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…
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…
I can’t believe I managed to do four days at this event last year, clearly I’m getting older because after just the one day of trooping I was wiped out for the next 48 hours!
As ever Andrews staff looked after us to an excellent standard and despite being a Sunday all four of us were kept busy enough with photo requests to make the hours fly past. Only one incident right at the end of the day slightly spoiled the event when a parent started encouraging his child to start pulling components off of the costumes and worse, while the child was being kept at arms length began to do the same thing himself.
Although our spotter didn’t get the opportunity to take any photos to validate our event attendance for the applicable detachments luckily pending Denizen Leo was working in-store that day and sent on the couple of photos he’d had taken…
While the marching from the management suite to the shop was occassionally hairy it was probably preferrable to the five of us being lost forever in the maze of service corridors of the Buchanan Galleries.
And as an even more stranger thing, we 100% did not see the secret Lego set being launched in at the midnight opening of the Leicester Square store on 15th May!
(In case anyone is thinking that me carrying a big gun on day four of this event was counterintuitive I should probably clarify that by this point I was pretty much using it just to stay upright by leaning on it…)
Movement has never been my strong point in the stealth costume at the best of times and with the oppressive heat, being stood in one spot was pretty tempting. Compounding this, after a slow start the first few punters in the door were short in stature making any movement until I could be sure they were out of injury range a dicey proposition, but it while I could justify it by saying the behaviour played to the character, the truth is I get a giggle out of playing statues while in the black armour.
At the naggi- erm… insistence… of my spotter though I became somewhat more mobile and interactive as the day went on and the bank holiday Monday actually ended up being busier than even the Saturday meaning this last stint went in at a reasonable pace.
As enjoyable as the whole weekend and the welcome the staff gave us across the four days was I was glad when we eventually reached the end and I could tend to my battered and bruised arms that always fall victim to armour pinch and unlike the previous day we weren’t standing for ages in the service corridors waiting for the broken lift to actually turn up before I could de-kit!
A slightly curtailed Sunday event due to the vagaries of public transport, but with our Rebel Legion counterparts present in a larger number the day seemed much busier (indeed the number of photos seemingly confirms this with near double the number taken over even the Saturday of this event weekend). Unfortunately with the sun splitting the sky all, it also seemed much warmer to be in costume for even those few hours!
We were lucky to have Chewie present as I’m pretty sure it’s obvious he was the big draw for the crowds. His popularity is hard to compete with and sometimes it’s easier to just go with it and just sidle into the background of people’s snaps with him, but I think the Empires finest held their own in the photos stakes on the day…