Author Topic: Dinosaur scale thread  (Read 2853 times)

Gwangi

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Dinosaur scale thread
« on: August 18, 2014, 09:37:23 PM »
No, this is not intended to be another feather vs. scale debate, rather a thread dedicated to figuring out the scales of various dinosaur toys/figures/models. I'm trying to arrange part of my collection by scale (1:40 naturally) but am having a difficult time figuring out who is in what scale. I know there are a few calculations but I'm not sure of their accuracy. I would really like this thread to end up being a list of "who is in what scale".

EDIT: I'm borrowing this calculation from Therizinosaurus who posted it on the old version 1 forum.

Quote
1. Take the size of the dinosaur toy. This can be in inches or centimeters. For our example, we will use the original Carnegie Dimetrodon, which is 3 inches long, or 7.6 cm.
2. Look up the actual size of the animal. Dimetrodon was 3 meters, or 11 feet.
3. If you're using feet, multiple the size by 12 to get it into inches (ex. 11x12=132 inches), or by 100 to get centimeters (3x100=300 cm).
4. Divide the number you calculated in 3 by the size of the toy itself (in the same scale).
ex. 132/3=44
Therefore, the figure is 1/44 scale!

So I just did the Safari Ceratosaurus. The toy is 7.75" long. The actual animal is 240" (20') long. Dividing that by the length of the toy puts the model at 1:30 scale. Correct? My math skills are pitiful so I apologize if I screwed up something. I also apologize to non-Americans for not using the metric system. I wish we did, but we don't and so I'm not very good with it.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 09:44:44 PM by Gwangi »


Newt

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 09:56:26 PM »
You are doing the math correctly.

One thing to keep in mind, though: figures often have severely shortened tails compared to the real animal- simply because it is troublesome to cast a long slender tail-tip. If you want to be more accurate, you can use the skull length for your calculations.

stargatedalek

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2014, 10:46:18 PM »
shoulder/hip height can also be a good measurement

loru1588

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 11:08:35 PM »
There is a bit of flexibility in the scaling due to no animal is exactly the same so give take a several inches or so in real life ( fractions of inches in scale ) some critters can be grouped together. Having to scale models all the time I found a very easy rule of thumb for 1:40th scale. If the real animal was 12 meters long, the replica in 1:40th scale is 12 inches long, 8 meters in real life 8 inches in replica, etc. Example: Tyrannosaurus based on Sue; 12.3 m (40 ft) in length,[3] up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips. The Battat MOS Boston Tyrannosaurus is just over 12" long and 4" at the hips, so well within size range for 1:40th scale.

Gwangi

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 01:09:03 AM »
There is a bit of flexibility in the scaling due to no animal is exactly the same so give take a several inches or so in real life ( fractions of inches in scale ) some critters can be grouped together. Having to scale models all the time I found a very easy rule of thumb for 1:40th scale. If the real animal was 12 meters long, the replica in 1:40th scale is 12 inches long, 8 meters in real life 8 inches in replica, etc. Example: Tyrannosaurus based on Sue; 12.3 m (40 ft) in length,[3] up to 4 metres (13 ft) tall at the hips. The Battat MOS Boston Tyrannosaurus is just over 12" long and 4" at the hips, so well within size range for 1:40th scale.

That is a very handy tip to know. Thanks!

Paleogene Pals

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 02:34:05 AM »
Well, in reality, since we don't have the true size ranges within populations of prehistoric animals, there probably is a lot of wiggle room. Compare Danny DeVito to say Andre the Giant.

Georassic

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 05:11:07 AM »
Gwangi, I use the same formula Mr. LoRusso describes, and I still allow for some flexibility within that system, where variations in an animal's size are possible. As a result, I can pretty much group and limit my entire collection to six scales: 12, 18, 25, 35, 40 and 55, and many figures are what I call 'tweeners' who can be represented in multiple scales. Here are three specific examples:
Dimetrodon: almost a dozen species are described, ranging from two feet to 15 feet in length. Given that flexibility, my Carnegie and Papo Dimetrodons can be displayed at 1:12 through 1:25 scales, and my Kaiyodo Dimetrodon has the distinction of being the only figure in my collection that can be displayed at all six scales described above.
Apatosaurus: I find three species listed, ranging in length from 50 to 75 feet. That means my 2010 Wild Safari Apatosaurus fits in both my 1:40 and 1:55 displays.
Plateosaurus: the larger of two species is described as having great size elasticity, in that adults could range from 16 to 33 feet, and the smaller species was just 13 feet. As a result, I show the 1994 Carnegie Plateo as anywhere from :18 to :40 scale. 
As long as the figure identifies only a generic animal, not a specific species a la Battat, then I take as much latitude as I can scientifically justify (as a layman) in assigning scale. There are a lot of figures that fall into that "generic ballpark."

Which brings me to a question for Mr. LoRusso: It's dino-gospel that Battats are 1:40 scale (and I am beyond elated to finally afford them!) But I measured the Nanshiungosaurus at about six inches snout to tail, which would make it about 20 feet long in 40 scale. That works for the larger of the two described species, but the new Battat figure is a N. brevispinus, which my admittedly not concrete internet research shows to be about 17 feet long. That would make the new figure about 1:35 scale. Can you correct me? I'm sure your access to accurate scientific data is better than mine. Where's my disconnect?

stargatedalek

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 12:40:39 PM »
the bend in the neck perhaps?

Paleogene Pals

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 01:56:20 PM »
Considering how little fossil material we have of many vertebrate species, I don't think one has to worry if their model represents an animal that is 2 to 3 feet above what is reported as maximum length. The average height of adult Americans is about 5' 4" (162.2 cm). I am about 6 feet (182.9 cm), and Robert Wadlow was 8' 11" (272 cm). That is quite a bit of variation in one species, I will assume that I am technically human here. Since outliers are less likely to be fossilized, the maximum lengths reported for various fossil vertebrates is probably more close to being the average lengths for that species. In other words, fret not.

tyrantqueen

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2014, 07:25:53 PM »
Some of the scales given for the Favorite Ltd. statues are confusing. The Dilophosaurus is supposedly 1/35 scale, but it feels way too big. Any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2014, 07:30:42 PM by tyrantqueen »

loru1588

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 11:58:41 PM »
Gwangi, I use the same formula Mr. LoRusso describes, and I still allow for some flexibility within that system, where variations in an animal's size are possible. As a result, I can pretty much group and limit my entire collection to six scales: 12, 18, 25, 35, 40 and 55, and many figures are what I call 'tweeners' who can be represented in multiple scales. Here are three specific examples:
Dimetrodon: almost a dozen species are described, ranging from two feet to 15 feet in length. Given that flexibility, my Carnegie and Papo Dimetrodons can be displayed at 1:12 through 1:25 scales, and my Kaiyodo Dimetrodon has the distinction of being the only figure in my collection that can be displayed at all six scales described above.
Apatosaurus: I find three species listed, ranging in length from 50 to 75 feet. That means my 2010 Wild Safari Apatosaurus fits in both my 1:40 and 1:55 displays.
Plateosaurus: the larger of two species is described as having great size elasticity, in that adults could range from 16 to 33 feet, and the smaller species was just 13 feet. As a result, I show the 1994 Carnegie Plateo as anywhere from :18 to :40 scale. 
As long as the figure identifies only a generic animal, not a specific species a la Battat, then I take as much latitude as I can scientifically justify (as a layman) in assigning scale. There are a lot of figures that fall into that "generic ballpark."

Which brings me to a question for Mr. LoRusso: It's dino-gospel that Battats are 1:40 scale (and I am beyond elated to finally afford them!) But I measured the Nanshiungosaurus at about six inches snout to tail, which would make it about 20 feet long in 40 scale. That works for the larger of the two described species, but the new Battat figure is a N. brevispinus, which my admittedly not concrete internet research shows to be about 17 feet long. That would make the new figure about 1:35 scale. Can you correct me? I'm sure your access to accurate scientific data is better than mine. Where's my disconnect?

My sculpts are based on skeletal drawings by paleontologist that generally show a scale meter bar. I basically have the local Staples enlarge or reduce the drawings to get the scale bar to a 1:40th scale meter. My sculpt is definitely on the larger size, but within the accepted size range both for the animal and to fit in the toy size range! Again it's the " nothings etched in stone" rule! LOL

Dinoguy2

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2014, 03:21:08 PM »


This chart is important for a few reasons...

1. Its shows dinosaurs basically kept growing throughout life. There's a lot of wiggle room to the concept of "maximum size", both up and down.
2. Think about statistics. Most of the dinosaurs life was spent below maximum size. An animal is most likely to become a fossil while a subadult, and very unlikely to become a fossil as a baby or a full sized adult. Therefore most fossils of any species should, statistically, be smaller than max size.
3. Most dinosaurs are known from only one fossil. All things being equal, that one fossil is probably not fully grown, if we can even say there's such a thing as "fully grown" when it comes to dinosaurs.

Quote
Dimetrodon: almost a dozen species are described, ranging from two feet to 15 feet in length.
Just keep in mind the different species looked different, too. Has any company ever made a Dimetrodon that didn't look like D. grand is? I guess some look like D. limbatus and milleri too.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dimetrodon_species
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 03:27:33 PM by Dinoguy2 »
The Carnegie Collection Dinosaur Collectors Archive - https://carnegiecollection.blogspot.com/

Georassic

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2014, 11:18:27 PM »
My sculpts are based on skeletal drawings by paleontologist that generally show a scale meter bar. I basically have the local Staples enlarge or reduce the drawings to get the scale bar to a 1:40th scale meter. My sculpt is definitely on the larger size, but within the accepted size range both for the animal and to fit in the toy size range! Again it's the " nothings etched in stone" rule! LOL
Thanks much! It's actually really useful for me to know how the artist scales the figures, so I can follow suit. Understand, I wasn't nitpicking...just the opposite, I'm looking for flexibility for all the reasons dinoguy2 et al note as well.
I got all four of the new Battats...all beautiful and brings my Battat collection to five, along with Stego. I think I like Dacentrurus best. But really looking forward to Gastonia and Gigantoraptor.

Sim

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2020, 08:19:14 PM »
@dinotoyforum, could you sticky this thread, it's quite helpful.

Regarding the topic of this thread, my understanding is the lengths of prehistoric animals tend to be as if the bones were laid on a flat surface, so when working out the scale of a figure it's important to measure it following the curves of the vertebrae in order to get an accurate scale.  With regards to animals known from fragmentary remains it can be good to measure known parts and work out the scale from those, as length measurements for the whole animal can vary depending on how long missing parts are restored.  I've seen some size comparisons where animals known from fragmentary remains are restored as too big because they've obviously followed a length estimate for the whole animal and so the size of the known parts doesn't match.  I think using a length estimate for the whole of a fragmentary animal can work if its proportions match those of the figure, but only if the length estimate is reliable.

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2020, 08:37:36 PM »
@dinotoyforum, could you sticky this thread, it's quite helpful.

Regarding the topic of this thread, my understanding is the lengths of prehistoric animals tend to be as if the bones were laid on a flat surface, so when working out the scale of a figure it's important to measure it following the curves of the vertebrae in order to get an accurate scale.  With regards to animals known from fragmentary remains it can be good to measure known parts and work out the scale from those, as length measurements for the whole animal can vary depending on how long missing parts are restored.  I've seen some size comparisons where animals known from fragmentary remains are restored as too big because they've obviously followed a length estimate for the whole animal and so the size of the known parts doesn't match.  I think using a length estimate for the whole of a fragmentary animal can work if its proportions match those of the figure, but only if the length estimate is reliable.

Done  C:-)


Syndicate Bias

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2020, 08:10:33 AM »
So what we are saying is that the Giganotosaurus was actually twice as tall and longer than a puny T Rex yes? Glad we can all agree  ;)

Loon

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2020, 09:55:57 AM »
Based on Sims reply, if I were to measure a figure with a more upright pose or with a upward bent neck, for example the Papo Therizinosaurus or the Mattel Brachiosaurus, I would start at the tip of the snout and adhere to every curve, and that total would be the length? Hopefully that makes sense.

Sim

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Re: Dinosaur scale thread
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2020, 05:05:16 PM »
@dinotoyforum, thanks!

@Loon, yes that's correct.