Saturday, March 28, 2009

"...That's what happens when you live ten years alone in Bolivia. You get colorful." ~Percy Garris (Actor Strother Martin)

The vignette is painted! I must have watched this movie over a dozen times and played the final scene atleast two dozen times in the past couple months! Not to mention the DVD extra's; making of''s, Director's commentary, Screen writer's commentary, etc.

This brought back lots of fond memories. As a kid, I would scan the TV Guide for the weekend movies. Be the genre War or Western, I would try and plan my weekend around them. One of the first movie westerns I remeber was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". It was also one of the first movies that brought real human emotion with viewing. Up until that time it was the TV westerns like "Gunsmoke" (still a favorite) and "Wild, Wild, West". They were clean. The good guys always won. Until I saw "Butch and Sundance". When these likeable characters were shot down at the end, I felt a bit sad. Atleast as sad as a 10-12 year old can be. Why were the good "bad guys" killed?! Strangely, after that, I preferred to watch the gritty, "realistic" westerns. The "spaghetti westerns", Sam Peckinpah films and the like. I still find these films entertaining and will catch bits and pieces when flipping channels.

The painting was alot of fun. I enjoyed painting everything. Even the stone flooring! Making the
figures look dirty and dusty wasn't hard to do, but it needed a something else. If you look close, you can see bits of debris sticking to their clothing. This is a detail that I think is lacking in figures that are in a dirty, grimy setting. It dosn't need to be alot. But grass, leaf or wet/dry mud
is a nice touch to add to a figure. When I was out walking in the trails the other day, my pants picked grass type fibers. When I was reenacting, this would happen all the time. Nobody really notices it, unless your looking for it or your a clean freak. I really liked how this feature helps make the figure pop and will try to add this little element from now on.

I played with the camera pretty much all day. Alot of the contrast is a bit washed. I need to make up a photo booth. I might add more pics later. I hope these are satisfactory in the mean time.

My TOP FIVE favorite Westerns:
1. "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". IMO the most authentic looking Western ever made.

2. "Bad Company"(1970's). Jeff Bridges. Not widely known. Nostalgic for me. Dark and gritty. Some authenticity.

3. "Tombstone". Just a cool movie.

4. "The Culpepper Cattle Co."(1970's). Little known. More nostalgia. Gritty.

5. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". Pure nostalgia.

Honorable mention:
"Little Big Man". Funny. I love the Custer character.
"Major Dundee". Nostalgic. Going against French Lancers and Zouaves!
"Blazing Saddles". The funniest Western ever made.


Gary Dombrowski said...

Jason, Awesome paintjob. I bet those figures painted themselves. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I think we lead parallel lives as kids. Weekends were always a good time to catch some westerns or war movies. If not that, PBS always had WW2 stuff on like "Victory at sea". Now I'm talking pre-cable when you could watch TV until 1 or 2 in morning (ooooooooo!)on the weekends. Great stuff pard. ~Gary

Jason said...

Thanks Gary. I think we did too! I may look up e-bay for a circa 1970's Pringles container to fill up with some 1/72 Airfix figures. When you said you did the same as a kid, I was floored!.

It was a fun project to do. There's a couple items that I may add to the vignette to tighten it up.