Review and photos by Bokisaurus
An air of nervousness engulfs the once serine scene at the forest edge. Herds of herbivores that just minutes ago were busy playing, eating, and calling to each other now stood silently still, on high alert. Their sudden change in behavior is warranted. Although still unseen, a predator is on a hunt. The wind that once carried the sweet aroma of fresh vegetation is now tainted with a nauseating smell of death.
The herding animals that were once scattered along the forest edge now starts to slowly regroup and move away from the shadowy trees.
A lone mamenchisaurus catches up with its herd just in time and heads towards the open plains.
Soon the forest edge is empty except for one animal. A young Chungkingosaurus, so focused on his dinner, soon notice the sudden change around him and starts to head back to the open.
When it seems like he is about to reach the safety of the open savannah, a loud roar suddenly fills the air all around him!
In panic, the youngster picks up its pace. Unfortunately for him, his slow reaction to the early warnings around him has cost him valuable escape time, and he is now heading straight into a trap.
Deafening sounds of snapping twigs and rustling vegetation causes him to stop again, another mistake. But he had no choice, blocking his escape route, looming in front of him, is a Yangchuanosaurus…
Greetings dinofans and welcome to another review! Today I am excited to do a double feature review, that’s right, two in one!
We will take a close look at PNSO’s new for 2019 diorama set featuring Xiaobei the Chungkingosaurus and Dayong the Yangchuanosaurus, part of their 1:35 scale series called Scientific Art Models, and yes, those are their names given to them.
Diorama sets are rare in the toy world, at least in the larger sized figures ( non-Kaiyodo mini figures), so it is exciting to get a well made one that is full of action and possibilities. So let’s get acquainted with our first figure, the Chungkingosaurus.
Chungkingosaurus ( meaning Chongqing Lizard) was a late Jurassica stegosaurus from China’s Shaximiao Formation. It wasn’t the only stegosaur in the area. It shared its environment with at least two other closely related species of stegosaur and a host of other plant eaters, most notably the long necked sauropods like Mamenchisaurus.
There are several fossil specimens assigned to this species, but all of them are fragmentary. Restoration of this animal is closely based on its close relative and contemporary Tuojiangosaurus with some scientist even suggest that Chungkingosaurus may actually be a juvenile of this species.
With so much uncertainty surrounding this species, only a complete and articulated fossil will settle the debate.
The figure has two rows of plates on its back starting from the shoulder and runs all the way to the tail. These plates are slender and pointy and also shows the thickened middle section seen on the fossil. The thagomizer or tail spikes are paired. This is based on one fossil specimens that has a preserved tail. Some believed that a third pair of spikes exist but was destroyed during excavation. There is also an additional pair of spikes at the tip of the tail that are oriented horizontally.
On the figure, these spikes are made of soft plastic material for safety reasons. The careful packaging, fortunately, prevented these spikes from distortion or warping, so they appear nice.
Although no shoulder spikes are found, this figure has two prominent shoulder spikes. This is of course based on its close relative Tuojiangosaurus. The orientation of these spikes points outwards toward the back.
There are many bumps and skin fold all over the body. Some of these bumps are larger and can be easily seen from a distance. Muscle definitions also abound and one can really feel and see and feel the movement.
Chungkingosaurus has the typical small and narrow head seen in other stegosaurus species. The sculpting details on the head is a little soft and not as pronounced.
I think the softer material is not able to capture the many small and delicate details entirely, which is a shame since you can tell by looking closely that they are there, just not as visible and crisp when compared to other figures in the series that are made of harder plastic material.
The overall coloration given is a little bland. Light yellow-green dominates the body, with a darker shades running along the top of the body and sides. There is a darker shade of brown that runs along the spine where the back plates are.
The plates are given a rusty orange colors with various lighter shade on the middle section and a darker shade on the tips and base. The legs are brighter shade of yellow-green that transitions to dirty gray as it reaches the lower part. The nails are painted dark gray.
The face has a splash of white on the cheeks that slowly blends in with hints of yellow as it reaches the snout and beak which is colored gray.The eyes are small and painted black. Overall, it’s a simple but nice color scheme.
The second dinosaur is the theropod Yangchuanosaurus, one of the top predator in the landscape. It is related to the more famous North American Allosaurus, and like its relative, it too lived among large sauropods and stegosaurus.
Yancfhuanosaurus fossil is fairly complete, so we know pretty much a lot about its anatomy compared to its companion the Chungkingosaurus.
Yangchuanosaurus ,physically, looks very similar to Allosaurus. It had the characteristic bone ridges we see on the nose top, as well as a small hornets above the eye and ridges on the top of the snout.
These characteristics are faithfully seen on the figure. The amount of detail, large and small are so well done. There are plenty of skin wrinkles on the face that really adds extra layer of texture on the head.
The eyes, painted yellow, is encircled by small bumps. The figure’s jaw is articulated, so you have options on how you want to pose it. The articulation is well done, and the alignment spot on that the jaw closes nicely. It also have lips, so when the mouth is closed, those teeth are not visible. The sculpting of the inside of the mouth is amazing with very clean paint job and precise placement of the jaw so they close perfectly.
I have heard that some figures have loose jaw, but that is not the case with my copy.
Yangchuanosaurus is estimated to grow up to 26 feet in length, with its long tail making up the bulk of that measurement. It is estimated that it weigh in around 3 tons.
The tail on the figure is long and curves to the side. The tail base is nice and muscular as it should be. You can see how powerful these muscles are, indicating that this animal can move fast.
Although not the largest, it was still one of the biggest predator of its time and was feared by many dinosaurs that lived alongside it.
The legs are nice and muscular with very defined musculature. It is posed mid-stride and you can see some skin fold being pulled as the legs moved forward.
The arms are beautiful done and how movement. The fingers are spread out and in different pose as if the animal is about to grab on to a prey. This added detail is nice and often lacking in many theropod figures, so its really nice to see this type of finger poses in the the PNSO theropod.
On the back, you can see neural spines that runs along the spine, starting small at the back of the neck, increasing in size as it reaches the body, and slowly getting smaller at it reaches the tip of the tail. Its nice design that gives theropods that additional essence of being both majestic and terrifying at the same time.
When it comes to the colors, this model is perhaps the most colorful of all the PNSO figures in this series so far. The dominant color is a rusty orange that covers the top of the head, transitioning to bigger blotches that covers the majority of the body and thighs where it also forms stiles as it moves to the back of the legs.
At the base of the tail, this blotches turns into stripes as it moves down the entire length of the long tail.
Mixed in are various shades of lighter and darker tones, as well as black spots that really creates a very beautiful and distinctive pattern on the figure. The various shades and tones are hard to describe.
A white splotch is seen on the snout, growing bigger as it reaches the neck and travels down and covers the lower half of the body.
The white also alternates with the rusty colors on the tail, creating an alternating bands between these two colors.
The feet is darker brown and the nails is a grayish tone.
This is one really striking color scheme and I’m glad that it was retained on the final product.
It is perhaps the most beautiful color scheme given to a toy that i have ever seen. The blending are so delicate and transitions so subtle that it looks very natural.
The based that this two figure sits on is also elaborate. It looks like a forest floor with lots of fallen vegetation and logs/twigs littering the floor.
There is a small wire on the Yanchuanosaur’s footprints to help stabilize the figure. There is a small hole in one of the foot that this wire goes into.
Surprisingly, the figure is so well balanced that it stands perfectly without the aid of the peg, which is nice unlike the Spinosaurus that can’t stand alone.
There are very faith footprints for the Chungkingosaurus as well, but of course this is just as a marker on where to place the figure. Being a quadruped, it stands perfect.
The base is very colorful, with burst of greens, yellow, orange, browns all atop a darker brown base. The details are overwhelming sometimes.
Both figure are at 1:35 scale like all the other figures from the museum series.
Chungkingosaurus measure 7″ inches long and 3″ inches tall, Yangchuanosaurus at 4″ inches tall and almost 12″ long when measured with the curvatures of neck and tail. The base itself is just 8″ inches long and 6″ inches wide at the widest point.
When it comes to diorama piece, I often find them very contrived and predictable. They give you the entire story leaving no room for ones own imagination or interpretation.
For me, what set this diorama set apart is that it really is very open to how you would want to interpret the scene. PNSO gave a starting point, how this encounter between these two dinosaur ends is completely up to you!
How you pose the jaw of the Yangchuanosaurus is really the key. Keep it close then you have a more relaxed encounter, keep it open you instantly have an attack scene scenario.
I also like how you can move the figures around on the base since they are both stable, yes, even the Yangcuanosaurus can be moved around.
It is even possible to add the Mamenchisaurus to the mix, creating one striking diorama indeed!
In closing, this diorama set is really a unique one. The two featured animals are very well done and accurate. The level of details is amazing considering these are plastic figures and not resin.
The given pose for both figures are flexible enough for your own interpretation, making it really a fun diorama set to assemble.
As I have mentioned before in my other PNSO review, PNSO really have mastered the art of making PVC figures to look like high-end resin statues.
Like all the figures from the series, they come in a nice simple white box with a blown up photo of the figures on one side.
Due to the length and number of photos already in this review, I was not able to add a photo of the entire PNSO series all together. But I tell you, seeing them all together is one of the most beautiful collection sight to behold!
I highly recommend this set to anyone wanting a centerpiece to their display. Unlike the other figures from the series, this one is smaller in size so that helps a lot space-wise.
The cost is very reasonable in my opinion, especially considering the level of artistic quality.
For me, PNSO is the new company to watch.It has quickly become my favorite brand, and I will try to get all the figures as they become available.
Well I hope you enjoyed this double feature review despite of its length. I considered splitting it into two parts, but in the end I felt that would disjoint the review.
Thank you for joining me today. Until we meet again on the next review, take care and cheers!
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