After the tiring tedium of the previous day I was all for pulling out of this event right up until the point we left the house. Knowing full well I was unlikely attend as the Jawa I’d signed up as having had no time to wire the replacement sound board, my apparent options were to attend as Batman (scuppered by not wanting to be the only non-Star Wars costumer there) or a Biker Scout an outfit, damage to it aside, I’ve very much had my fill of these past few years – plus, y’know, it’s getting so there are loads of them now…
Almost exactly four years to the day of my last outing in it though, enough time had passed that I had entirely forgotten the unpleasantness of wearing my Stealth Trooper for any length of time and so it ended up being the costume loaded into the car.
Slight inclines aside, having attended this venue previously I knew it to be both relatively flat and confined enough that only the most catastrophic costume failure would curtail my trooping and fortunately the specified number of spotters had been reached for the sign-up that meant anyone having to go back to the changing area wouldn’t be dragging the whole troop in tow as well.
Although the sun beat down for the duration I was comfortable enough albeit after standing still in any one place for too long it meant a few seconds of adjustment for the armour to fall back into a configuration which allowed non-John Wayne movement to prevent trapping fleshy it’s between hard plastic edges!
My usual ROM fx, mic and speaker were still packed away with the TB kit but the spare seemed to have been set up ideally for my purposes and during the periods we were bombarded for photo opportunities I had very few issues vocalizing and being understood leading to the amusing exchange with two patient punters who’d seen youngsters jump ahead of them into frame at each opportunity for several minutes when I advised them just to push the kids out of the way as they didn’t have to be nice to them as we weren’t at Disney…
Overall an enjoyable all too rare outing for the UKGs first Stealth Trooper, although from what I observed the Jawa was having a lot more fun the whole time. I really should get my finger out…
Our second visit to Rothesay was equally blessed and cursed by good weather, both the temperature and the number of attendees being in stark contrast to the first Astronomical Society Event back at in January as a result.
Despite a bit of miscommunication regarding the venue (probably to our cost, I bet the competing event at Mount Stuart House was mobbed that day) it was something of a relief to be back in the know turf of the Pavillion where, as single set of steps aside, I figured I’d be able to cope in the Stealth Trooper suit for my first outing in it since last summer.
Unfortunately late in the afternoon a combination of the discomfort of wearing it, the heat of the sunshine and the expiration of my lid fan batteries proved me wrong and required a hurried semi-dekit for respite, still it’s amazing how well I overcame my step nemesis which had thwarted me all day until that point when I needed too!
As mentioned attendance by the public was pretty low this time round and the day was slow going without much public participation, fortunately the reflectiveness of my lenses provided a novelty distraction for our camera wielding spotter. At some point we, or more particularly I, apparently adopted the miniature Vader helmet and chestbox clad son of one of the helpers who pretty much never left my side for the rest of the day. Judging by his regular frantic head bobbing he was deeply engaging me in conversation a large amount of the time, but between the constant repetition of the eight space related songs they had on loop in the hall and the distortion of his voice changer, I didn’t hear a blessed word the whole time.
Still, quiet day or not the BAS folk looked after us well as usual and I regret that circumstances precluded me from helping them out at the Greenock Event prior to this one.
Oh, and oddly for being encased head to foot in black plastic all day, I returned home with some sunburn. I guess those Imperial-issue neck seals aren’t UV-safe…
Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow 11:00 – 16:00
I guess it would be just over a year ago then that I attended the troop at this venue which was the first event in a long time I’d enjoyed and which was responsible for getting me back into the hobby.
We had a fair turn out of costumers thanks to the presence of the Rebel Legion, although the high winds possibly made a few of the costume choices slightly dangerous to wear. For the first time since the Troopus Horribilis at Hi-Ex 2010 (itself much the cause of my disenchantment with this game ) I wore my Stealth Trooper armour and it wasn’t long before it came crashing back to me just why I’d packed that suit away in the loft for long-term storage.
Fortunately the Science Center is a very troop friendly environment and while never massively busy there was a constant stream of punters throughout the day to distract from any discomfort.
And here’s where it all starts going wrong…
Having been finding the black plastic of the Stealth Trooper less and less comfortable to wear for about a year by this point, my original plan had been to perform by traditional spotting duties on the Saturday and to wear the Biker Scout which I’d been favoring as a costume for the preceding seven or so months.
The recent acquisition of a new TX helmet, gainfully trimmed and assembled by Stuart, and the fact we were staying over an extra day in Inverness in an attempt to gatecrash the Doctor Who Tour convinced me to try being in costume all weekend however.
To be honest it probably wasn’t worth the effort. The event was quiet even for their standards on the Saturday and more than that it was becoming clear that within the Scottish group divisions were forming and cliques developing based on geographical location and length of membership, the very type of thing in fact that we’d been moving towards applying for Squad status to separate ourselves from going on within the UKG proper.
In hindsight, this weekend should probably have served as a warning in regards to the motives of some of the membership and the blatant disrespect they’d show to their colleagues this side of the border a situation compounded by the enforced absence of some of the elder statesmen of the group. Deeply unpleasant as it was that day, I doubt anyone had a clue that the Sunday would turn out to be much, much, worse…
At last the circle is complete.
Once again I find myself at the Fairy Box event, once again with a pending costume clearance…
Now not to be negative, but there was no way this event was going to live up to last year. Not to slight anyone who attended, or the organisers or the facilities but last January was the greatest event and social ever had, end of.
Stuck inside the lid this time round though and prey to the midget autograph hunters I was so glad to have escaped last year I have to admit, I didn’t get much enjoyment out of this event although, having looked through the photos it appears I was somewhat disassociated from the rest of the troopers present and as such clearly missed out on the explanation as to why Mr. Burns from The Simpsons running about in his bare feet and a cloak, so maybe I only have myself to blame for that.
I think it was the lack of genuine interaction with the public that also put the dampener on this for me. While the kids undoubtedly enjoyed our presence they were too young and/or ill to properly “UKG” with so other than photo ops and the aforementioned autographs there wasn’t much to do. In fact looking at the photos it appears that I stood like a statue (as opposed to “playing statues”) for the first hour until the presence of the TX, Vader and a TK was requested in private for a little lad too sick to join the main party. Mind you, that did buck me up a bit and I then spent some time entertaining myself by sticking my lid into the corner of any photographs Julie tried to take…
Don’t get me wrong, this was a good little troop and it’s always a pleasure to help out Rosie and her charity any time they want but it was sort of a downer at the end to realise the Scottish family has grown so much recently that there’ll now be troops that there’s no need for me to attend without impacting the turnout in the slightest.
And man, what I wouldn’t have given for a chunk of Kryptonite during that second session inside the hall… Those that were there will know exactly what I mean!