123 Capital Sci-Fi Con 2020 – 15th February 2020

20601_spotter

Location
Corn Exchange, Edinburgh 09:00 – 17:00

Personnel

DZ-18250 Leo Humphries Jawa
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TI-8322 Mark Billen TIE Pilot
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtrooper
TK-19767 Douglas Mullen Stormtrooper
UK-6275 Mark McCreadie Spotter
UK-41076 Alisdair Gilbert Spotter
UK-89909 Jenn Mair Spotter

Mission Report
Having arrived an hour early only to find that the wrong start time had incompetently been published on the UKG forums it meant that there was plenty of time to set up the empty table which had been provisioned for us once the PR material was finally delivered. Since no provision had been made for a duty rota for the table it rather meant that Alisdair was stuck there for the majority of the day with his static BB-series droid display. The poor organisation almost meant there was sufficient time to go over the standing orders for the day with new inductee Leo who’d be debuting his Jawa that afternoon after only almost 6 years of wanting to join us.

Despite the majority still being in the middle of getting dressed, the press requested our presence for a 09:30 photoshoot with the two Doctors in attendance, which meant only Vader could take part. I mention this only because later that day one of the photographers would ask for the TKs to pose with products which I wouldn’t allow, leading to him questioning me why it was okay for them to lean on each other shoulders but not hold a box.
When I asked when he’d witnessed this behaviour, he replied he hadn’t, which made it a rather random argument on the whole!

Throughout the morning I heard repeated comments on how the bad weather was keeping people from attending, but the entrance area where we were stood was mobbed consistently and at least one attempt to take the squad round the dealer hall had to be immediately aborted due to how crowded it was (the queue for David Bradley snaked away from his table round the side of the hall and out one of the doors we were positioned near more than once and several autograph tables had to be relocated because of the disruption their queues were causing) so if all these people put off by the rain and wind had turned up, I’ve no idea where the organisers would have put them…

With the lunch schedule having disappeared in a huff of smoke, we took a break at 12:00 to allow Leo to get kitted up for the afternoon and perform his branding. Although slightly reticent at first after a few words of encouragement from Nu-Stu and myself he took to Jawaing like a desert scavenger to a hairy egg, poking his head into the back of pictures, stealing the property of passers-by and generally getting a lot of attention from folks wanting photos.

While the weather didn’t really improve the flow of punters remained consistent through the afternoon, only slightly dying down once a raffle draw in the hall had taken place. This did mean the dealer hall was easier to navigate with the squad, to relive the tedium of standing in the one spot but as the troopers drifted off one by one to dekit due to aches and pains and armour pinching we were left with resident stalwart Chewie from the Filthy Rebel side and our Duracell Powered Jawa as the clock wound to 17:00. With even Paul calling it quits at that point, I’m fairly sure Leo would still be hanging around the Corn Exchange in his brown robe and glowing yellow eyes even now had Jenn and I not forced him back to the changing room.

Only a buffet dinner on offer and bleary eyed drive home after 18 hours now stood between me and my bed…

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115 Ayrshire Squadron RLC Family Open Day – 7th September 2019

2019crew

Location
Dreghorn, Irvine 10:30 – 14:30

Personnel

Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Ediro Two Tubes Brian Morrison Fringe
RLUK Fraser Boyd Crew
RLUK Mark McCreadie Crew

Mission Report
A fairly small, local event for both costumers and crew and while we lacked a big ticket character to draw interest ultimately the crowd on the day probably wouldn’t have warranted anyone travelling much of distance. The weather was bright and mild although the areas of shadow were no doubt a welcome relief, particularly to Brian and we had pretty much the run of the place with various bits of military equipment making for some nice photos to help pass the time.

The organising officers had set aside a table for us to use to collect for charity and have a publicity display, but with the dearth of information around this troop provided by the UKG event organiser, none of this had been mentioned prior to our arrival.

With public attendance being somewhat limited to friends and family of the base personnel the entire day, the event became noticeably quiet mid-afternoon and we called it quits an hour or so early, although not as early as the drum band who despite being advertised as appearing throughout the day apparently performed one set and left after about an hour!
Maybe next year Rebel Legion should get top billing…

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114 Showmasters Glasgow Film and Comic Con – 18th August 2019

2019crew

Location
intu Braehead, Glasgow 10:00 – 17:00

Personnel

Adi Gallia Lynn McDavid Jedi Master
Chewbacca Paul Smith Wookie
Jessek Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Kit Fisto Brian McDavid Jedi Master
Ko-jo Andi Taylor Ewok
Kyle Venson Fraser Stevenson Rebel Pilot
Obi-Wan Kenobi Alex Dick Jedi Master
Sabine Gillian Mackay Fringe
RLUK Mark McCreadie Crew

Mission Report
“Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you, wherever you may be, I’m Vin Scully and it’s Alien Day here at Braehead Arena…”

The exciting public debut of three new RLUK alien costumes help fight back the tiredness following all day Saturday at the event (full disclosure, there would have been an additional alien because I had my Jawa with me but by the time I was sure Julie was coping in the Quarren mask my enthusiasm for kitting up was sitting somewhere in the lower, lower, sub-basement level of the shopping center) which was fortunate because the public attendance surely wasn’t of sufficient volume to help perk the proceedings up.

The start of the of the day was spent hanging about the dealer hall waiting for Garrick Hagon to be available to have a group photo with the pilots afer which it was out to the food court area. I don’t think I saw a member of the public show any interest in our presence until just before 11:00 which made the morning session a long, slow, slog until lunchtime.

After a hurried lunch I was due on the Rebel Legion table. I mentioned in my field report for Saturday that the UKG table had a decent location at the entrance but got little attention and unfortunately for the RL (and Mando Mercs) the table was about 3/4 of the length of the even hall away formthat enterance, down a side corridor towards the public locker area. While it was admittedly positioned outside the door to the room being used for photo shoots which saw a lot of passing traffic, these people were only concerned with getting to and from their celebrity photosession. Indeed in the hour I was there the only non-member who looked at the tables or spoke was the eternally lovely Katy Manning who offered to turn an X-Wing Helmet into one of the lampshades she makes. I’d love to know what the conversion rate is on those who stop by the tables who go onto become cleared members of the respective costume groups because it’s a definite drain on the number of crew and costumers available per day for what seem like a real low benefit.

Following my table time it was back out to the shopping centre where the usual suspects were making a last push to the bitter end of the event. Although the event was officially on till 17:00 by about 15:45 the centre was emptying and some of the stall holders had already packed away. With only Paul and Julie left kitted up we elected to take a last walk round the hall itself (more exactly one of us walked with his long legs and stilts, others trotted quickly behind in an attempt to keep up) before calling it quits

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111 Glasgow Science Centre, Lunar Landing Family Party – 20th July 2019

Location
Science Center, Glasgow 18:00 – 21:00

Personnel

SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TA-7240 Julie Sword AT-AT Pilot
UK-6275 Mark McCreadie Spotter

Mission Report
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

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109 Funeral service – 22nd June 2019

Location
Daldowie Crematorium, Uddingston 10:00 – 12:00

Personnel

TK-7240 Julie Sword Stormtrooper
TK-23306 Iain Dickie Stormtrooper ESB
UK-6275 Mark McCreadie Crew

Mission Report
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…

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