Although the 2008 Diplodocus has been featured several times on this blog already, it has never been reviewed, so it’s time to make amends with a photographic walkaround and short review.
This is Safari’s second attempt at a Diplodocus and this version is a much improved affair. The overall appearance of the model is elegant and gracile, the slender neck and tail are held more or less horizontally (the tail suspended above the ground) and the legs are positioned so the animal is striding along with intent. At 55 cm (21.5 inches) the figure is very long, even with the head and neck turned at almost 90 degrees to the body and the tip of the extremely long tail coiled up at the end.
There is a single thumb claw on each front foot and three claws on each hind foot, this makes a refreshing change to the generic five-clawed feet often portrayed in sauropods. The surface of the skin is rather bumpy and wrinkled. A sagging line of skin runs along each side of the body between the front and rear leg; this flabby feature is often present in Carnegie Collection sculptures although I as far as I’m aware it is speculative. Perhaps it is the sculptor’s calling card. There are several warty bumps on the back and base of the tail adding character and texture to piece, these are highlighted in deep green. Similar bumps or scutes are present in the recent Carnegie Spinosaurus but those are not highlighted as in the Dippy- cutbacks perhaps?
The head is nicely sculpted with the mouth slightly open. The nostrils are positioned near the front of the skull in line with the current scientific consensus – older restorations of sauropods had the nostrils on the top of the head.
The back is green-blue and there is a sinuous grey line extending along the entire length of the animal. The colour is paler below the line. In addition to the aforementioned bumps, there are some additional highlights. The throat is picked out in dashing blue and parts of the head too. The curled tip of the tail is striped in blue and green, perhaps the tail is being used as a communication devise as speculated in ‘Walking With Dinosaurs’.
In conclusion, this figure is both impressive and charming due to its combination of large size and attention to detail/ personal touches.