I’ve been getting a lot of requests and questions on how to strap the shoulder bridge straps. Here’s the method I used that is simple and accurate for 501st approval.

The 501st Legion requires this bridge to be a piece of cloth. Not elastic. If you watch the movie as well and look closely at the strapping, it should be “duck cloth” material or similar to canvas.


The method of strapping is referenced by many scouts before me. It is called the T-Strap method. It consists of many pieces of velcro and straps sewn together into a shape of a T. You’ll need to look at the pictures that follow to understand which side to sew the velcro pieces.


On the armor, I placed some white velcro on the outer bridge.


On the underside “inside” the armor, I placed some velcro between the inner bridge.


The T-strap will velcro onto the under side of the bridge of the 2 armor pieces facing outwards


You will then secure the two pieces of armor together, pull the T-strap and wrap over the outer velcro.


Loop over the outer velcro, under the bridge until the strap faces outward again


You will now have the strap hanging outwards with the velco pad that will attach to the shoulder bell armor piece


Velcro the shoulder piece on and you’re done!


Hopefully that’ll clear up the confusion on how to strap your shoulder bell armor while achieving a 501st approved and movie accurate strapping. Good luck and happy trooping!


I was graced with happiness with gifts of Kinder Surprise (Star Wars edition). Kinder Surprise is an egg made of chocolate with a surprise toy inside. From research these eggs originated/manufactured by an Italian company and is distributed in the UK as well as other European countries, Asia and, Australia.

This is the packaging of the 3 Egg set with the Star Wars Surprise inside


The eggs are made of milk chocolate. This package is made specifically for distribution in Australia.


These are the collectible Star Wars twistheads you can collect from the “surprise” toy inside each egg. It’s kind of like buying Kid Robot “blind boxes” only you can eat your way to the prize inside. A very awesome concept!


The Kinder Egg, wrapped in foil. Kinder Surprise is illegal in America as it seems like it doesn’t pass regulations for choking hazards. Ridiculous as if parents are not smart enough to keep these novelties away from their small children from choking.


The Kinder Egg consists of 2 milk chocolate halves fused lightly together.


Inside the egg is the “kinder surprise”. Kinder meaning “children” in German I believe. The surprise toy inside is held in a yolk colored plastic container.



The surprise capsule opens in half revealing the surprise inside! This particular one awarded me with the Sith Lord Count Dooku aka Darth Tyrannus.


I really like the concept of the Kinder Surprise. Even though these were made for younger children, there have been cult followings by adults and collectors of Kinder Toys. I can’t blame them when they know how to attract us Star Wars fans with these surprise toys. I really did get a little childish excitement when opening a Kinder Egg. It brings back the fun times of childhood. Hopefully America lifts the ban of these awesome chocolate eggs. It seemed to have failed as there was not much interest or demand to bring these surprises into the states a few years ago during a petition.


A lot of people have asked me about how to strap the Thermal Detonator on the belt.  There are many ways to do this.  The most common is using the belt clips that attach to the belt after it has been put on just like the TK armor.

However, we all know when there is limited help or handlers during a troop, we want to make it as easy as possible to suit up and suit down.  Here is how I strapped the TD on the TB belt.

It’ll look seamless like this and will be permanently attached to your belt like this:


I drilled 4 holes onto the female side of the belt clip after attaching the main tie strap (black through the center).


NOTE: You’ll have to make careful measurements before drilling. Look at the male side of the belt clip and make sure the release tabs will clear the holes so that you can release and unclip the belt.


After drilling the holes, I ran 2 tie straps to secure the TD to the belt. Test fit the belt clip, adjust it to the correct place and secure it tightly in place and you’re done! Now you don’t have to worry about losing the TD and worry about clipping this piece behind you without any help.


Bounty (Chocolate Bar)

As seen on wikipedia:

Bounty is a chocolate bar manufactured by Mars, Incorporated and sold internationally. It was introduced in 1951 in the United Kingdom and Canada, initially only with a milk chocolate coating. Bounty has a coconut filling enrobed with milk chocolate (which is sold in a blue wrapper) or dark chocolate (which is sold in a red wrapper) and is sold as two pieces wrapped in same package. Since 2006, a cherry flavored version has also been available in Australia. This was initially a limited edition flavor, but remains available as of 2013. In Europe, a limited edition mango flavor was available in 2004-05 and in Russia and Ukraine in 2010. Although Bounty is not marketed in the United States (where a similar product, Mounds, is marketed by Hershey’s), it can be found at World Market and in the international sections of many supermarkets there”

So I was very fortunate to have been given a few Bounty bars from Australia.  Having tried one of these bars and comparing to the similar chocolate bars we have here with coconut inside (Mounds), I’d have to say they are pretty similar except for one thing.  It does seem like Bounty doesn’t have that sweet after taste that our North American Mounds bars do.  I am assuming because they use more “natural” ingredients or less of artificial.  I didn’t see High Fructose Corn Syrup in the list, but I did see Glucose syrup.  I am wondering if they are the same or similar.

Overall I am very pleased with the Bounty Chocolate Bar compared to our Mounds bars.  Less sweetener aftertaste and more of a cocoa taste to the chocolate.


501st Troop: The Annual Gymboree Corp Halloween Party – October 29, 2012

For Halloween week, we were invited to attend to the Gymboree Corporation Halloween party.

It was great as the corporation did a family gathering for the day.  Employees were encouraged to bring their friends and kids as each floor was decorated to a certain theme.  My friend and fellow trooper did a Star Wars theme for the floor we trooped on.  She did an awesome job of arranging this.  I trooped alongside a Sandtrooper and Captain Rex Phase 1.

501st TROOP: 35th Anniv of Star Wars at Mill Valley Film Festival in Corte Madera – October 8, 2012

This event is the 35th anniversary event for Star Wars. It is playing as part of the official programming for the 35th anniversary for the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF). MVFF has had a long history with George Lucas and LucasFilm and is celebrating that history and the double anniversary.

The 501st and RL arrived in Corte Madera to find ample parking at the theater and a hotel suite for suiting up right next door. After changing, everyone walked to the theater to greet the crowds lining up for the theater to open. We interacted with the people in line as well as passing traffic that slowed down to have a look. We spread out throughout the theater to pose for photos with fans. A large green screen was set up by the movie screen for guests to have there pictures taken with us in various backgrounds.
After everybody had arrived in the theater, some members of the RL and 501st judged a costume contest and awarded prizes.

Our duties being completed, we walked back to the hotel and changed before returning to watch Episode IV from our reserved seats in the back row.
All in all it was a great troop and a wonderful opportunity to interact with Star Wars fans young and old.


Every year, United Airlines throws an employee event which the 501st is invited to attend to.  Food, games and exhibitions fill the United Airlines maintenance facilities lot of the San Francisco Airport.

We were invited to lead the parade to start off the festivities.  After the parade, we were taking photographs with the families and kids that were awed by our presence.  In the mid afternoon, the F22 Raptors were performing for the Fleet Week festivities.  In between flights, they invited us to have a photo op with the F22 Raptor Fighter Jets.  It was an awesome troop and a great day with the garrison.  It was probably the biggest troop I’ve done in 2012 and hopefully will be able to do this again in 2013.  It is too bad that current budget cuts will not allow the Blue Angels to perform this year.  We’ll see this fall.

Great pic of me in the hanger suiting up in armor. Thanks to BUI Photography for this shot.

Helmets off…

Helmets on…

The group shot of all the volunteers that day in armor before the parade began

The few of us that got to get pictures in front of the F22 Raptors and crew