Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Epidendrosaurus, sculpted by Michael Lovejoy.

Mike Lovejoy´s life-size sculpt depicting a juvenile of tiny Epidendrosaurus is only a few centimetres long and was produced as a one-piece casting. These small animals may have had arboreal tendencies and Mike sculpted his clinging to a the bark of a tree-trunk. I ground this away and then painted the little Dinosaur in hues that would blend in with the forest-floor subsequently modelled around it. Caught out in the open, the little Epidendrosaurus hunkers down into leaf-litter, intent on not being noticed by a passing predator.

Finished in May 2004.

1/35 Lambeosaurus lambei, sculpted by Greg Wenzel.

Greg Wenzel´s sculpting style hits the mark with me almost every time I see his work. His 1/35th scale Lambeosaurus lambei is amongst the favourites in my collection. Nothing to do with the fact that I dropped my one-piece casting onto a stone floor, shattering it into a dozen pieces and the consequent success at re-assembling it like a kit, hiding joins and re-sculpting mysteriously missing bits. Not at all....

 I honestly find this sculpt simply charming. Lambeosaurus seems to be prancing as if spooked by our approach. The slightly opened mouth revealing the animals tongue is expertly crafted. That heavily wrinkled hide matches fossilised skin-impressions. Even a raised casting blob running down the left flank painted up really well to look like healed scar-tissue from a failed predator attack. The piece is packed with interesting details. I painted mine with disruptive camouflage-patterning suited to the dappled light of the flood-plain forests it inhabited during the Campanian in what is now Canada. 

Finished in April 2004.

1/6 Velociraptor, sculpted by Bruce Bowman.

This 1/6th sculpt depicting Velociraptor mongoliensis was available as a 7-part kit sometime around the turn of the millenium. That Bruce chose not to portray Velociraptor running at full pelt with it´s mouth agape like some dromeosaurian Basking Shark trawling the air for sustenance, combined with this being perhaps the first model to portray a theropod with feather-like integument, made this a kit I very much wanted to own. Instead of sufficing with a single "mascot" model of Gorgosaurus, I was now on my way to becoming a collector of scale-model Dinosaurs.

The kit needed minimal clean-up and all the pieces fit very well. Joins were thoughtfully placed, easy to hide by simply sculpting feathery detail over them making sure this matched the surrounding original sculpt. The long and filamentous plumage, like that of a Cassowary or Rhea, made this a relatively simple task.

I originally planned on painting Velociraptor to look somewhat like the European Red Kite (Milvus milvus). In order to emphasise that patch of naked skin on the throat I ended up adding some bolder blacks and off-whites to the head and neck.

The finished model was mounted on a raised stone, a sentinel-post - this Velociraptor looks like an animal that has just noticed something in the near distance, be it a potential prey-item or an approaching rival or mate. Trails of droppings were placed on the stone to indicate its habitual use as a look-out spot. Surrounding groundwork was made from crushed cat-litter and small pieces of natural vegetation found in the countryside around where I live. Under a crevice in the stone there is a small fragment of real bone,a tiny fractured bird femur from an owl pellet.

Finished February 2004.
(There is now a scientific concensus that long feathers over the hands would very likely have concealed the manual digits of Velociraptor. These will have to be sculpted at some point.)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

1/18 Kritosaurus sculpted by Jorge Blanco.

Jorge Blanco´s 1/18th scale Kritosaurus is expertly sculpted and cast in a single piece of solid resin. It really stands out amongst all the "roaring-running" Dinosaur kits and I applaud Jorge´s depicting a behaviour more typical of much of the lives of most animals - his beast is simply at rest and seems all the more real for it.

Kritosaurus came cast lying on a plinth depicting a rocky outcrop. To make the animal more comfortable, softer contours were carved and then covered with a blend of powdered tea and small dried-herb leaves. This female Kritosaurus has scraped some of this bed of warm rotting vegetation over her clutch of recently-laid eggs - behaviour seen among crocodylians and even some birds in order to facilitate incubation of their young.

Jorge did a great job capturing the impressive, noble profile of this animal with it´s characteristic snout shaped like a "roman nose".

The model was mounted on a solid slice of granite. Very heavy, but looks good.

Finished in October 2003.