My birthday present from the wonderful Mrs Lee last year (2015) was a trip to LA in April complete with a 4 day pass to SWCA (Star Wars Celebration Anaheim). OMG. A truly amazing experience for me (and the 10’s of 1,000’s of fans that came from all over the word) and it was here that I first came across the fun but serious side of costuming.
I cannot describe in words without sounding either (a) too nerdy, or (b) too aroused, just how exciting, fascinating, and engaging it was.
… and can I just say.. she really enjoyed it too!
Yes ok, there were a few that took it really REALLY seriously and the words “oh dear” sprang to mind, but hey, no-one was getting hurt or offended, everyone and I mean everyone was having a great time – kids from 6 to 60+ were all engaged in the whole thing and having a great time.
You can see some of our photos from SWCA 2015 in the gallery here.
It was at SWCA that I came across the exhibition stand for, and had a chat with the guys from a company called Anovos, the next on my list of thanks.
Anovos (www.anovos.com) is a US based company that makes licenced Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica costumes and props, and had also obtained approval to manufacture licensed Star Wars costumes, both original trilogy and the new Force Awakens stuff.
Let me tell you now.. as a fanboy.. when you see this stuff close up, and you see people wearing it, and you can touch it, and it’s not just on screen or a dream, and you suddenly realise you can get one of these.. OMG, you head pops with excitement. I’ll touch more on Anovos later in the build but suffice to say, thank you guys for making this a reality and taking my money back in May 2015.
Next on the list at this stage are these guys – The FISD – 1st Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment (www.whitearmour.net), a global gathering of costuming fans and enthusiasts whose help and guidance for me over the past week since my kit arrived has been absolutely invaluable.
These guys really know their stuff and as pro and semi-pro costume and prop builders, many of whom are members of the 501st, their advice and support for a novice like me should ensure a successful build.. fingers crossed!
Since starting the build blog and the actual build in Feb this year (2016) I have come across others that really do need to be included in the updated ‘thank you’ list. They are:
The UKG – The UK Garrison, and in particular my armourer Ross Walmsley (ross8008) who is monitoring and supporting me during my WIP (Work In Progress) build on the UKG site. His service record alone since 2009 for trooping as part of the 501st UKG is very impressive, and his knowledge and insight in to costuming and costume building is amazeballs. It is with his help and guidance (hopefully) I will get my 501st approval.
Also on the UKG a big shout out to Mark Shearman (Truimphmark) who is monitoring and guiding my E11 blaster build. Cheers guys.
On the FISD – 1st Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment site the legend that is UKWRATH in the USA (another Tony) whose Anovos build blog has become a thing of legend and a go-to reference for anyone undertaking an Anovos TK build.
The facebook group Anovos Stormtroopers Kit Builders has become a second home for me on-line at the moment, and it is surprising just how much information fellow troopers from across the world are willing to share with other troopers here – there is no “this is my idea and I ‘aint sharing” here – full on help, guidance, support, ideas, references and go-to links from everyone. Truly amazing and inspiring.
..and it is in this facebook group that I came across Christopher Pearson – a truly inspiring individual who has been helping me along the final path with all manner of info and guidance. I thought I was on the case with this build but oh no.. this guy IS ON IT. He has completed his build and his blaster and has now received approval into the 501st way ahead of me. Christopher is the guy who designed the 3D plans for the power cells used on my blaster, put me in touch with the UKG, and has provided me with support and advice on some of the more intricate and detailed parts of this build. His WIP’s and build blogs are utterly amazing and sooo detailed.
You will see from the STAGE 5 – modification: back plate post that there is another to add to the wall of thanks.. fellow trooper, ‘northern’ UKG member and legend Will ‘the Donny’ Humphreys. You can read all about why Will is on the Thanks List in this post.