94 The Erskine Motorbike Meet 2017 – 28th May 2017

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

Mission Report
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…

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93 Smyths Toys Star Wars Event – 27th May 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Smyths Toys, Kilmarnock 11:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
I had high hopes that this fairly local event would be a good one, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.  While they had been visited by brand mascots in the past, the store had obviously never entertained the likes of ourselves leading to both parties having to reach a less than ideal middle ground.  While using the delivery area as changing facilities probably wasn’t the worst accommodation we’d ever had, a similar lack of any refreshments or provision for breaks and the requirement to stay till 16:00 regardless of weather conditions or how busy the day actually was would possibly have seen us walk away from other events.

With no area in-store set aside for our purposes our lone trooper was position outside the entrance to the shop.  A local event DJ had a PA system set up for added entertainment and while his bantering to draw punters in was much appreciated on what would otherwise have been a slow day for passing trade thanks to the inclement weather, the non-stop blaring of music made it a head wincing couple of hours for me.  Indeed the troop was such slow going I was convinced time was running about a third of its normal speed by late afternoon so sure was I that his announcement that there was roughly 40 minutes left had come a minimum of 15 minutes after my phone had shown the time as 15:20.

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92 Star Wars Wedding, Dundonald Castle – 6th May 2017

Troop Icons Spotter 2015Location
Dundonald, Kilmarnock 13:00 – 14:30

Lazily cribbed from The Daily Record article by James Moncur
‘Do you take this Han?’ Ayrshire couple tie the knot in geektastic Star Wars ceremony

Gillian and Glenn Borland got hitched alongside two stormtroopers and even walked down the aisle to the Imperial March.

Mission Report
The force is strong with a Scots couple who have been married in a Star Wars themed wedding.

Gillian and Glenn Borland got hitched alongside two stormtroopers while the film’s theme tune filled a castle’s chapel.
The bride walked down the aisle to Darth Vader’s Imperial March but sadly the Sith lord couldn’t make the ceremony as he was opening a toy shop.
The Star Wars-mad couple have been together for 16 years. Their seven-year-old son is called Luke Skywalker.
And in keeping with the theme, Glenn, 51, and the men in the wedding party replaced their sgian dubhs with mini lightsabers.

Gillian, 40, wanted to get married on Star Wars Day – May the 4th – but had to settle for two days later, May the Sith. She said yesterday: “It was a fantastic day which everyone really enjoyed.”
“I organised the stormtroopers as a surprise for Glenn and Luke but couldn’t get Darth Vader as he was helping out at a toy shop somewhere else.”

The service at Dundonald Castle in Ayrshire was completed when Gillian’s barn owl Ghost flew the length of the room and delivered the rings in front of 60 guests.

Gillian is boss of a bird of prey business called Hoots Owls and Wedding Wings.

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91 Glasgow Royal Hospital For Sick Children Star Wars Day – 4th May 2017

Location
Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow 12:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
Going on for a decade after his construction, it’s always a rollercoaster of emotions taking Artoo to an event.  Excitment about getting him out of the house, stress over whether the batteries will charge, worry about whether he’ll actually function and ultimately depression when he invariably fails somehow however this event reached new hights, or more accurately lows, of frustration.

To be honest I should’ve been suspicious fate was setting me up for something when he was loaded into his transport relatively quickly and easily, but having had to purchase a new set of transmitter and receiver batteries at the last minute, hoping against hope that they woud arrive charged, I assumed I had conquered the hurdles to be presented this time round.  There’s hubris for you.  Imagine my surprise and delight then when we unloaded him from his transport platform and his right foot fell off entirely!

Managing to temporarily reaffix it we got off to a literal flying start, the replacement motor fitted after his last event, driving him along the curiously narrow and equipment cluttered corridors of the first two wards-worth of our visit at eye-wincing and toe crushing speeds.
Unfortunately it was not to last as the plucky astromech noticeably began to slow and become more difficult to steer.  With no behind the scenes area to retire to it was difficult to determine where this new fault lay and while we gamely soldiered on for another 15 minutes or so pushing him along to compensate for what appeared to be only half his drive motors working and a vague smell of burning from within his barrel-shaped torso, there appeared to be a very real danger of causing permanant damage from them trying to shift his mass and he needed to be retired for the day.

A huge blow and a personal disapointment to be sure and as much as the others tried to downplay it later by pointing out that the risk of serious damage didn’t warrant trying to continue or how much longer it would have taken to make our way round all the wards had he been fully functional and available for the multitude of photo opportunities the rest of the troop enjoyed during the day, it was small consolation given the effort expounded by everyone involved to get him there…

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90 LEGO Store Star Wars Event – 29th April 2017

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

Mission Report
It’s been a good long time since we were last at the LEGO Store (in an official capacity I mean, obviously with Brickset saying we’ve north of £10,000 worth of plastic bricks in hand we’ve been there shopping about once a month) and due to the timing it wasn’t possible to bring R2 along on this occasion as we’d wanted to.  To be honest I’m not even sure that the Biker Scout would have been my first choice as an alternate costume, but still being massively jet lagged and aware of the heat in the store when the overhead lights aren’t off I didn’t figure on having many options.

After being warmly welcomed as always by Andrew and his staff, we were dispatched upstairs to the secure office to change before being led out to parade the upper floor of the shopping centre to allow their social media manager to post videos and photos of us on behalf of Buchannan Galleries, ultimately making our way down to the first floor and the LEGO Store itself.
For those who have never shopped there, the store is a decent size, but has a number of pillars and displays on the floorspace, while all three walls are loaded with the stock and further display units which unfortunately meant that with a TK either side of the door I felt that regardless of where I stood I was always blocking someones access to something, especially with the find the minifigure hunt that was running in-store.  Fortunately, for me at least, the TKs appeared to be somewhat uncomfortable or bored in the one sport at the door and soon began wandering about allowing me access to the slightly cooling breeze that it provided.

While our previous visit had a requisite to trudge all the way back up to the offices for lunch, the stock room was a lot tidier this time round enabling us to use it to sto for something to eat, albeit compounding my feeling of just constantly being in the way what with the staff coming in for sets or breaks of their own.
As the shop got busier in the afternoon, so the heat increased leading me to seek the sanctury of the nearby air conditioning vent locations on more than one occasion.  A quick lids-off late in the afternoon led to an unfortunate incident where one of our newer troopers strayed too far from the safety of the shop just as the detritus from the Old Firm game that day was floating past which unfortunately only more experience would have told him was a bad idea resulting in a knock to the helmeted head.  An unfortunate incident to be sure but hopefull one that won’t put him off future events…

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