A bit of inspiration...

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Kortoso
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A bit of inspiration...

Post by Kortoso »

(PS: I'm not sure where to put this, but I want to talk about encouraging growth of the ME Ranger movement...)
I've always gazed up the 501st Legion in admiration and awe.
For those who don't know, it's a fan group that specializes in getting into Stormtrooper costumes from the Star Wars universe.
Of course, their members show up for every convention they can, and have arranged appearances in many parades.
It's probably a coincidence, but they are a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization and make many appearances for charities.

Anyway, I want to take a look at their website.
http://www.501st.com/
It's really a well-organized, information-rich site. No offense to our current ME Ranger members and proceedings, but you can see that the 501st doesn't mess around.
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Greg
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Greg »

The first big difference between their deal and us is that they have rigid clothing/gear standards. We have collectively chosen to not set standards for the forum, because Tolkien is something that can be interpreted however the reader chooses.

Beyond that...our kind of thing just really doesn't have the appeal that dressing up with hundreds of others does. We don't have a big draw, really, because what we talk about doing is hard. Sleeping in the woods in historical, minimalist gear? Sounds painful to most people.

They really do have a good thing going...but I wonder if it would be a wise model for us to follow. Maybe I'm wrong.
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Kortoso
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Kortoso »

I agree, the "game" is quite different. They can use the props and costumes from the Star Wars series to follow as holy writ, whereas we have the writings of Tolkien, which may or may not agree with what we see on the screen. And they have a continuing series of movies to drum up interest.

And I agree, sleeping rough isn't for everyone; although we don't all do that: many of us are content to go on day-hikes in kit. Yet, assembling a stormtrooper's armor is probably no picnic, nor is marching in a city parade while wearing it.

The subject of the 501st lends itself to an organized, make-believe-regimentation. Many ME Rangers are lone wolves by nature and getting people organized is something like herding cats.

But I still think that there's much to be learned from groups such as the 501st.
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Taurinor
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Taurinor »

Greg wrote:The first big difference between their deal and us is that they have rigid clothing/gear standards. We have collectively chosen to not set standards for the forum, because Tolkien is something that can be interpreted however the reader chooses.
Kortoso wrote:They can use the props and costumes from the Star Wars series to follow as holy writ, whereas we have the writings of Tolkien, which may or may not agree with what we see on the screen.
I think if we were to look for inspiration in the Star Wars fandom (which, like Greg, I don't know how well that will work), I'd think we'd have a little more in common with the Rebel Legion. They're the Star Wars good guys to the 501st's bad guys, and I know they do a lot of events and the like together. The reason I say they might be a little closer than the 501st is they allow for some original costuming, as long as it fits within guidelines drawn from the movie. For example, a member can put together an Old Republic Jedi that is not specific to any canon character, as long as they have the gi-type tunic, obi, cloak, lightsaber, etc. One could argue that we do something similar, since most of us do not portray Strider, but draw from the descriptions in the text and create our own interpretations. I think that's about where the similarities end, though.
Greg wrote:Beyond that...our kind of thing just really doesn't have the appeal that dressing up with hundreds of others does. We don't have a big draw, really, because what we talk about doing is hard. Sleeping in the woods in historical, minimalist gear? Sounds painful to most people.
Kortoso wrote:And I agree, sleeping rough isn't for everyone; although we don't all do that: many of us are content to go on day-hikes in kit. Yet, assembling a stormtrooper's armor is probably no picnic, nor is marching in a city parade while wearing it.
Based on the costuming requirements and what I've overheard at cons, I think most Stormtroopers purchase their armor from a few crafters within the Legion, since most folks don't know how to mold ABS/fiberglass/etc, and the suits don't come cheap. I know we've moved from the "budget authenticity" domain name, but I think one of the forum's best aspects is how approachable a lot of the members try to make the hobby to newcomers (and even more established members) with limited budgets. The Legion has other costumes that are more accessible to members with restricted budgets, of course, but when it comes right down to it, they have to look good. They look good for sick children and charities, so it's definitely looking good for a good cause, but that's still the whole point. It seems very different from our "just get out in the woods in your gear" mentality.

I like the charity work that the 501st/Rebel Legion do (I've been thinking about how to get my local group involved with some service work), and I like the organization of information on their webpage (and I think the Wiki is our attempt at trying to do something similar), but I also wonder it they're a suitable model for us.
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Manveruon
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Manveruon »

To be fair, I think Kortoso's original point was more that we could draw inspiration from some aspects of their organization than that we ought to try to organize ourselves exactly like they do. I don't think anyone is suggesting that we model ourselves after the 501st, but rather that we might look into some of their successes as inspiration for us as well. That being said, I agree that the Rebel Legion might be a better source of inspiration, considering their slightly looser guidelines, not to mention the fact that we tend to all identify with the "good guys" around here.
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by wulfgar »

I was in the 501st for many years with a Tusken Raider and a Sand Trooper. They have to be 501c because there is some issue with copyright issues. Every costume they have is Techically a copyright infringement, but when it was Lucasfilm he was ok with it because everything was for charity. There was some though tthat Disney would not be so accepting when they took over but as long as they never charge for an appearance it's all good. I actually got paid by Lucafilm when the Blu-Rays came out, and received comp hotels rooms and meals a few times.
Just my two cents.
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Kortoso
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Kortoso »

Taurinor wrote:I like the charity work that the 501st/Rebel Legion do (I've been thinking about how to get my local group involved with some service work), and I like the organization of information on their webpage (and I think the Wiki is our attempt at trying to do something similar), but I also wonder it they're a suitable model for us.
Thanks for the responses, brothers!
My own group is looking at volunteering for environmental cleanups and the like.
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Kortoso »

About another interesting group, more like the ME Rangers...

When I was at Old Fort Macarthur Days many years ago, playing a Viking, or was I an Anglo-Saxon that year? Anyway, one of the groups participating there that years was Morgan's Riflemen.

They actually taught me first how to make a fire using flint and steel. It's one of their requirements for membership.
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Elleth »

Hunh - I was just on that Morgan's Riflemen page the other day looking at their blanket research - small world! :)

I agree the trickiest part about emulating the stormtrooper model is the lack of a canonical visual template.
Well, that and manpower - several thousand people can build out a nicer archive of tips than a couple dozen.

Still - I think given our numbers we're adding good material at a pretty good clip. Speaking of, gonna do a nice project show-off thread shortly. Woo! :)
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Re: A bit of inspiration...

Post by Eric C »

I am on the Mandalorian Mercs site. When I joined over there - after being here for quite a while - I found their standards to be very strict. But I understand it for their intended purpose. I've hardly worked on my Mando kit and am working slowly on another Star Wars outfit.

It would be great to be able to get a group of rangers together for some sort of public event, but yeah, we're spread pretty far apart and each of us are rather individualistic. After reenacting Civ War for a while, that is one thing that appeals to me about Middle Earth Rangers.
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