101 Erskine Hospital Motorbike Meet 2018 – 27th May 2018

Location
Erskine Home, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
On the Friday of the Lego Store May 4th event it had been noted that one Jawa was enough of a handful and two together would be a recipe for shenanigans.  Although my Ootini brother and I had briefly had a joint outing at the tedious promotional event for CMG (or whatever ShowMasters are calling their tat market these days…) it was clear that he’d had a lot more fun at last years Motorbike Meet and while I’d signed up just to spot, it didn’t take much convincing from my fellow desert scavenger to swap out.

As always we get a brilliant reception from the bikers and attendees at this event, our only mistake was separating the squad either side of the road just as the biker parade began meaning we had to wait for a lot of bikes to pass (and breathe in the resulting exhaust fumes) before we could make our way down to the main event area.

The three years I’ve attended this troop have been blessed with brilliant weather (even if it was a little too windy for hoods as you got nearer the river) and I’ll be very surprised if our Rebel Legion Jedi friend didn’t end up with a bit of sunburn that day.

Having “stolen” a womans bag at the start of the event I was surprised when she showed up towards the end of it asking for a photo with the two Jawas as a memento, proof if proof were needed that changing the sign up was a good idea!

Personnel

DZ-1873 Ian MacPherson Jawa
DZ-6275 Mark McCreadie Jawa
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtrooper
UK-7240 Julie Sword Spotter

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100a Lego Store May 4th Celebration – 4th May 2018

Location
Buchannan Galleries, Glasgow 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
(Real late with these, partially because I haven’t actually trooped four days in a row before during my 10 years of service and ended up exhausted as a result, but then I wanted to do something special for my 100th troop*…)

I haven’t trooped in my Jawa for a while, long enough at least for me to forget how hot as hell it is to wear, and having recently finally gotten round to soldering my new sound board though I thought the Lego Store would be a good environs to take it for a spin.

Not being a public holiday the Friday turned out to be slightly quieter than the rest of the weekend, much to the detriment of the staff as this left plenty of scope while their backs were turned to remove the items they were restocking the shelves with and place them back in in the container they’d just been taken out of. I should probably feel bad about, that given how well Andrew and his staff look after us at these events. But I don’t.

*this is not my hundredth troop. Sometime in the past decade the UKG changed the way they counted events and it turns out my hundredth troop was last year, either this one or this one, depending if you count the mysterious extra event which didn’t happen between February and April 2013…

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96 Glasgow Film & Comic Con Promo Event – 30th July 2017

Location
soar at intu Braehead, Glasgow 13:30 – 14:15

Mission Report
What a massive waste of time this event was!

I’m not sure why they’d organise to have us walk in a specific formation only to rearrange the deployment as soon as we start, then suggest we go back to the original plan minutes later.

Between the lighting in the venue not being conductive to having any form of reduced vision, the fact that the majority of people in the area were below chest height, either by dint of being young kids or adults sat down, the uneven loose surface littered with semi-obscured obstacles by way of buckets, spades and balls buried in the sand it was a generally unpleasant experience all in.

It seems a colossal waste of energy from everyone involved to ask us along to a promotional photo-shoot then give us no direction on where to stand to ensure that we’re actually in the field of view of the camera lens, but should have come as no surprise given the lack of organisational skills Showmasters display up here on an annual basis.

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

Location
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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85 Disney Star Wars GO Rogue Experience – 30th October 2016

Location
Disney Store, Glasgow 12:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
Unexpectedly returning to the Disney Store for a third engagement (and doubling my troop count for the year in the past fortnight as a result, a figure not seen since the heady days of 2010) I was presented with the opportunity to change from spotting to trooping.  With the restrictions on costumes considered appropriate by Disney though, I had a bit of a dilemma in that my Biker Scout is getting on a bit to the extend its trooping days are probably numbered and it was too short notice to charge up Artoo leaving only my untried and untested Jawa.

Kitting up for the first time since the clearance pictures was quick enough, but I ran into problems with the sound module.  A slight crackle whenever the audio jack was connected indicated that there was a fault with the board and that left me incommunicado for the duration of the troop.
It also became quickly apparent, before even leaving the changing room in fact, that this costume was excessively hot to wear.  Indeed within ten minutes the sweat was pouring down my face, not helped by my feeling that Jawas shouldn’t really stand still and my constant scurrying around!

Initially my mischievous behaviour included trying to relieve passers by of their jackets and fleeces, but I had to quickly abandon this when the second or third victim appeared quite content to be fully divested of his garment instead of pulling away and fighting me for the prize.

Instead I positioned myself behind the troopers in attendance, partially obscured by the entrance pillars allowing me to pop out and photo bomb pictures of them with various members of the public, returning to concealment before anyone other than whoever was wielding the camera was aware of my presence until the photo was viewed later.  In between, I could peer out of the adjacent section of glass shop frontage until noticed by a passer-by vanishing from view by the time they had alerted whoever they were accompanied by to look in my direction, leaving more than a few folk befuddled.
In fact one such game of repeated hide and seek with a small lad and his unenlightened sister went on for so long, that a good 20 minutes after my last appearance at the window he was still hanging about.  So it was that later on when I heard banging at the glass I assumed he had returned yet again, but saw a gent crouched on his haunches concentrating on transferring his various purchases into a backpack.   He spent a considerable amount of time on this task, under my constant beady glowing-eyed observation entirely unawares of my presence until eventually, task complete, he looked up and saw me, immediately falling backwards onto his behind in good-natured shock.  Which was probably kind of lucky for me because he was a big chap and I doubt I could’ve run particularly fast in the robe had it been a requirement…

As I mentioned earlier, contrary to my previous statue modus operandi at this location, the costume seemed to dictate constant nervous movement so it came as massive surprise to overhear a conversation between two teenage girls about how the Jawa clearly wasn’t real and was clearly and inflatable.  Playing along with this I limited my activity to a gentle bobbing back and forth in the one sport until they were entirely convinced their observation was correct and then just as they turned to leave moved my arms to a different position, causing them to bolt across the shop floor towards the exit with a scream.

All in all not an unpleasant experience, but the inability to communicate made it an odd one.  The sinister blank-faced visage perhaps isn’t suited to an event like this where very young children are coming into the environment unawares and it’s probably a costume that needs…  more…  I dunno… interaction… be it appropriate props, sounds or to be in a bunch of them.  Strange too that after hearing a couple of comments from the public in the same store the weekend before about having traded with the Jawas at Hollywood Studios, and despite carrying a pouchful of tat, not a single person approached me to try and do this all day!

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