Author Archives: Griffin

Amargasaurus (Desktop model by Favorite Co. Ltd.)

Most sauropods tend to more or less look similar; big body, long neck long tail. Rarely will a sauropod possess any distinguishing characteristics beyond those three things. Then there is Amargasaurus. This dinosaur was a smaller (relatively speaking) sauropod from the early Cretaceous in what is now Argentina. It is highly distinguishable amongst other dinosaurs by the double row of tall spines that run down the back of its neck. Like its brethren, this desktop model rendition of the strange sauropod comes unattached to a nice wooden base.

The general this model’s accuracy is great. The neck is held out straight in front of the body and is not assuming the more typical “S” curve pose. The bottom of the neck is also flat thus giving the neck a sort of half circle shaped cross section which goes along with most recent information about sauropod necks. From what I know Amargasaurus had nine pairs of spikes going down the neck before it turns into a sort of spine-sail structure going down the back. This model has a few more but I’m not sure if its truly an inaccuracy or not.

Most importantly the front feet are…gasp…correct by modern standards! (yay!) Just a horseshoe-shaped stump with one claw. The back feet are also done correctly with three outward-facing claws on each foot. The tail is a little shorter than what would be expected of a sauropod, having no skinny whip at the end. I also really like how the head has lips so the teeth aren’t jutting out like sauropod reconstructions sometimes have. The nostrils are placed between the eyes which is still fairly typical for sauropod reconstructions since that’s where the nostril openings on the skull are. I have also heard that sauropods were believed by some scientists to have fleshy nostrils placed farther down on the snout as well.

hallelujah!

hallelujah!

The detail on this model is superb. Every little mosaic-style scale seems to be sculpted out on this guy’s body. It also has a lot of wrinkles. The musculature is very defined especially in the limbs and around the chest. The colors on this model are also really striking. I love the red and black striped pattern. Too often are sauropods painted simple grays so this louder color scheme is a refresher to me. The underbelly is an off white color and the eyes and claws are black.

If you have the cash to shell out for it, this is a great model to get. Its very accurate and its of a more exotic dinosaur. Its sure to be a striking member in any collection.

Often available from eBay stores here

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Styracosaurus (Antediluvia Collection)

I really do like Styracosaurus very much. So much, in fact, that I decided to break my long absence from writing reviews with yet another rendition of this lovely spiked ceratopsid. Today we will be looking at David Krentz’s sculpt from his Antediluvia line.

Accuracy wise this little fellow is pretty much perfect. The head is nice and big when compared to the rest of the body and the tail is also the right length. These are two things that are usually botched up with reconstructing ceratopsids. The skull itself is also shaped correctly with the frill at a steeper angle off of the head. The size and number of frill spikes is correct as well as the number and lengths of toes and fingers. Even the position of the wrists can arguably be viewed as correct. It is now known that ceratopsids held their front limbs palms in like theropods did. This model was sculpted before that knowledge was known but the arms still sort of look like they are doing that anyway to me.

I like the pose on this model. Its on all fours with its left front limb sort of raised as if it were about to start walking. Its head is also cocked to the side in a most quizzical manner. This model comes unpainted so there is no review for color or paintjob to write. This is actually one of my favorite aspects of this line. There are plenty of paint-it-yourself models out there but few are as reasonably priced or as accurate as David Krentz’s. So when it comes to color just put up with my paintwork for the duration of this review (Yes I made it look like a zebra…or a mime. Deal with it.)

The detail on this guy is also fantastic. Despite how tiny it is there are plenty of wrinkles and creases sculpted into the model. There are also tiny raised bumps on the animal’s back. It is now known that at least one kind of large ceratopsid had raised bumpy scales on its hide. I am unsure if this model was sculpted before that discovery but either by luck or knowledge it can be considered correct.


All in all this is probably my favorite member of the Antediluvia line. Don’t ask me why since all of them are really nice. This one just grew on me the most. I also had the most fun painting it. Like the others it comes unattached from a base so there is some glue work required as well in addition to paintwork. Its very small (1:72 scale) so its also reasonably priced. Highly recommended.

Styracosaurus (Carnegie Collection by Safari ltd)

I really can’t get enough of this dinosaur it seems. This is what, the third review by me of a Stycacosaurus? This time I will be reviewing Carnegie’s rendition of the semi-popular spiked dinosaur.

Despite the vast myriad of dinosaurs species turned into models by them, Carnegie only has four ceratopsid species under its belt. Their styracosaurus is one of the later of these, having been released in 2001. As for accuracy, its pretty good but it has some outdated features. As with many outdated or just wrong ceratopsid representations, its front legs are too straight. For a long time ceratopsians were always compared to modern rhinos when it came to their reconstructions so like rhinos, they were always given fully upright posture. It wasn’t until fairly recently that it was realized that the legs physically can’t fit to the rest of the skeleton that way. The front legs of this model, as with all ceratopsians, should be slightly splayed out to the sides. Also the toes are too column-like. They should be more splayed and the hands themselves should be positioned palms in. When I look at the head I also notice that the frill should be at a steeper angle instead of being flat behind the front part of the skull like it is. The model has some good points too, however. The tail is the right length, the spikes are correctly arranged and the face is accurately shaped. I also like how it doesn’t look too overweight or sluggish.

The pose is very active. It’s mouth is open in what can be interpreted as a bellow and the right front limb is forward and slightly raised as if the animal were mid stride. The head is angled upward giving the illusion that the animal has no neck.

The model has okay detail. It has lots of crinkles all over the body as if the sculptor crumpled up aluminum foil and pressed it on to the still wet model when it was being made. No actual scales are sculpted. The beak is surprisingly sharp but I should also note that the horn and spikes are extremely soft and flexible when compared to the rest of the model. Safety reasons perhaps?

The colors are pretty interesting on this model. Its a base color of a very soft purple. As strange as it sounds it actually works quite nicely. On the underparts it fades to light gray and there is a dark stripe going down the back. the beak, claws and horn/spike tips are all painted black. It has light orange and red display pattern on the frill. It has some nice paint detail like the inside of the mouth, nostrils and eyes. However I do sort of wish the epoccipitals lining the frill were individually painted.

All in all, despite it being slightly outdated, I really like this model. It has definite personality. Its a decent alternative if you are looking for a nice 1:40 scale Styracosaurus and don’t want to shell out the huge amounts of cash for the Battat Version. It is out of production but still can be found on the internet for cheap quite frequently.