Cylon-Knight Galacticon III Highlights
I’ve been asked by a few to write up what it was like at Galacticon. I didn’t ramble on for my own ego – just happy to share after requested... So... this is my story:
I wrote this up looking over my photos posted here: http://www.byyourcommand.net/cylongalle ... album=1329
If you read this while you view them you can pretty much go along on the trip with me. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
Rush… rush… rush… wow! I was trying to get my Centurion ready for Galacticon and did more work on in the weeks before the Con than I did in the four years prior (blush). My wife and I had two of our nephews come to stay with us for two weeks right before I left for Houston. They were there to see the final push and first full suit up – what lucky kids, huh!? Best Uncle EVER. LOL I was up till about 1 am rushing to be done and packed up.
Thursday May, 23rd Jared arrived with our rental car at about 7 am. We stuffed it full of Centurion parts and snacks. And we were off – about a 12 hour drive from KC, MO to Houston, TX.
On the trip we drove right through the recently tornado devastated Moore, OK. Wow, that was something to see. Mother Nature can be a real “B” and she did a number on Moore... However as we went through the clean up, repair and rebuilding were already in full swing. Everyone there and volunteers from across the nation were hard at work.
A few stops for gas, bathroom breaks, and sugar laced snacks and soda we crossed into Texas as darkness started to fall. The Austin area was a jaw-dropper for me with overpasses stacked up five layers tall. Viewed on our GPS the map of the highways looked like if someone sneezed on spaghetti noodles! We saw Medieval Times right off the highway, oh if we only had time.
Rolling into Houston around 9pm, Cylon-Knight has ARRIVED! LOWLY HUMANS BEWARE! We circled the Hilton a few times trying to figure out where to park – BING – low gas light comes on then we found a sweet parking spot just in time. We would get gas when we left for home on Sunday.
All checked in and unloaded we meet up with Dale and Brian in the lobby of the Hilton and had a good visit and the low low on what was going on.
Friday May, 24th we got up, ready and had a quick breakfast at the Hilton Café deal. And low and behold Dirk Benedict and Richard Hatch showed up at the Café too for a bite to eat. I didn’t talk to them or anything just saw them and snapped a spy photo. But it was fun to “star spot” and play Paparazzi.
After eating we walked over to the convention center and found were we’d eventually need to go when the Con opened. We had time to kill so we walked around took photos of the building and park area outside. We looked around the Hilton a bit more and ran into Herbert Jefferson, Jr. in the lobby and after a photo with two young kids I asked for a quick one too and he graciously said “yes, one quick one.” Jared snapped one in seconds so he could be on his way, but Herbert noted that we were backlit and we needed to turn “this way” and take another. He was exactly right, and the second photo is wonderful! It is so nice to meet the actors and actresses and learn how wonderful they in person.
After the time we needed to burn was over, back to the Convention center and ooops the line was LONG. We found the line we needed to be in (Silver) that was long. If any Galacticon organizers read this – be sure to note that next year to have more Silver lines. By far that seemed to be the most numerous type of attendee. And please have better signs! BIG BANNERS – SILVER LINE – etc. Not a hand written piece of paper taped to the booth at eye level that can’t be seen in a line of 30 other people in front of me... Just sayin’ *eye roll*
My first in person Cylon Centurion spotted from line! Whoooo a gold Krop suit. Very nice. Jared left line (I held our spot) and he went to take recon photos for me to costume geek out on later.
Okay, IN THE CON! Whooooooo so much to do. First order of business was my orders! Mrs. Cylon-Knight wanted me to get a photo / autograph of Esai Morales for her. First line and first Star I chatted with at the Con. Then it was over to Eugene’s Raider... WOW. It looks so good and is built so nice. If you can ever see it at Con near you be sure to!
Jared and I went all over Galacticon and got more autographs and photos and then off to the Comic side of the Con. I scoped out stuff to buy now and later. Fun fun fun! WHERE IS THE ATM!? HA
Then it was time for the ByYourCommand.net panel. We found the room and had a happy accident. I had wanted to see Andrew Probert’s panel but we lost track of time and I thought I had missed it all. But the room the BYC panel was in changed to the one Andrew was in and he was going long (since he has soooo much cool stuff). Jared and I snuck in near the end and were WIDE EYED at all the amazing art and stories Andrew had to share. If you can see him at a Con – DO! Skip the actors and see Andrew – I would.
The panel rocked, I have my recording of it below and Andrew kindly sat in on the panel too. OH YEAH! We are “legit” now ... and Muffit II was even at the panel!
After the panel we zipped back down to the Con to get an autograph and chat with Andrew. Then it was off for my first suit up as Cylon-Knight! Time to pwn Houston!!! It was surreal on my way from the Hotel to the Convention center I was just entering the skyway between the hotel and the Con and saw Dirk (headed back to the Hotel) I could clearly see him and he saw me. He kept on truckin’ but I was “star spotted” by Starbuck – awesome. Now the most awesome part is right after that I was in the middle of the skyway and Richard Hatch entered the skyway on the way back to the Hotel and he altered his path to make a beeline right to me. “WOW. It looks great! We got to get a photo.” And so we did! *Total geek moment for me.* You can’t tell in the photo but under my helmet I am smiling sooooooooooo big. I lifetime of Battlestar Galactica fandom, four years of effort, so much money to make my costume, no more “Cylon-White” – behold! – Cylon-Knight captured Captain Apollo! LOL
On to the Con. It was quite a long trek full of Centurion obstacles… Hotel elevators, Convention Center escalators, people everywhere – I had to keep an eye on Jared to lead me safely through it all. At the door the Convention staff needed to see my arm band. I held out my arm… “it is in there somewhere” – haha. They dug and they found it under the glove / suit, they okayed my rifle and its bayonet. Good to GO.
In the Con I reported to my Command Centurion, Vulpa (Brian). And found my other brother Centurions (Dale and all the others great guys)! HOW COOL. There are other dorks just like me.
Humph, see that family, my “costume” is validated! (Yeah, that just happened)
Lots of photos with Con goers, Stars, fellow Cylon and even an Interview! I wasn’t expecting that. What fun. I had life and death epic battles with a crazed Daggit, Colonial Warriors, Some guy dressed up as “a bat” , an evil Lord of the Sith who force choked me, then I tangled with a Dalek and Clone and Stormtroopers. The Con was dangerous place for a Centurion!
I gained many new friends: a fellow Con goer who rocked (and hopefully is at home resting – heart issues) – and he hooked me up with the Chick-fil-A manger for a free Coke. The Coke later hit the spot after being in the suit for hours. I became buds with Iron Man, two Darth Vaders and some of his 501st Troops, a stuffed Pikachu, a giant Lego Minifig, Esi again (this time I was in my Centurion costume), UK Baltar and Six, a Minecraft Creeper, Jareth and Sarah who make it out of the Labyrinth, I manned the Con on the Enterprise for a bit, then I stepped on some lady’s toes (sorries) Photos with “my” Raider (didn’t anyone tell you Eugene?). WHAT A DAY! I LOVED IT. The Con was closing and it was time to head back to get out of the suit and get some supper. I was staked by wild cat (Hello Kitty!? as in giant walking Hello Kitty) at the escalator. Then on the way to the Hotel I stopped for some photo ops at the Galacticon booth and then outside for some photos on a balcony of the Convention Center. Ironically it was actually very nice to stand right in the doorway of inside/outside. There was a massive air conditioning situation happening if you lingered in the open doorway. Mmmm A/C
Outside there were more humans asking for photos with Cylon-Knight... so many photos! Centurions are a popular photo op for certain. Jared ran down to the street level to take some photos of me up on the balcony. That was fun… in the pics you can see me overseeing my new domain… HOUSTON NOW BELONGS TO THE CYLON EMPIRE! Back in the room out of the suit and off to eat, it was so late we had to eat in the bar as the restaurant would have closed on us. We chatted with fellow Cylons and Fans. So much fun!!! For my first troop I was in the suit for a bit over 3 hours straight. No taking the helmet off, or a glove... nothing. 100% of the time I was fully suited.
Saturday May, 25th out of bed and it was off to the Café and Con again to BUY stuff. There was so much to see at the Con and to get. Souvenirs for my nephews and gifts for my Cylon friends and lots of stuff I don’t need, but WANTED. LOL. I saw many other costumed Con attendees. It was so fun to see all the creative costumes everyone worked so hard (or not) on. I was hoping to get into a costume contest or two, but I couldn’t figure out where to enter at, how to enter, etc. so I gave up on that and just totally enjoyed going alllll over the Comic side of the Con in my suit. I think I was one of the few Centurions to actually leave / go far from Galacticon over to the Comic side. I went up every single row and ensued havoc. Then back to Galacticon at noon for a group Centurions gathering / photo op. LOTS of flashes, the interview that Richard Hatch crashed and “killed” all the Cylons – what fun! I even held a Macaw on my arm (“Mr. Cotton’s Parrot from The Pirates of the Caribbean movies).
The group of us Centurions went around and kidnapped some of the Stars for a few minutes each to do photos. They were all so nice to play along and come from behind their table (probably because they knew if they didn’t... well... *ZAP*) haha. I had another epic battle with members of Blackstar Squadron and then a photo with some Joker (really, the Joker and Cat Women... oh never mind).
Back to the hotel room... I was one wore out Centurion! I had a good four hours in the suit – and again that was FULL time in the suit, helmet on and everything. I didn’t slip off the helmet or a glove or anything at any time during my trooping. I took the costume off and we went back to the Con once more. More photos and more purchases... Goodness... I love CONS!
We lingered till the end and after the Con closed *sadness* Jared and I ate at the Hilton’s internal restaurant. It was so good. It was so nice and peaceful (no loud music, or crazed kids screaming, etc.). Our server was great, and funny. She was bringing out the Carrot Cake that Jared ordered and I could see her as she left “the back” and started toward our table – she sort of chuckled at the cake she was carrying and sat it down in front of Jared… let’s just say it was TEXAS SIZED! DANG. Jared did a good job eating most of it too after a full salad and meal before. *High five* Mid way through supper I realized that at the table in the corner nearby was none other than Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and his family. How cool is that!? Then when we were about done a large group – about 8 or 10 – of Star Trek fans showed up, all in Next Gen style uniforms. Again, how cool is that?! After eating we were off to chat with Brian and Dale for awhile and a good close up look at his armor, daggit and Dale’s armor.
Sunday morning it was pack up and head out for home. SO WORTH THE TRIP!!!! I got home and my nephews had done some sidewalk chalk art all over the driveway to welcome us home. And they were anxious to get their souvenirs.
Oops – but funny
- I am in my Centurion costume holding my rifle. Dale (not in costume) calls my name to talk to me. My natural instinct is to turn at the waist to see him (vision is to poor to move my feet much). As I turn the bayonet goes with me – right toward Dale’s face... “WHOA!” he says... oops... sorries.
- Some fellow con attendee asks for a photo with me in costume. Of course... So Okay, Smile, Click. Then I move my feet to adjust my balance and re-pose for a second pic and *OUCH* I was unaware some woman was to my right side – wearing sandals. ... oops... sorries about your toes under my Cylon Boot.
- Jared and I were walking around the Con. And crossed paths with two preteen boys. One of them was “COOL.” The other boy asked Jared “What is that on the end of his gun?” Jared replied: “A bayonet.” The boy then asked, “What’s a bayonet?” Jared replied: “A... bayonet.” FUNNY.
While on my first and second troops ever at Galacticon in my newly completed classic Cylon Centurion costume I was called a slew of names – besides “Cylon.” My hander, Jared, and I made sure to keep track of them all – as they were so funny.
- Shiny Guy
- Tin Man
- Bee-Dee-Bee-Dee (i.e. Twiki from Buck Rogers)
- “Whaaaaaaa” (Crying toddlers overwhelmed by a Centurion)
Minor Issue: At home on my first full suit up my right forearm armor nozzle popped off. I had just hot glued it on to be in a rush and avoid messing up the chrome with super glue or something similar. I took it to TX but left if off the entire time, thanks for the tip Brian. You were right it is such a small item and the glove cuff hides the fact it is missing in most photos.
Major Crisis: On Saturday I was suiting up to go to the “group Centurion” troop By Gene’s Raider and my home made battery belt had a fatal failure. The plastic skeleton inside had a seam blow out. I was half suited up Jared helped me complete a spur of the moment improvised repair that held up for the full day’s trooping. I wanted to get into Eugene’s raider in costume but didn’t dare tempt fate and have my belt blow out again. Standing by the Raider in costume and a photo in the Raider out of costume and I was happy. The belt still held up for one more short appearance at home (Cylon crashed a Star Wars kids party we held for our nephews). The improvised fix fully gave out after undressing from the Star Wars party. I’ll have to do a full rework of the belt before another trooping. I was happy though; our quick fix lasted and held up well!
- My Emissaries Galacticon III poster is great, but I had an AWESOME idea for it --- too late. When I got back home I was looking at it and had a Homer Simpson D’OH!!! moment. I missed my chance. I should have carried around a Sharpie marker not for “the stars” (Actors/Artists) to sing it but my fellow fans. Think of a high school year book - how the back pages are signed etc. I am kicking my own tin can for missing the chance to have Brian, Dale, Baltar and Six (UK), Jared, Mark, Ilana, Gene, etc., etc. sign it (not overlooking anyone just too many to name!!!). I am going to frame up the poster, but it will be so plain. I wish I could go back in time and have others sign it – thrusting its memento status into pure awesomeness. (For - Galacticon 4, I will fix this!)
- While trooping around the convention I wanted to mess with everyone I could while in costume. You know ensue good ol’ Cylon havoc and mayhem! After my second trooping I had the idea I need to carry around a “Trick or Treat or Extermination” bag. Rats… again an idea that came to me too late. I might have scored more free vendor goodies if the lowly humans realized the peril they were in unless they gave me free stuff! lol (Free stuff?! I’m there.)
- I forgot the Cylon Empire banner!! *FACE PALM* … that’s what happens when you pack at 1 am and have to get up to start a 12 hour road trip at 6 am.
- Of my nearly 900 convention photos somehow I’ve wound up deleting about 4. They were of art my two nephews did that were visiting before/during/after the convention at my house with my wife and I. They had drawn some sidewalk chalk art in the driveway to ”Welcome home John and Jared” – Jared very small, in the corner – lol. They did Centurion drawings complete with a rifle shooting - pew pew- and the Centurion was, of course, farting as well… 12 and 9 year old boys *eye roll.* I hope to one day find the files SOMEWHERE in my computer, but for now I think they are gone. *Sadness* At least writing this will help me remember the art they did and them posing by their creations for a few photos before they helped carry in my stuff and sit on pins and needles waiting to get their convention souvenirs.
- FUN PHOTOS! I had wanted to take more fun photos around the area. Sure we Cylons pwn’d Galacticon and the Comic con too (*ahem*), kidnapped stars and almost killed a daggit … but I wanted to take more fun photos out in the world of the life form known as Man. Time did not allow but I had planned to go to the bar and pool room in the Hilton for a few photos.
Oh well… I’ll always rule Houston with an iron Cylon fist.