Spotlight

SKG September Spotlight: IC/TI/IG 26192 Steven Cratty

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Our September trooper spotlight is Steven Cratty. You can learn more about him below.

Do you have a nickname in the 501st? How did you get it?
“No nickname yet!”

What is your favorite Star Wars movie?
“The Empire Strikes Back”

When did you join the 501st and why?
“October 2018”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“Imperial Bridge Crew”

If you have multiple costumes, what is your favorite costume to wear and why?
“Imperial Gunner. Just gotta love that crazy cool helmet. The fact that I can wear my glasses in it is just a bonus!”

Is there a costume that you would like to build that you haven’t already done?
“Way too many to count. If I had to choose one though it’d be a Royal Guard. Some day I’ll standby to protect our Emperor!”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“Haven’t done too many troops yet but the kid filled one’s like ZooBoo, Erie’s Children’s Science Center and the Lake Erie Speedway Lantern Fest definitely stand out.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“Ask questions. We are all here to help. But remember, do your own research too. The detachment forums for your specific character have tons and tons of resources. Check them out. Read ALL the build threads. Also, it’s OK to take a step back and put a costume on hold. I went through three options before I finally settled on the bridge crew.”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“In general I love to watch movies, various TV shows, play video games and read (though I need to do more of the latter…)”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“I’m not so deep into these as Star Wars but some of my favorites are: The Lord of the Rings, Batman, Harry Potter and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Spotlight

SKG August Spotlight: BH-13270 Justin Cummings

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August’s Trooper Spotlight is Justin Cummings. Justin, wife Alana and their son love to go to events together. Learn more about Justin below.

Justin and wife Alana
When did you join the 501st and why?
“I joined in 2012 (approved in 2015). I have always been a Star Wars fan and I thought since I have always liked Boba, I should get a costume.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“Empire Strikes Back Boba Fett”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?
“I have an approved ESB Boba, and a deathtrooper that is a work in progress”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to mention? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.
“I don’t really keep track of that stuff.”

If you have multiple costumes, what is your favorite costume to wear and why?
“No matter how many costumes I end up having, Boba will always be my favorite”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“I enjoy Steel City con , and I am sure once I get a chance to do a children’s hospital visit, that will be a special troop for me.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“Stay away from etsy and ebay. do your research, ask lots of questions, and take your time to get it right the first time.”

What do you do for a living?
“I an an advanced engineering lab test technician for Wabtec”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“3d printing, working on electronics”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
“Boba Fett”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“Star Trek, Marvel, DC”

SKG Eats

Simple Baby-Back Ribs Recipe by TI 52818 Andrew Milbourne

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Before the summer is over and it starts snowing you should make TI 52818’s  simple baby-back ribs!

Thank you Andrew for submitting, these look so good!

Simple Baby-Back Ribs Recipe

You Will Need:

  • 1 rack of pork baby back ribs.
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Barbecue Sauce (your choice)
  • Baking Sheet
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Paper towels

Preparation:

  1. Thoroughly mix the brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, and chili powder in the small mixing bowl. This will be your dry rub. Set aside for now.
  2. Remove ribs from their packaging. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. There is a very thin, very tough membrane on the back (ribs side) of the rib rack. Remove this membrane. I use a knife to pry up a corner of the membrane, then pull it down the length of the ribs. You may need to use a paper towel to grip the end of the membrane. If the membrane tears or doesn’t come off in one piece, repeat until you get it all off.
  4. Put the dry rub all over the ribs (both sides) and rub in. The meat will take on the color of the rub and turn dark reddish brown.
  5. Wrap ribs securely in heavy-duty aluminum foil and put in refrigerator for several hours to chill. I prep them first thing in the morning, then let them sit in the fridge until 3 hours before dinner time. You can also refrigerate overnight. I put the ribs on the baking sheet before putting them in the ribs just in case any meat juice leaks out. That way it will leak onto the baking sheet and not get all over my fridge.

Cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Place ribs (still on baking sheet) in center of the oven, ribs-side down. Note that the baking sheet is still optional, however it will catch anything that leaks out of the foil and will keep your oven for getting messed up.
  3. Cook for 2.5 hours.
  4. Remove ribs from oven and set oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  5. Open foil. (NOTE: FOIL WILL BE HOT! Use oven mits or a utensil to open the foil so you don’t burn yourself!) Brush approximately 1-2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce (depending on the size of the ribs and your preference) across the top of the ribs. I use the back of a metal teaspoon to brush/spread the sauce. This will be your glaze. I prefer a thin, fine glaze, so I use less, however if you prefer a thicker glaze, use more.
  6. Place ribs back in the oven with the foil left open. NOTE: you don’t have to wait for the oven to reach 350 before putting them back in.
  7. Cook for another ½ hour.
  8. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes.

Serve and eat! Goes really well with macaroni & cheese and a sweet potato (or sweet potato fries!)

Submitted by: TI 52818 Andrew Milbourne

Spotlight

SKG July Spotlight: TK-42103 Ari Stone

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Photo: Jeffery Sorg

Our Trooper Spotlight for July is Ari Stone. Ari is a dedicated trooper and if needed, he would be in his armor for 24 hours no questions asked. You can learn more about him below.

Photo: Brad Jefferson
When did you join the 501st and why?
“December 2015. I was building a droid and thought it would be useful. My droid is still incomplete and they said I needed a costume. So a TK it was. No regrets.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“TK”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?
“1”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.
“Been featured in many online websites. Took a picture that is in the New York Times Online paper. Suited up in NC, Md/DC, Fl, and IL.”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“Steel City Con is always memorable. One never knows what celebrity might want a picture with you. Air & Scare in DC is special. Being the only one in a room with a Space Shuttle in a Stormtrooper outfit is a pleasure. Meeting people from other garrisons and developing friendships at each event. Those special leg hugs you get from kids that are ever so thankful to see their favorite character in person. We may not see them, but we feel them.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“Trooping is supposed to be fun. Go out, have fun, enjoy the smiles you put on others face.”

What do you do for a living?
“I drill oil and gas, so I am always a surprise trooper.”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“Build model airplanes, play guitar, see U2 in concert, visit local museums.”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
“I don’t have a favorite character.”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“Im a U2 fan. Its not movie related but I think it counts.”

Spotlight

SKG June Spotlight: TI-14374 Jeffrey English

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Our trooper spotlight for June is Jeffrey English. You can learn more about this wonderful trooper below.

When did you join the 501st and why?
“Several years ago on and off. Officially, I have been a trooper since summer of 2017.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“Tie Pilot Reserve”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?
“One approved – Currently working on two.”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.?
“Nothing really of note. I honestly don’t keep track of that sort of thing.”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“My first major troop for the first annual Erie Comic Convention.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“A few come to mind, yes. Firstly, don’t get in over your head and don’t be discouraged by the prices of some of the props or costumes you really want. Start with something simple, small, and modular like a Technician or Tie Pilot. Something that can grow with you over your tenure. Secondly, keeping with this hobby means that you’ll be playing the “Long game” and patience will be invaluable. Lastly, don’t be shy. Really! We are all friends here and will always be ready to help one another.”

What do you do for a living?
“Factory work for now.”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“Target shooting, model railroading, reading or anything regarding war history.”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
“That’s a tough one. Honestly, that’s a three-way toss up between Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mitth’raw’nuruodo (Grand Admiral Thrawn), and Admiral Gilad Pellaeon.”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“Definitely! Battletech, Universal Century Mobile Suit Gundam, Warhammer 40,000, and the Halo mythos to name a few.”

Spotlight

SKG April Spotlight: IG 13525 Bobby Linn

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Our April Trooper Spotlight is Bobby Linn. Bobby wears many hats in the legion; between being one of Starkiller Garrison’s GML/GWL and events coordinator to the Imperial Gunnery Corps detachment XO. You can learn more about Bobby below.

When did you join the 501st and why?
“2013 – I’ve had a life long obsession with Star Wars and being a part of the 501st and its peer groups gives me an outlet for that while doing cool events and wearing great looking costumes.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“Warrant Officer (now retired)”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?
“14 in the 501st but 29 total including other Star Wars peer groups such as the Rebel Legion.”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.
“At the time of writing this I’m the Costume Reference Library (CRL) model for 4 costumes (Bith Musician, ISB Officer, ANH TIE Pilot, and Imperial Gunner), I was the first 501st approved Bith Musician, and I still hold the world record for most events done as an Imperial Gunner.”

If you have multiple costumes, what is your favorite costume to wear and why?
“The Imperial Gunner is what I’m most known for, and I love it due to mobility, comfort, and an awesome looking helmet. I also love being a Clone Trooper for that “wow!” factor I get when people see me in armor. But sometimes it’s nice playing the part of a good guy too from time to time and getting to be nice and friendly with the fans.”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“Of course the Make-A-Wish events and hospital visits will always have deep meaningful resonance and are a constant reminder of the simple good that can be done by wearing these costumes. But one of the coolest events I was fortunate enough to participate in was Disney’s Star Wars Weekends. Star Wars Weekends (SWW) was, in short, a Star Wars convention inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They had celebrity guests, special merchandise, events, panels, and a parade of characters through the park. During a vacation to SWW I proposed to my wife (in front of Star Tours) and we watched that parade, seeing that parade and hearing that all the characters marching were 501st and Rebel Legion members was what pushed us to finally join. A year later on our honeymoon we marched in the parade, and got a special shout out during it from the stage hosts (a recording of that day’s parade can be found here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUlHojGnl9E). It was an incredible experience that let us live out some life long fantasies and meet fellow legion members from all around the globe.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“1. Ask questions. If you don’t ask you won’t learn, if you don’t learn you’re going to make expensive mistakes.
2. Go to events, help out, meet people.
3. Get to know members, say hi and introduce yourself, we were all the new person at one time, we know how intimating this all can seem and we want to help and grow.”

What do you do for a living?
“Graphic Designer”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“Read, create art, watch movies, table top gaming, travel around to various conventions”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
“Grand Admiral Thrawn”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“Hellboy, Doctor Who, Muppets, Disney, Star Trek, Marvel”

Is there anything else you would like to add that we might not have asked?
“If you’re interested in joining, just do it. Meet people, learn, try to enjoy every minute of it. I wish I would have started my journey in the Legions sooner.”
Spotlight

SKG March Spotlight: DS 29290 Ralph Piotrowski

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Our Trooper Spotlight for the month of March is Ralph Piotrowski. Ralph is a man of many talents and you can read all about that below.

When did you join the 501st and why?
“I joined about 2 years ago. I heard about a special troop from Patrick McClory (from the Rebel Legion) that the 501st did for a little sick Jedi named Jackson. To learn that it put a smile on his face for those few moments was amazing. I just had to join.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?
“TFA Kylo Ren”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?
“One. It took me 1 1/2 yrs for this one lol”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.
“None that i can think of.”

If you have multiple costumes, what is your favorite costume to wear and why?
“I only have Kylo. I enjoy wearing it cause i know its our GML’s favorite costume ;-)”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?
“Last year i did the Mars Night to Remember. Its a red carpet gala for young adults with special needs. It’s such an amazing event.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?
“Yes don’t get discouraged. Keep working on your build, ask questions. We have plenty that have been through the same problems with their build. Stick with it it’s all worth it in the end.”

What do you do for a living?
“Senior Engineer”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?
“What don’t I do lol? I’m a Bassist for a 80’s cover band named Funhouse. I’m a Fantasy Football Pod Cast host for Sportsvival.com. And last but not least, I do part time acting. My latest acting part I play a vampire in the Chronicles of Deadlands.”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?
“Max Rebo! jk. Who else? Darth Vader!!!!!”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?
“I’m a Lord of the Rings guy. I also enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Is there anything else you would like to add that we might not have asked?
“I am truly honored and want to thank all of our members for letting me be a part of this amazing organization. Thank you all for the time, effort and money you put in. You put a smile on so many faces. “Bad guys doing good””
SKG Eats

Guacamole by IG 13525 – Bobby Linn

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Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • Avocados mashed (I usually do 2 per person)
  • Half an onion diced (purple or yellow)
  • Peppers diced (green, red, orange – any color is good)
  • Lemon juice – just a small splash (Optional: Lime juice)
  • Salt to taste (I personally think that the salt from the chips is enough but some people like more)

Directions:

Throw everything into a bowl, mix it up, and enjoy!

Spotlight

SKG February Spotlight: TK 75497 Mike Blaze

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This month’s trooper spotlight is Mike Blaze. When Mike comes out to troop, he brings his son Nolan, who does amazing work in helping out at events. Thank you Mike, for being an awesome member of our Garrison and thank you Nolan, for all the help you do for us!

You can learn more about Mike below.

When did you join the 501st and why?

“January 2018. I joined because since childhood I had always wanted Stormtrooper armor. With the 501st I could finally have that as well as doing something good.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?

“Stormtrooper ANH Stunt”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?

“Only the TK for now. I’m sure that will change.”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.

“I was able to complete my TK from start to finish in two months time. I was on a mission.”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?

“’A Night to Remember’ event in Mars, PA. All of the kids were just so happy and excited to see us. That event solidified why we do what we do.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?

“Don’t wait to get involved.”

What do you do for a living?

“Production Engineer”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?

“I like to work on and/or restore classic and older muscle cars when I get the chance. Some RC stuff.”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?

“Since so many choose Jar Jar, I’ll go with R2D2.”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?

“The only other fandoms I can say that I even follow, thanks to my son Nolan, would be the DC and Marvel universe.”

Spotlight

SKG January Spotlight: ID 94500 Kristi Haney

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January’s “Trooper Spotlight” is SKG member, Kristi Haney. Kristi will be celebrating her 12th Anniversary in the 501st Legion this coming March. You can learn more about Kristi below.

When did you join the 501st and why?

“March 2007. I was looking for volunteer opportunities and the 501st combined charity and my favorite movies so it was a perfect fit.”

What was your first costume you got approved in?

“ANH Stormtrooper”

How many costumes have you been approved in or do you own now?

“4: ANH Stormtrooper, Rav Bralor, Stormtrooper Commander and Shoretrooper Captain.”

Do you have any stats off hand that you’d like to brag about? Number of troops done, number of different states/garrisons trooped with, etc.

“I was the first Rav Bralor approved in the legion and am the CRL.”

If you have multiple costumes, what is your favorite costume to wear and why?

“Rav Bralor. Her costume is pretty impressive and it’s fun having a cape that blows epically in the wind. Plus it’s a just fun being a bounty hunter!”

Do you have a favorite event you’ve done or special memory you’d like to share?

“The Make A Wish Prom for Joshua. We did this whole special entrance complete with a magician, presented him some gifts from Lucasfilm and a TK helmet signed by all of the troopers. It was awesome seeing him light up and he immediately put the helmet on. There wasn’t a dry eye in the group. Definitely a troop that I’ll never forget.”

Do you have any advice for potential new members or our newest members?

“Just have fun with it. Try new events and see what you enjoy the most.”

What do you do for a living?

“Loan Processor”

What are some other things you like to do outside of the 501st?

“I like to spend time with our 2 ferrets and I enjoy crafting. I’ve been doing some scrapbooking, wood burning, painting etc. I also enjoy going to Disney.”

Who is your favorite Star Wars character?

“Stormtrooper”

Other than Star Wars, what other fandoms do you like?

“Disney, Twin Peaks, Stranger Things, Psych, Penn State”