DESIGNED FOR ESPIONAGE AND HIGH RISK RECONNAISSANCE MISSIONS, STEALTH TROOPS, THE SO-CALLED "SHADOW STORMTROOPERS" ARE A SPECIALISED DIVISION OF ELITE SOLDIERS USED AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF IMPERIAL INTELLIGENCE.
WHERE STANDARD STORMTROOPERS OVERWHELM WITH NUMBERS AND FIREPOWER, THE SHADOW STORMTROOPER MOVES IN STEALTH AND SILENCE, NEVER EXPOSING HIS PRESENCE UNTIL HE STRIKES.
HIS STYGIUM-TRIPRISMATIC ARMOUR IS LACED WITH SENSOR-JAMMERS AND SOUND DAMPENERS, MAKING HIM ALL BUT UNDETECTABLE.
EVEN HIS WEAPON - A DC-19 "STEALTH" CARBINE WITH BUILT-IN SUPPRESSOR - DOES NOT BETRAY HIM.
HIS IS TRULY A SHADOW ARMY, AN ENEMY YOU WILL NEVER SEE...
UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE.
Location East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian 10:00 – 17:00
Jil “Gremlin” Porkins
Lexan ‘Specs’ Kidd
Phi Ward Jnr
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve made the effort to go to a troop sufficiently far away to warrant an overnight stay (and judging by the journey there and back again, we’d have had to leave the house at about 05:00 to be sure of being on time!) but with it being one of the rare occasions Julie and I were costuming at the same time and our respective first Rebel Legion events it was worth pushing the boat out.
Going by the weather the night before said boat looked like it would be an ideal proposition but while the sky remained bruised during our march from the changing room to the hanger the rain mostly held off, although the tarmac and grass were wet enough to turn Jawa boots and robes into a sodden mess each time I crossed either surface.
Our position in the Concorde exhibit hanger kept us out of the rain and supplied with a regular flow of punters through the day, but the heat and dim lighting conspired to reduce my activities greatly. I genuinely had trouble determining which shadowy outline was someone pointing a camera phone towards me and which was someone facing in the opposite direction. Suffice to say I was deeply grateful for the SLR wielding public and their orange pre-flash indicators and surplus of X-Wing pilots providing navigation way-points throughout the day!
Although there was a spectacular U-turn by one over-confident approaching child early on, by far the best interaction was with one particular girl late in the afternoon who had real issues getting close enough for a high-five. Despite repeated demonstration from her younger male and female companions that there was nothing to fear from doing so, the slightest movement in her direction on my part sent her into paroxysms of panic. After a while I began playing up to it making my movements as creepy and slow as possible whenever she got close, even when immediately beforehand I was socially interacting entirely normally with her view. In all honesty I only gave up on chasing her across the hanger in the end because other people had smaller children accompanying them and I was concerned she’d bowl one of them over while fleeing..!
Vision issues aside, a great first troop with the good guy-side of the hobby, my thanks to Paul and Alex for their collective efforts in putting it together and I hope both Rebels and Imperials made an adequate impression to justify a return invite in future…
With the departure of the slackers who wimped out after the daytime session and the arrival of Rebellion reinforcements the Empires finest found itself slightly outnumbered for the family party in the evening. Having been told the GSC had sold 1000+ tickets to the event we emerged from the changing room early to find they’d started admitting the public.
This was probably fortunate though, we were the best part of 55 minutes at the front of the admission queues waiting for everyone to be admitted and get their respective opportunities for photos. It may not sound like much but keep in mind that this is approximately a third of the entire duration of the event!
I took the opportunity of the mid-troop break to switch from costuming to spotting and it was probably for the best as having ventured to the upper floors of the building beforehand (where the Science Center apparently keeps its interactive display exhibits of how heat works – IT WAS HOT, OKAY?!?) I was reaching the end of my Biker Scout tolerance.
After the short break unfortunately we found ourselves in much the same situation as the latter part of the daytime event, where the majority of attendees had already taken their photos leading once again to a rise in shenanigan levels as the representatives of the UKs leading Star Wars costuming groups collectively struggled to get to grips with exhibits designed for 8-year olds to master!
Following this humiliation we returned downstairs for a final stint near the exit doors…
Looking back over my history with events at the GSC they seem to alternate between deathly quiet endurance testers and so-busy-that-blink-and-it’s-over outings. This Saturday session fell somewhere in-between. The attendance level inside was consistent though not overly massive
Starting the morning with some spotting I was in very real danger of suffering sunburnt neck but equally the fine weather meant that during the period in front of the entrance there was a regular flow of people passing after crossing the footbridge across the Clyde.
Moving inside we found that the attendance level was not overly massive, compounded by the fact that the majority of the public wandering the floors had already passed us to enter the building and availed themselves of the opportunity for a photo on the first encounter, as a result… well, idle hands and all that… the lulls leading to opportunities for mischief.
The troop taking a lids off break allowed me to kit up too, and as early afternoon rolled round we resumed position out front which coincided with a noticeable increase in foot-fall. This kept us occupied enough to take us through to the end of the event, indeed I don’t recall us re-entering the building during my time in costume, until we came to de-kit in the spacious changing facilities and avail ourselves of the wide selection of refreshments and cooked dinners which had been arranged by the EC to be provided by the venue. Though the offer of second helpings was there, we were about to get back into costume…
We received a request to attend a funeral for an individual who was clearly a huge Star Wars fan judging by the themed coffin and soundtrack playing as the casket was carried into the chapel.
Unfortunately on arrival it became clear that no provision had been made for our presence. We were told that the public toilets would have to be used as changing facilities, not ideal at the best of times and a logistical nightmare given we had male and female troopers in attendance.
These toilets were in the waiting room where grieving relatives were gathered, not only for the funeral we were attending but the service immediately prior and although the family concerned had requested our presence I was very wary that others may not feel our presence was appropriate during their period of mourning, not to mention they may have cause to use those facilities while we effectively monopolised them.
On top of this the cleaning staff were in the middle of their tasks alternately putting half of them out of use in the middle of the time the troopers were kitting up.
Although the two troopers mooted the idea of changing in full view of the public the carpark, the previously mentioned considerations for those attending other services also applied and simply put, it just wasn’t practical as the cars were already double-parked and it would have put the costumers safety at risk with the constant arrival and departure from the tight spaces involved.
Ultimately the council staff accepted these arguments and were able to provision an unused meeting room for our purposes, which only left us with the logistics of getting from that location to where the hearse would stop to allow the lead undertaker and our guard of honour to begin their escort.
The family were very appreciative of the presence of the two troopers who escorted the horse drawn hearse up to the entrance and then took position at either side of the door while the mourners entered. Indeed the gratitude was obvious even to those in costume who despite completing their commitments, elected to remain on station until the end of the service and elected to have the expenses offered added to the charity contribution instead…
Bishopton Sports and Social Club, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00
Stormtrooper: ANH Stunt
Stormtrooper: ANH Stunt
With my inherent laziness regarding boot cape and suit repairs it’s been a while since I last wore the Batsuit, October 2016 to be exact and although about an hour before the end I was tired and sore after just those couple of hours in the costume but I enjoyed it enough to consider doing it again come CMG in August.
While the instruction was to be there for 11:00 and out for 12:00, around 11:30 we were asked to be ready within 15 minutes for the parade, which seemed an impossible ask and despite everyone pushing for the deadline when we emerged from the changing area we were told that we were too late and the parade had set off because we had been holding it up too long!
Since we were now left to our own devices we milled about the Sport Centre building itself which was fortunate as it quickly began to spit with rain and we were forced to relocate under a nearby gazebo as this began to get heavier and heavier. The weather eased off and began to hammer down again a few times in the time it took the parade to arrive so in a way it was fortunate we’d been too late to join or all the costumes (and crew) would have been drenched along the route.
It remained warm throughout though and the downpours didn’t seem to dampen the numbers attending. We spent a good 30-40 minutes getting photos in that area before we could even begin a circuit of the playing field (credit to the groundskeeper incidentally, for all the precipitation the grass remained solid enough underfoot the entire day) being stopped regularly for more photos.
Such were the numbers of punters it took the best part of an hour to get round the perimeter of the event by which time we decided to break for lunch just as the heavens opened again. The rain was so heavy that even inside the cowl I could hear the drops pinging off Stuarts lid as he walked along in front of me back towards the changing rooms!
As had been the pattern of the morning, the rain quickly stopped and sans a couple of stubborn puddles any sign of it was gone by the time we emerged fed and watered again. Indeed the weather had improved to the extent that the sun was splitting the sky causing the temperature to climb even higher. Sticking to the less busy side of the field this time we spent the final leg stopping for photos and, at least in my case, having worryingly in-depth conversations about where Robin was/the Batmobile was parked/my shadowy war on crime/where to get a roll and slice.
In advance of my next outing I think the boots will need to be replaced, I assume it must have been when I was kneeling down with the smaller kids that the sole was under pressure and started to separate from the rest of the boot because I was favouring my right knee and that’s the only boot which has the problem. Maybe we were lucky not to do the parade or I might have had to finish it in my socks if the whole thing fell to bits!