AKALENEDAT

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"HARD CONTACT"
Battle Barge!



AKALENEDAT I


The Battle Barge for the BVC of the MMCC


2014 Titusville Christmas Parade

A History of the "AKALENEDAT Battle Barge"



The Buurenaar Verda Clan of the Mandalorian Mercs Costume Club has been active in the state of Florida, USA since the inception of the MMCC in 2007. In 2009, the BVC participated in the annual Christmas parade in Titusville, Florida as walkers - and it was then that we realized that we wanted something to ride on. So between 2010 and 2012, we used borrowed trailers to pull in the parade to have a bigger impact for not only the BVC and the Mercs, but also for Star Wars costuming as a whole.

2010 saw us with a very small and uncomfortable lawn maintenance trailer that could only house a simple PVC jail cell (used at Celebration 5 in Orlando, Florida).

2011, we upgraded to a larger 16x6 hauling trailer and we had a better impact using the newest octagon jail cell and wall sets being built for the upcoming Celebration 6 in Orlando for 2012. Even with this, there wasn't much room to modify for anything else.

2012, we had the opportunity to use a different 16x6 flat trailer and had another good presence - but again, we knew we wanted something better...something more permanent.

In 2013, the decision was made to have a steady presence in the parade with a Battle Barge - a well-designed and constructed float that could potentially be used around the state and potentially the country. At first, the desire was to try and recreate a Desert Skiff from Episode VI, but that initially proved to be too much for our small group. So, we came up with the design we are currently using and with small modifications, this has served us well for the '13 and '14 parades as well as appearances at a convention in Melbourne, Florida in 2014, a Trunk or Treat Festival at a Titusville church on Halloween in 2013, and again in 2015 where the ABBI took home 1st prize overall for "Best Trunk." Because the base trailer used for the ABB is not owned exclusively by the original designer and builder, the MMCC, the BVC, or any of its affiliates, this year of 2015 will be the last year the Akalenedat I will be seen. A new longer trailer which gives the possiblility for major improvements has been purchased - but more on that later.

Purpose of the ABB



As mentioned above, we wanted a parade float that really spoke the presence of the Star Wars fans, yes primarily the MMCC, but also for anyone wearing a good quality Star Wars costume - from the 501st, to the Rebel Legion, to the Dark Empire, and so on. Our numbers have grown over the past few years from the original 7 Mercs who started it all in 2009 all the way up to over 30 MMCC members, several 501st and RL, and even family and friends participating in the parade.

In addition to the parade, we are hoping to expand the presence of the ABB in different events around the area - from the convention and festival mentioned, to even store openings, children's hospitals, blood drives, the list is endless. that is definitely a goal with the upcoming ABBII, so see below for those details.

HOW IT WAS MADE



After several months of conferring with other members of the BVC on a final design, we settled on this:

And we began the finite design details for construction. I drew this up for a member named "Terror" who works in a factory so that sturdy platform pieces could be built:

These were made to show where everything was to be placed for barge construction:
This was the trailer we used - a 16x6 flatbed.

Layout of the platform structure.

Plywood decking:


From this design came the physical pieces (constructed as a gift by a member in Tampa, Florida):



Next was the fun part - the actual construction:



Since this was a clan-wide effort, we had members in Orlando and Clermont build our rear cannons:

And the Barge was complete! All that was needed was a name - which was provided by Mercs Member Lem'zig Dee from Orlando - the Akalenedat, which in Mandoa means "Hard Contact."

The new year of 2016 and a desire for a better prop for Celebration Orlando in April 2017 necessitated the official retirement of the ABBI and a move on to the ABBII. See below for details!

AKALENEDAT II


Making a new ride...

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Making a new Battle Barge



Because the trailer used for the original barge was not owned by anyone affiliated with the MMCC or any Star Wars costuming group, the threat was always there that the owner would want it back at a moment's notice. Several attempts were made to purchase the trailer, with no success. So a search began for a new trailer that could be specifically dedicated to this barge. And as luck would have it, a new one was found!



This is a 30' long trailer, which will allow a better design for the front of the barge AND give more room for riders - something we all like to see...2 miles to walk one way in full kit is plenty for any parade...

Based on images we were graciously provided by LFL, the Alor of the MMCC, Rob Dawkins, drew up a complete set of plans for this.



And work began on the subframing on August 22, 2016.


Dave Filoni signed our console on Saturday of the convention, and we were fortunate to get Pablo Hidalgo to sign on Sunday.

...and induct him as an honorary member of the MMCC.






"BEAUTY SHOTS" ARE COMING!!!

Differences between the first and second barge



As the years go by, we learn more and more about what we can and can't do with the float and in the parade. One of the major things has always been space for riders. A lot of us like to walk in the parade which is fine, but then getting a ride back has always been one of those plan-as-best-you-can-but-still-have-issues things. So hopefully, with this new trailer affording us about 6 more feet of space, we can give room to more people with tired feet after the march.

As said above, the old float belonged to someone else, so there was never an opportunity to do more with electrical, lighting, any sort of special effects - but now we can "go crazy" and make this actually work for us. Also, this will allow for more appearances of the ABBII, from events around the state of Florida, to possibly the Southeast US and maybe further...

Special thanks to LFL, Dave Filoni, Mary Franklin, and a host of others for their support and help in building this prop.

Be sure to keep up with the Akalenedat Battle Barge here and on Facebook!

CELEBRATION ORLANDO DEBUT!

The MTS Akalenedat made it's maden voyage to Orlando, Florida for the Celebration Orlando event in April of 2017. Some pictures are shown above, and keep watching this space for upcoming "beauty shots" from a planned photoshoot!