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     Post subject: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:01 pm 
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    501st Active Member - Timberline
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    Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:28 pm
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    Legion ID #: 58888
    there has been a renewed interest in doing a blast-a-trooper booth.
    I've heard this can be an amazing fundraiser at events. I've also heard a few concerns.
    I'd like to try this at an upcoming event but needs to know more about how it works. I've never seen this in action so the more you can tell me the better we can make it!

    *space needed
    *supplies, extra gear
    *how many people would be needed to make things run smooth
    *armor only? brave soft costume weares?
    *etc...

    I'm asking everyone for:
    any and all information, explanation, suggestions, input, concerns, advice, pros and cons.

    It sounds fun and I think it could be a great way to connect with kids and adults alike to raise funds for a good cause.

    THANKS!!!!


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:13 pm 
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    Garrison Event Coordinator
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    It needs about a 10 ft by 10ft space. 2+ Nerf Blasters (last time I had a bunch, but the ones Riley's had were far and away better, since then we picked up a few of those.
    Need a bunch of darts and a crew to reload and fetch them.

    A backdrop would be ideal to minimize how far out the darts can go.

    As for targets, armour only, and only those with protection for face and eyes. Anyone in the near vicinity should wear googles.

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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:23 pm 
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    Squad Leader - Sawtooth
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    Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:37 pm
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    ionicdesign wrote:
    It needs about a 10 ft by 10ft space. 2+ Nerf Blasters (last time I had a bunch, but the ones Riley's had were far and away better, since then we picked up a few of those.
    Need a bunch of darts and a crew to reload and fetch them.

    A backdrop would be ideal to minimize how far out the darts can go.

    As for targets, armour only, and only those with protection for face and eyes. Anyone in the near vicinity should wear googles.


    I dont know about googles but protective eyewear isnt a bad idea. I recommend have a few blasters that hold the same amount of darts. Definitely want to steer clear of the magazine fed blasters, the barrel fed blasters work so much better and can be loaded much quicker. You'll want a couple tables in an "L" shape. One table to have a loading zone and then the other table facing the target zone. This table will act as your shooting line and will keep people back far enough from the troopers. Having 2 kids shooting at one time will require upwards of 6 blasters going, to ensure that they can be loaded and presented. Depending on the circumstances side curtains may be necessary to keep darts from bouncing into our neighbors booths. I know that at the JDRF walk that wasnt really an issue but given the right blasters it will be.

    I understand that Blast a trooper is a great interactive bit for our booths, but I am against it. To me It just feels demeaning. That does not mean that I will not support it. It simply means that I wont be in armor for it.


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:39 pm 
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    501st Active Member - Timberline
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    is this a donation=play situation or open to anyone to play just because?
    I can imagine that if its free play then the demand could be too much. The idea is donation, correct?


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:48 am 
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    Squad Leader - Sawtooth
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    From what I understand it is a donate2play.


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:12 pm 
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    Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:30 pm
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    It is a very labor intensive effort and you'll need way more people than you think for each part of the activity, taking a donations, cleaning up darts, loading darts and keeping things organised and especially troopers willing to get blasted in costume. The last and only time we set it up we we're too close and the darts were coming in very hot so enough room between targets and shooters is needed.. and yes safety glasses area must Cody got hit in they eye thru his Nhillus mask.

    There is a lot more effort for set up and take down to accommodate blaster darts sweeping them up, having a backdrop and surface makes cleaning things up easier. you'd have to gauge the crowd at each event as some will not lend themselves well to this event others would be fine.

    Not to dissuade you but this can be fun but it is a bit more involved.

    (this isn't a specific event request so I'm moving it to the general discussion section)

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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:45 pm 
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    thanks for moving the discussion. I wasnt sure where to put it.

    Thanks for all the input. I kind of figured it would be quite a feat. It would definitely take planning and lots of participants.
    Also as far as who gets blasted... I know soft costumes aren't recommended but what about Mandos?

    I have a specific event in mind so I will start the early planning phase.


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:37 pm 
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    Garrison COG
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    so having done a few blast a troopers here is some feedback

    Michael is correct 10x10 space a minimum. if booth or something on sides then side walls needed as well as a backdrop.
    1-2 tables at front to keep blasters darts etc on and keep people behind. safety glasses. All shooters and staff need them and multiple blasters. We had different sizes

    6 or less sho0ters we charged $5
    up to 12 was I think about 8-10 and we had a couple of big gatlin gun types that held 20 plus we charged $20 essentially % a dart

    Everytime I have done we allowed armored or soft costmes If you were a non helmet/mask had to wear safety glasses.

    It takes a lot of people. 2 to work the table take money load guns and at least a character. in shifts it is an operation that takes 3 at a time minimum working roughy 1 hour sgist. So a full day event you will need at least 6-8 people commit for the full day for that alone not working table walking around or anything else

    Plus set up and tear down. Also would need to check event venue liability as it might not be allowed.

    I would also suggest only doing specific events. It really does not do well at cons ironically. People are there for other things. Large kid events work best . In Carida we did it annually at a brick fest youth festival Made upper four figures in two days but that was in the philly metro with 10K attending.

    So is it fun, sure if you have the people to commit and run it. Is it worth it, depends on the event, pick the right one and dont do it all the time.

    In all honesty I think droid hunts and variations of that are much more fun and bring in just as much as blast a trooper and are way less labor intensive Just my thought from doing it quite a few times


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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:42 pm 
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    A couple of other notes (everything that has already been said is spot-on):

    I've seen other garrisons that do a "5 darts for $5.00" or "shoot the big gun for $10" etc type of thing. In Idaho, we can't do that. Idaho State Tax Code states once you put a price on something, you're "selling" it and you have to charge sales tax. That means you also can't do a "suggested donation" or "minimum donation" for the same reasons. We found this out at Tree City Comic Con (almost the hard way). That kind of puts a damper on things. Ultimately, you have to allow them to shoot with ANY donation (even a nickle). I know it all adds up, but it'd sure be nice if we could do the "5 shots for 5 bucks" kind of thing. If someone knows someone who knows Idaho Tax Code and there's a way around this, it would be great to know.

    Something we've done as a variation on the Blast-a-trooper is the Imperial Blaster Range. Instead of firing the nerf blasters at troopers, we set up targets (a bulls-eye overlayed on top of an Imperial Cog works well) that are glued to foam core. This REALLY reduces the labor needed, as you don't need troopers as targets. You'll need a couple non-helmeted folks (Imperial Officers work well) to run the range (reload the guns, hand them to the kids, etc) and at least one "nerf herder" to pick up the darts off the floor, stand the targets back up, etc. One of those long-handled dust pans and a broom can save someone's back from aching later. This variation is also better for those parents who might be sensitive to their kids "shooting" at people... it does happen.

    We did the blaster range at the first Snake River Comic Con in Pocatello and it was a big hit. We didn't have a donation at it, it was purely an activity for the kids. We had many, many positive comments from parents about how we were the only ones that actually had something for the kids to DO, and it was free.

    Retired Timberline member and former Garrison CO Mike Say built some PVC frames to hold the targets on small hinges, so when they get knocked over it's easy to stand them back up. I'll see if I have pics of that. He enjoys it so much, he's come out and operated the blaster range a couple times at events even though he's retired from the Legion.

    I have some pictures (and maybe some video) somewhere. I'll see if I can find it.

    *edit* Here's a pic.
    Attachment:
    nerf blaster range.JPG
    nerf blaster range.JPG [ 51.08 KiB | Viewed 742 times ]


    You can see the frames Mike built. Basically, there's a small hinge on the bottom of each target, and a small magnet (fridge magnet type) at the top to hold the target up. The darts hit with enough force to knock them down.

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     Post subject: Re: Blast-a-trooper?
    PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:48 pm 
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    Also, here's the target we use. I did this up in Photoshop.

    Attachment:
    nerf range target.pdf [3.85 MiB]
    Downloaded 30 times

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