Tag Archives: Celebration

A Trooper’s Point of View – Building a TIE Fighter Pilot

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Last year at this time I had a crazy idea pop in my head that just a mere two months before Celebration Anaheim I wanted to make a new 501st costume.  I really wanted to bring some kind of Legion costume to the convention and I didn’t want the hassle of flying with my armor.  So I decided to make something that was entirely soft goods that could be folded up and put in my suitcase.

I decided to make a Reserve Pilot/Imperial Crewman costume.  Basically, it’s a black jumpsuit, boots, belt and gloves.  It’s called a Reserve Pilot, because you have all the costume bits of a TIE Pilot without the helmet or hard armor.

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Now, two months is not in any way shape or form a realistic time frame to research, source, plan and build any kind of Legion approvable costume, especially not when you are also trying to finalize a cross country trip.  Somehow I managed to get it done.  I premiered my Reserve Pilot at Celebration and had a blast.  It’s nice to have a costume I can sit down in.

Fast forward to today, and I am finally working on my full and proper TIE Pilot outfit.  I ordered the armor and patiently waited a month for it to arrive.  The happiest day in any trooper’s life is the day that the Big, Brown Box shows up on your doorstep.  It’s also the most intimidating time of the process.  I laid out all the pieces to make sure everything was there, and then began to scratch my head and realize that I had no idea what I was doing.

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Researching your costume is important.  Let me say that again.  Researching your costume is important.  Especially with armor.  Once you cut that plastic it’s very hard to go back and correct a mistake.  Most everything is fixable, but you may end up doubling or tripling the amount of work you need to do for one piece.  Measure twice, measure again, check your sources, measure one more time, then cut.  Most armor makers send things out in a rough cut form.  The pieces have been cut down to the point that they will fit in the box.  It’s up to you to then trim them down to size.  This is where the research comes into play.  The various Legion detachment sites are a great tool for research, as well as any of the traveling costume exhibits.

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Cutting armor is actually easier than you may think.  Most armor is made out of a plastic like ABS or HIPS.  These cut pretty well with an exacto knife, lexan plastic shears or a dremel.  I prefer to use the exacto knife or shears primarily.  A dremel is a great tool and I highly recommend having one if you are working on these type of costumes, but for a lot of the cutting and trimming, I feel like it’s overkill.  Plus the smell of melting plastic is awful and it makes a HUGE mess.  With an exacto knife you don’t need to cut all the way through the plastic, simply score the plastic, and then you can bend and snap the piece off.  It makes for a fairly clean cut.  Regardless of the method, you end up with a lot of excess plastic, it’s helpful to keep these.  The excess pieces can be useful for fixing things or making plates to attach snaps to.

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Once you have your pieces roughly cut you may need an idea of how the different pieces will fit together, I have found that blue painter’s tape is a great option.  It’s not so sticky that it will leave a residue.

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This is where I am at now, spending my evenings on the couch watching TV and trimming out armor.  Slowly but surely it is starting to take shape.  One of our larger trooping events is coming up at the end of April and my goal is to have the armor be wearable, not necessarily approved yet by that time.  Deadlines are important, but it’s also helpful to make sure they are realistic deadlines.

Next month I should have completed pieces and will be going over fitting and wearing the armor.

Where Can First-Timers See Star Wars? It’s Not Easy.

It still surprises me when I meet someone who had never seen a Star Wars movies.  These films are so iconic that I cannot imagine not seeing at least one of them.  They then follow up by saying that they’ve been wanting to see one, if not all of them, but don’t know where to start.  So how does someone go about sampling these films?

yodaIt was a Sunday afternoon that ended 2015’s Star Wars Celebration.  As I walked out of the closing ceremony (why did it have to end?!?!?), I walked back to the Sheraton Park Hotel to gather my luggage and then headed out to pick up my rental car.  I had an early flight that next morning and decided to stay close to LAX that Sunday evening.

As I was checking in at the Hilton airport location, the front desk clerk, who was in his mid-20s, noticed I was wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and asked if I attended Celebration.  When I told him that I did attend, he said that a father and his son were trying to check in a few days ago for Celebration.  He told them that they were at the wrong Hilton and must travel to the one in Anaheim.  When I asked him how he knew about the convention, he said he was not a Star Wars fan but saw Celebration mentioned on the local news.

I said, “How can you not be a Star Wars fan?  You don’t like the movies?”

He said, “It’s not like I don’t like them.  I just have never seen a Star Wars movie.  Isn’t there one called the Phantom Menace?  I saw some of that one at a friend’s house and liked it.  I just never got to finish watching it.”

yoda2I told him that he should finish watching it and that it’s Episode I of the saga.  He can start there and go through each film up to Episode VI before the new film comes out.

He excitedly said that he wants to do that because the new movie looks like it will be great!

And then a thought occurred to me.  How does someone who has never seen a Star Wars film  supposed to see any of the them before The Force Awakens comes out?  The options are limited and Disney/Lucasfilm does not make it easy for non-Star Wars fans to catch up on the films.  You would think that the films would be readily available to anyone so that a new Star Wars audience can build towards the new movie.  But clearly, that’s not what the powers that be have in mind.

Which of these available methods work for the non-Star Wars fan?

  1. Digital downloads:  The week before Celebration, Disney released digital downloads of all six films.  However, these are for purchase only.  No rentals.  So someone who has never seen and doesn’t know if they will like Star Wars is supposed to buy a Star Wars movie for $20.00.  It is hard to tell someone to sample one of the movies by telling them they can’t rent it for $5.00, or less, but they have to buy it for $20.00.
  2. Online Streaming:  Disney does not offer the films on streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.
  3. Store Rentals:  Blockbusters and many other video store chains have closed.  There are very few smaller rental stores around, but there are limited selections if you are lucky enough to have one around- and Redbox is unlikely to carry these films.
  4. Mail-in Rentals: Luckily, Netflix will mail out the DVD versions if you are a monthly subscriber to their mail-in DVD service.  However, not everyone is a subscriber to this service.  (Blu-ray disks are an extra monthly charge.)
  5. Blu-ray/DVD Purchases:  Again, someone who has never seen a Star Wars movie isn’t going to plop down $50.00 or more for any box set.
  6. TV Broadcasts:  In the U.S., Spike TV will occasionally run a Star Wars marathon of all six films.  However, anyone wanting to catch these films needs to be a pay-tv subscriber and be diligent in keeping their eyes open for the next scheduled airing.  These will not be available through video on demand.
  7. Borrow or Visit:  This is what friends are for!  To let you borrow their disks of the films!  Or better yet, watch them at their house!

So to you, the front desk clerk at the Hilton, I would say your best bet to see all or any of the six Star Wars films is to wait to see them on pay-TV or through Netflix’s DVD service.  If you’re not a subscriber to either services, maybe you can find a friend that owns them.  I wish there were easier ways for the never-before-seen Star Wars people to catch up on the films before The Force Awakens.

~ Bruce Gibson

Evolving Fandom- TWL #147

WampasLair_SquareKarl and Jason are joined by friend and fellow podcast host of the Star Wars Report, Riley Blanton as they discuss how their Star Wars fandom has evolved over the years! From kids playing with the toys to three guys podcasting about the Wars, they hit on all those big moments where they lived out their fandom in their own ways! Continue reading

Episode Seven! – CCC Ep. 007

Bald Solo joins us in the Casino and speaks passionately on a wide variety of Star Wars topics. From the legacy of Cristopher Lee to upcoming Star Wars Battlefront, Michael and Bald cover it all. So come on in, and take a seat in our V.I.P. Lounge here at Cloud City Casino.

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You can visit Bald Solo on his own podcast found at http://www.baldsolopodcast.com/

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or contact him at

https://twitter.com/baldsolo

https://www.facebook.com/BaldSolo?fref=ts

Baldsolo@gmail.com

 

menchristy

A New Host – CCC Ep. 004

Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, Wives? …Evil Sith Lords? all this and more! This is the second part of my conversation with my wife Christine as she recounts her experiences at Celebration Anaheim.  So come on in, and take a seat in our V.I.P. Lounge here at Cloud City Casino.                                            ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

This deal is getting worse all the time! Darth Christine returns to the VIP lounge to recount her Star Wars Celebration Anaheim experience. She demands that her episode be twice as long or it’s force chokes for all so we are splitting this into two parts. This is part 2 where Christine talks about the remaining days at Celebration as well as a trip to Disney Land and what she picked up on May The 4th!

So find a table, turn up the volume on your cyborg headband and get ready for an episode you won’t want to miss because everyone’s a winner here! At Cloud City Casino, we aim to please!

menchristy