Indian Medicine Man


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Indian Medicine Man, from American Indian series.  Old Pyro model, 1961

Pity the Native Americans when the Europeans arrived. They thought that just because their people had lived on some land for thousands of years, it meant they had a right to continue living there. Who can forget all those western movies with mounted Warriors riding in circles around a wagon train, getting shot by the settlers. Of course that was pure Hollywood; the real warriors would have rushed the wagons and taken them out with little effort. In the end, of course, there was an unending supply of settlers, and we just wore them down. A strange turn of fate, that after deliberately wiping out their culture any artifact is now a priceless treasure.

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Pyro was another company devoted to putting out models, starting in the 1950's. The company is better known for their line of historic gun models, and ships, but they did include a few western characters in their catalog. They had some success, but it was the idea of going to licensed TV and movie characters that put Aurora on top of the hill. This model was one of a series of three Native American kits, the others are a Chief and a warrior.

I painted this guy to have the look of an old man, chugging along doing his rain dance or something. I just added red to the basic flesh tone, then used burnt umber to paint the wrinkles and weathering on his face and hands. I used enough color in the accessories to give it some life, but not so much to distract from the face of the old Medicine Man.

These old Pyro models can be bought for a fraction of what an Aurora model would cost, and they're just as much fun to build, and an important part of model kit history.

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