Pinacosaurus (Protocasts)

4.6 (9 votes)

Some years have passed since the last review of a Protocasts model appeared on this blog. This is certainly not due to a lack of models by the side of the creator, in fact I myself got an Irritator figure laying around since years awaiting a review. But well, aside from Allosaurus, theropods are not my biggest love, especially not spinosaurs. Well, few weeks ago our forum member Kayakasaurus announced a new model in his line of work, a Pinacosaurus. And because shipping from the US to Europe is expensive I had to make it count and added one of those lovable Allosaurus aswell…. but first things first…. here`s your scientifically best known yet certainly most unpopular ankylosaur….Pinacosaurus.

Yeah right…. Pinacosaurus?!….. I had to look it up and I am sure for some of you the name doesn`t ring a bell either. So here`s a short summary….

The dinosaur of interest here lived during the Late Cretaceous in what is now Far East Asia. Comparably many fossils of Pinacosaurus have been found, especially juveniles. The land these animals lived in was a semi-desert interspersed with oases. The taphonomy suggests, that juveniles lived in groups or herds. Pinacosaurus was a medium sized nodosaur, with postcranial lengths of around 3.70 metres, maximum sizes are estimated at 5 metres. It was a comparably lightly build ankylosaur with a very flat and broad body. No large theropods are known from the area and time, Velociraptor being the biggest possible threat to juveniles. If you want to go deeper in Pinacosaurus` natural history, have a read in the quite thorough wikipedia article. An interesting note I was totally unaware of is, that the tongue apparatus (hyoid bones etc.) was quite well developed in these animals and may have enabled them not only to feed on plants with their prehensile tongues, but also on insects or even ants… enough now of this scientific background, let`s look at the figure.

Protocasts Pinacosaurus measures 12.5 cm in direct line, rendering the figure to a scale of 1:30 to 1:40, depending on the size you`d like to consider for an individual. It stands 2.8 cm tall above the hip and is 5 cm wide inculding the spikes. So yes, the figure is not a biggy, but jampacked with details. Every scale, scute and spike is individually sculpted as you can see in Kayakasaurus` video. The sculpt is crisp and aside from the missing cloaca there is nothing to miss. Okay, I cannot make out the ear openings either, but considering the size and the supposed location of ears behind the skull, they could be there I guess. For all the features and small details you`d expect from a true to life reconstruction of an ankylosaur they are nothing short of perfectly done. The proportions are on top as far as I can say, torso is broad and at the same time unexpectedly flat, the tail is naturally bended as if to lunge out at a foe or contender. The head is held up in a bellowing pose, exposing the tongue. All feet show the correct number of digits and are placed firmly on the ground.

The first batch of Kayakasaurus´ Pinacosaurus sold like hot cake and for good reason. The only other Pinacosaurus figure commercially available is a farce and so this one is not only the best option for collectors looking for the genus, but also one of the best ankylosaur models around. Some may find the price high for such a small figure, but considering the work that has to go into modelling and manually casting such a detailed figure, it is truly justified. The individual models are cast in different colors and are made from a hard and quite resitable resin.

If you want to add this little gem to your collection, have a look at Kayakasaurus´ etsy shop and let´s hope for a positive future of the Protocasts line.

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