Introducing Icetrooper!

by Bill Cable
on 2021-12-22, 09:05:47

Last week the Pittsburgh Penguins held their pretty much annual Star Wars theme night, and team reps reached out to me asking if PSWCS would be interested in displaying some collectibles for the fans to enjoy. You can view a few of the photos of the display here. I wanted to produce something to give away to commemorate this event, and I decided on a proof card.

After a bit of brainstorming I landed on a Stormtrooper playing hockey. I'm in the 501st, so I could armor up and pose for the photo. I asked my brother if he could swing by and take some shots (he's a TV producer and a pretty good photographer). He was supposed to bring a hockey stick with him, but forgot, so we had to make due... He took a couple dozen, and I settled on two.

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I pulled up my Vintage cardback templates (courtesy Chris Fawcett, still using them after all these years!), color corrected the photos, dropped in the PSWCS logo, a hockey stick, and a hockey rink background I found on Google, and had my proof cards ready to go!

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The next part was the hard part. I shared them with the members of PSWCS for feedback. I really, REALLY preferred the photo with the jersey, and the members agreed. There was a slew of feedback on how to improve it, none of which were feasible given the time constraints, but most were mostly happy as it stood. So I sent them along to the Penguins organization to get their approval.

They came back saying we should probably use the version with no jersey because we couldn't use the Penguins logo. I was sad. So I relayed that to the members. And they responded urging me to remove the logo from the jersey. I thought it'd look super fake, but after seeing the jersey was entirely black behind the logo I figured I could give it a shot. I found a photo of an imperial cog patch on Google and colored it, distorted it to "bend" with the curve of the jersey, and added shadows. And man - I was really happy with the results. It hardly looked fake at all! So I sent it back to the Penguins for approval.

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And they shot it down. There couldn't be any implication the image was tied in any way to Sidney Crosby or any Penguins player, so the numbers and captains patch would also need to disappear, and I couldn't use the name "TK-87." After we'd already come this far, I wasn't stopping now. It was back to Photoshop and the trusty rubber stamp tool, and all traces of any Penguins affiliation was erased. The final design was ultimately approved!

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I sent the final file off to VistaPrint who produces fantastic 6" x 9" postcards and I had the give-aways in hand in less than a week. I ordered way, way too many of them, though. They were like $0.10 each when you ordered 1,000 of them with their Black Friday deal, so how could I resist?? Well... a lot of them ended up in the recycle bin. But Eric and Peter from PSWCS gave out a whole bunch of them to appreciative Penguins fans and the night was a stunning success. I would have helped except I was trooping with the 501st... (whom I should thank for recommending up to the Penguins in the first place - Thank you!).

So that was my little project. I hope you enjoyed the story. From all of us at CreatureCantina.com, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!





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