Space Cowboys! More properly Archive Miniatures Texican Space Rangers (circa 1978), are the subject of this blog, plus some Steve Miller Band stuff from the 1970’s. Most people are familiar with the Steve Miller Band song The Joker:
Some people call me the space cowboy yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompitous of love…
Lyrics from The Joker, Steve Miller Band, 1973
Some also know that the opening line of The Joker refers to the band’s 1969 hit Space Cowboy – a rousing song with psychedelic undertones.
I told you ’bout living in the U.S. of A.
Don’t you know that I’m a gangster of love
Let me tell you people that I found a new way
And I’m tired of all this talk about love
And the same old story with a new set of words
About the good and the bad and the poor
And the times keep on changin’
So I’m keepin’ on top
Of every fat cat who walks through my door
I’m a space cowboy
Bet you weren’t ready for that
I’m a space cowboy
I’m sure you know where it’s at
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Lyrics from Space Cowboy, Steve Miller Band, 1969
If you have not heard it before, and/or if you want a theme song for this blog post, here it is:
I’m sure that in some way, shape, or form, these songs influenced the sculpting of these figures.
Back to the miniatures!
In the early stages of my chasing down Archive Star Rovers a couple of years ago, I discovered two figures that were called Texican Space Rangers. One figure was Travis B. Crockett who was armed with a couple of laser pistols. The other was Armando Garcia, who had an assault rifle, a laser pistol, and a very imposing sombrero. Both had very cool jet packs as well. I did think that they would make an awesome unit for Combat Patrol™ games. Archive packaged them in two ways. One was as a set (along with a dog I have not found) as #2045 Texican Space Ranger Group. The other was individually as #2225 (Travis) and #2226 (Armando).
There are a few images in the Star Rovers game that showcase the Texican Space Rangers. I think the artwork is very cool and worth sharing as well.
I searched, and the only source that I initially found for the figures was on eBay which made the prospect of building a platoon-sized unit very expensive. Because of this, back in June 2016 I made a mold of Armando Garcia and cast several for personal use and for some friends which I wrote about here. I had a plan to cast Travis B. Crockett, but did not get around to it, which was lucky for me as I found a better option.
Michael Thomas is a hobbyist who bought a spin caster and has been collecting OOP miniature molds and making them available for a very reasonable price. I discovered that Michael has both Texican Space Rangers (among many other lost and OOP miniatures) available at http://classicminiatures.net/. The product codes are RKV-0122 for Travis and RKV-0021 for Armando, with their prices being $3.50 and $3.75 respectively, which is very reasonable. I had a sufficient number of Armando’s, so I ordered enough Travis figures to round out a small platoon sized unit of 32.
My concept for the Texican Space Rangers was to have them as a small constabulary-type unit (like the Texas Rangers). I made a command group (1 of each type), and 5 infantry teams. Each team would have one Travis and five Armando’s. Filing and cleaning the originals ones I got from eBay and from Michael was a breeze, while my castings needed much more work to make them presentable. They are moderate in terms of crispness, but not like today’s figures. But hey, this is what it was like in the 1970’s! Once that was done, I used my airbrush to prime them, and moved on to painting them.
I also had a pretty important secondary goal on this project, which was to use as many of my old Polly S, Polly Scale, Deka Lack, and Armory acrylic paints as possible. My Polly S paints were ones I bought in the early-to-mid 1980’s (really). My Deka Lack paints are ones that I purchased in West Germany (remember that?) around 1987. The Polly Scale paints were made after Testors bought them out, and my guess is that they date from the 1990’s (they were gifts Buck Surdu got for me slightly used from a gaming convention flea market). My Armory paints were all bought by me in 1996. All of these paints are viable, but they have lumps and clumps and do not always thin easily. I thought as a challenge, I would use as many as possible as theme colors, and add washes, inks, and glazes to enhance the models. Besides, they won’t be useful indefinitely. If you are interested in the history of Polly S , I did find this blog post that was interesting.
Additionally, I follow a couple of blogs that were inspirational for this project. One was imperial rebel ork’s post about his Western/sci-fi mashup. He has three chapters there. Also, our good inspirational friend Azazel from down under made a painting challenge for units for June, so this works and this is my entry (or at least one of them)! On to the theme colors…
The platoon leader’s main color was Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”, while the platoon sergeant’s was Deka Lack “Blaü” (blue). for the teams’ main colors, the A team got Polly S “Desert Pink”, the B team got Polly Scale “German Armor Light Tan”; the C team got Polly S “Interior Green”, the D team got Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”; and the E team got Polly Scale “German Mauve”. The Travis figures also have US red, white, and blue on their collars, and the Armando’s have the colors of the Mexican flag (red white, and green). I list all of the paints, glazes, inks, washes etc. that I used for this project at the end of this post (only 55 this time!).
This was a fun project, though the older paints are much harder to use than modern ones. Still, I am glad that those oldies got a chance to be useful.
Thanks for reading, and I always appreciate comments and feedback in the comments section!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:
- Vallejo “Surface Primer – White”
- Vallejo “Dark Flesh”
- Vallejo “Medium Flesh Tone”
- Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade”
- Vallejo “White”
- Vallejo Game Air “Black”
- Vallejo “Brown Rose”
- Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”
- Vallejo “Dark Blue”
- Polly S “Desert Pink”
- Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”
- Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Light Tan”
- Polly S “Interior Green”
- Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”
- Polly Scale “German Mauve”
- Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
- Deka Lack “Blaü”
- Polly S “Slime Green”
- Vallejo Model Air “Signal Red”
- Vallejo “Red”
- Citadel “Auric Armour Gold”
- Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
- Vallejo “Dark Blue”
- Vallejo “Glossy White”
- Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Dark Brown”
- Armory “Leather Brown”
- Armory “Prussian Blue”
- Vallejo Model Air “Aluminum”
- Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
- Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
- Secret Weapons Washes “Just Red” (ink)
- Citadel “Gulliman Blue” (glaze)
- Citadel “Waywatcher Green” (glaze)
- Secret Weapons Washes “Blue” (ink)
- Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
- Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
- Secret Weapons Washes “Parchment” (wash)
- Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
- Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” (wash)
- Citadel “Soulstone Blue”
- Citadel “Waystone Green”
- Citadel “‘Ardcoat”
- Citadel “Agrellan Earth”
- Citadel “Agrellan Badlands”
- P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
- Secret Weapons Washes “Sunshine” (wash)
- Vallejo “Glaze Medium”
- Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
- Secret Weapons Washes “Stone” (wash)
- Secret Weapons Washes “Purple” (ink)
- Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
- Vallejo Mecha Color “Purple”
- Vallejo “Flow Improver”
- Vallejo “”Airbrush Thinner”
- Vallejo “Matt Varnish”
Thanks again and feel free to let me know your thoughts!