115 Ayrshire Squadron RLC Family Open Day – 7th September 2019

2019crew

Location
Dreghorn, Irvine 10:30 – 14:30

Personnel

Jey d’Srow Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Ediro Two Tubes Brian Morrison Fringe
RLUK Fraser Boyd Crew
RLUK Mark McCreadie Crew

Mission Report
A fairly small, local event for both costumers and crew and while we lacked a big ticket character to draw interest ultimately the crowd on the day probably wouldn’t have warranted anyone travelling much of distance. The weather was bright and mild although the areas of shadow were no doubt a welcome relief, particularly to Brian and we had pretty much the run of the place with various bits of military equipment making for some nice photos to help pass the time.

The organising officers had set aside a table for us to use to collect for charity and have a publicity display, but with the dearth of information around this troop provided by the UKG event organiser, none of this had been mentioned prior to our arrival.

With public attendance being somewhat limited to friends and family of the base personnel the entire day, the event became noticeably quiet mid-afternoon and we called it quits an hour or so early, although not as early as the drum band who despite being advertised as appearing throughout the day apparently performed one set and left after about an hour!
Maybe next year Rebel Legion should get top billing…

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114 Showmasters Glasgow Film and Comic Con – 18th August 2019

2019crew

Location
intu Braehead, Glasgow 10:00 – 17:00

Personnel

Adi Gallia Lynn McDavid Jedi Master
Chewbacca Paul Smith Wookie
Jessek Julie Sword Rebel Pilot
Kit Fisto Brian McDavid Jedi Master
Ko-jo Andi Taylor Ewok
Kyle Venson Fraser Stevenson Rebel Pilot
Obi-Wan Kenobi Alex Dick Jedi Master
Sabine Gillian Mackay Fringe
RLUK Mark McCreadie Crew

Mission Report
“Hi, everybody, and a very pleasant good afternoon to you, wherever you may be, I’m Vin Scully and it’s Alien Day here at Braehead Arena…”

The exciting public debut of three new RLUK alien costumes help fight back the tiredness following all day Saturday at the event (full disclosure, there would have been an additional alien because I had my Jawa with me but by the time I was sure Julie was coping in the Quarren mask my enthusiasm for kitting up was sitting somewhere in the lower, lower, sub-basement level of the shopping center) which was fortunate because the public attendance surely wasn’t of sufficient volume to help perk the proceedings up.

The start of the of the day was spent hanging about the dealer hall waiting for Garrick Hagon to be available to have a group photo with the pilots afer which it was out to the food court area. I don’t think I saw a member of the public show any interest in our presence until just before 11:00 which made the morning session a long, slow, slog until lunchtime.

After a hurried lunch I was due on the Rebel Legion table. I mentioned in my field report for Saturday that the UKG table had a decent location at the entrance but got little attention and unfortunately for the RL (and Mando Mercs) the table was about 3/4 of the length of the even hall away formthat enterance, down a side corridor towards the public locker area. While it was admittedly positioned outside the door to the room being used for photo shoots which saw a lot of passing traffic, these people were only concerned with getting to and from their celebrity photosession. Indeed in the hour I was there the only non-member who looked at the tables or spoke was the eternally lovely Katy Manning who offered to turn an X-Wing Helmet into one of the lampshades she makes. I’d love to know what the conversion rate is on those who stop by the tables who go onto become cleared members of the respective costume groups because it’s a definite drain on the number of crew and costumers available per day for what seem like a real low benefit.

Following my table time it was back out to the shopping centre where the usual suspects were making a last push to the bitter end of the event. Although the event was officially on till 17:00 by about 15:45 the centre was emptying and some of the stall holders had already packed away. With only Paul and Julie left kitted up we elected to take a last walk round the hall itself (more exactly one of us walked with his long legs and stilts, others trotted quickly behind in an attempt to keep up) before calling it quits

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113 Film and Comic Con Glasgow – 17th August 2019

2019xwing

Location
intu Braehead, Glasgow 09:00 – 17:00

Personnel

BH-7240 Julie Sword Greedo
DZ-0576 Ian McMillan Tusken Raider
DZ-91810 Lynn McDavid Jawa
ID-14527 Bev Duffy Officer
IG-5780 Glenn Stuart Imperial Gunner
JD3D-6598 Iain Hamilton Dredd 3d Street Judge
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TB-29578 Sheraz Khwaja Biker Scout
TB-89909 Jenn Mair Biker Scout
TD-35500 Brian Hannah Sandtrooper
TK-6084 Stuart Thompson Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-7336 Alex Bourke Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-14520 Mark Duffy Stormtooper ANH Stunt
TK-18910 Brian McDavid Stormtooper: First Order
UK-0000 Paula-Jane Bourke Spotter
UK-23306 Iain Dickie Spotter
XP-6275 Mark McCreadie Batman/X-Wing Pilot

Before we start…
There’s a couple of photos of The Blacklist and Greystoke star Christopher Lambert wielding a sword towards a First Order Stormtrooper. They’re good photos and all, but…
I’m just bothered slightly by…
Well…
Darth Vader was there and he’s pretty famous for two things, 1) bad asthma and 2) having a laser sword…
So why choose a TK instead of…
Y’know…
I mean he’s got to be in the top 15 “people famous for using swords” list, right..? And that’s before you even consider…
Like…
I mean what’s even the connection a sword has to Christopher Lambert to start with? He’s most famous for wearing a rain hat and being Dexter’s dad*…

Mission Report
There’s a good reason Julie and I rarely troop at the same event and then only very specific costumes and that reason was clearly demonstrated by the extra 30 minutes it took to get us both out in costume on the Saturday morning. I’ve touched on the ambivalent nature of our relationship with the Early Bird queue denizens in the past so the delay was probably no great loss to proceedings.

I’ve been meaning to attend this event in the Returns suit since… before I owned one, but a combination of my indifference to spending my weekend standing about a food court and… No, actually that’s pretty much the entire reason now I think about it… meant I never actually got round to it in years past so for the first half of the day that’s exactly what I did.
Unfortunately this meant that the first half of the day was spent correcting people who wrongly assumed I was a cosplayer of their acquaintance and being mistakenly caught in some fairly in-depth conversations who seemed to believe I was joking about that!

A later lunch meant there was some time to help spot in the early afternoon prior to a stint at table duty. I’ve done this before at the same event where it seemed slightly more productive, and while I’d have said that this time round the table was in better location for catching passers-by, weirdly I’m fairly sure I could count those that paid the slightest bit of notice in the hour that was there on the fingers of one hand. I’m not sure how this reflects on the experiences of the others over the weekend, but it seems odd to be reducing the number of costumers or spotters available to undertake this if it’s not a productive use of time…

Following the table stint there was a mad rush to get kitted up again to make the debut of my Rebel Command X-Wing Pilot costume in time for the RL/501st group photo they’d planned, after which the few of us remaining in costume returned to the shopping centre to allow the last vestiges of the public to get their final snaps before getting my first opportunity to actually wander round the event hall!

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*This is a Raiden/Mortal Kombat: Annihilation joke don’t @ me about the Highlander franchise…

108 Bishopton Fun Day – 15th June 2019

Location
Bishopton Sports and Social Club, Bishopton 12:00 – 16:00

Personnel

BAT-6275 Mark McCreadie Batman Returns
DZ-1873 Ian MacPherson Jawa
SL-77314 Alan Dalgleish Darth Vader
TB-89909 Jenn Mair Biker Scout
TK-6084 Stuart Thomson Stormtrooper: ANH Stunt
TK-18910 Brian McDavid Stormtrooper: ANH Stunt
UK-7240 Julie Sword Crew
UK-91810 Lynne McDavid Crew

Mission Report
With my inherent laziness regarding boot cape and suit repairs it’s been a while since I last wore the Batsuit, October 2016 to be exact and although about an hour before the end I was tired and sore after just those couple of hours in the costume but I enjoyed it enough to consider doing it again come CMG in August.

While the instruction was to be there for 11:00 and out for 12:00, around 11:30 we were asked to be ready within 15 minutes for the parade, which seemed an impossible ask and despite everyone pushing for the deadline when we emerged from the changing area we were told that we were too late and the parade had set off because we had been holding it up too long!
Since we were now left to our own devices we milled about the Sport Centre building itself which was fortunate as it quickly began to spit with rain and we were forced to relocate under a nearby gazebo as this began to get heavier and heavier. The weather eased off and began to hammer down again a few times in the time it took the parade to arrive so in a way it was fortunate we’d been too late to join or all the costumes (and crew) would have been drenched along the route.

It remained warm throughout though and the downpours didn’t seem to dampen the numbers attending. We spent a good 30-40 minutes getting photos in that area before we could even begin a circuit of the playing field (credit to the groundskeeper incidentally, for all the precipitation the grass remained solid enough underfoot the entire day) being stopped regularly for more photos.
Such were the numbers of punters it took the best part of an hour to get round the perimeter of the event by which time we decided to break for lunch just as the heavens opened again. The rain was so heavy that even inside the cowl I could hear the drops pinging off Stuarts lid as he walked along in front of me back towards the changing rooms!

As had been the pattern of the morning, the rain quickly stopped and sans a couple of stubborn puddles any sign of it was gone by the time we emerged fed and watered again. Indeed the weather had improved to the extent that the sun was splitting the sky causing the temperature to climb even higher. Sticking to the less busy side of the field this time we spent the final leg stopping for photos and, at least in my case, having worryingly in-depth conversations about where Robin was/the Batmobile was parked/my shadowy war on crime/where to get a roll and slice.

In advance of my next outing I think the boots will need to be replaced, I assume it must have been when I was kneeling down with the smaller kids that the sole was under pressure and started to separate from the rest of the boot because I was favouring my right knee and that’s the only boot which has the problem. Maybe we were lucky not to do the parade or I might have had to finish it in my socks if the whole thing fell to bits!

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98 Museums at Night : The museum awakens – 27th October 2017

Troop Icons Ghostbuster 2015Location
Paisley Museum, Paisley 19:00 – 21:00

Mission Report
Somewhere in Paisley there’s possibly a foreign student from the local university who was at a loose end on Friday night and her and her friend decided to immerse themselves in the culture of the area by attending the Halloween-themed late night opening of the nearby museum. Not only is she perhaps still vainly looking in the wrong part of the building for the wooden object associated with the Titanic to complete the scavenger hunt from that night, but she’s of the firm belief that the museum hires a paranormal investigator once a year to ensure that the artefacts on display don’t react to the build-up of psychic energy caused by visitors. This level of deception is something I should feel bad about. But I don’t.

Instead I feel really good about this event. I have to admit, even leaving aside the couple of hours I had mixed this up with the alcohol fuelled student event at the town hall the same night, I wasn’t expecting much from this troop. It hadn’t been heavily promoted on our boards to encourage anyone to sign up, the organisers weren’t expecting much of a crowd and I was wary that those who did turn up would be local mehoos just in out the cold. Indeed the first two teens I encountered fell exactly into this category, nearly prompting me to about turn and head back to the changing area to de-kit. Fortunately walking in the opposite direction brought me into the main exhibit hall was stowed to the rafters with families who had actually made an effort to embrace the spirit of the event by making costumes and taking part in the activities on offer.

While the TK drew the initial crowd (mostly thanks to the showboating way he slowly descended in the wheelchair lift while I took the stairs) I was left to wander round the display cases and framed paintings scanning them with my PKE meter, which 12 hours later when I could finally recall what the abbreviation stood for I was kicking myself, poking at the headless and armless torsos dressed in vintage clothing to ensure they were indeed solid and not Focussed, Full torso class III apparitions and receiving occasional encouragement that “[I] should check the paintings, it’s always the paintings” and reports of sightings at the opposite end of the museum, the opposite direction of which I always most assuredly made a beeline for.

I much preferred this event to the equivalent at the Science Centre as the museum lacked the constant blaring music of the former allowing much more scope for interaction with the public that simply standing still for a photo. The younger boys of one extended family, spent a substantial amount of time telling me quite seriously of the ghost they had seen recently and asking how to deal with it while their sister, older by two or three years, saw right through my façade and confidentially whispered in my ear that they were big fans of Ghostbusters.

If there were to be downsides, well… it felt kind of off for the staff to nominate myself and the Stormtrooper to be the ones to pick the costume competition winners, I’m kind of glad this didn’t crop up till the very end as there could only be seven winners and there were A LOT of kids who were going to be disappointed.

It’s a rare troop that I would say was too short by half, but this definitely was. Unfortunately the museum will shortly close for the best part of four years so the opportunity to repeat it isn’t going to come along again anytime soon.