Erskine Home, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00
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…
Erskine Home, Edinburgh 13:00 – 16:00
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.
Erskine Home, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00
Proving that you can never judge a troop by its intended audience, I don’t think any of us were massively optimistic for this event when we arrived to find the organiser unreachable after making our way through successive waves of leather clad bikers intent on denying access to any vehicle with more than 3 wheels to the site and the rock band tuning up over the PA system which had all the signs of rendering RomFXs totally moot.
Confounding expectations though there were a surprising number of children at the event (dogs too, how do they ride a motorbike anyway?) and there seems to be hitherto unexpected deep veins of Star Wars, Judge Dredd and Planet of the Apes fandom amongst the Scottish biker community.
This lead to non-stop requests for photos immediately on leaving the changing area – possibly a bit too immediately for my liking given that we were halfway across a road and there were till attendees arriving on their bikes at the same time – and for the duration of the troop.
It was nice to finally see our glorious leaders shit flinging ape in person at long last and have the emaciated form of Judge Death grace us with his presence
(punch line incoming)
in his Street Judge outfit*, even if he was smiling a little too much to accurately portray a stony faced lawman.
*Do you see what I did there? I cleverly equated the Old Git Hamilton with the undead super fiend from 2000AD because of their visual similarity and temperament.