Review and photographs by Minmiminime, edited by Suspsy
Chungkingosaurus was a small, Late Jurassic stegosaurid measuring in at around 4 metres in length (although there are two other purported species at around 5 metres and +5 metres in length), making this figure approx 1:8 scale. It is known from several fossil fragments, enough to provide some idea of its appearance in life. There is nothing to suggest that it differed wildly in body plan from other stegosaurids, but it is considered to be a late and primitive member of the group. Some researchers consider it synonymous with Tuojiangosaurus, although this is contentious.
This Chungkingosurus figure measures 52 cm long and 19 cm high. It appears to have been rigorously researched by the sculptor, who has thusly given it longer front limbs, sparse osteoderms, and a large spine over each shoulder, which would be expected. There are small, speculative osteoderms down each outer arm, and detailing in the throat region which could be either dermal armour, or just pebbly skin; it is left ambiguous. It also has four pairs of tail spines, with three of them perpendicular to the spine and the final one posteriorly deflected, as per current research. The “splate” count is 15 pairs, which is a “best guess” based on close relatives of Chungkingosaurus. The number of fingers and toes is likely correct, though there are tiny nails on the outermost two digits of the front feet, which is not likely.
The figure is beautifully bulky, depicting an animal in its prime. The great, broad stegosaurid hips and huge gut are present. Refreshingly, there is no shrink-wrapping, nor 1980s’ action-hero style bulging musculature. This means the figure is both lively and lifelike, and almost playful in its pose, which is reminiscent of a prancing pony. This is so beautifully executed that, despite not really being the kind of thing that comes to mind when one imagines thyreophorans in general, it is very convincing! The detailing is very good, without being oversaturated; this is a figure that seems designed for careful and curious children, but is guaranteed to catch the eyes of collectors, too.
The colour palette is rich, but not unnatural. The colours start off bolder and brighter at the front of the figure, but graduate to faded shades and a different tone of green at the very rear, which is unusual but very effective. The palate of greens, browns, and dappled yellows at the base of the jagged plates have been considered very carefully with the animal’s rich forest environment in mind. The only oddity is that the osteoderms are painted into the overall colour scheme, which does look a little peculiar, as they’d be a different tissue type to the surrounding skin. However, the paintwork is very good, and the model is very well finished, with only very fine seams on close inspection. It is packaged in a box with a poster/story, and an artistic sleeve depicting the animal. The latter was very hard to remove without destroying it (it took two of us to free it!!).
Overall, this Chungkingosaurus is one model that has been created with consideration of it as a real living animal in mind, truly combining science and art. I feel deeply fortunate to have been able to procure it, given the ongoing hold on the PNSO venture. I urge anyone who’s considering it to get it now. It may very well go the way of the animal it represents!
Available from Amazon.com here