Prehistoric Scenes is a line of model kits made by a company called Aurora between 1971 and 1975. Rather than having to use glue, one needed only to snap the many pieces together. Moreover, these massive models boasted quite a good bit of articulation. They have been reissued by Monogram and Revell many times over the decades, the latest being in 2015. The one we’ll be looking at in this review is the Allosaurus, which I received as a birthday present many years ago.
The Allosaurus was one of the very first Aurora kits to be released way back in 1971. The version I own was sold by Monogram beginning in 1987. It consists of 29 pieces moulded in dark green. It was quite easy to assemble, although in retrospect, I should have had the sense to paint some of the parts first.
I was not then (and still am not) what anyone would consider a top notch model painter, so I kept my choice of colour scheme simple. I used bright red with blue stripes, medium grey claws, white teeth, pink for the mouth, light blue for the slobber, and black eyes with yellow pupils. My inspiration was largely the villainous character Diablo from the arcade game Primal Rage, although the blue admittedly makes the model look more like T-Wrecks from Transformers: Beast Machines.
The Allosaurus stands a proud 28 cm tall due to its upright Godzilla pose and has a maximum length of around 36 cm. Its head is sculpted in a vicious snarl with an ample amount of slobber dripping off the tip of its large tongue. Or it could just as easily be painted as blood, if one so desired. The skin texture is your basic scaly pattern. Thick folds of skin run down the belly and the length of the tail and a row of osteoderms extends from the back of the neck to the tip of the snake-like tail.
As ferocious as this Allosaurus looks, it won’t be winning any accuracy contests. The head is the wrong profile and far too wide, the arms are chunky and should not be able to reach the mouth, the foreclaws are too short and blunt, the hips are too wide, and the feet are too large. And of course, there’s the upright stance and the long tail curled back like a squirrel’s. The Allosaurus can achieve a somewhat horizontal stance, but it’s so front heavy that it topples over if you’re not too careful.
The Allosaurus‘ head, shoulders, wrists, hips, and tail tip rotate, allowing you to give it properly positioned hands. Unfortunately, the neck joint on mine appears to have become stuck after all these years, and I dare not attempt to fiddle with it too much. As a hollow plastic model, this is not an item you want to subject to overly rough play!
Overall, the Aurora Allosaurus is a quite a nifty prehistoric monster, especially if you do decide to paint it. It’s a far cry from the well-researched, painstakingly sculpted figures of today, but as a retro piece, it succeeds very well. And it’s definitely an impressive display piece. Which helps explain why it’s included in a display at the Natural History Museum in London, England.
Special thanks to Trevor Ylisaari for all the box images!