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Old 07-31-2007, 00:01
USMCWayne's Avatar
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Texas Rangers Augustus McCrae, Woodrow Call and “The Hell Bitch”

At the request of a member, I’m reposting new pictures of these figures, which were originally completed four years ago.

At the time, I was pretty happy with my efforts. After four years, I believe they both need a major update and redo but, for now…



Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Robert Duval) is one of the first sculpts I tried to modify (from his Apocalypse Now headsculpt), with a Sculpy moustache and new hair.

Gus is also wearing a pair of long underwear, which he wore in the series, which is a modern white turtleneck, with the turtleneck removed from the shirt.

Gus' outfit is a combination of SS, DML, BBI, and Dog Soldiers items.



His bandana is from one of DML's modern figures, his trousers from Billy the Kid, and the suspenders and boots from Dog Soldiers.

There is no "good" cowboy hat on the 1/6th market, so Gus is wearing a BBI Paddy Ryan Aussy hat. I soaked it in Onyx professional nail polish remover to remove the green paint and get it down to its flat black plastic, I dremeled the sides to eliminate the Aussy look, and I ironed the hat into a more cowboy shape.





For all of his personality faults and inability to exude any type of sympathetic personality, Texas Ranger Woodrow Call, played by Tommy Lee Jones, is the most dominating personality in the exceptional western Lonesome Dove.

That’s saying a lot, as his friend Gus is probably everyone’s favorite character from the TV ministries. Gus is outgoing, funny, full of sage advice, and always has a quip on the tip of his tongue.

Despite my and many people’s attraction to Gus, my favorite part of the Larry McMurtry novel was when Captain Call, seeing Newt being whipped by an Army Scout who wants his horse, runs himself and “The Hell Bitch” into the Scout and his horse at full steam. I couldn’t imagine how they were going to reproduce that moment on the screen but they did, and wonderfully so.



My Hell Bitch is a Marx horse, reworked using the techniques found at the Dog Soldiers web site.



His saddle was purchased at an estate auction. I paid way too much for the saddle, which was brittle and falling apart, but was overwhelmed by the delicate tooling and downright dainty leatherwork. I’m guessing the saddle is 50-plus years old.



Hoping to overcome some of the ravages of age, I tried softening the saddle with leather treatment, with only moderate success. I glued the saddle to a piece of Tandy suede leather, rebuilt the stirrups, and tried to piece together all of the smaller pieces of the saddle that had broke apart (sort of like a 1/6th jigsaw puzzle).

I built the rifle scabbard and bed roll from pieces of Tandy leather, and the saddle bags from leather and a couple Sideshow Civil War pouches. The lariat is a candle wick.

Woodrow is a Tommy Lee Jones sculpt from EBay, with Sculpy hair and a beard added, and a crappy paint job. His eyes are decals. His vest is from the Orville Wright figure, his chaps were built from a piece of Tandy suede leather, and the rest of his gear/outfit is from Sideshow and Dragon.



Getting Call’s hat just right was a major undertaking and, in retrospect, it doesn’t look like I came anywhere close to getting it “right”.

His hat started out as one of the basic toy hats from Michaels Craft Store. The round crown is a combination of Sculpy and glue gun glue. Compared to the bill, the crown was downright easy, as I tried many techniques, and a combination of all of them, to get the bill formed into something that replicated the hat Call wore.

Looking at it today, I think Call’s hat, and sculpt, are destined for the trash heap.

The characters of Augustus McCrae and Woodrow Call are modeled after cattlemen Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, respectively. Upon the death of their scout, an escaped slave named Bose Ikard, Goodnight carved a sign for his grave, just as Call does for Joshua Deets. Loving died of blood poisoning from Indian arrows, just like McCrae. Upon his death, Goodnight carried his body back to Texas for burial, just as Call does for Augustus.

There are hundreds of Lonesome Dove reviews on the www. I came across this one which explains, much better than I can, why Lonesome Dove is such a great movie.

Lonesome Dove “is the unforgettable story of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call, two former Texas Rangers who are now partners in the Hat Creek Cattle Company and Livery Emporium near Lonesome Dove, Texas. Their quiet days of semi-retirement are over when they're enlisted to drive a massive herd of cattle from Texas to Montana; their adventure is just beginning.

Larry McMurtry is a rare writer in that he paints the American West as it really was --- dirty, unruly, untamed, cruel, life threatening, and sometimes mind-numbingly bleak --- without losing his sense of the absurd. In LONESOME DOVE he manages to tell a love story without romanticizing and presents us with the gift of an adventure story that is epic in scale without being so overwhelming that it strains credulity.”
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Old 07-31-2007, 00:36
Yujin's Avatar
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I never saw the movie, but I say that is one heck of a series of figures Wayne. I especially like the picture with the pigs in it. And Hell Bitch looks very good. I think you did a pretty good job at restoring the saddle. It has that worn out look, and if you didn't say it, I wouldn't have guessed that it broke apart.
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Old 07-31-2007, 00:52
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The new photos breathe new life into this bash, Wayne
Brav!
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Old 07-31-2007, 01:44
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not EchoBase Tung (Staff)
 
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I um uhh am speechless.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:20
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This Aussie, is a big fan of Lonesome Dove, and has watched the series a few times. I really like what you have done, you really captured Gus. My father and I used to own two colts (horses not pistols) called Gus and Woodrow. Well done.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:54
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Of all the westerns I've read and movies I've watched those two are my favorite charactors. I glad you posted them again.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:21
Furious Genius
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Virginia
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Wayne, you did a terrific job. Please don't trash any of it. You're looking at it through an artists eye, which is fine. That eye can't be satisfied, so just do the few improvements that you feel necessary. Believe me that is very few. You have captured the spirit of Gus and Call and that makes your work a success. If you are not happy with the hats try using Tony Barton's technique with thin felt. I believe it's in one of his tutorials on the UK site. Love the story, love those guys, and love your work.
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:28
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Wayne, thanks for reposting. Glad to see these figures again.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:29
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This is by far my favorite book and I also loved the mini-series (Duval's greatest performance, IMO, and he's arguably the greatest living American actor). In fact, I loved the Augustus McCrae character so much I named my first born after him.

Every time I see these figures I say it: They are the coolest things I've seen on OSW (or in one sixth scale in general for that matter) and that's saying a ton.
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:43
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saving private ryan FAN.
 
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Good work!
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:22
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WOW!
cool Rangers!




koji
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Old 07-31-2007, 18:47
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Gee, I don't recall these fellas. They look great. What could you possibly upgrade on them?
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Old 07-31-2007, 19:02
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Mostly on Woodrow, who needs a new crown on his hat (or a completely new hat), and whose face, beard, and eyes could use a good rework.
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Old 07-31-2007, 19:27
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I see. They look great regardless.
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Old 07-31-2007, 21:44
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Nice work, Wayne. As Gus would say:: Better than a free poke....
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Old 07-31-2007, 23:53
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Location: the cajon zone
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i just got back from colorado and my family played the DVD so often we all started speaking with texas accents. and then the prequel to boot.lesson learned?...never sas robert duval when you think your out of range...or be rude to tommy lee.
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