The Valley Of Gwangi: Thunderbird!
A recent addition to my ever growing collection of Ray Harryhausen's monstrous menagerie. This time it is the pteranodon from the 1969 cowboy fantasy action film “The Valley Of Gwangi”.
Briefly, the tale involves a traveling wild west show which, through some convoluted events, finds itself in a hidden valley populated by dinosaurs with the titular Gwangi (an allosaurus) dominating the valley. One segment has a Mexican boy who has followed the group into the valley getting snatched up by a pteranodon which this model depicts. Though certainly not Harryhausen's best in terms of the story line, the climatic scene in the cathedral is quite eerie with growling Gwangi stalking the heroes through the structure.
The nice sculpt is by Joe Laudati which you can purchase directly from him here: www.joelaudati.com. The kit is a fairly simple affair comprised of seven pieces, most of which are the base. Why is was broken up into five pieces was a mystery to me. Anyway, me being me, I decided to alter the base a bit by mounting it on a irregular piece of Masonite and affixing some of the provided “rocks” to it with Sculpt-a-mold. The larger rock is essentially the stand for the pteranodon with a wire extending from a wing tip into a pre-drilled hole at the top which cleverly gives the illusion of the creature in flight.
The box art for this kit though it didn't come with a box this time.
The color palette for the scene is pretty straight forward for the snatched boy but the pteranodon had a blue or purplish tint as was the case for most of the dinosaurs in the the film. According to Joe Laudati, this was the result of the color temperature of the film which, due to the film's small budget or lack of time, didn't allow Harryhausen to correct for it.
A screen capture from the film showing the little boy, Lope. being snatched up by the pteranadon. Photos on the left and right are of the completed kit.
I ended up using a medium bluish gray followed by a wash of diluted black to bring out the skin details for the flying reptile (pteranodons weren't dinosaurs) which looked fine to me. I gave the base a coat of light gray primer followed by a wash of medium brown to bring out the rock details. For Lope, I just used standard coloration for his skin and outfit.
This kit was as simple as simple could be and would be a nice beginner's first foray into resin kit modeling. 3/21/2023