Archive for the 'Midwest Garrison' Category

501st, Midwest Garrison, Nar Shaddaa Base, Rebel Legion, Uncategorized

There’s been an awakening…

I think its time to revisit this blog again.

So much has happened in the six years I’ve ignored this blog, but where do I start?

First, I got married, so that’s cool. Star Wars has been bought by Disney and seen a resurgence thanks to the new movies. Rogue One was a flawed, but awesome movie, BTW.

This April will mark my eighth anniversary in the 501st. I’ve been able to see and do so much since then, I’ve made a lot of new friends and unfortunately lost many of them along the way as well. I’ve been active in the Rebel Legion in the past and even held several different officer positions there, but I’ve lost my taste for that club over the years. Like any social structure, these clubs have their highs and lows, their pros and cons. Unfortunately, some times the cons run wild…

In the intervening years between posts, I’ve added several costumes to my collection. Wedge Antilles ROTJ X-Wing Pilot, Wedge Antilles Snowspeeder Pilot, Rebel Fleet Trooper, and Clone Commander Colt.

I also have a few new ones in progress, currently the “trifecta” as I call it. TIE-Pilot, Off-Duty TIE Pilot, and Imperial Bridge Crew. These are the trifecta because if you’re making a TIE pilot, with the addition of a black officer’s hat, you can add two more costumes to your profile, the Off duty and the Crewman, which are almost identical costumes themselves.

I am also, very slowly, working on a new Stormtrooper kit from Anovos. The Anovos kit was too good of a deal, and it’s just time to upgrade my old FX kit to a better, more accurate set. But, to do so, I really need to lose some weight, particularly my spare tire…

501st, Midwest Garrison, Nar Shaddaa Base, news, Rebel Legion, Star Wars

Busy, Busy, Busy…

Ugh, I never can seem to find time in the day to play catch up on everything…

So costuming news:  Got my DL-44 and I can’t stop playing with it. Seriously it sits next to my bed most of the time so I can shoot things. Its got a sweet heft to it, the LED in the emitter barrel is awesome and I can see the red light on wall across the room with the lights on! The sound is a little weak because its coming from inside the gun (which is metal) and there’s really no place for the sound to escape other than through the tiny holes where the “clip” magnetically attaches to the inside. The other main drawback is if you lean the gun to the right it won’t go off. No big deal but the gun has been glued and bondoed together so I can’t get at the electronics without too much work and possibility of breaking it that its probably not even worth the trouble although I’m willing to bet its grounding out on the metal shell somewhere.

Also got my belt. Its pretty decent and was rather cheap off ebay. Its an ESB Luke type belt, like I wanted. Its pretty decently constructed although its two big problems are the buckle is wrong (its a standard Tandy rectangle buckle like the Imperial officers use) and the saber clip sucks as its just a clip that goes onto the belt. But that’s not a huge deal for me because I’m not planning on using it anyways.  My other somewhat major qualm is the utility pockets clip onto the belt, but the clips aren’t long enough to go over the edge of the belt because the belt is a thicker than real life standard belts are. Again not a huge deal but I’m concerned about them being secure and the possibility of losing them.

Maybe velcro for added piece of mind? We’ll see.

Next up is my AP helmet. Definitely excited to get that built, its so pretty. Well it will be once I iron out that atrocious eye bump. Going to need new lenses for it as well…

Things aren’t going well on the snowspeeder jacket front. All attempts to find usable fabrics have been for naught. Its both aggravating and fun as hell though and totally worth the time and effort.

One of these days, I’ll actually get around to posting pictures again…

Until, next time.

501st, Armor Work, Celebration V, collecting, Midwest Garrison, Nar Shaddaa Base, news, Rebel Legion, Star Wars

New Year. New beginning.

So, its 2010. But you should know that by now.

Its time for a new direction. I will continue to post here about my adventures with the 501st Legion and now Rebel Legion as I am also now a card carrying Rebel and member of the RL’s Nar Shaddaa Base. I’ve put together a Rebel pilot on the way to becoming Wedge Antilles mostly based upon his appearance in Return of the Jedi. I’m also XO of our base’s Squadron, the Outlaws.

In addition to that, you’ll start seeing me posting about a wide range of Star Wars things and topics. Collecting, EU, whatever.

So onto the updates:

Wedge Costume:

I haven’t put too much into the build process since I really didn’t build much of anything for this myself. Everything has been either bought built, or I had help through my good friends and Outlaw Squadron mates, Crix and Phyllis. Crix built my code cylinders and Phylis helped me out with modding my Costumebase flightsuit and flack vest.

I have just received my helmet kit so soon I will be doing a build of that. I have a SWEET Han ESB DL-44 that I bought on Ebay so soon I’ll be showing that off as soon as I get it and I’m working on obtaining a belt (Luke ESB).

My goal for this year is to finish my Wedge and HOPEFULLY get a snowspeeder jacket and my dream is a orange jacket based on Wedge’s appearance in X-Wing Rouge Squadron: Phantom Affair.

Stormtrooper Costume:

Well I think I’ll be getting rid of my Kev ANH2.5 helmet, I was able to get in on a discounted run of AP helmets which are White ABS so it should match my costume pretty well compared to how the painted helmet would have been when I’m done. We’ll see how that AP fits me when its done, but I think it will end up being better than the ANH2.5.

Celebration V:

Well come hell or high water, I WANT to go. I feel that its something I NEED to do. So hopefully I’ll see you in Orlando.

501st, Midwest Garrison, Trooping Report

Playing Catch Up: Part Two: Bartlett, IL Parade “Tatooine Death March” and BBQ 7/5/09

Every year a large portion of the Midwest Garrison gets together for one of our two “big” yearly troops, this one being the annual Bartlett, IL Fourth of July Parade we like to call the Tatooine Death March due to its length and the fact that its usually hot as the desert planet its named after. Thankfully, this year it was rather cooler than usual.

It was a fun time, that was had by all. I was able to meet many garrison members I’ve never met but spoken with on the forums and spend time with local members and meet their families and significant others.

Unfortunately the parade itself was a disaster for me. Right as the parade started really going, my thigh strap failed and we were not able to get it field fixed so I had to ride in the back of Phyllis’ jeep. Ok so maybe that wasn’t a total disaster since I didn’t have to march the whole parade, but unfortunately Stormtrooper armor is not designed for sitting and I ended up doing more damage to my suit than I’d like, not to mention the near zero headroom in the back with my helmet on was a pain all on its own.

Thankfully, everyone was helpful and awesome as I’ve come to expect, and we made it through the parade more or less in one piece.

The BBQ was a blast, the food was great, and I went home one full and tired trooper. Can’t wait till next year but hopefully, I’ll have my Crewman ready so I can troop sans plastic, I don’t care if they call that cheating, I call that SMART.

Pictures forthcoming, there’s a lot of them.

501st, Midwest Garrison, Star Wars, Trooping Report

Weekend Trooping Report 6/20/09 -Updated!

This Saturday, I had the pleasure of making it out to two troops in one day. By pleasure, I mean I’m a dumbass who wasn’t paying attention to the event dates and signed up for two troops in one day, luckily they were easy to get from one to another with time to spare so I did them both.

The first troop of the day was the 23rd Annual Chicago Hunger Walk at Montrose Harbor to benefit the Chicago Food Bank. It literally monsooned the night before so the entire park was basically grass covered mud and the air was thick with extremely humid air. Thankfully we were provided with a changing tent, unfortunately it was probably placed on the soggiest spot in the park. My armor was dirty before I got it all on and the folding chair we were provided with liked to sink into the ground when you sat on it.

In all it was a fun experience. Lots of photo ops, even got lots of hugs from kids. We even got to lead the prewalk warm ups and prompted several uses of “may the force be with you” over the PA system. I enjoyed it thoroughly, even though I had an almost disastrous costume “malfunction” with my right thigh armor snaps becoming unglued. Thankfully I was able to get it rigged with some help and suggestions from my fellow troopers, especially costume master Thomas Spanos. (Note to self: figure out what the hell you did with your tape.)

Afterwards, I cleaned off my armor as best I could, packed up, said my goodbyes, and headed back to my neck of the woods for a birthday party. Running a little early, I stopped for bit to rehydrate better and took a nice warm nap in my car.

Refreshed, I headed to the party to meet up with Phyllis for a Clone Wars birthday party for a 4 year old in Homer Glenn, IL. We went over the game plan and headed for the door. Phyllis in her Schph Gochi, Jedi Knight persona and myself in my street clothes and toting my armor crate went over the plans with the father and Phyllis set up while I went upstairs to dress for my entrance.

Phyllis started with the kids, and I came down during their “meditation training”. Basically, the kids were terrified of me to the point they basically refused to play any more. :shrug: What are you going to do? Phyllis was able to coax the kids into playing Hot Thermal Detonator and then some quick pictures with a few kids that worked up the courage to be near me.

Then the kids were herded back outside and I went back upstairs to change and we took off. On the way out Phyllis informed me that the family had given her checks totaling $200 for Make A Wish. I was pretty floored by that. $200 for at most 45 minutes.

Tired, covered in armor bites, and a few cuts, I went home to a cold shower and a nap. It was a good day.

Next weekend: Roadtrip to Trekfest in Riverside, Iowa.

Hunger Walk pictures are available @

Update – I recieved a nice surprise, my picture, in costume, from Aric’s Birthday party was printed in the local Homer Glen paper. Nothing like having your picture in two papers within the span of a week.

Picture from paper

501st, Midwest Garrison

My First Troop – Force Among Us Chicago Premiere 6/12/09

Friday night was my first in armor troop at the Force Among Us Chicago Premiere at the Gene Siskle Film Center. Nothing is more fun than seeing the surprise and attention that we get when people see Star Wars characters out and about in the heart of State Street.

In all I didn’t have too many problems with my armor with the new strap setup. I have one that needs a snap reglued but in all I am much happier with the fit of the arms and especially the thighs that now rest where they are supposed to be instead of too far down. Still need to come up with a better torso option though, the top still pushes out but at least it much less noticeable with the side plates. Might need to work on trying to attach the side plates to the back plate.

Also had a problem with the electronics in the helmet. I really like the new fan placement with the fans in the frown to push air through the helmet but I think it might need to be pulled and redone. The new setup leaves no room for the mic in the frown and my attempt to use it as an earpiece failed miserably. It won’t stay in place and it likes to hit the fan, much like my nose and cheek which currently sport “fan burn”. Will probably pull the fan from the right side of the helmet and try and find a different place for it.

In all it was fun and I got to see a good portion of the film. Its weird to see people you know 30 feet tall on a movie screen.

Two troops this weekend. This should get interesting.

I’ll post pics from the FAU troop soon.

501st, Midwest Garrison, news, Star Wars

MWG on WGN Morning News

Midwest Garrison

51709 Soldier Field Autism Walk Photos

My first troop. I went as photographer and handler and it was great.