted up as a Stormtrooper.

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