Hylaeosaurus (Protocasts)

Review and photos by Takama, edited by Suspsy

When it comes to the history of the study of dinosaurs, one must remember three species as the most important for establishing what we know about the animals to this day. Those three species are Megalosaurus, Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus. Of these animals, Megalosaurus and Iguanodon have received the most attention from toy companies, while Hylaeosaurus is often overlooked. The only toy model of this species being the dragon-headed one made by CollectA back in 2009.

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​The 1:40 Scale Protocasts figure marks the first time that the species was ever made in resin form. The Protocasts line is a line of resin dinosaurs that is run by a young man who goes by Kayakasaurus on the Dinosaur Toy Forum. His artistic skills make him one of the most talented young men I have ever seen in this hobby, his models are on par with the likes of Battat, and he is even capable of sculpting small species without deviating from 1:40 scale. As of today, he has over nine models in the works and all of them appear to be true works of art. The first models he made for the line really show that he has the potential to become as talented as the likes of Dan LoRusso.

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The Protocasts Hylaeosaurus is the first model that Kayakasaurus made for the line. Given his young age, it can be considered to be a work of art and I think it is way better than the one CollectA made back in 2009. In terms of accuracy, this model looks great, although the fact remains that there is not much of Hylaeosaurus to work with. The back of the figure is banded like your typical ankylosaur and the armor that adorns the model is believable. A row of spikes are sculpted along the side of the model, and a couple more rows of spikes start up in the middle of the back and go a little past the base of the tail. The head on this figure must have been tricky to sculpt since the known skull material is very fragmentary. It looks very believable as a nodosaur skull. If there’s anything to fault with this figure, it would be the fact that the legs are incredibly skinny and the front feet are very tiny, almost lacking in detail, although you can clearly tell that the toes are present on this model. However, I can’t fault the sculptor too much, as this species is only known from one specimen, and there is nothing as of the time of this writing that dictates that the legs on this creature can’t be as skinny as this model make them out to be. Another thing I must point out with this figure is the fact that there’s no spikes or osteoderms on the rest of the tail.

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Being a thyreophoran, you would think that there would be some type of defence present on the model’s entire tail, but only half of it is protected by spikes. It is this flaw that prevents me from calling this model perfect. Still, as the first model for the line, it is still a great work of art. Recently, Kayakasaurus has shown off the concept drawing for this model, which had beefier legs and more armour on the tail. If I were to be honest, I would say that I liked the look of it a lot more then the final result, but that does not mean that the final result is something to put up among the likes of early CollectA models. Instead, it comes off as more of a early Carnegie figure with the detail of a Battat (if that makes any sense).

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The colors of this model depends on the preference of the customers. Kayakasaurus made four different color schemes and he has opened a thread on the forum that asks the community to submit their own schemes for the model. One of the submissions is what you see in my photos and it was designed by DTF member Dinomike to be submitted for the contest.

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Overall, I say that this is a nice start to a potential collection of models. It is flawed, but again, one must remember that this artist is very young and most other people his age might not have a clue on how to sculpt a decent dinosaur, even if they were really big fans (I know I couldn’t sculpt one if my life depended on it when I was his age). If you want one, then your best bet is to email Kayakasaurus, but I suggested that he let Dan Liebman sell his models online at www.dansdinosaurs.com. If you’re a member of the forum you can also contact him via PM.

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6 Responses to Hylaeosaurus (Protocasts)

  1. Hylaeosaurus is known to have spines on its front half. Based on what is known of thyreophorans, I would expect it to have had spines on the distal half of its tail to increase its defensive ability.

    The legs of this figure do look too delicate for an ankylosaurian to me too, especially the forelimbs. I’ve read the description of different nodosaurid and ankylosaurid forelimbs and each time they’ve been found to have been very powerful (the same is true for stegosaurians), probably helping the animals to maneuver quickly when dealing with predators. I imagine the powerful forelimbs would also be good for supporting the weight of these animals.

    One other thing, the pupils of this figure are right at the front of the eye, but on a real dinosaur the sclerotic ring would hold the pupil in the centre at all times with only a little wiggle room.

    All that said, this figure’s sculpting is really impressive! I can see a lot of skill went into it. It’s a very nice first figure!

  2. While I agree with Takama, that I’d preferred a model sculpted as in the draft, it’s nevertheless a very fine crafted model of an underrepresented species. Keen to see more of Kayakasaurus.

  3. A wonderful model! (And a great choise of colours – obviously;)

  4. Misheru Misaki (stargatedalek on the DTF)

    Honestly the only flaw I see are the pronated wrists, something so often overlooked for thyreophorans both by producers and consumers.

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