Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Frank77

Newbie in Memphis

Recommended Posts

Greetings from Memphis.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a Storm Trooper costume for a while now, and learned about you all a few weeks ago from a co-worker. Then yesterday (at the Memphis Comic Con) a Storm Trooper showed up (I assume it was one of you) and my kids were thrilled. Being the great Dad that I am, I thought "What the heck. Take the plunge and get outfitted like a Storm Trooper". So here I am, knowing little to nothing except what I've glanced at on your website.

I like the fact that you volunteer for stuff. So do I -- though usually as a zombie, an insane doctor, or a blood-thirsty hillbilly at local Haunted Houses or Corn Mazes. I participate in the annual Memphis Zombie Walk each spring, and do some volunteer work at Youth Villages with my Men's Church group (Hope Presbyterian Church). Wearing a white Storm Trooper outfit will be quite a change from my usually "drenched in blood" outfits! <smile>

I'm not into building and assembling things (no time or inclination)...and it looks like all of you made your outfits and gear. Are there any quality outfits one can buy that don't require a lot of modifications and skill?

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Frank, welcome! It is going to be hard to buy a costume "off the shelf, ready to go, no assembly required". My advice would be to come out to some of the events we have and meet some of the folks that troop. You could even be a handler. It is probably easier than you think to build a stormtrooper costume. It takes basic knowledge, and not a full workshop of tools, although tools are required. Stay away from Ebay, and just ask around here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Frank77,

I was the Stormtrooper you saw at the Memphis Comic Con this weekend! I'm pretty close to Memphis - I live in Olive Branch, MS. I'm a member of the Rancor Raiders Garrison in Mississippi but would be glad to help out any way I can. I just trooped the Memphis Comic and Fantasy Convention and plan to hit as many local Memphis troops as possible so feel free to come out and chat.

I've trooped several events with the Mid South Garrison this year and they are a terrific group! You'll be in good hands. I've trooped in Nashville, Clarksville and Memphis and the Mid South Garrison can always use more troopers in the Memphis area!

Since I live near Memphis and it is close to two other garrisons, I've been lucky to be able to troop with members from Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas...all at one event!

Good luck and be sure to ask if you need any help. Also - go to the First Imperial Stormtrooper Detachment and register, you can get TONS of info on the Stormtrooper build on thier boards!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JW01 is selling a completely assembled suit right now if you wanna go that direction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JW01 is selling a completely assembled suit right now if you wanna go that direction.

Yea this would be a great deal for sure. I think it is cut for a trooper about 5.9". If you are taller it may not be the best choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Frank. Name here is Dave. Live in Millington and working on a officers uniform now. Will someday get a TK kit. Welcome to the group. Lots of knowledge here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the warm welcome.

Regarding Tools: I don't have a workshop, but can use tools. Lack of time is the problem. I work about 60 hours a week, and have a house full of undone paperwork to do!

Right now I'm still lost learning the lingo spoken here. Heck, all I recall from the movies are the white uniformed Storm Troopers. Now I see there are Sand Troopers, officers, lots of different helmet styles, etc.

Newbie Questions: Are these uniforms uncomfortable to wear around? Do you get hot inside them? Can you drive a car while wearing one? Dance? Jump? Go to the bathroom?

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fellas,

I'd love to be able to come by someone's home (or workplace)and see what an outfit actually looks and feels like up close, and maybe get some idea of the work (and tools) involved in making one. I live near Wolfchase Mall in Memphis, and can easily travel to wherever you are some evening or weekend.

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Frank, here are my attempts at your questions...

Are these uniforms uncomfortable to wear around?

Initially yes, but the more you wear it, the more adjustments you'll make after each troop and it gets better and better. The first time I wore my TK I could barely bend my knees so I adjusted that to the point where I can now go up and down stairs with no problem. My arms are constantly getting pinched between my forearm and bicep armor so I'm still working on that. I've made lots of adjustments to how my garter system supports my thigh armor and I've been constantly tweaking my electronics and am finally happpy with my mic/amp/PTT set up. I got approved in June and have only trooped 9 times now, but I can tell a huge difference now versus the way it was the first couple of times. Like I said, every time I wear it, I come back home and make some kind of adjustments. I'm sure guys that have been wearing their's for years have got them all dialed in and don't have to do anything to them between troops.

Do you get hot inside them?

Yes, but it is bearable. Fans inside your helmet are a must to keep cool and to keep the fog off your lenses. You're wearing a full body glove inside a plastic shell so you're gonna get warm. I've trooped indoors and out and even in July in the 100+ degree Memphis heat, I could handle it.

Can you drive a car while wearing one?

Not possible, period. Most troopers can't even sit down in them (I know I can't). Some troopers have their harnesses and straps adjusted or mounted so they can sit, but those are the exception. Most Stormtroopers just don't sit down.

Dance? Jump?

Dance - sure you can move a bit, but I wouldn't count on doing the limbo. Jump - maybe. It all depends on your individual "style" of movement and how your kit is put together. The last thing you'll want to do is have a buckle or snap come undone and have to undress just to pop something back in place to keep your butt plate from falling down/off. You can see a guy in Japan dancing in a TK on YouTube, but most guys just don't have thier kits set up to move that way (plus you've got your blaster and other parts that the Japan guy isn't wearing).

Go to the bathroom?

Go before you suit up. Some guys buy the body suit with a zipper in front that allows for bathroom breaks but most just plan ahead and go before.

Hope these help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin,

Thanks for the info. I guess you all drive to your event and get dressed in the parking lot (or someplace similar)?

Handlers have been mentioned. Does that mean you need someone to help you get fully suited up, or can you get dressed by yourself?

Curious,

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we drive to the event and suit up on site. Many times the event organizer will provide a changing area and location to store your armor bin and valuables while you're trooping. I have however, trooped an event where the parking lot was the "changing area" and we stored our stuff in the car during the event.

As far as handlers go, they are nice to have but not an absolute necessity. I can suit up with no help but it is always nice to have an extra person around if you are trooping solo to help with any problems. If more than one trooper is there, you can always help each other to reach that last strap or snap you struggle with. At the Memphis Comic Con, I trooped solo without a handler and had no problems suiting up, but the handler's other job is to help with the crowd and that's where it is sometimes a challenge. The handler can see people off to the side or behind you that want to get a photo and they aren't wearing a helmet, so they can hear better than you too. Plus there's always that one kid that wants to run away with your blaster!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Frank, here are my attempts at your questions...

Are these uniforms uncomfortable to wear around?

Initially yes, but the more you wear it, the more adjustments you'll make after each troop and it gets better and better. The first time I wore my TK I could barely bend my knees so I adjusted that to the point where I can now go up and down stairs with no problem. My arms are constantly getting pinched between my forearm and bicep armor so I'm still working on that. I've made lots of adjustments to how my garter system supports my thigh armor and I've been constantly tweaking my electronics and am finally happpy with my mic/amp/PTT set up. I got approved in June and have only trooped 9 times now, but I can tell a huge difference now versus the way it was the first couple of times. Like I said, every time I wear it, I come back home and make some kind of adjustments. I'm sure guys that have been wearing their's for years have got them all dialed in and don't have to do anything to them between troops.

Do you get hot inside them?

Yes, but it is bearable. Fans inside your helmet are a must to keep cool and to keep the fog off your lenses. You're wearing a full body glove inside a plastic shell so you're gonna get warm. I've trooped indoors and out and even in July in the 100+ degree Memphis heat, I could handle it.

Can you drive a car while wearing one?

Not possible, period. Most troopers can't even sit down in them (I know I can't). Some troopers have their harnesses and straps adjusted or mounted so they can sit, but those are the exception. Most Stormtroopers just don't sit down.

Dance? Jump?

Dance - sure you can move a bit, but I wouldn't count on doing the limbo. Jump - maybe. It all depends on your individual "style" of movement and how your kit is put together. The last thing you'll want to do is have a buckle or snap come undone and have to undress just to pop something back in place to keep your butt plate from falling down/off. You can see a guy in Japan dancing in a TK on YouTube, but most guys just don't have thier kits set up to move that way (plus you've got your blaster and other parts that the Japan guy isn't wearing).

Go to the bathroom?

Go before you suit up. Some guys buy the body suit with a zipper in front that allows for bathroom breaks but most just plan ahead and go before.

Hope these help.

Just for the record, in my TK, I can:

Drive a car. In fact, I did it for a movie one of our members made. I can sit down easily in mine.

Dance! Do it all the time.

Go up (AND DOWN!!!) stairs.

Go to the bathroom only by taking off my gloves and undoing two snaps.

If you leave your armor pretty much "Stock", it's not going to be comfortable. I recommend a lot of mods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Frank. Glad you could look into the 501st. I am like kevzone and live near Memphis in Olive Branch, part of the Mississippi Rancor Raiders. So if you ever have any questions, either of us would be happy to help. I am also a TK (Stormtrooper). I had very little knowledge to any hobbies of modeling, glueing, panting, ect. before starting my costume. However there are a VAST selection of website you can research from for your knowledge. I would have to agree with Loki on the mods, but be somewhat choicy on them. Some mods are not meant for everyone. But again that is something you can read in reviews that are posted on forums just like this one. The best for you will more likely be the one KevZone earlier refurred you to the FISD (First Imperial Stormtrooper Detatchment). Again, welcome and let us know of any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×