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1/18 (approx.) T-Rex Skeleton


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And now, as they say, for something completely different. Everyone loves dinosaurs, especially T-Rex, right? I'm no exception. I saw these models advertised on eBay relatively cheap (still under twenty quid if you search diligently), so I thought why not? I don't think there's any UK supplier, so they wing there way from China, quite quickly as it happens, I can't remember precisely but probably 2-3 weeks. When the package arrived it was something like this.

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Er, right, a box from anonymous.com. Here's what's inside.

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And here's what it's supposed to look like.

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Now I can't pretend to be an expert in palaeontology, but his/her rib cage looks very undernourished. The reason becomes apparent when you examine the rib components. This appears to be an injection moulded vinyl kit and some of the ribs are grossly deformed. I started to do a trial assembly and before too long it was apparent that some of the parts were missing. Bummer. I emailed the seller with descriptions and part numbers (the part numbers are moulded on) without being particularly optimistic about a positive outcome. Much to my surprise a complete new kit arrived a couple of weeks later. Here's the skeleton components spread out - yes, I have a complete skeleton. 

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The bad news is that this being a vinyl kit there's kit a few parts with distortion and also flash. The good news is that I can mix and match the best bits from both kits to hopefully get a result. The biggest challenge will be to get a better shape to the rib cage and I'm thinking a hair dryer and cold water might do the trick. The skull parts pictured above are very poor, this is the second kit they sent and the first one has a much better skull. The fossilised appearance is as supplied, the parts are moulded in a dark maroon colour roughly over-painted with a sandy coloured paint. This wears off very easily, hence the worn appearance and I might remove it completely and start again. The finished model is 70cm in length and should look suitably impressive, assuming you can fix the grockles. 

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That's cool! And a possible use for your bad parts is to make a diorama base with the bones embedded in the earth as if they've just been exposed. Since most fossil bones are heavily distorted from being squashed in rocks for millions of years they'd look pretty authentic.

tyrannosaurus-rex-facts-mXlTDRd3kJE-1024

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16 hours ago, Paul Brown said:

Funnily enough I was thinking the same. I've got two bases, so one could be with the full skeleton, the other with exposed fossils. If I could find some 1/18 palaeontologists that would be perfect. 

Am I loosing even more of my mind or did Tamiya do a 1/20 mechanics set? Might be a starting point.

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Here's the skull, I used the parts from the first kit I received as they were a lot better in shape with far less deformation. I'm using Loctite 60 Second to glue everything together and being a gel type glue it also acts as filler. Tamiya jar for a bit of scale.

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I've been having a go at manipulating the ribs to see if they will bend without heat and retain shape. I'm leaving them overnight to see what happens, but to be honest I'm not optimistic because there's a considerable amount of visible recovery after a few seconds. 

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22 hours ago, Col. said:

Am I loosing even more of my mind or did Tamiya do a 1/20 mechanics set? Might be a starting point.

I can only find the Tamiya pit crew not mechanics, although I'm not convinced they are in particularly archaeologist type poses.

5921d5d1bc430a4fa218574c551a40d0--racing

 

I've just had a look on Scalemates and it looks like if you want 1/18 or 1/20 figures, your best bet is to have an all female dig team, a very, very young female team and it would need to be set somewhere really hot as clothing seems to be optional …. So I'd recommend setting your archaeological dig in a Japanese girls school sauna, otherwise the available figures are limited. :|

 

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2 hours ago, Gorby said:

I can only find the Tamiya pit crew not mechanics, although I'm not convinced they are in particularly archaeologist type poses.

I think the crouching/kneeling figures could be adapted, the lady with the clipboard could be making a site sketch and the photographer could be, um, a photographer. The only problem seems to be that these sets currently appear to attract top dollar if you're buying.

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17 hours ago, Paul Brown said:

The only problem seems to be that these sets currently appear to attract top dollar if you're buying.

Got an unboxed set of figures at home but can't recall what scale they are. Will check this evening and let you know what I find.

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Last night I tried to see if I could manipulate the ribs with some heat then quenching. It works, sort of, but the material has a very persistent 'memory' and tends to go back to it's original shape.

Here's a before shot, you can see how far adrift this is.

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And after.

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Second attempt, same rib.

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Another issue is that the ribs are inherently very flexible at room temperature (they were stored in the conservatory that was very cold overnight and were fairly rigid until they warmed up) and I tried an experiment with one of the spares by coating it with gel cyano and then flash setting it with kicker spray. Inconclusive, sadly. I might try a coat of PVA, which will also act as a primer. Here's the ribs all together (no spare ribs here!), some still need some work to get the shape, also they need correction for inclination when assembled.

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