With all the new rexes (to be) released, let`s have a look to the past for a change. Almost 30 years ago, in the year 1992 the Californian company Horizon released a small number of high quality dinosaur models made from vinyl. Two of these models are already covered here on the blog, the Elasmosaurus and the Stegosaurus. So we will have a look at the “king” of the small line, the famed Tyrannosaurus.
To assemble the model, one needs to clean the (hollow) vinyl parts off excess material and/or cut parts loose from their production sprues (the teeth for example). To do so in a safe way, the parts need to be heated in scalding hot water to soften the material, as cooled vinyl is brittle and almost impossible to cut. The heating also allows to make slight changes to the posture of the limbs and the outcome of the final model. Parts can best be glued with cyanacrylate (super glue) and gaps need to be filled in with putty to get the best out of it. As in my Stegosaurus model I added glass eyes as these give a much greater look and more character than a “simple” paint job.
The original model as provided by Horizon is a somewhat weird thing, the dinosaur looks as if it was an obsessed worshipper dancing around a steaming witches` cauldron with its gaping mouth held to the air and the arms high raised. Well, that`s the good about vinyl to be assembled, you can just make a change if you want. As you can see, I did so, changed the neck, shortened the arms and changed their position and also cut the teeth to half their lenght (and they are still of inaccurately impressive length). I also added some more bulk to the toes that were very thin bfore and did not look like they could bear the weight of the true animal. Aside from the posture, another weird thing to mention is the harsh change from small scaled, leathery skin to scuted crocodile like skin at the base of the tail. While larger scales and those scutes already begin at the top of the head and run along the whole back, the change at the sides of the tail base appears much too sudden.
Nevertheless, the Horizon model is a very fine model with intricate details and a certain charme. It stands 20.5 cm high and measures 42.5 cm in direct line. The general posture is up to date, though the “original” suffers from pronated hands. Other than that the head is massive and big and has its very own design. Horizon would later release a JP Tyrannosaurus under license, but I like this unique design much better (it also has “lips”).
Highly recommended for collectors who like to assemble their own models. You best way to track it down would naturally be ebay where it can be found now and then. Prices vary greatly, but with a bit of patience and/or luck it can be found for around 40€.