Tag Archives: Stormtrooper

Happy Star Wars day!

Yes, it’s that time of year again when people who don’t mention Star Wars at all 364 days of the year will suddenly flood your Facebook timeline with May the 4th pictures and messages. So here’s another one;

May the 4th be with you, always.

Of course, anyone that reads this blog regularly, or has the misfortune to have me as a friend on Facebook will know that I post about Star Wars a little more often than once a year….

I was going to write something a little more interesting this morning, perhaps a little bit of the history of Star Wars day (such as it is), or something like that. But Real Life has been a bit busy of late, and a quick Google image search and some hastily typed words is all you’re getting today!

Oh wait, here’s a picture of myself and Hibiscus at a charity event we attended before Christmas which she wrote about here.

Snow White & the Roontrooper


Snow White and Storm Trooper

The weekend before Christmas Rooney and I had the pleasure of taking part in an event run by a local funeral firm (Daniel Robinson & Sons) which we got all dressed up for, me as Snow White and Rooney as a Storm Trooper. The idea of the day was to basically make a group of children and their families who had had a tough year with bereavement and illness feel as special as possible.

They were picked up by limos and greeted by us in costume and staff from the funeral firm who were dressed up as different characters from Toy Story and pantomime heros and villains (from the local theatre’s panto cast) and then taken in to a church for a lunch. We went round to talk to the children and make it as magical as possible, then they then went off to watch the pantomime. The day was amazing and I hope that the children enjoyed it as much as I did –  if they did then it was a real success!

It was probably the first time in my life that I thought ‘This is what Christmas is really about.’ It was a day that I will never forget but there are two memories that will stay with me forever; I was talking to a family and the baby that the father was holding looked up at me with her big eyes and grabbed my hand and just stared at me with a huge smile on her face, and the second memory was a girl running up to me who was about 7 years old and put her arms around my waist and was asking her Mum to take a photo of us, she was so excited to be near ‘Snow White.’ It definitely made me feel like a princess for the day and made me so happy to give these children something to smile about.

Cake + Stormtrooper = WIN!

That, ladies and gents, is 6’2″, 300 lbs of Stormtrooper shaped cake, and one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. It was made by the talented folks at Oak Leaf Cakes for the Arisia Sci-Fi convention in Boston. Check out their site for some WIP shots of this amazing cake.

Now, I wonder if I can get one for my birthday cake this year….

Garrison Clearance, Part 2

Now that the insanity of moving house is more or less done with, and we’re confortably settled into our new home (the wonderfully named “Castle GreySkull”), I’ve finally had a chance to start making the changes to my armour pointed out by a friend of mine who has already gotten his armour through the clearance process.

First up is the simplest change – swapping the black strapping on the thigh drop boxes for white. Stupidly easy to do, since this particular suit is strapped together with Velcro, making changes and adjustments (such as for expanding waistlines…) a doddle. Sourcing the Velcro was also easy (and cheap), as I got it from a certain well-known supermarket, where every little helps. And it only cost me a quid (that’s £1 for all you foreigners). Not much more to say about this change since it’s ridiculous in its simplicity, so here’s some pictures instead.



The old black straps



The new white ones


Next is the first of the changes to make me nervous. “Why would modifying a costume make you nervous Rooney?” I hear you all ask. Because I have to cut lumps off of the most expensive thing I own…

In fact I was so racked by nerves that I completely forgot to take any “before” shots, so you’ll just have to make do with the one I made in Paint!



My MS Paint skills are unrivalled.

The belt came with squared-off corners, which aren’t screen accurate, so they had to be trimmed down…



More amazing Paint editing.

I still need to smooth the edges of the cuts – I made the cuts with a pair of snips which leave less than smooth curves –  but since I’m out of sandpaper that’ll have to wait for now.

So, with those two jobs out of the way, I am now one step closer to trooping around a town near you proudly sporting that little logo on my left shoulder pad!

Garrison Clearance. Part 1.

This is going to be the first in an ongoing series of posts following my attempts to get 501st Garrison clearance for my suit of Stormtrooper armour. But before I launch into the details of it, I should probably tell those of you that don’t know who they are a little bit about the 501st Legion.

I’ll let the Legions charter do the talking;

“…The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work…”

They’re basically costumers/cosplayers that dress as characters from the evil side of the Star Wars universe (their sister group Rebel Legion[add link] handles those that play characters from the good side), such as bounty hunters and Stormtroopers. As a non-profit organisation they do a lot of charity work – even when they’re booked for corporate events they don’t take the money. The company booking them donates to a chosen charity supported by the Legion – and so even though they’re not officially part of Lucasfilm (who obviously own all the intellectual property rights to everything from Star Wars), they are allowed to continue doing what they do, even being supported by Lucasfilm.

In order to keep this prestigious backing, they have very high standards for what is acceptable in a costume, always striving to be as near to screen accurate as is possible. This prevents the group being flooded with people in a £30 Halloween costume that looks nothing like the characters seen on screen. I whole-heartedly support these high standards, as they’re part of what makes the 501st so great. However, as I was to discover, those high standards can be a right pain in the exhaust port…

Cheap stormtrooper costume.

A few months back, due to a fortuitous windfall of funds, I finally realised a childhood dream (is it still a childhood dream if you still long for it in adulthood?) and bought myself a full suit of Stormtrooper armour. The chap I bought it from (who shall remain nameless for now) assured me it was all 100% accurate and Garrison approved. He even told me this when I went for the fitting and bought it, only admitting after questioning that the boots would probably need to replaced.

Me in my TK armour

Me in my TK armour

Only after completing the purchase and returning home did I discover that he had been less than truthful. This trader is apparently know to the 501st, and they advise people not to buy from him as his gear is not garrison approved as he claims. So of course, my very nice new Stormtrooper armour fails their clearance checks. Which means after spending a considerable amount of money on it, I now need to spend yet more money and time to get it up to spec. This is very irritating.

Of course, this doesn’t stop me from looking awesome in the armour, nor does it stop me from appearing at events on my own (or in support of the Essex Ghostbusters), so it’s not all bad.

I’ve contacted a few people who have got 501st cleared armour and have been getting advice from them on how to make the adjustments, and since there are bound to be others out the in the same boat as me, I thought I’d document it all here, so that anyone else that gets duped like I did will have some idea of what to do!

I’ve yet to make any of the changes yet since my armour’s boxed up ready for me to move house, but when I start chopping (*gulp*) into my expensive white armour, I’ll be sure and keep you updated…

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