Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Gorgosaurus libratus, sculpted by Greg Wenzel.

I bought this in December 2002, a Yule-gift to myself. It was my first ever resin scale-model Dinosaur purchase and I can still remember sweating with trepidation at paying the exorbitant price of $85 plus shipping via the Internet to someone I didn´t know. How times change!

After some trial and error, this is how my very first foray into the world of making and painting model dinosaurs ended up...

... simply mounted on a real stone, with an unsophisticated colour scheme. I only wanted a simple maquette for my writing-desk, but something made me decide not to paint it as a faux-bronze and instead opt for a predominantly green colour scheme. I was inexperienced and didn´t exactly achieve the look I had envisioned, finding the painting process fraught with frustration in trying to make things look as realistic as possible. Yet this model still remains a kind of mascot for me. I find the simplicity appealing, allowing me to imagine this animal in various settings - emerging from a forest; striding purposefully down mud-flats to something interestingly smelly and very dead at a river´s edge; patrolling an often-trod path through dense undergrowth.....  The dirtying with dusty chalks was an effort to make it look less like an idealised toy and more like a living animal with scars, scrapes and imperfections. I cannot imagine Dinosaurs as monsters, seeing them rather as animals and  natural elements within their environments. As a consequence I began photographing my Dinosaur models in outdoor settings. Finding and getting the setting to match the model is quite challenging and fun in itself.

Finished in July 2002.

Postscript) I now spend a good deal of time researching, constructing and painting such models for myself and a select few others. What started out as a single mascot has become a Mesozoic Menagerie and I have a collection of dozens of scale-models depicting the wonderful variety of Dinosaurian evolution. Greg Wenzel´s sculpture still holds a special interest for me. In fact, I´ve acquired and begun painting a second copy of this 1/35th scale model ... I cut the arms off and tucked them up to the chest.

And as if that wasn´t enough, Greg Wenzel also produced a massive 80cm long 1/10th version of the same sculpt which I couldn´t resist buying a casting of either...
I´m playing with the idea of tucking the arms up against its chest, too.
More to follow in later blogs...


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