Kid Colt - Outlaw

Part of my childhood fascination with cowboys was born of the silver-age western comic books! These great stories and artwork were often the settings I used for my Johnny West adventures.

Kid Colt Outlaw was no exception. Here's the real story of Kid Colt:
"Blaine Colt grew up on the Flying-C Ranch, near Abiline, Wyoming. The son of ranch owner Dan Colt, Blaine taught himself from childhood to use a gun, proving to be a natural with the weapon that was his family's namesake. However Blaine had a temper as quick as his draw, and realising this, he normally avoided carrying a gun, in case he killed someone in a fit of anger. Things changed when Dan Colt got into a conflict with the Ranchers Protection Association, a racket run by Lash Larribee. They swindled Colt out of his land, and then Dan Colt was killed under suspicious circumstances. Upon hearing this, Blaine grabbed his guns, rode into town looking for Larribee and his men, and shot them down in cold blood, even though they were unarmed. Wanted for murder, Blaine was forced to go on the run (dime novels (e.g. the original, Golden Age version of the origin story) would romanticise this to make it clear that Larribee had killed the senior Colt, something that wasn't certain, and change the murder Blaine committed to a proper face-off where he outdrew Larribee in a fair fight, only to be falsely accused of murder by Larribee's men). For more than a decade, Blaine rode the west, becoming famous as Kid Colt, a wanted man with a heart of gold and using his guns fighting on the side of the angels. He encountered and made friends with fellow gunslingers such as the Two-Gun Kid and the Rawhide Kid, and faced off against some of the West's most colourful villains."

There's my inspiration, and here's the result:

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Body Decision

Like many collectors I have a PILE of broken body parts from Johnny and Chief Cherokee. That darn carmel plastic made in the first years has a tendency to turn brittle. I've actually had a figure crumble in my hands.. ;-(

I've often thought of what I could do with all these pieces. I didn't want to throw them away - Gosh, Johnny's been through enough over the last 40 years.

Then I thought, I could take some of these, glue them together and create a Johnny statue! Wouldn't that be cool!?

But a statue by itself seemed kinda lonely so I decided to also build a little diorama for the figure to stand on. With these thoughts in mind, I set off to the workbench....

Getting the Pieces

Here's a list of pieces I used to make my version of Kid Colt:
  • Custom Head - mine based on a modern GI Joe figure
  • Custom Hat - mine based on the vintage JW hat cast in white rubber
  • Custom Vest - my one of a kind creation of the cow spot vest shown in the comics. I used white felt over a black silk lining and then I 'painted' the black spots with a sharpie pen.
  • Custom gun rig and pistols - from The Toy Smith
  • Various acrylic paints including: Red, Dark Blue, Med. Blue, Light Blue (eyes), Med. Red, Light Brown (boots/belt), Silver (buckle), Tan (gloves) and white for lighting various shades for dry brushing highlights.
  • Artist pastel chalks. (These are ground up and used on the face for highlights and shadows - you apply with a q-tip by mashing the powder into the base coat of paint and then sealing with a matt varnish.
  • Bass-Wood for the fence
  • Plaster compound for the ground
  • Green, yellow and brown model railroad 'grass'
  • Two part apoxy compound for filling in joints and 'sticking' the arms on.

If I'd known how complicated this was going to be, I may not have started....

Head Work
The next challenge was painting the head. I first gave my custom head a base coat in light grey primer. For his hair, I used a mix of yellow and brown for the base coat and then used darker brown for the wash and a lighter yellow for highlights. For his face I tried a new technique I read about on the 'net about using pastels. The pastel powder is mashed into the base coat at the appropriate area (brown for cheek hollows, red for some skin variation, etc.). It sounds harsher than it really is. Not much color is transfered in each 'mashing'. So you have to do it many times to get dark colors and it is easy to blend out. If you make a mistake, just wipe it off with a tissue. Once the powder is applied, you coat the head with a matt water based varnish and then use colored washes over the top to get the rest of face covered. I also took a long time on the eyes. I wanted 'realistic' eyes. So the whites are actually a bone white and I put little tiny drops of pink at the corners and a super thin lind for the inside of the lower lid. Ice blue for the iris, black for the pupil and a tiny dot of white to show reflection. I then coated the eye in clear gloss coat to give it that wet look. His red/pink lips are also coated in gloss.

Hat and Gloves

Since I already make hats, it was no big deal to make another one in white

The Gloves, however, were another story. What you see here is actually the third attempt. Using a set of my found buried vintage hands, I set out to model a cuff on them using a two part apoxy material - not apoxy-sculpt, but a medium that when mixed comes out like a good modelers clay and air dries to a rock!

After I had the gloves molded I painted them in a tan with a dark brown wash to give them a more 'used' look.

Holsters and Guns
There are so many great artists and customizers out there specializing in certain items. This is just one example! This fabulous gun rig and cast pewter colts come from The Toy Smith. Thanks Stevo - They are great!


For his base I decided to make a corral fence section. I made the fence from Basswood and stained it with a watered down brown paint. For the ground I used plaster and while it was setting up I put thunderbolt hoof prints on the horse side and a little less rough marks on kid's side. After it dried I painted both sides with browns and then glued some of the different railroad modelers grass to the kid side. Kid's lasso is a section of leather string from the local craft store.

Other Pictures