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Mounting a Psittacosaurus Replica


LordTrilobite

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I recently bought a Do It Yourself Psittacosaurus skeleton cast. And I thought it would be fun to share the process of mounting the skeleton.

 

I already had a skeleton cast of a juvenile Psittacosaurus but now I also have an adult version!

 

As it came painted, I could just have mounted it as is. But I wanted to give it a more interesting post rather than a a straight spine and tail. Since the spine and tail come in bundled segments of vertebrae. I thought I would cut them apart so that I could create curves better. And as I was modifying it anyway, I might as well improve it here and there as well. Some parts like the vertebral foramen on the vertebrae and some fenestra are filled in on the original cast. So I decided to dril some holes to make the details a bit more accurate.

 

 

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Size comparison with the adult and juvenile skeleton. The frame I made for the juvenile is pretty basic and primitive so I want to make a better and prettier mount for the big one.

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Drilling out the vertebral foramen in the middle and separating the vertebrae.

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Process of drilling holes and opening up the inside of the skull to more accurately reflect actual openings in a real skull. I'm not done smoothing out the new hole syet though. So right now it still looks quite ugly. More to come soon!

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Looking good so far!

Make sure you keep us updated!

By the way, these are beautiful casts, where do you get them from? @LordTrilobite

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Very nice!

I´d like one of those...

And that way it is much more fun than simply buying an assembled one.

Enjoy it!

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15 hours ago, FossilDudeCO said:

Looking good so far!

Make sure you keep us updated!

By the way, these are beautiful casts, where do you get them from? @LordTrilobite

I got it from Triassica, a UK based company that makes a number of different casts.

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Very nice replica have fun putting it together.  Bones looked pretty detailed.  Check the phalanx count on hands and feet, looks short on pictures.

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1 hour ago, LordTrilobite said:

Yes I noticed it seems to be missing a few phalanges.

 

Im sure you have a few real ones in your collection you could put in the model ;) 

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Real chinese fossils are hard to come by. So I'd have to make any missing phalanges from scratch.

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12 minutes ago, LordTrilobite said:

Real chinese fossils are hard to come by. So I'd have to make any missing phalanges from scratch.

 

Sounds like a 3D printing job to me. 

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Very talented to be able to make them.  Yep 3D printing the way to go..  

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LordTrilobite

Here's some more progress on opening up the fenestra on the right side of the skull. It's starting to look fairly nice but I still want to smooth it out some more.

 

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I've also separated most of the dorsal and cervical vertebrae so that I can mount the skeleton in a curve.

 

psittaco15.jpg

 

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Looking good.  The detail on the verts is super.   I like the idea of mounting it with a curve.  Its more work but will payoff in the end.  

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Fossildude19

:popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn:

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LordTrilobite

More progress on the skull. I've opened up the supratemporal fenestra with a drill and filed them down. Still not done but it's getting there.

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Looking good, like that you are making it look right.  It's definitely worth the extra effort. 

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  • 4 months later...
LordTrilobite

Here are some more updates on the progress for my Psittacosaurus mount. I've separated all the vertebrae near the base of the tail. So now I can mount it in a variety of poses. I've also started experimenting with Magic Sculpt. There are a few areas on the cast that have some air bubbles or other artefacts that happened as a result of the casting. So I've repaired some of those. One on the nose can be seen here.

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I've also separated the toe bones and added some extra phalanges because based on all the reference I could find Psittacosaurus had more bones in their toes than the cast had when I got it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is great! I've got one of the actual specimens from Triassica (seems they only sell replicas now), and you've given me some ideas as to how I could possibly improve it in the future.

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  • 1 year later...
LordTrilobite

That reminds me. I need to continue with this build. It's been lying around for a while. I think I've finished separating all the bones I wanted so that I can pose them better. But I don't remember if I sculpted all the missing phalanges that I needed. It's been a while since I worked on this. I've been mostly busy with real fossils.

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  • 10 months later...
LordTrilobite

I can't believe I've already had this replica for so long. And I've still not finished it.

 

I do have some more progress though. So it's time to revive this thread once more!

 

So I've been thinking as to what pose I want the skeleton mounted in and how I would go about that. I've settled on a sort of turn to the right where the whole animal is in a curve. I'll support the torso with a aluminium tube that will be mounted on a wooden foot. Here I have the bent tube in the correct shape and all the needed pieces for the rest of the stand. When I'm further along in the process I will be sculpting a fake rock around the wooden foot to hide it and make a nice display. In the third photo I've done a sort of dry fit to see how it would roughly look when mounted.

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As I said in the previous post, I've separated many of the vertebrae so that I can change the curve of the tail and torso. So now I've begun assembling the tail and pelvis. I've drilled holes in all the caudal vertebrae so that I can now string those vertebrae on a piece of metal wire and bend it into the correct shape. When I was satisfied with a specific articulation I glued it into place with thick cyanoacrylate.

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I've also modified the skull a bit more. Before I opened up some of the fenestra that were closed off in the replica cast. The jaw is also attached to make a solid piece with the skull. But under the jugal the hole where the jaw coronoid goes up into the skull was also closed. After flipflopping as to whether I should open this up as well I finally just did it. Since the braincase area of the skull isn't as detailed in this cast I've fixed up some parts around the quadrate where this new hole is so that the anatomy is more correct. Now I think I'm done drilling holes in this skull though.

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I've also now settled on a colour I want. A dull light greyish beige with a hint of brown. It's based on some actual Psittacosaurus specimens. This is the base colour but I might still add some slight nuances to make it a little more realistic. Hopefully I'll have more updates soon.

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