113 Film and Comic Con Glasgow – 17th August 2019

2019xwing

Location
intu Braehead, Glasgow 09:00 – 17:00

Personnel

BH-7240 Julie Sword Greedo
DZ-0576 Ian McMillan Tusken Raider
DZ-91810 Lynn McDavid Jawa
ID-14527 Bev Duffy Officer
IG-5780 Glenn Stuart Imperial Gunner
JD3D-6598 Iain Hamilton Dredd 3d Street Judge
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TB-29578 Sheraz Khwaja Biker Scout
TB-89909 Jenn Mair Biker Scout
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-7336 Alex Bourke Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-14520 Mark Duffy Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-18910 Brian McDavid Stormtooper: First Order
UK-0000 Paula-Jane Bourke Spotter
UK-23306 Iain Dickie Spotter
XP-6275 Mark McCreadie Batman/X-Wing Pilot

Before we start…
There’s a couple of photos of The Blacklist and Greystoke star Christopher Lambert wielding a sword towards a First Order Stormtrooper. They’re good photos and all, but…
I’m just bothered slightly by…
Well…
Darth Vader was there and he’s pretty famous for two things, 1) bad asthma and 2) having a laser sword…
So why choose a TK instead of…
Y’know…
I mean he’s got to be in the top 15 “people famous for using swords” list, right..? And that’s before you even consider…
Like…
I mean what’s even the connection a sword has to Christopher Lambert to start with? He’s most famous for wearing a rain hat and being Dexter’s dad*…

Mission Report
There’s a good reason Julie and I rarely troop at the same event and then only very specific costumes and that reason was clearly demonstrated by the extra 30 minutes it took to get us both out in costume on the Saturday morning. I’ve touched on the ambivalent nature of our relationship with the Early Bird queue denizens in the past so the delay was probably no great loss to proceedings.

I’ve been meaning to attend this event in the Returns suit since… before I owned one, but a combination of my indifference to spending my weekend standing about a food court and… No, actually that’s pretty much the entire reason now I think about it… meant I never actually got round to it in years past so for the first half of the day that’s exactly what I did.
Unfortunately this meant that the first half of the day was spent correcting people who wrongly assumed I was a cosplayer of their acquaintance and being mistakenly caught in some fairly in-depth conversations who seemed to believe I was joking about that!

A later lunch meant there was some time to help spot in the early afternoon prior to a stint at table duty. I’ve done this before at the same event where it seemed slightly more productive, and while I’d have said that this time round the table was in better location for catching passers-by, weirdly I’m fairly sure I could count those that paid the slightest bit of notice in the hour that was there on the fingers of one hand. I’m not sure how this reflects on the experiences of the others over the weekend, but it seems odd to be reducing the number of costumers or spotters available to undertake this if it’s not a productive use of time…

Following the table stint there was a mad rush to get kitted up again to make the debut of my Rebel Command X-Wing Pilot costume in time for the RL/501st group photo they’d planned, after which the few of us remaining in costume returned to the shopping centre to allow the last vestiges of the public to get their final snaps before getting my first opportunity to actually wander round the event hall!

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*This is a Raiden/Mortal Kombat: Annihilation joke don’t @ me about the Highlander franchise…

112 Scotland National Airshow – 27th July 2019

2019jawaRL

Location
East Fortune Airfield, East Lothian 10:00 – 17:00

Personnel

Brilzi’veri Graeme Carmichael Jedi Knight
Chewbacca Paul Smith Wookie
Dosmit Raeh Gillian Mackay Rebel Pilot
Jattu Taroqes Mark McCreadie Jawa
Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Jil “Gremlin” Porkins Claire Mackie Rebel Pilot
Lexan ‘Specs’ Kidd Alex Dick Rebel Pilot
Macca Starkno Calum Macqueen Jedi Guardian
Phi Ward Jnr Phil Howard Resistance Pilot
RLUK John Smith Crew

Mission Report
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

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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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110 Glasgow Science Centre, Lunar Landing 50th Anniversary Event – 20th July 2019

Location
Science Center, Glasgow 10:00 – 16:00

Personnel

DZ-1873 Ian MacPherson Jawa
SL-21804 John Reilly Darth Vader
TB-6275 Mark McCreadie Biker Scout
TX-11073 Steven Walker Mudtrooper
UK-7240 Julie Sword Crew

Mission Report
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

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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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