“Saichania” is Mongolian for “beautiful one.” Admittedly, this is not the sort of title one expects to find among ankylosaurs. After all, they don’t quite have the sleek and decorative appearance of other thyreophorans like Kentrosaurus, nor the poise and majesty of the classic Stegosaurus. And yet, armored dinosaurs possess a vast array of impressive adornments, more than just functional protection against predators. Rising up against the squat and bumbling interpreations of old, this contemporary reconstruction by David Krentz bears all the verve and spirit of a grizzly bear. Heavy perhaps, but nonetheless ready to smash the living crap out of anything in its way.
David’s popular line of 1:72 resin models wouldn’t be complete without at least one armored dinosaur. And yet, it seems he is often drawn to slightly more exotic examples, as demonstrated with this species of Asian ankylosaur, Saichania. Since this piece has fewer extraneous bits dangling from its body, it actually requires very little cleanup when compared to many other models in the line. The resin medium allows a lavish level of detail to be conveyed through the figure, and Saichania’s ample rows of plated armor provide a perfect landscape to exhibit this feature. From any angle, this four-inch model looks breathtaking.
Like all Antediluvia models, this figure comes with its own base, though it can be displayed very suitably without one. The business end of this Saichania’s tail is held triumphantly (or menacingly, if you prefer) in the air. To complement this showiness, the animal also strides forward, jaws agape as if bellowing a note of warning. This highly active stance is quite typical of David Krentz’s artwork, which tends to highlight behavior that is often overlooked in other artwork, such as the aggression of herbivores and the general placidity of a predator. See David’s strolling Tyrannosaurus for an example of this.
Comparable choices for collectors include the impressive Carnegie Ankylosaurus (similarly posed in an active stance) and the Saichania from Schleich (which the company has attempted twice now, with little excitement). Placing quality before sheer size, the Antediluvia Saichania presents a very appealing option which remains at an approachable price range. The minimal requirement for cleanup should also boost the attraction to collectors unfamiliar with the hazards of resin work.
If you’re fleshing out a collection with ankylosaurs, or even lack a single one, there’s really no excuse for passing on this exceptionally crafted little model. It is beyond any doubt, a “beautiful one.”