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.
“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.”