Husband, father, geek.

by Chris Pearson

UKG Costuming talk @ MCM Comicon Birmigham

It’s a bit late but last November whilst trooping at MCM Comicon Birmigham I took part in a costuming talk on one of the small stages.

The talk was presented by UKG Commanding officer Gary Hailes and covers an assortment of Star Wars costumes as well as a few from other films.

I’m the Stormtrooper who is up first.

Just a small insight into some of the detail and effort that goes into the costumes we build for both the 501st Legion and Reel Icons.

ElstreeCon 2.0

At the weekend I was lucky enough to be able to return once again to where it all started: Elstree Studios in Borehamwood just 11 miles from home.

This was a troop at ElstreeCon 2.0 in aid of The National Autism Society. Whilst small this was an enjoyable event with a few actors and actresses in attendance.

In the afternoon we were lucky enough to be escorted onto the studio lot, past active sets, to the George Lucas Stage for a few photos!

Left to Right : Declan Baker (TI 9845), Dan Branton (TK 42911), Adam Knapp, (TK 11780) Chris Pearson (TK 10911)

A full write up is available on my Troop log on FISD.

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.

Read more…

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

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Review: Printrbot Play

Back in June of 2016 I was lucky enough to win an online raffle and the prize was a 3D printer, something I’ve been lusting after for a long time.

Printrbot Play Box

The prize was a Printrbot Play. This a small printer that comes fully assembled and ready to print.

Read more…

GIMP Star Trails

Way back in 2011 I was bitten by the astrophotography bug and enjoyed taking star trail photography. For those who aren’t aware what that is, here is a brief summary from wikipedia:

A star trail is a type of photograph that utilizes long-exposure times to capture the apparent motion of stars in the night sky due to the rotation of the Earth. A star trail photograph shows individual stars as streaks across the image, with longer exposures resulting in longer streaks. Typical exposure times for a star trail range from 15 minutes to several hours, requiring a 'bulb' setting on the camera to open the shutter for a longer period than is normal.

At the time there was no free software for the mac so I wrote a plugin for the free image program GIMP1. This got a reasonable amount of use by others but not long after a few more fully featured software became available, I ahem found ahem Adobe Photoshop (and now pay for it) and the plugin fell by the way side.

Star trail

Where am I going with this? Well being an open source project on github other users are able to contribute fixes and new features. This week exactly this happened. The new change adds a basic method to remove sky glow from the image as well as a few other minor bits.

The incredibly well named gimp-startrail-compositor 1.8 is available on github.

  1. Yes that really is the name of the software. 

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