TRIBUTES have flooded in following the death of a man who became a beloved member of the Isle of Wight Garrison for his portrayal of Darth Vader.

Glenn Arnold was born in 1970, the youngest of three brothers.

He was brought up in East Cowes and attended Cowes High School.

A highly regarded and self-taught airbrush artist, Mr Arnold's passion for Star Wars would become an integral part of his life, leading to a meeting with fellow fans of George Lucas' pop-culture phenomenon in the early 2000s.

He began costuming as Star Wars characters, mainly portraying Darth Vader — a role he relished performing in public.

The Vectis Remnant Squad grew into the IW Garrison and was part of the UK Garrison, itself part of the worldwide 501st Star Wars costuming club.

Jay Bilsby, from the IW Garrison, said: "Glenn was a caring and warm-hearted guy. He was costumed as Darth Vader on my very first troop with the Garrison, and always made the experience so much more exciting for the public with his presence.

"I spent some time with Glenn talking all things Star Wars over a nice brew. I will miss those moments greatly."

A quote on the Isle of Wight Garrison Facebook page said: "In the second week of January, Glenn Arnold passed away. He has been a respected member of the Isle of Wight Garrison since its inception as the Vectis Remnant Squad of the UK Garrison.

"Glenn was well known for his portrayal of Darth Vader, an accolade earned with the longest trooping run in the Garrison’s history.

"He is regarded for his craftsmanship from creatures to starships, from hyper-detailed custom action figures to studio scale props.

"Glenn, you are most welcomed in the Hall of the 501st Eternal Legionnaires."

Mr Arnold was 49.