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FX Centurion Discussion.


ObiHahn
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Oh, before I forget it:

of course AM (being FX's official successor) could pull a TM in the years to come and modify the sculpts to resemble the stormtroopers seen on screen. If that happens, there is no way AM armor should be excluded from being eligible for Centurion level.

I honestly hope that that happens though, only time might prove me wrong though.

 

As it stands, both FX, AM plus all their recasted derivatives do not hold up to what should be considered accurate enough (it's all about proportions/curvatures/silhouette) for the highest level of costuming achievement awarded by our detachment.

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And while I understand that bigger troopers might take offense, I have to be brutally honest and just say that no bigger troopers ever showed up in the movies for a reason. Like there never were small Vaders or female officers, it's just a simple fact looking at the source material.

 

AM aside, as one of those bigger troopers this is something I need to address. When the Centurion program was conceived and nurtured (I was there and actively participated), the fundamental tenent laid down by Paul (Daetrin) was that this was to be seen as the highest level of accuracy achievable by a 501st-approvable costume. It is not about dead-on reproduction of what is visible on screen when looked at frame-by-frame in high definition, although I would personally be in favor of creating such an award and opening it up to the non-501st members here. While a good GML will encourage a prospective member to pick a costume that is in keeping with their physical characteristics, by law neither the 501st Legion nor any of its subunits can discriminate based on race, gender, age, body type, etc. If we were truly to create a program that replicates a screen-seen suit, then the very first requirement would go something like this:

 

All applicants shall fit the body type of the circa-1977 actors who portrayed stormtroopers as seen in the movies, that is, approximately 5'9", 150 lbs, and of slim build.

 

That alone would have gotten the Centurion program shut down by Legion. Yes, this is our program and we get to make the rules - as long as they do not directly contradict the rules of the Legion at large. Had we tried it, I guarantee you that Legion would have stepped in and decided what is best for us - and that decision would likely be made by someone who neither has the knowledge nor the passion for stormtroopers that the active members of this forum have. As a garrison XO and Legion Council member, I've personally witnessed Legion reverse the decisions of detachment leaders, even if those decisions have no impact outside the detachment, so I know it can happen.

 

If the IOC has a artisan-level program, the same principle would apply in terms of whether or not female officers would be permitted to participate.

 

So in order to keep in line with Legion rules and yet be as accurate as possible, compromises need to be made and departures (which we all would like to see kept to a minimum) from straight-off-the-set accuracy are necessary. I realize that the word "compromise" is a four-letter word to the purists among us, but such is the price to be paid for being part of a worldwide costuming club vice a prop-replication club. That's also why in many cases on other forums such as the RPF, when a prop replicator is asked if they ever publicly wear the work of art they've created, the answer is no - and the reason is because they can't.

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On a side note, more a technical observation: I am following this topic, yet it does not show up in the list of topics followed... how come?

I would not like to miss any responses, guys. Right now I just bookmarked this.

 

While you may be subscribed to the thread, double check your notification options in your user profile. That may be where the problem is as they can sometimes be reset when we upgrade the forum software.

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Brian, I do see your point.

It is near impossible to try and exclude non-accurate armor types for any Legion-based program and by doing so to not also imply or flat out say that this means excluding certain body types. I know most Legion rules and see why we would need all of them: exclusion based on any of those factors (race, gender, age, body type) is and should always be a no-go, and since that applies for basic membership, it's only logical that it applies to all artisan levels too.

 

So I know that I am moving on a very thin line trying to point out why certain armor types (by chance all appealing to mostly larger troopers) are on my "black list" here, while I still do not propagate to exclude the body types wearing said armors. There is always RT-Mod. ;)

 

I am trying to just say: look at the FX. Look at the AM. Look at any on-screen trooper. See all the glaring differences in proportions, curvatures, basically "character" of the sculpt(s)?

Then tell me how much sense any artisan program makes for a detachment if those characteristic, defining details are ignored.

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Dennis - where it comes in to play is that not everybody can fit in to TE derived armor. What is someone who is 6'4" to do? Until you give them an option for their size, while I agree your statements are in the right direction, it's pretty discriminatory. Not everyone is built like you, no?

 

We allow 6' jawas in the Legion too, and Vaders who are 5'10" (or shorter). Rather than calling out a particular maker, why not call out the detail that bothers you? This way people may be able to make modifications that suit the accuracy bar.

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Lastly, in the end as with all upwards changes to the Centurion standards, it should go before a vote of the det. Honestly, if the majority of FISD chooses to toss out FX/AM for Centurion, well then it's probably time they were disallowed. This is the same path we followed for buckets.

 

Dennis - if you want to call for a vote now, I don't see why we couldn't have one. With the emergency elections, this is probably the best time to get people to vote for anything as long as they are on the boards. :)

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I really do not want a public vote that aims at excluding the (exemplary) small Vaders, female officers or bigger TKs (or huge Jawas), that's still a massive misunderstanding. The voting I want has already been set into motion by Mathias/Locitus, which is a good thing and much needed IMHO - to strictly exclude FX/AM and all their recasts from being eligible for Centurion status.

I don't see why that would be controversial or mean, EIB would still be possible for FX/AM and we might even have two artisan programs that really reflect different levels of accuracy (or emulation thereof).

 

TE derived armor ist small, yes - very small by now due to massive recasting and shrinkage of moulds and all that. But then there are TM and RS who allow slightly bigger troopers (like me) to still fit snugly into very screen accurate suits. For anyone even bigger, there is still the RT-Mod as mentioned before, and anyone even larger than that might maybe have to live with Centurion not being possible until even larger armor following screen accurate proportions/curves is offered (like improved AM in some possible future like Brian suggested).

Watering down artisan programs just because one person or the other might take offense is not a step forward, I stand by that. The first FX/AM Centurion applicant is not really a big guy, btw.

 

Rather than calling out a particular maker, why not call out the detail that bothers you? This way people may be able to make modifications that suit the accuracy bar.

 

There are no easily modifiable details to call out on FX/AM without completely resculpting all moulds, so... I already tried, next to just dropping maker names, to describe how clunky and not sleek enough those two loose stormtrooper interpretations are and therefore can't portray a screen accurate trooper - not on bigger troopers, and not on smaller troopers. It's not the wearer that I have my focus on, it's the totally inaccurate sculpts those suits have as they stand right now, unmodified and sculpted as is.

The "bigger trooper" debate just came into play because people feel personally attacked like they always do when something they own/wear/build is being critizised.

Edited by ObiHahn
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The observation that people feel personally attacked has more to do with how you make your points, as opposed to the points themselves. A skilled communicator can give someone the worst news in the world, but do so without making an enemy out of them. If how you say something makes the intended target so angry or otherwise upset that all they can hear is the sound of blood rushing through their ears, then you have accomplished nothing productive. But I digress ....

 

There is at least one factual error in your above statement. If by "the first FX/AM Centurion applicant" you mean the individual who recently applied with his FX kit (whose thread was the origin of this current thread), he is definitely not the first AM applicant and although I'd have to check, I don't think he is the first FX applicant.

 

That first AM Centurion applicant? That would be me. http://www.whitearmo...showtopic=15719

 

Not all that long ago, your same arguments were made for raising the FISD Elite / Expert Infantry bar so high that the program would no longer meet its original intent of encouraging tip-to-toe FX wearers to make some simple, affordable upgrades that, despite being doable for under $300 USD (half of that being the cost of a new helmet) and a weekend's worth of work, and we would never be able get those folks started on the path to greater accuracy - something we all want and that has at least as great an impact on the overall Legion TK Corps as the handful of Legion troopers (not counting the non-Legion prop builders) that push the accuracy boundary to its extreme. The Expert Infantry program continues to evolve (as it should), but fortunately it is still reachable by those who we are really targeting - the lower-tier troopers.

 

Now I see the same arguments being made for Centurion. While Centurion is certainly meant to be a good bit above EI, it is still not meant to replicate (and I use that word deliberately) what is seen on screen. It is meant to represent what is seen on screen to a high degree of fidelity. The difference is subtle and a matter of degrees, but it is there nonetheless.

 

I have a proposal for you - would you like to see a third and final artisan program focused solely on uber-accurate, prop replica armor and blasters? I actually suggested such a program to the staff over a year ago once the Centurion program was firmly established, as a way to appeal to the prop replica element of the FISD - both 501st and non-501st alike, thereby encouraging them to stay and continue to push the envelope since we all ultimately benefit from their leading-edge work. It would have also been a way to, by inviting the LSD cabal to take part in shaping the requirements, provide an opportunity to heal the still-fresh wounds that were a result of the split. While it was well-received, it was also tabled due to having many other, higher-priority items on our collective to-do list at the time.

 

As I envision it, such a program would absolutely exclude what you consider to be the non-accurate sculpts - FX, AM, RT, perhaps even AP and ATA given how far they are from the original TE-owned suit in generational terms. In addition, the prospective applicant would be required to pick a single screen-seen stormtrooper (since we know they were all different in the minute details) and emulate every visible scuff mark, paint run, armor crack, mismatched part, and scrap of gaffer tape. The interior would have to be built using the original strapping system, the materials used would have to be correct, and any added details that could not be divined from high-resolution screen shots would have be supported by behind-the-scenes photos, archive photos, costume designer notes, and other suitable evidence. The suit would also have to be sized to fit an original sized actor - see my example requirement in an earlier post. Because of this, it wouldn't have to be wearable by the owner - anyone with an appropriately-sized mannequin and the means & desire to do so could participate. Best of all, this would be an effort run entirely outside 501st Legion auspices - meaning it would be open to folks like Paul (troopermaster) and we would have free reign to make it as challenging as possible. By definition, those who are able to do this would be only a small handful, but isn't allowing the very best of the best to be separately recognized part of the point?

 

So how about it - does that idea scratch your itch?

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I am certainly for such a program. Although I don't think it would be the DO's job to approve such build. I'd rather see it a consensus of extremely knowledgeable members participating in the review of the application. Sort of a peer-review approach if you will.

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Admission time: I did not do my homework properly. I have actually not bothered really checking how many FX/AM Centurion applications there have already been. My bad. Looks like there have indeed been a few before Neil, who I still hope I have not harrassed too much by making him my "example".

 

A third artisan program, in the somewhat extreme and uber-elitist way you, Brian, describe it (not that that's a bad thing... :smiley-sw013: ), could be a nice addition - in theory.

While I am the last to vote against such a program were it actually proposed in the near future, because the concept of course appeals to the group you basically summarize as "the LSD guys", it's not really what I was getting at here the whole time:

 

I simply stated repeatedly now that I see no sense in adding snaps and rivets to something so quite far removed from screen lineage - and why add a third, uber-extreme program here when a couple simple but strict amendments could make Centurion something that still appeals to all troopers who see faults in FX/AM, but do not care much for internals, boot brands, visible snap brand names or the like. And in addition will, in my mind at least, "appease" all those prop replication freaks to the point where I am sure most of them would admit that an artisan program that is in between 75-85% the way to screen accurate overall presentation is way easier to (let's just call it that) live with and respect.

 

"High-tier programs and easy/cheap achievability for everyone thereof" is an oxymoron to begin with, so I still can not really grasp why the Legion or Detachment wants basically the same "all-in" approach for their artisan programs - it's not that it takes the fun out of stormtrooping for everyone because that crazy guy in the corner counting and measuring rivets feels that "his" program is going in a new, more serious direction.

Ask the Vader freaks, they will sing you their song of levels of admission for even base 501st membership being way higher than, say, oir EIB or where Centurion stands now. And it's still mostly a community of brothers since they all accepted that the investment of time, labour and money are what make some people smile when they hold their end results in their sweaty hands.

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The observation that people feel personally attacked has more to do with how you make your points, as opposed to the points themselves. A skilled communicator can give someone the worst news in the world, but do so without making an enemy out of them. If how you say something makes the intended target so angry or otherwise upset that all they can hear is the sound of blood rushing through their ears, then you have accomplished nothing productive. But I digress ....

 

I see you just added that intro, Brian. Where was I so extremely inflammatory in my statements that people now have blood rushing through their ears? Man, I seem to have powers I never knew of before... :peace:

I guess I also digress, though.

 

(...)

By definition, those who are able to do this would be only a small handful, but isn't allowing the very best of the best to be separately recognized part of the point?

 

That part is not entirely correct.

Only a handful of people might be able to achieve what has been called "prop forgery" in other places before, sure. Not everyone has access to original armor to take measurements and check internal fittings, so granted - that's a small group of people. That's why there's not much sense in proposing a third program - for that, there are things like LSD.

 

I am not entirely sure if you are serious about proposing a third artisan level, or if it's just a supposedly polite way of saying "what you propose for Centurion is way over the top so I make up some really high-nosed sounding stuff to call you out" - only to deflect what some feel are much-needed amendments to Centurion and to shape it into what most felt it was meant to portray when it was first presented here on these boards.

 

And that is not sarcasm, it's an honest question.

 

Since we all can agree that FISD should remain a place where all parties, majority and minority, should feel at home, I am glad we are having this whole discussion - I really am. With Centurion for FX/AM, some few will not see FISD as a place to be, I can assure you that. Always a problem for minorities, so it all boils down to the fact that only a vote will show what FISD really wants.

Edited by ObiHahn
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I am 100% serious about a third-tier, apex program. I was 100% serious when I proposed it to the rest of the staff well over a year ago, and for all the reasons I previously stated.

 

Why not add a couple of simple, strict amendments to the Centurion program and call it done? Because it's not just a couple of simple, strict amendments to the Centurion program. As of a couple of days ago when Mathias started the now-locked thread, it was quite a long laundry list - and according to your initial post in that thread - going to get longer. Furthermore, my cynical self sees where this is going, so why waste time at interim steps? Maybe a 75% - 80% solution (and what is that baselined against, i.e. what is the starting point from which you measure your percent to complete accuracy?) is satisfactory for the high-end crowd for now, but I can almost guarantee you that within a year it won't be. Then we are right back to where we are now.

 

Why do our EI and Centurion have to be such inclusive, "all-in" programs? Because whatever else they may be, they are 501st Legion programs. And if nothing else, inclusiveness is part of what makes the Legion the place that it is. Once you reach the threshold of basic 501st acceptance, you are a brother or sister and the world is open to you (so to speak). Should artisan programs encourage members to strive to go beyond what is considered entry level? Of course! But to make these programs so difficult that you guarantee only the most very dedicated few can achieve them, in my humble opinion, flies in the face of what it means to be part of the Legion.

 

You mention the "Vader freaks" and how their standards for admission are - relatively speaking - much higher than that of the stormtrooper. Yes, I agree. The same can be said for other Legion costumes as well, in particular the Flagship Eclipse costumes, where their attitude is all-or-nothing, "you've either hit the mark or you haven't." It's a battle that those of us on staff have been fighting for years. I imagine as a GML, you saw some of it yourself. For whatever reason, the powers that be at Legion are content to force the basic TK requirements to remain relatively low, while allowing the requirements for other costumes to evolve as new discoveries are made. It's a battle that will continue to be fought - no matter what the outcome of the current DL election is.

 

Yes, I agree with you. It's good that all this will ultimately come down to a vote by those who have the most to gain or lose - the members of this community.

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Well spoken, Brian. And I do find it a very cool idea knowing that you were serious. Darn non-native speaker problems I sometimes have, not being able to decide if some subtleties were lost on me or just flat out do not exist. Sorry for that.

A third-tier program is something that might actually be put up for vote as well then? If this triggers a new discussion about that, I for one would certainly welcome that. And not feel that I just wasted all of your guy's time.

 

Oh, BTW, the percentage was only a quite random guesstimate. Just an attempt to put a number on a gut feeling about where I personally consider Centurion accuracy (vs. screen/prop accuracy) now, and then adding the proposed amendments Mathias and me (plus some others) added in that thread, amounting to that rough figure.

 

Here's one lone tear though for the knowledge of that seemingly intentional low-tier status that Legion applies to the TKs, compared to other detachments...I did have my share of discussions about that in my GML time.

Looking at SLD and FlagshipEclipse, the grass is always greener on the other side. See, that's were the wish evolved that if we accuracy nuts can't have what other detachments have for basic acceptance, we could at least redefine the artisan programs to be a bit more "you've either hit the mark or you haven't".

 

Looking forward to that vote then. Well, emergency elections first, of course.

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Hi Dennis,

 

Flagship Eclipse doesn't need an above-and-beyond program as the standards for EU SL's are already at very high levels. Alas, the TK seems to have a *very* vocal group that is heavily represented on the Legion Council that will block, rant, and otherwise try to prevent any upgrades to the TK CRL. If you've ever had access to the LC areas of the Legion boards, you can review older threads and it's amazing to see.

 

I think we're all in agreement that there is an unmet need at the top and are now just trying to see if we should use Centurion for that or something else. I can see merits to both sides, though I kinda like Brian's idea that recognizes the "ultimate" that really isn't meant to be attainable by many, or at least that many will not desire to attain it. And, I like your idea of having a review committee, much like SWAT over at MEPD. If this is to be the ultimate in TK costuming, then a panel makes sense.

 

Thanks for being open to Brian's ideas - right now it seems the way to go, and can be done separately from our L1/L2/L3 Legion programs.

 

Lastly, just so it's not lost, while there is special benefit from recognizing and working with the top of the costuming club, my only concern is this is not done at the expense of us losing focus on the other 90% of the Legion TK's.

 

Creating a high mark is a great first step, but the real work is getting those near the bottom up to a higher par.

 

:peace:

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My 2 cents:

 

We should make a distinction between canon (ANH/ESB/ROTJ) and EU troopers.

 

For canon Centurion (ANH/ESB/ROTJ), only allow "screen heritage" armors and helmets. Armor should be indistinguishable from the movies, to the last known detail (including invisible traits, like crotch snaps, etc.)

 

For EU Centurion (Heavy weapons, Commander, Incinerator, etc.), allow AM and RT (as games and comics are mostly the reference, so not as strict as canon armor).

 

For EIB, allow all, except FX helmets.

 

That's my opinion.

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My 2 cents:

 

We should make a distinction between canon (ANH/ESB/ROTJ) and EU troopers.

 

For canon Centurion (ANH/ESB/ROTJ), only allow "screen heritage" armors and helmets. Armor should be indistinguishable from the movies, to the last known detail (including invisible traits, like crotch snaps, etc.)

 

For EU Centurion (Heavy weapons, Commander, Incinerator, etc.), allow AM and RT (as games and comics are mostly the reference, so not as strict as canon armor).

 

For EIB, allow all, except FX helmets.

 

That's my opinion.

 

 

So does this mean that TM would not be allowed as Centurion as it's a fan sculpt and doesn't have screen heritage?

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TM is fantastic. But if it would strictly only be for screen derived suits then this would mean that TM would not be allowed and when you consider how good TM looks that just sounds like a bit of a problem. It would have to be for screen derived or not. For something that strict, you can't really have exceptions can you?

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I'd say: if it has all the subtle characteristics of screen used suit (like I said: curvatures, details, proportions), we should consider it equally accurate.

My personal experience: laying TM and RS armor pieces next to each other/stacking them into each other shows that they are only different by sooo sooo few millimeters, it would not be a wise move to exclude Paul's work from such a program.

 

It's what bothers me about less accurate fan sculpts: they're not well observed and replicated. TM surely is, in nuances that sometimes frighten me. ;)

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I totally agree. Pauls amazing work should not be excluded from such a program at all. But it does mean that the 'only screen heritage' rule would not be able to be put in place.

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Well, first of all I would not implement such a rule, but it could be a guideline. Secondly, screen linage or better does work. TM is more accurate than most ANH kits with linage.

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So then if TM is more accurate than most kits with lineage that would mean it would make more sense to suggest to people to go the TM route rather than a "less accurate" lineage route which would kind of make the 'only screen lineage suit for centurion' suggestion redundant.

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