96 Glasgow Film & Comic Con Promo Event – 30th July 2017

Location
soar at intu Braehead, Glasgow 13:30 – 14:15

Mission Report
What a massive waste of time this event was!

I’m not sure why they’d organise to have us walk in a specific formation only to rearrange the deployment as soon as we start, then suggest we go back to the original plan minutes later.

Between the lighting in the venue not being conductive to having any form of reduced vision, the fact that the majority of people in the area were below chest height, either by dint of being young kids or adults sat down, the uneven loose surface littered with semi-obscured obstacles by way of buckets, spades and balls buried in the sand it was a generally unpleasant experience all in.

It seems a colossal waste of energy from everyone involved to ask us along to a promotional photo-shoot then give us no direction on where to stand to ensure that we’re actually in the field of view of the camera lens, but should have come as no surprise given the lack of organisational skills Showmasters display up here on an annual basis.

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

50b Collectormania Glasgow – 26th August 2012

Location
Braehead Arena : Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 09:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
So after yesterdays constant state of being on edge in case of mechanical malfunctions it was a relief to actually be able to pay proper regard to the other costumers in attendance this weekend.  Clearly my own personal agenda was to hang around Gary Hailes 1989 style Batman and as such almost entirely missed C3-PO and Iron Man while they were suited up, but I did finally get the opportunity to have a close look at the two Gammorean Guards being debuted by Colin Anderson and Rod Lawrence that weekend.  While I’d have liked to have seen more snot in evidence, these are outstanding pieces of work and hugely effective.  I think it’s the fact their eyes are visible behind the snouts which gives the otherwise static faces a huge amount of character and life, they are quite excellent, but must be a killer to wear for any length of time.  I had a brief outing in the Biker Scout late in the afternoon and was boiling hot even in that, the folks under layers of latex were heroes just to be staying upright all day.

Speaking of the Scout, the chest is developing a progressively worse and worse crack right down the center.  I doubt it’s from actually trooping, there’s very little force being applied to cause it, more likely it’s been caused through transporting it to venues over the past three years I’ve been wearing it.  Still it’s got to be going on for nearly six years old as I first saw it at the first Glasgow Collectormania back in 2007 so I guess that’s good run for any outfit.

With my recent reminder of why the Stealth Trooper costume had been retired and my Biker Scout now on its last legs, that arbitrary nice round number seems a good point to once again take a break from costuming as a hobby. 
Then again, Artoo hasn’t quite managed to average one event a year since I got him, so I wonder what the chances of squeezing another two outings in before the end of the year are..?

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

50a Collectormania Glasgow – 25th August 2012

Location
Braehead Arena : Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 09:00 – 17:00

Mission Report
Strange to be writing this, not least because of being somewhat superfluous to the event myself by owning but not actually wearing the “costume” concerned but also, because I have consistently maintained that it’s not an event I care for due to a number of factors.  Despite my reticence to take part though larger forces were at work to ensure my participation, willing or not, such as the quasi-mystical significance of reaching a milestone in the arbitrary numbering system I maintain for documenting the events and the fact that someone had been repeatedly nagging me to bring Artoo along to it for months.

Bringing the little fellow along anywhere is a major logistical undertaking at any time, requiring advanced notice to juggle the charging of his sundry battery packs and arranging suitable conveyance.  In fact without the able assistance of his adopted Uncle Ian providing transport it would have been an impossibility on this occasion for him to leave the house.

But damned if the huge grin and wave of relief spreading over me when he trundled out into the main shopping centre without any incidents and proceeded to knock the socks off the collective public with his presence.  So constant and large were the swarms of kids, both big and small, that spotters had to help out in fending them off to create enough room to actually move him closer to where the majority of the troop were standing.  Even then it was like a vision of the Pied Piper with a snaking trail in his wake waiting to see where he’d stop in order to resume their photo opportunities.  Although the battery life for his remotes relegated his appearances to short bursts, being effectively static for sustained periods located next to the C3-PO in attendance kept the need to take him backstage at a minimum.

Just slightly unfortunate that for want of a shifting spanner (which I was positive was the first thing I’d packed for precisely this reason) that he couldn’t do the whole weekend, but then with the number of battery packs that would’ve been charged overnight he’d have had a greatly reduced presence on the Sunday anyway.  Still compared to his first and second outings this weekend has been a tour de force for my little barrel-shaped chum…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

15 Collectormania – 24th August 2008

Location
Braehead Arena : Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 09:00 – 15:00

Mission Report
And so a rather hectic weekend of troopery comes to a close with our return (thankfully an hour later than the previous day) to Collectormain at Braehead on the Sunday.  This time round both Stealth Troopers would be in attendance and, although the early entry queue was a lot smaller on this occasion and after a short break to adjust my newly repaired strapping to reduce the amount of clicking I’d made all morning while walking, we got right in amongst the general admission an hour later at 11:00, which meant we could troop on right up till lunchtime.

Although slightly more modest that the previous days’ entry queue, our presence still tickled the waiting public, particularly the Jedi sympathiser who was on his knees for the time he and his father were halfway down the queue, till it reached the entry table.  Best bit was when I told him to stay in position until I got back in 20 minutes and turned away, only to find he’d legged it at the first chance hwn I looked round again.  A stern trooper point unbelievably got him to come back into position, where after a couple of minutes of playing cat and mouse by repeatedly turning around quickly to catch him trying to sneak away on his knees, I informed him that I was going for lunch and he’s better be there when I got back.  Suffice to say this time he was sure to make it through the Arena doors before looking back to see if I was still watching!  Once again just prior to lunchtime the food court area became mobbed with visitors to the show and general shoppers lining up to have various photos taken with us all.

Almost as though this were some sort of omen, on our return from lunch people were actually queueing outside the arena doors waiting for our return.

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1 Collectormania Glasgow – 26th August 2007

Location
 Braehead Arena : Braehead Shopping Centre, Glasgow 10:00 – 14:00

Mission Report

Here’s the turning point…
What you have to understand is that prior to Sunday 26th August 2007, I had no interest in the folk in the Star Wars suits. Sure, I was a Star Wars fan, and I’d met them before outside various events, but I had no desire to own or put one on.

The troopers that day entirely changed my mind.

I was most certainly not there to see them by any manner of means, but tagging along behind them in-between celebrity talks really opened my eyes. It got to the stage that while sitting on the talk panels I found myself wondering what they were doing that I wasn’t around to witness.
But why, when I’d always considered them to be sweaty nerds sitting around pointing out continuity errors between scenes from the original trilogy, was I having witnessed them close up for the first time suddenly finding the whole idea so fascinating?
Firstly, there was the response to them from the public.
Adults and children alike, there must be very few people who don’t respond to the sight of a Stormtrooper in some way, be it cracking a smile, praying that they don’t pick them out for attention or simply bursting into tears.
Secondly, when those helmets go on, boy do they get away with murder. Don’t get me wrong, those guys were consummate professionals in public, a credit to the UKG, but you imagine just walking up to someone in t-shit and jeans and demanding they get down on their hands and knees or open their bag for you to search. You’re as likely to get a slap as the response you were looking for, but not, from my point of view that day, if you happen to be wearing a white helmet. Also, the anonymity for the person inside seems to turn otherwise reserved members of society into domineering figures of authority.

Little had I realised the power of the dark side.
By the end of the day, I was prepared to buy the Biker Scout costume I’d been following around if it came up for sale. A few weeks later I’d be working on a set of armour of my own, a month or two on again, I’d have the Scout armour for myself and a couple of months beyond that, a life-size, working, R2-D2, but that day there, that was the epiphany…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.