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[18] Themaninthesuitcase Troop Diary

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Troop #13 - 29 September 2018 - ElstreeCon 2.0 (approx 5 hours in armour)


Only my second troop this year.  Whilst a small quiet convention, the location was a little bit of a special one.


I've been lucky enough to troop at Elstree Studios before, and it's only 11 miles from home so this isn't as exotic to me as some but it was an excellent troop.


Elstree Studios by Christopher Pearson, on Flickr


The convention it's self takes place in a small ballroom style room in the front building shown above.  There was a small number of stands there selling the usual memorabelia and tat as well as a few actors/acrtresses doing signings.  The majority had a Star Wars link, maninly back ground characters.


One notable actor was Alan Harris AKA Bossk, who also played a Stormtrooper in ESB and ROTJ, a Rebel in ANH and was the model of the infamous white Prototype armour that became Boba Fett.


I was lucky enough to have a chat with Alan in the changing area during lunch, he is a lovley person who seems to really enjoy what we do.


Meeting Alan Harris Aka Bossk from ESB by Photo by Richard Pottle (TD 77670)
L->R : Dan Branton (TK 42911) Declan Baker (TI 9845) Dave Gilmore (TK 73076) Alan Harris (Bossk) Chris Pearson (TK 10911) Adam Knapp (TK 11780) Dan Wray (TI 15978)


Most of the convetion was spent outside the front of the venue on the road drawing attention to the convention from passers by, and nearly causing multple accidents on the roundabout where people would just stop to look!


Outside the front of Elstree Studios by Trist Fulcher (TI 3493)
L->R : Dan Branton (TK 42911) Dave Gilmore (TK 73076) Chris Pearson (TK 10911) Adam Knapp (TK 11780) Dan Wray (TI 15978) Declan Baker (TI 9845)


We also spent a small amount of time just inside the perimeter but as there were multiple shows filming that day this was a bit busy with blacked out cars and SUVs.  The rest of the time was spent inside the venue it's self.


Mid afternoon we were given an incredible opportunity.  The organiser lead us out through an out of bounds door and onto the lot.  We walked past a hot Stage 8, some of ESB was filmed here, up to the top of the hill.



We're Home by Wayne Allen (TK 52517)
L->R : Declan Baker (TI 9845) Dan Branton (TK 42911) Adam Knapp (TK 11780) Chris Pearson (TK 10911)


Here we were able to get a few photos in front of the George Lucas Stage where it all began.  Currently home to both Strictly Come Dancing and The Crown.


Again whilst quiet, the people and the location made this one to remember.

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You guys look fantastic!  Excellent troop and congrats :salute:

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Me not update my troop report in a timely manner, how very dare you.


Troop #14 - 27 October 2018 - MCM ComicCon London (approx 8 hours in armour)


Yup back at the Excel again for another Comicon.  For the most part this one was business as usual.  An early start to entertain the queues and then patrols of the venue.  


Late in the morning I was part of the group who took part in a Silver Sabers display.  We paraded in to their stand so that Lord Vader could preside over a sabre battle display.  At the end we the paraded back out, and went for lunch :laugh1:


This picture was us lurking in a hall entry way waiting for the display time.  The ladies were from our guest charity, Mitchell's Miracles, who were collecting on the stand for the 3 days of the con. 



London Comic Con October 2018


This is a cut from some video, complete with badly timed trooper looking to the side  :6:



The afternoon was much of the same with a few stints on the club stand for photo-ops by the Death Star wall.  Day was called when a spotter noticed I was getting "trooper legs" with about an hour left of the con.


Armour did sterling service but on the way out of the venue I was thanking a spotter for help with the lift doors when some one opened a door into my helmet bag! The damage wasn't too bad, about 1/2 long maybe a touch more along a tube seam.  20 minutes with some T shirt and super glue and I was ready for the next one.



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Troop #15 - 24 November 2018 - MCM ComicCon Birmingham (approx 5 hours in armour)


A few firsts for me on this one: First time at the Birmingham Comicon, First time I've talked the wife in to coming along in an official capacity and also the first time away with out the kids in over 5 years!


Day started with our briefing taking place on the main stage with use of the PA, this was a novel change from someone shouting across the changing room. After this the wife was whisked away for her induction briefing (safety talk and basics of spotting) so I didn't see her again until mid morning.



MCM ComicCon Birmingham


Between the UKG, Reel Icons, Rebel Command, Rebel Legion, Mando Mercs, 15th Cyber Legion, UK Colonial Marines and the UK Predators we had over 300 costumers plus a number of spotters.  This was a record as far as I am aware and the presence was immense.  First thing in the morning you couldn't not see a group of the costumers out working the crowd.



IMG_6MCM ComicCon Birmingham583


Also new for me I volunteered to take part in a talk by our CO Garry Hales (also LXO) about the UKG/Reel Icons/Rebel Command and what we do from both a costuming and charity point of view.  I was first up on stage, easier said than done there was a step, and was on stage for a few minutes and all the details of the costume and blaster where pointed out to the crowd.  I was quite proud that the crowd was noticeably larger by the end of my bit, and that nothing fell off :laugh1:  I was followed up by a snowy, an OT and FO Tie, Lord Vader, some stage invading Jawa, Batman, Iron Man and 2 Judges from Dredd(2012).  Whilst it was only a small stage by the end of our talk it was a full crowd with many standing as well.  Very proud to be part of that.



MCM ComicCon Birmingham


One of the big draws for MCM Birmingham is the big group photo.  Sadly due to the size of the crowd (there were also other shows on at the venue) and the huge number of customers the normal ramp wasn't able to be used so we used the queue hall for a big wide shot.  The final image for this is HUGE so rather than kill everyones bandwidth I'll add a video taken by our GWL Wayne Allen TK 52517



During a break my wife noticed a few cracks forming on my armour, one of which risked snapping a corner off the button plate on my chest.  Rather than risk losing the corner I elected to de-kit for the day.


I spent the rest of the day looking after the Rogue One team consisting of Director Krennic, 2 Death Troopers, 2 Shore Troopers an a Jyn.  Having a nice sized group of R1 costumes together really gave a nice big impact



MCM ComicCon Birmingham


These guys were also cool, I guess.



MCM ComicCon Birmingham


These are members of our Reel Icons club, most/all are also 501st members 1 is an LCOG.

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Apparently the talk was videod by our GML

I was up first, I had no briefing about what to expect other than there was stairs to be careful on, and nearly missed on the way off.
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Troop #16 - 22 June 2019 - Heros And Villians Hemel Hempstead (approx 4 hours in armour)


So I've not trooped in *checks watch* 7 months :icon_eek: but I was out today with Gary as Batman (part of our Reel Icons program).  My wife came along to spot us, she's not a legion member but we have an associate member scheme that allows partners/close family to join us and help out by spotting.


Not a huge fancy troop but we were busy and the time went quickly.  Lots of small kids today, more than I am used to and I may have stepped on a few!


Not overly a lot to report but it was an enjoyable troop and a nice ease back in after a busy few months for me.





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Your Batman!!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Troop #17 - 27 October 2019 - MCM ComicCon London (approx 4 hours in armour)


Autumn means MCM, so once again it was back to the Excel in London for what has become a rather big convention.  Apparently the venue was at Capacity on the Saturday when I was there.


I started the day with a stint on the club stand.  It was pretty quiet first thing, possibly due to the stand location, so it was mostly prep work to get things ready for the day.  The stand got much busier later on and the guys and girls on then had to work far harder than I.  This meant I actually got to take a few of my own photos as my phone wasn't in my case for once!



Reel Icon Collin Wells as Hellboy


After kitting up I went out with 4 other TKs and a Vader.  Normally this would mean a patrol of the venue but due to how busy it was we needed more spotters than where available so it was decided to stay on the stand.  This brought me to lunch and a bit of food



TK-10911 Chris Pearson, TI-29784 Laura Mechem, TX-27875 Nick Wooderson, TK-13570 Tracey Fennell

Photo by TD-77670 Richard Pottle


After lunch I kitted back up and ended up doing a bit of a marathon stint on the club stand.   I ended up being the only OT TK for a long period and I didn't want to leave the stand with no other "iconic" characters.  That said there were a couple of FEMs, a Deathtrooper, a Verso and a TIE which gave some great photos.  Nick in the DT also pulled a bit of a long shift here which can't be easy in that kit.



TK-10911 Chris Pearson, TK-28103 Laura Pragnell, TX-27875 Nick Wooderson, TK-13570 Tracey Fennell

Photo by TD-77670 Richard Pottle


I did one more stint after that but the long shift had taken it's toll.  I was losing feeling in my hands, probably a combo of too long in kit and the new under gloves I was trying.  It's taken about 2 days for the feeling to return and it's still not right even now but getting there.  Lesson: Don't be a hero if you're done go in.  So not the longest amount of time in armour this time, I've done far longer but it was more spread out.


In the end this wasn't my favourite MCM, it was just too busy and the club stand was in a bit of an odd location.  Fortunately the people of the club make it worth it.  You meet so many new people at these and get to see old friends you only see twice a year and it's like you only spoke last week.


Next stop MCM Birmingham in November for a rematch.

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Troop #18 - 16 November 2019 - MCM ComicCon Birmingham (approx 7 hours in armour) 




Good solid troop this one.  There was a good group of us for most of the day plus an officer for most of it too.  Started out in the entrance way guiding people in from the trains.  I some how managed to get a feature in the con closing video from this!


Just before lunch we took part in the Silver Sabres display with Lord Vader as guest of honour.




After lunch the con was incredibly busy making moving around pretty hard so we spent most of our time on the club stand.  This was at a pretty decent location right by one of the doors into the hall.




As the con calmed down towards the end we were able to get out and patrol a bit more but by then most of us were pretty much done for the day.


Not overly sure what everones name was who was in the group, that happens when theres over 300 member in attendance and your bad with names! I know @CableGuy was one though, maybe he can shed some more light on it!


Photos by assorted UKG members, sorry guys I forgot to note down who took them!

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