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Completed Tim Strawn

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by lpa53, Jan 22, 2024.

  1. lpa53 Active Member

    After recently completing and posting about my first figure in over twenty years (https://www.planetfigure.com/threads/first-figure-in-20-years.622344/), I decided to have a go at another grey army member, a conversion I’d started long ago. It’s a 54mm figure representing Lee Marvin’s evil gunslinging character, Tim Strawn, from the movie Cat Ballou, one of my favorites as a kid.

    Tim Strawn Side 1 Crop Contrast.jpeg Tim Strawn Fromt 1 Crop Constrast.jpeg Tim Strawn Back 1 Crop Contrast.jpeg

    I don’t recall what stock figures I pulled from but the legs, torso, and head were definitely from different pieces. I think the torso was from a figure that was supposed to be a John Wayne character. The head I got from a kit purchased for the head alone because it so reminded me of Lee Marvin and is probably what inspired the conversion. I made the hat (actually just remade it because it wasn’t quite “right”), added the nose-piece and strap, and details like the watch and chain, neckerchief, and leg straps, all gleaned from movie photos. I'd like to get the spur rowels star-looking, and while I found some old Historex parts that might work, I'm not sure but that they wouldn't be too tiny and fragile to glue on - and stay put.

    Tim Strawn Closeup.jpg

    Cat Ballou 5.jpg

    I haven’t done a face in years and am a bit afraid of trying it. Faces have always a roadblock for me. I’m wondering about hiding the eyes a bit with a painted cast shadow from the hat brim. Is that even an acceptable practice? Also daunting will be the all-black outfit, something I’ve also never painted. We’ll see how it goes. It may take me a while to even approach it.

    By the way, I always thought this shot from the movie would make a fun piece:

    Kid Shileen Drunk Horse.jpg
  2. Merryweather A Fixture

    Now that looks like fun!
    Great start
  3. Briggsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looks like a great conversion and a nice figure to paint. You are right about black, not the easiest, I would suggest you start with a dark grey and work backwards into the shade. Will be watching with interest.

    Cheers Simon
  4. KenBoyle PlanetFigure Supporter

    Great conversion Paul! One of my favorite western movies and, I agree, I've always wanted to do Marvin on the horse leaning against the wall. Maybe I'll move it up on my list. :)
  5. F Troop Active Member

    I've always thought that was the best scene in the whole movie!!!!
    KenBoyle likes this.
  6. lpa53 Active Member

    Faces have always been problematic for me and so I avoid getting started on them and then when I do, I worry them to death. That's just what I did with this, my first face in 20+ years. The 54mm size and the lack of a decent sculpt around the eyes didn't help and my phone's not too hot camera makes it look worse than it does in real life. But I've reached a point where it's good enough to move on. Luckily the hat brim helps hide the less-than-perfect eyes.

    Tim Strawn Face Group.png
    marco14, dmcHobbes, Oda and 3 others like this.
  7. Briggsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Looks plenty good to me mate, a good start and looking forward to seeing more.

    Cheers Simon
    lpa53 likes this.
  8. lpa53 Active Member

    Thanks much for the encouragement.
    Briggsy likes this.
  9. lpa53 Active Member

    I worked on the Winchester and made some progress with my first-ever foray into black clothing. The sheen of the Lamp Black oil paint was so strong it was hard to tell whether the shading and highlighting was "right". After applying a matte varnish I can see that work needs to be done, particularly on the upper part of the vest.
    Tim Strawn Black Clothes Group.jpg
    Before beginning the black I was looking more closely at the stills from the movie and for the first time noticed that Lee Marvin's Tim Strawn didn't have his holster on his right side! Additionally I noticed that the bullets on the gun belt were over his right thigh, extending far to the front. I researched old west articles and learned about the cross draw and realized that for some reason Marvin - or the costumer - chose to have the character use that technique, though I'm pretty sure you neither see him draw in the movie nor see his holster in any scene. The location of the bullets on the belt got me wondering and, sure enough, in one shot of Strawn riding away on his horse, you can see the gun belt's front buckle at the small of his back. It looks like Marvin simply wore the gun belt backwards!
    Cat Ballou 12.jpg

    I fretted for a while but realized that 1) most viewers these days probably haven't seen the movie, 2) if they did they'd likely not notice the error, and 3) the steel nose is the character's main defining trait.

    Anyway, now on to adjusting the shading on the vest, details on the vest and gun belt, and then the boots. One thing I want to do that I've not done before is add some trail dust on the ants cuffs. What are the most effective ways to do that?
    Oda, Nap, VerSacrum and 1 other person like this.
  10. Briggsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    Some nice progress there, glad you sorted the sheen on the black. Have you tried Mar Black, it's less oily and has less of a sheen to.it.

    Fair point about the gun belt, I'd never even heard of the character and film till I saw this so your reasoning is pretty sound.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda likes this.
  11. NRG Active Member

    Hi there,
    enjoying this!
    The poster you include above clearly shows that the holster was not worn on the right hand side and confirms what you said about the bullets.
    Oda likes this.
  12. Nap Moderator

    Hi Paul

    A nice idea for a conversion , coming along well

    As for trail dust ...there are products available or you could use dried earth or perhaps a suitable colour from some eye makeup

    Great film as well

    Following with interest

    Have fun at the bench

    Oda likes this.
  13. VerSacrum PlanetFigure Supporter

    Perhaps these Weathering Pigments from Vallejo, Tamiya, Abteilung 502 etc. for the trail dust

    Just gotta take care not to overdo it
    Oda likes this.
  14. lpa53 Active Member

    I'll definitely try the Mars Black. I found some old painting notes from Phil Kessling and he used several of the Mars versions of colors.
    Oda and Briggsy like this.
  15. lpa53 Active Member

    I see that there are binders for the Vallejo pigments. Are those really necessary?
    Oda likes this.
  16. VerSacrum PlanetFigure Supporter

    For a light dusting, no.
    Maybe this video is helpful
    Oda, Nap and lpa53 like this.
  17. lpa53 Active Member


    Thanks. The video was indeed helpful.
    Oda likes this.
  18. Briggsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    It's been a while since I used oils but the Mars pigments were among my favourites.

    Cheers Simon
  19. lpa53 Active Member

    I couldn't sleep last night trying to fight off the urge to add something to the figure at this late stage but when morning came I decided to go for it. Since there's not a lot of doodads in the sea of black clothing, I thought that the back especially needed more stuff going on. After watching several westerns this last week, it seemed to me that there weren't enough cartridges on the gun belt so I added some. I made several attempts, trying both green stuff and Apoxie Sculpt, the latter material being the one that I could get to stick to the figure instead of the sculpting tools. . It's a bit rough but I'm hoping it's tiny size and the paint can hide a multitude of sins while adding a bit more interest.

    Tim Strawn - More Cartridges.jpeg
    Nap, Merryweather, Oda and 2 others like this.
  20. Briggsy PlanetFigure Supporter

    They look ok, bit of paint and alls good.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda and lpa53 like this.

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