AT Commander's

Ol' West Cowboys

We've had cowboy outfits around here a long time. They come and go as parts from the junkbox take on new life and become western a while, then they make their way back into the junk box to become adventure gear or what have you. Here is a small collection of the cowboys in the house who have actually remained cowboys for a while. Above is the Deputy riding Skywalker. Below you'll find some more of our cowboys. It sure would be nice to run across a good double-barrelled shotgun for these guys, but we make do with what we've got.

Here's the Sherriff. I haven't found a good looking star yet. I reckon I'll eventually run across a tiny pair of pierced star earrings and I can use one of them for his badge. Until then, we'll use our Spongebob-esque Imaginaaaation. This guy was made from a Save the Tiger goatee Joe (I hated these sculpts until we made cowboys out of 'em) with an SA body. He's wearing the shirt and vest from Robert E. Lee along with SOTW generic light blue trousers. I think those are Cots cavalry boots he's wearing, although I'm not sure - they might be from Teddy Roosevelt. The hat came from Sam Cobra. His holster "twin rig" is stitched from the remains of an old leather driving glove. Stout thread makes the leg tie-downs. His pistols are Remington Model 1858 .44's from SOTW in one of their Civil War sets. At left you can see the figure, at right above is a close-up of the belt buckle (made from a paperclip) and a close-up of one of the holsters. All around, this guy makes a pretty clean-cut looking Cowboy... just right to be the sherriff of this here town!

Next comes the Deputy, of course. At right is the Cots 5 o'clock Vince head (makes a great cowboy). He's wearing a flannel Ken shirt, Roosevelt trousers, a Hobby Lobby doll dept stetson, and brown Cots jackboots. He looks downright western in them duds! He's equipped with a Captain Action Lone Ranger lever-action carbine and a SOTW canteen. This was a quick figure to toss together and is a rockin' groovy cowboy, IMHO!

Here is a pic of his holster (at left). I forget where the handcuffs came from, but anyhow, the holster and gunbelt were home-made out of scrap leather; I did a drop-down gunfighter style holster. I tried to pattern this off an actual holster so it'd look more authentic.

Here's the knife. It's a Marx "Johnny West" knife and the sheath is home-made out of the same leather as the holster and the gunbelt. I added the fringe to make it look a little more Indian and a little more "mountain man" than a plain old store-bought sheath. I liked the outcome. As you can see on both the holster and sheath, I was experimenting with contrasting thread to stitch it with and still can't decide which I like best - so I left one each way!

At right is a pic of the belt buckle. As on the Sherriff's rig above, this one was also made from a humble paperclip. This time I used one that had ridges on it to catch the light a little. It's nice variety, I suppose.

Not too long ago, the Captain Action repro line included the Lone Ranger outfits. At left is the blue Lone Ranger suit we probably all remember best from the TV show. This is stuffed by the sneering Cots Carl figure. Even though the original LR had dark hair and wore a mask, I like the outfit better on this ornery-looking character.

To the right is another LR outfit in the Captain Action line. This is supposedly an earlier version of the LR outfit, although I've never seen any LR episodes where the hero wore such an outfit. I stuffed it with a Cots Andy head. The fancy duds and Lorne Green looking face shape sort of make this guy look like landed gentry - a gentleman cowboy or large landowner, perhaps. The LR belts are a bit tight on the Cots/vintage/TC/ME figures, but I still like 'em just the same. These guys are the favorites of my son. He really likes the doulble pistol rigs. Not shown in the pic is a leather LR mask with an elastic strap that takes turns on about all these guys as he lets them take turns being bad guys, good guys, or the Lone Ranger. Fun! (Incidentally, the multi-DVD sets of LR episodes are pretty cheap at Wal-Mart.)

What cast of characters would be complete without a Bad Guy? Here's "Texas Red" (remember the old Marty Robbins tune?) slinging lead at a hapless victim. The Civil War ended, but not for Texas Red.

This red-headed goatee Save the Tiger guy is wearing Robert E. Lee's trousers, belt, jacket, and hat. His boots are Teddy Roosevelt's, I believe. You probably recognize the shirt (Save the Tiger). He's another figure with an SA body rather than his original CC body.

He's dropping the hammer on a couple of SOTW Colt blackpowder revolvers.

At right is Texas Red's gunbelt. I'm not thrilled about the R.E. Lee belt, but I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet. The "slim jim" holsters look like they belong in the post-Civil War era. The knife is a Johnny West Bowie knife. The leather for these projects came from a worn-out driving glove. The thinner the leather, the better the Joe holster looks. (Still, these aren't my favorites, but they do the job.)

We can't have an outlaw without a Bounty Hunter. This Elite Brigade "Ty" figure looked a little like Lee van Cleef to me, so we put him in a 442nd trenchcoat, SOTW shirt, SOTW cavalry trousers, and SOTW boots with built-in spurs. He's wearing a ratty old beat-up Johnny West hat with a couple of holes in it. He's packing a SOTW Remington Model 1858. He's holding some wanted posters (with Texas Red's picture on 'em).

I think this is the first holster I made. The leather was too thick and I didn't like the way it came out, but it gave me the experience req'd to do a better job on the next few! At right is a shot of the reward posters.

Here's the guy who started it all - Johnny West! He's standing next to the Gold Knight's horse, wearing JW tack. Below are JW's sadlebags, lever-action carbine, and rifle scabbard. These pieces of tack were all cobbled together from trading and buying odds and ends, so the colors don't match. That's ok, though... the kids don't know the difference and don't care anyway!

Here's another of the Marx characters - the notorious Sam Cobra. Or is it Captain Maddox? Neither... it's James West from the old Wild Wild West TV show!

I seem to recall rumor that the Sam Cobra figure was supposed to be a James West figure, but they had a licensing problem and ended up using the body with the Gold Knight (Sir Gordon?) head. They ended up using the James West head with a cavalry body to make Captain Maddox. I can't confirm that, though... and don't recall where I heard it. Regardless, this is a cool figure!

Here's a shot of our cavalry guys - Custer and "Captain Gold Knight." Custer is pretty minty, because I got him when longhair hippies were gathering at airports and spitting on soldiers returning from 'Nam and calling them "baby killers." I thought that was pretty sad, irresponsible, and purile (even as a kid), so I didn't much care for the hippies. Custer's long hair seemed too much like a hippie, so I didn't play with this toy at all. It was a gift, so I didn't complain or try to return it; I stuffed it under my bed and forgot about it. I still have the complete set and box. You can also see the Sam Cobra's head on the cavalry body. This headswap was one that left both figures upgraded!

Horses! Here's a comparison of the vintage-type Marx horse and the new Ultra Corps horse available at Big Lots! As you can see, the Marx horse is more like a sleek quarterhorse, while the Ultra Corps horse is more like a warhorse. In scale, the UC horse is HUGE! Since the legs on the Ultra Corps horse are posable, it is a much more useful 1/6 piece. The UC horse is available in a dark brown and a light brown color. The smaller figures (ME/TC) look better on the Marx horse, while larger figures (SOTW/Dragon/BBI) look better on the UC horse.

Let's end with a hat comparison. Finding hats for fuzzheads always seems to be a problem. the stetson available at craft stores (like Michael's and Hobby Lobby). These are great for Joes. These are loose enough to fit over fuzzheads without chance of damaging their fuzz.

Another option is the Wal-Mart "smiley" antenna ball cowboy hat. I picked up a smiley antenna ball at Wallyworld just because the hat looked 1/6 to me and it was worth a buck to find out. The smiley ball was foam, and so is the cowboy hat. When we got home we ripped the smiley face out of the hat (carefully, so we wouldn't rip the foam) and tried it on a Joe... Perfect! We don't know how long the foam will hold up, but it's been fine so far - and has survived some rough kid play.

This is a good time to be makin' cowboys, pardner. There's a lot of good kitbash potential out there if you keep your eyes open. I just picked up a little doiley from Mexico that looked like a Mexican blanket and a little souvenir sombrero that'll make a nice poncho and hat for Jane. I'll add Jane to the site when (if) I finish that little mini-project. With the "kitbash" potential out there and the Ultra Corps horses, the opportunities to make cowboys these days are tremendous!

LMK what you think of this cowboy project, or any other stuff you stumble across on my website!

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