In addition to their primary line of single-character maquettes, Dinostoreus produces a number of diorama-style pieces which portray prehistoric animals in their natural environment. One that undoubtedly draws attention is this model, featuring the beloved Spinosaurus snatching a snack from churning Cretaceous waters.
At 13 inches in length, this is a pretty generously sized model, falling roughly within the 1:40 range to make it compatible with the Carnegie Spinosaurus, or Papo if you’re not a stickler for accuracy. Granted, the subnarial gap isn’t quite right here – possibly a forgivable offense since so few reconstructions seem to really get it right, and most people won’t really notice anyway. Otherwise, there’s plenty for the paleo-enthusiast to gush over. The hard polyresin construction allows the tail to be held neatly off the ground, the arms aren’t straining the animal’s anatomy, and the sculpt is full of action without going over the top.
There is often some inconsistency among the finished desktop models, particularly where paint application is concerned. It’s a difficult thing to stay on top of, with factory workers dressing up so many pieces a day, while trying to keep production costs reasonable. However, I would rate this model among the best painted in the entire Dinostoreus line. Nary a stray splotch nor crude stroke of color can be found on the model, and I’ve inspected several of them. Application appears quite neat, easily on par with the finest of Papo and Safari. Even the little black eyes have a lifelike shine. I particularly like the cranial crest design, like a “Hi, my name is…” tag to help distinguish him among his sail-backed brethren.
Some struggle to accept the 50-foot predator’s probable role as piscavore, which may cause some disappointment with the scene. All things considered, this is actually a rather bold move to put the image right in people’s faces. Watch any footage of a grizzly plucking fish from the water, and it’s certainly an endearing moment. Nets and rods may detach us from the finer points of fishing, so the visceral power of this scenario could make it an interesting piece for a hunting/fishing lodge.
Also of note is the fish itself, a gar. As luck would have it, these fish are still around today, and many humans consider them quite delicious. A unique greenish bone coloring in the gar is caused by bile pigment, though revealing this in the statue may have been a bit too gruesome or impractical. In fact, the violence could be intentionally toned down, without a speck of blood present. This could be an effort to produce a “gentler violence” than that which pervades many other pieces, including Dinostoreus’s own T.rex Fight Over Carcass.
The translucent teal water provides a much more interesting base than the usual bland patch of earth. The Sideshow Deinosuchus vs. Parasaurolophus comes to mind, but those waters were darker and muddier, not even close to this tropical fishing paradise the Spinosaurus enjoys. The water actually looks beautiful and clear, and the fully-finished feet can even be seen beneath the surface. The base works well on its own, and it’s nice to have the option of using the wooden base with nameplate as well.
This statue came as a pleasant surprise to me. It does not overwhelm with scale or drama, but offers plenty of intrigue and has been crafted with considerable care. I would try to keep it away from too many harsh elements, but the appeal of using it in beach or coastal diorama is understandable. It’s a bit heavy and not exactly cheap, so as always, take care displaying it around young children who will undoubtedly try to play with it. Sneak it into the bathtub at your own risk.