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Zoot Suit Riots

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by btavis, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I am starting a new project (which is unrelated to WWI) on the Zoot Suit Riots that took place in East LA in 1943 which pitted US Navy personnel against local Pachucos known as Zoot Suiters.

    The incident I chose to render is where a couple of dozen sailors piled into taxicabs and went down to the barrio to beat up and strip everyone that looked like a Zoot Suiter. This rampage went on for several weeks during June of 1943 and brought to the forefront the racism and pent up emotions that were prevalent at the time.

    The following is a picture of the taxicab I will be using as reference for the car and a typical Zoot Suiter.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]

    I will post pictures as I progress as I have done with my last two projects.
  2. Pete_H New Member

    Dude, I cannot wait to see this one come together (for obvious reasons ;) :) ).
  3. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Another great idea that I can't wait to see. May I suggest the PBS American Experience episode on the riot great visual references?
  4. DangerAtom New Member

    I'm pretty sure there was also a show on the History Channel a few months ago that also dealt with the riot. Make sure you have some proper music playing in the background while you're putting this one together. ;)
  5. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Bob, A very original idea, I like it. The movie "1941" has a couple of scenes with some neat shots of "zoot suiters". As a matter of fact "Wally" one of the main characters goes to a USO dance to enter a jitter bug contest dressed like a "Zoot suiter".~Gary
  6. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Gary, I had forgotten about that. I fortunately have quite a few good references including that American Experience video that Matt mentioned.

    It is not quite as hard to find information about this incident as some other subjects I have delved into. To me, the research is one of the most interesting aspects of these projects and I find the dynamics that were taking place at the time quite fascinating. Here we were as a country fighting for freedom and free expression while at the same time incarcerating Japanese Americans and beating up Mexican Americans because they were "different." African Americans also were seriously treated poorly and given the worst possible jobs. For example, the Port of Chicago explosion in San Francisco killed over two hundred black stevedores because they were relegated to ammunition loading which was one of the most dangerous jobs and then not properly trained to boot. It subsequently resulted in a mutiny that was defended successfully by Thurgood Marshall. Even at that the Navy did not do the right thing and gave the men dishonorable discharges. What a way to treat brave people doing a job no one else wanted to do.

    As much as I love this country it has done many things I find tragic and disturbing. Even the terms, Japanese Americans, Mexican Americans, African Americans or even Native Americans are perjorative qualifiers that I think as a free people is most unfortunate and certainly unnecessary. We are all just Americans to me.
  7. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I always do:)
  8. Automata Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Bob,

    Great idea for a project!

    I think one of the worst things we can do is to fool ourselves into thinking that we are always right. I think we need to see these events as part of our growing process. If they are ignored or explained away, we learn nothing from them.

    Barry
  9. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    As with all of my recent pieces, the taxi is a prominent character. In this case I found a perfect starting point with a 1:32 diecast of a 1941 Plymouth which matches the exact model used as a Yellow Cab in 1943.

    Here are some pictures of the conversion of this car. The first is the diecast car stock:

    [IMG]

    Next is the car stripped down to bare metal and some of the components: Also I sawed off the back suicide doors so they can be opened.

    [IMG]

    Finally, the interior is to be detailed and I have already included the taxi meter and some appropriate literature on the seats - LA Times and Life magazine:

    [IMG]
  10. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
  11. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Bob, This is gonna be neat and like your previous pieces well thought out.


    Barry, It would be nice for a change if we could learn from events as they are happening instead of years after.~Gary
  12. Automata Member

    Country:
    United-States
    It would be, wouldn't it.

    Barry
  13. yeo_64 Active Member

    Country:
    Singapore
    Very Nice,Bob (y) (y) !! Looking forward to the next step in the project.Cheers !
    Kenneth :lol:
  14. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I did the first Pachuco Zoot Suiter.

    [IMG]
  15. Pete_H New Member

    My first thought was "hey, that looks like grandpa!" :lol:

    Perhaps its me, but the left ankle looks a bit on the thin side.

    By the way, how many figures will be in this dio?
  16. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I think the thinness is exagerrated by the blousing trousers since it is a Preiser leg underneath and I didn't trim it down any.

    Altogether there will be eight figures; four Pachucos, three sailors and the cab driver. The cab driver is almost finished sculpting and I should start painting this week. He will be getting out of the cab with a baseball bat.

    Here is a side view and a picture of the cab driver.

    [IMG]

    [IMG]
  17. Pete_H New Member

    Good point, amigo. Thanks for pointing that out.

    So, what kind of music are you listening to while working on this project?
  18. yeo_64 Active Member

    Country:
    Singapore
    Hey Bob, (y) (y) JOB !! Looking forward to the next installment.Cheers !
    Kenneth :lol:
  19. btavis Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
  20. quang Active Member

    Country:
    Belgium
    Hello Bob,

    Great, great project: original concept, colourful characters, interesting props (the cab), great soundtrack and above all a brave and generous statement.

    What can I do but sit back and wait for the next instalment? With mucho anticipation! :lol:

    (y) (y)

    Quang

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