123 Capital Sci-Fi Con 2020 – 15th February 2020

20601_spotter

Location
Corn Exchange, Edinburgh 09:00 – 17:00

Personnel

DZ-18250 Leo Humphries Jawa
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TI-8322 Mark Billen TIE Pilot
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtrooper
TK-19767 Douglas Mullen Stormtrooper
UK-6275 Mark McCreadie Spotter
UK-41076 Alisdair Gilbert Spotter
UK-89909 Jenn Mair Spotter

Mission Report
Having arrived an hour early only to find that the wrong start time had incompetently been published on the UKG forums it meant that there was plenty of time to set up the empty table which had been provisioned for us once the PR material was finally delivered. Since no provision had been made for a duty rota for the table it rather meant that Alisdair was stuck there for the majority of the day with his static BB-series droid display. The poor organisation almost meant there was sufficient time to go over the standing orders for the day with new inductee Leo who’d be debuting his Jawa that afternoon after only almost 6 years of wanting to join us.

Despite the majority still being in the middle of getting dressed, the press requested our presence for a 09:30 photoshoot with the two Doctors in attendance, which meant only Vader could take part. I mention this only because later that day one of the photographers would ask for the TKs to pose with products which I wouldn’t allow, leading to him questioning me why it was okay for them to lean on each other shoulders but not hold a box.
When I asked when he’d witnessed this behaviour, he replied he hadn’t, which made it a rather random argument on the whole!

Throughout the morning I heard repeated comments on how the bad weather was keeping people from attending, but the entrance area where we were stood was mobbed consistently and at least one attempt to take the squad round the dealer hall had to be immediately aborted due to how crowded it was (the queue for David Bradley snaked away from his table round the side of the hall and out one of the doors we were positioned near more than once and several autograph tables had to be relocated because of the disruption their queues were causing) so if all these people put off by the rain and wind had turned up, I’ve no idea where the organisers would have put them…

With the lunch schedule having disappeared in a huff of smoke, we took a break at 12:00 to allow Leo to get kitted up for the afternoon and perform his branding. Although slightly reticent at first after a few words of encouragement from Nu-Stu and myself he took to Jawaing like a desert scavenger to a hairy egg, poking his head into the back of pictures, stealing the property of passers-by and generally getting a lot of attention from folks wanting photos.

While the weather didn’t really improve the flow of punters remained consistent through the afternoon, only slightly dying down once a raffle draw in the hall had taken place. This did mean the dealer hall was easier to navigate with the squad, to relive the tedium of standing in the one spot but as the troopers drifted off one by one to dekit due to aches and pains and armour pinching we were left with resident stalwart Chewie from the Filthy Rebel side and our Duracell Powered Jawa as the clock wound to 17:00. With even Paul calling it quits at that point, I’m fairly sure Leo would still be hanging around the Corn Exchange in his brown robe and glowing yellow eyes even now had Jenn and I not forced him back to the changing room.

Only a buffet dinner on offer and bleary eyed drive home after 18 hours now stood between me and my bed…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

87 Erskine Edinburgh Home Christmas Fete – 3rd December 2016

Location
Erskine Home, Edinburgh 13:00 – 16:00

Mission Report
There didn’t seem to be many takers for this event and rather than allow it to be cancelled we made the trek through to Edinburgh despite ongoing car troubles for this odd combination of Christmas Fete and hospital visit.
Luckily we were joined last-minute by Chris as Vader as I’m fairly sure the majority of folks would have had no idea what Gordy and I were supposed to be since neither of us were really wearing an iconic costume.

The venue wasn’t particularly small, but with stall tables occasionally taking up one side of the corridor and some of the residents requirement for wheelchair access circumnavigating it sometimes made for a difficult and treacherous path. The preference for a single route from the entrance past Santa’s fireside and back also meant that we largely kept pace with specific groups of visitors throughout the day rather meaning photos were often with different arrangements of the same families and in the same locations.

I’m not entirely sure I agreed with the brief diversion upstairs to visit some of the more bed-bound residents though. While I can understand the desire to make them not feel left out by being unable to journey to the ground floor, my feeling was that the majority of them had no idea of what these strangers were supposed to be representing and left at least one gent confused and mildly upset by our intrusion into his room…

That said though I can’t complain about the more general reception we received. Our attendance was certainly appreciated and we were well looked after by the staff for the duration of the couple of hours we were there, even if it was slightly extended by us inadvertently standing front and center for the drawing of the raffle tickets meaning we couldn’t quietly slip away as proceedings went on and had to stay on beyond the end time while they drew. Every. Single. Ticket.

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

49 One Man Star Wars Trilogy Edinburgh Festival – 23rd August 2012

Location
Underbelly : Bristo Square, Edinburgh 20:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Not that I’m denying any ulterior motive on my part to squeezing in this forty-ninth unique event prior to the weekend, but it’d also have been a shame to have it cancelled because nobody was available to troop it since Charlie is such a nice guy.  So despite the hassle of getting into Edinburgh and having to bully Nu-Stu into coming along too it was a pleasure again to be out in public for the Fringe crowd.

Once again they lived up to their reputation as tollerant and welcoming, with nary a whisper of trouble from the beer laden attendees, and their reputation for being seriously odd in the head, as evidenced by the procession of people insisting on kneeling at gunpoint and one group of gents who wanted us to use our guns to viola-  Actually, you know what, lets just skip the rest of this story…

Couple of strange occurrences of people not being keen on our spotter taking photos with them in, don’t know if this is a new trend or just a weird coincidence due to the lack of crew wear, but it struck me as odd regardless.  Not quite as odd Stuarts TK being as being mistaken for a Ghostbuster though.  I actually thought the two women knew him and it was an in-joke reference to his RI costume but apparently it was an entirely legitimate mistake!

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

48 One Man Star Wars Trilogy Edinburgh Festival – 19th August 2012

Location
Underbelly : Bristo Square, Edinburgh 20:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
To be quite honest this event held literally zero appeal beforehand, it meant making the hike all the way to Edinburgh, it was during the Fringe so being out in public would be drunkenly chaotic, it would be a very late return home and as it turned out the weather was totally bucketting down when we arrived too.

As it happened though, I’d spoken with Shortarse the day before and he bigged it up so it was in the back of my mind to maybe come along and with the Erskine event turning out as a bit of a damp squib it cemented my determination to get a decent gig out of the weekend, so off we set.

Having re-affirmed my belief that Edinburgh remains a place never to be driven (nor parked) in though the troop turned out to be highly enjoyable.  I’ve mentioned before that it seemed the public over there seem more respectful of people dressed oddly in their city streets, and despite the literal festival atmosphere this did indeed turn out to be accurate.

From a personal point of view I seemed to have cracked the positioning of my microphone inside the helmet and for the first time in a while came across very clearly and was able banter extensively with the punters, although to my regret this meant pointing one poor woman and her daughters towards the entirely wrong venue for the show itself albeit they did end up sitting in an enourmous upside down purple cow, so at least they could enjoy the novelty of that instead…

With us all having been graciously awarded an exclusive One Man Star Wars Trilogy event patch by Charlie Ross and allowed in to see the show afterwards (Quickest de-kit ever.  Fact.) it was unfortunate we couldn’t stay on afterwards to socialise as I’d like to have asked why the cold dead eyed Ewoks were left out of the narrative and, more critically, why the Biker Scouts didn’t get a look in, however some of us did have work in the mor- erm… afternoon…

Visual Archive

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

42 The Phantom Menace 3D Tour: Edinburgh – 11th February 2012

Location Ardrossan 06:53 – 06:57
Mission Report
Bugger me it’s early and raining. Next time anyone suggests a Lucasfilm/Fox promotion event I should check before volunteering it’s either A) Less than 10 minutes from the house or B) Starts at 15:00.
Or ideally C) Both of the above.TPM1

Location Glasgow Central 07:55 – 08:08
Mission Report
Whoa… I walked past a group of guys in the middle of Glasgow Central and could have sworn one was a friends husband Sam, then got on the Edinburgh train and her double is sitting in the same carriage. I’ve not had enough sleep as it is without this sort of weird coincidence…

Location Edinburgh Castle 09:40 – 12:30
Mission Report
You have to stop for a moment and consider the history of the room we’ve been given for changing in. Queen Victoria was in here at one point and now there’s us bunch of clowns who dress in plastic for fun. You have to respect the history and tradition.

TPM2

Also, at 123 years I think this might just be the oldest toilet I’ll ever use in my life…
TPM3

Location Edinburgh Castle 12:30
Mission Report
And we’re off…
TPM4

Location Edinburgh Castle 12:30 – 13:00
Mission Report
…and instantly mobbed!

Location Leith FM 13:30 – 14:00
Mission Report
Lord Maul doesn’t speak which is a shame as he has a good face for radio.

TPM5

Location Edinburgh 14:10 – 14:40
Mission Report
The Empire invade the Royal Mile and Johnny loses a belt screw cap. Luckily I spot it and pick it up from the ground.
TPM6

Location Edinburgh 14:13
Mission Report
An American visitor recognises us as part of the 501st. Doesn’t seem interested in a photo. Maybe he runs into the Legion at a lot of conventions and has had his fill already..?

Location Waverly Bridge 14:30
Mission Report
Darth Maul is physically accosted by the evil Sith Lord and his apprentice, or as the public know them better Simon Cowel and his chauffeur…

Location Edinburgh Castle 16:00
Mission Report
All done and t-shirts all round. Now where’s the nearest Forbidden Planet..?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.