Event: Atlanta Brick Con
Date: Sunday, 11 February, 2024
Host unit: Georgia Garrison
Kit: ANH-Stunt (LEGO)
I recently doubled my official troop count at a LEGO convention in Atlanta, and I'm finally recording it here on the last day of the month (thank you leap year for the bonus day). This was an exciting event for me not only because it was a crossover of two hobbies, but it also represented my first official troop with my own garrison. I live a couple hours away from the heart of our trooping action, so I began the morning with a two hour solo drive down to Atlanta. I had convinced my closest squad member (an hour from me) to join me on the troop and we met there.
After months of anticipation, and assembly as I'll later explain, I was super excited to finally troop with my garrison and show off the AMAZING blaster that @revlimiter had printed. Needless to say I think it was quite a crowd-pleaser, though twice I got asked "Does that make your aim better?" Based on the comments, kids only recognized the blaster from recent Star Wars LEGO video games, not the original 20-year-old sets, but I'm sure the many adults present felt the nostalgia.
It turns out that this troop was more of a photo op for us Legion members there, rather than a traditional con with a table and personal fan interactions. We were situated in a corner of the con floor dedicated to Star Wars MOCs (My Own Creation), and essentially had a line non-stop for the two hours I was there. When I first arrived we had a Vader and Jedi, but then us Devin and I took over with TK duty. Check us out!
TK-47501 & TK-73692 | Photo by James Clarke @thereallucasmccoy
Also, lefty grip.
While at our post we came across two princesses, but unfortunately they were not the one we were looking for. Seems they were from a different star system.
TK-73692 & TK-47501 with @thepartypalacealabama | Photo by @bricksnaps / @thebeautifulbrick
If you hadn't already noticed, in addition to the LEGO style blaster I carried, I had made some modifications to my actual armor loadout. After all, when in LEGO Rome, you play the part! What started off as originally just constructing a LEGO thermal detonator morphed into a larger belt project. I was extremely happy with the final result, with a nearly 1:1 scale LEGO replica of the normal plastic belt parts! In fact, I daresay did such a good job at the reproduction that NOT A SINGLE PERSON mentioned the LEGO parts I was wearing for the entirety of the troop (other than my garrison mates who knew my plans in advance). They were booty blinded by the blaster I guess, and didn't even notice the RS style creamy white LEGO plastic against my cooler white ATA armor. Haha. In the future I'll post a separate thread to document the full extend of this LEGO belt build, but for now here is a peak. The TD has 20mm "end caps" (yay CRL) and proper dimensions over all, other than the fact that is the smaller 2" North American variant rather than the more screen accurate 68mm version. Don't worry, a larger version is in the works.
At the conclusion of the photo session, I made a quick round on the con floor in civilian cloths (actually my HKG Star Destroyer racing shirt!), and snapped a few photos. This Death Star hanger was particularly impressive, and I'm bummed I didn't immediately notice all the intricate scenes shown on the outside due to my rush to get home. Otherwise I would have taken additional close-up images. My favorite is what appears to be a unit of TKs taking instructions with modeling of ANH TKs on the TV.
Of course, there were many MANY other MOCs, and I recorded a few Disney ones to show my daughters. Star Wars > other IPs.
Overall I think it was a successful troop, and I learned a lessons and have a few kit adjustments to make. I experienced some feedback with my voice system which I hadn't in the past, so I need to better dial in the volume, and perhaps add some insulation in my chest piece above my speaker (that I wear with a GoPro chest harness). I also had a shoulder bell-bicep snap failure, which is one of the only two places I have single snaps on my kit. Seems I'll be implementing at least some version of Adam's shoulder snaps solution. He goes hard with them!
All-in-all, a fun troop, and one that I will plan to attend annually despite being posted at a photo booth the entire time. I'll likely modify my belt to have some exposed studs to make the LEGO fun more obvious, and perhaps even add some lettering. L E G O T K the cartridges? Who knows, perhaps I'll continue to add LEGO armor parts to my armor and become a true LEGO TK.