Monday, February 23, 2015

Swamp Stalker

There are several candidates that vie for the title of being the largest pterosaur, all belonging to the family Azhdarchidae. The most well known of these creatures is Quetzalcoatlus, which is represented in 1/72 scale by a model available from Shapeways.

Since I had two of the Shapeways Quetzalcoatlus models, I decided to modify one of them to copy the pose of a 1/40 scale CollectA model.

The first thing I did was to cut off the head of the model. It was filled with powder that was left over from the 3D printing process.

After removing the head, I split the beak open, and mounted the head back onto the body. J-B Weld (which is turning into one of my favorite tools) was used to smooth out the beak and crest, and emphasize details that should have been otherwise on the model. Some Elmer's-Tack was used to mask off areas that should have been depressions in the sides of the beak.

Kneadatite was used to make a tongue and build up the missing areas of the neck.

The small Apatosaurus being eaten for lunch is a "good luck" toy made by Safari Ltd.

One other model that can be used for a 1/72 Quetzalcoatlus is made by Colorata, available in their The Practical Guide of Dinosaurs Vol. 1 box set.

The Colorata version is in a flying pose, and has a different style of crest compared to the 3D printed model. Other differences include a smaller body and a shorter neck. The head however, is the same size, and the wingspan scales out to about 33', so corresponds well with the estimated wingspan of Quetzalcoatlus.

I haven't seen the Colorata model being sold by itself, so it always comes with 7 other bonus dinosaurs, of which only one other is approximately 1/72 scale.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


I don't remember anything like this in the book,
but I admit it's been a long time since I've read it.

Dogsleds have held a fascination for me ever since reading Call of the Wild and White Fang way back in high school.

1/72 sets that include dogsleds are made by Nikolai and BUM, but both are rather pricey and not particularly easy to find.

However, I recently ordered some huskys produced by Mick Yarrow Miniatures as part of his 15mm Warriors of the Late Ice Age line (Inuit 11), and they look to be perfectly sized for 1/72 huskys (and at £2.20 for 8 dogs, the price is eminently reasonable).

The huskys come in two poses, and can probably also double for a number of other types of sled dogs if you are not too picky.

I used some Siberian Husky color profiles created by Sedillo-Kennels on DeviantArt as painting guides.

M.Y. Miniatures also has some dogsled team sets - Sledge and 3 team with cannon balls (Inuit 102), and Sledge and 3 team with light cannon (Inuit 103), which seem perfectly fine as smaller Inuit sleds.

Obviously we have moved beyond the stone age with these sets, and the sleds are appropriately built to more modern standards out of wood instead of whalebone and antlers.

I'm trying to figure out how to do the basing on these right now. I'd like to have the dogs and sleds separable from the tug lines so that they can be used in a number of different hitch patterns.

A nice explanation of the various hitch styles and their strengths and weaknesses can be found at the Old School Alaskan blog.

Traditional fan hitch

Single file hitch

Gangline hitch - dual hitch lead dogs

Gangline hitch - single lead dog