Connect With Other Members
Once you’ve decided what costume to build (or if you need some help deciding!), you should seek out the proper Legion Detachment for it. Each costume in the 501st Legion falls under one of fifteen Detachments. Detachments are how we organize costumers so that they can reach people with the same needs as others who share their outfit. For example, Sandtroopers belong to the Mos Eisley Police Department (MEPD); the Armored Cavalry Detachment covers AT-AT and AT-ST Drivers and Armor Assault Commanders (like General Veers); Biker Scouts have a headquarters with the 501st Pathfinders; and so on.
Joining the Detachment of the uniform you are aiming for is a great way to get straight to the experts on your costume. Join their forums, read old threads, introduce yourself and let everyone know why you’re interested in joining up, send a private message (PM) to the Detachment Leader asking for advice, and start asking questions! By researching your costume on a Detachment site, and by asking questions there, you will hit a broad base of people who are keenly knowledgeable about a particular costume.
And unlike the 501st.com Legion Message Boards, which are members-only, the message boards on Detachment sites are open to anyone in the public who would like to register and join in the conversation.
Note, however, that most (if not all) Detachments have rules on their forums about posting “Want To Buy” (WTB) threads. Usually these are immediately deleted for the legal reasons we discussed above. So heading to a Detachment gets you into the company of people who can help you, but you still have to overcome a few technical hurdles.
A full list of Detachments, the costumes that they cover, and links to their websites can be found on the main Legion site, here: 501st.com/resources.php
Your Local Legion Unit
To help facilitate event appearances, the Legion has local units that oversee geographic areas. Most places in the globe are assigned to either a Garrison or an Outpost, depending on the number of members in the area. Garrisons are the largest local unit, with at least 25 members, while Outposts can have as few as a single trooper in the area. Some Garrisons which cover a large geographic region also set up Squads to help them manage local events, but they are still a part of the Garrison.
As you set out on your journey, you should also find your local Garrison or Outpost and talk to 501st members in your area. While Detachment members are happy to provide you with guidance, if you live on the opposite side of the globe from someone, there are limits to the help that they can give. And besides, it’s never too early to start building relationships with the troopers that you’ll be spending the most time with in person once you join up! You can find your local Legion unit through the maps here: 501st.com/maps/.
Register on their message boards, and do the same as you did with your Detachment. Find their section for aspiring troopers and start a new thread. Introduce yourself there, and tell your future Garrison-mates a little about who you are, what brought you to the 501st Legion, and what you hope to accomplish!
Don’t be shy about asking for help!
At some point in the past, every member of the Legion has stood exactly where you are now, and we love helping new recruits get the advice they need to follow in our footsteps and help the Legion grow.