Husband, father, geek.

by Chris Pearson

© 2015–2018 Christopher Pearson, All rights reserved.

Trading Card #364

UK Garrison Trading Card 364

One of the more fun things the members of the 501st legion do is create trading cards of themselves in costume. These are available though various channels such as the Detachments (who manage specific costumes) as well as Garrisons (who manage specific geographical areas).

After joining and making a few friends I was given several of these, and some people include them in sales. Sometimes you get one, others 2 with one signed by the member. I soon needed a folder to keep them all.

This year I finally arranged to get my own set made. I went with ordering them through my Garrison as they personalise them to me more. It took me far too long to organise this but I am very happy I eventually managed it.

My cards now take pride of place in the front of my collection.

Trading card collection

If any 501st member would like a pair for themselves, please feel free to contact me using the social media links on this site and I’ll send you some.

Suitcase Props

So, I’ve been selling a few 3D printed prop parts on Shapeways since Rogue One was released in 2016. The store was named Suitcase Props, a play on my long time screen name.

What I never did though, was any branding at all. Being named after luggage didn’t give me any instant ideas and so I left it. I did think about recruiting a proper designer or maybe asking a friend to help but I just didn’t have any ideas for a long time.

Recently however, I had a bit of inspiration and spent some time in Inkscape iterating on the design.

Suitcase Props logo

The end result is a simplified suitcase, I’d found more realistic ones never worked in the past. The wordmark was the result of some time hunting on dafont for a futuristic font. I took this and then joined the S and P to give a more stylised look.

Suitcase Props logo - icon style

For times when the full logo is a bit much or I want something small I also created an icon styled logo isolating just the wordmark.

Getting Back Into It

One of my goals for 2018 is to get back into my photography. For assorted reasons, I’ve not really used my DSLR kit for about 2.5-3 years now. The last serious use was when I went to Skomer in Wales to photograph puffins in 2015. I’ll try and write a short post on that in the near future.

As part of the process of re-educating myself about my past journey I have re-loaded all my old posts from my previous Wordpress blog and updated all the images and links to work again. I did do some minor spellchecking, grammar edits and removed some dead links, but for the most part these are all as written.

If you want to read the posts either head to the Archive or the first post is a review of the Optech sling strap.

TKVoice Is No More 😢

A week or so ago I got an email from Apple asking me to renew my Developer account for another year, I declined. The renewal cost is non-trivial and right now I cannot justify the cost.

This essentially means as of Jan 27th, 2017 TKVoice will die.

I was a lot more upset about this than I thought I would be. Whilst I’ve not worked on the app in a while and the support side isn’t exactly super fun, hearing that people enjoy the app and like it was great and always made my day.

The renewal fee wasn’t the only reason I have called it a day, I also haven’t really got anything else I wanted to do to the app and couldn’t make myself work on it anymore.

With the removal of the headphone jack on the iPhone 7 the already complex hardware setup become more complex again and added to the support burden. The iPhone is rather fussy about the hardware that will work for the required setup and this meant people often paid out for stuff that just didn’t work.

I originally wrote this to use on an old 5s that was sat in my draw and figured others would do the same. What actually happened was people were using their daily drive phone or buying an old phone specially! This made me feel more obliged to ensure that the system worked for them.

Since I started TKVoice the voice changer landscape has changed a lot. When I started there was Rom-FX or icomm and not much else. Now there’s a competing IOS app TrooperTalk, TRamp has come out with an excellent all in one device1, and there’s even a DIY kit in TKTalkie! These give several great options for many budgets.

Existing users will be able to continue to use the app until they do an upgrade that kills the app. IOS 10 made the app misbehave, I suspect IOS 11 in September will do the same. I plan on leaving my trooping iPhone running, I think, IOS 9 so it won’t be an issue.

Yes I am gutted it’s over. It was a really fun experiment but I also don’t want to burn money on it. Last year I was lucky enough to have donations cover the cost of the sub, and pay for my Aker speaker. This year, I don’t want to ask, and I wouldn’t accept anything anyway.

Thank you to every one of you that downloaded the app or sent me a nice message. You made it all worth it, even if only for short time.

  1. This was what I wish existed in 2015 when I started TKVoice. If I had the money I’d be ordering one today. With experiance I have found the multi component setup of TKV a bit frustrating and the all in one unit appeals. It also sounds great. 

2016 Lego Star Wars Advent

For the past few years I’ve been getting the Lego Star Wars Advent calendars. Last year I did a daily post on Instagram of the prize. These aren’t super high quality, just 60 seconds effort after I built it.

This year I did the same so I thought I’d do a blog run down of all the sets.

December 1st - Slave One

Doing my #Lego #starwars advent calendar countdown again. Dec 1st and it's Slave One.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 2nd - Bespin Wing Guard

December 3rd - TIE Interceptor

Day 3 of #Lego #starwars advent is a adorable tiny TIE Interceptor! #fortheempire

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 4th - Imperial Navy Trooper

Day 4 of the #lego #starwars advent is an Imperial Navy Trooper!

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 5th - Rebel Gun Implacement

December 6th - Imperial Snowtrooper

December 7th - Snowman and snowball gun

On the 7th day of advent #Lego #starwars gave to me a rather forgettable snowman trooper with snow gun.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 8th - Rebel 1.4 FD P-Tower

December 9th - Rebel Hoth Trooper

Playing a bit of catch-up: day 9 of #Lego #starwars advent is a Hoth Rebel Trooper. As I guessed the other day!

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 10th - Venator Class Star Destroyer

December 11th - Trade Federation Droid Army AAT

Day 11 of #Lego #starwars is a Trade Federation Droid Army AAT. It's an okay model but nothing to shout about.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 12th - HMP Droid Gunship

Day 12 of #Lego #starwars and it's a droid gun ship thing. File this one under filler.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 13th - Trade Federation Battle Droid

December 14th - Obi Wan’s Starfighter

December 15th - Tantive IV

Day 15 of #LEGO #Starwars (aka Rogue One day) is the Tantive IV that first welcomes us to the Galaxy far far away back in 1977.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 16th - U-3PO

Day 16 of #LEGO #Starwars advent gives us U-3PO. A nice addition to my protocol droid collection.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 17th - Gonk Droid

Day 17 for #LEGO #Starwars advent gives us a Gonk Droid!

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 18th - Jabba’s Palace

Day 18 of #LEGO #Starwars advent is Jabbas Palace. Apparently, I had to look this one up but I can see it now.

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 19th - Luke Skywalker (RotJ)

December 20th - Desert Skiff

December 21st - Imperial Stormtrooper

Day 21 of #LEGO #Starwars and we get the best minifig so far (not biased...) an Imperial Stormtrooper! #fortheempire

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 22nd - Imperial Shuttle

Day 22 of #LEGO #Starwars advent is an Imperial Shuttle. I was so not fussed by this one I forgot to post it last night!

A photo posted by Christopher Pearson (@maninsuitcase) on

December 23rd - Sleigh

December 24th - Snow Wookie

In all this was a good advent calender. As always not the cheapest way to buy LEGO but I already am looking forwards to next years.