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Dunkleosteus model kit review
Dino list people with no interest in paleoart kits: delete now --
I've just received Wiccart's 1/35th scale Dunkleosteus and I'm very
pleased. Following is an out-of-the-box review.
Dunkleosteus (dun-kill-oh-STEE-us) was a huge predatory fish from
the Devonian Period, the Age of Fishes, approximately 400 million
years ago. Way back, huh? It had a jaw (believe it or not, rather
an innovation those days), huge armored plates protecting its head,
and sharp shards jutting from its jaws instead of teeth. It probably
ate whatever it could catch.
We know little about this animal, as only the cranial elements
(the massive armored skull) have been found fossilized. How long
were they? What form did the rest of the body take? To quote Crow
T. Robot, no one can say.
Rather than the sharklike form for D. currently in vogue, the Wiccart
piece takes the traditional approach (you know, the impressive
painting in the MacMillan Prehistory Encyclopedia?) and assumes
that the fish was in life shaped like this:
because, to paraphrase the assembly instructions, the current
reconstruction is just a shark with a funny head. They've got a
The kit also assumes that the fish was pretty large. It scales out
to be about 35 feet long, definitely on the large end of the
placoderm scale. If this offends you change the scale designation!
The sculpting is crisp and the fish's cream-colored resin body is
appropriately smooth and fishy. It'll make a nice (and
appropriate!) palette for those airbrushers who want to try their
hands at taxidermist acrylics. Each massive plate on the head is
neatly sculpted in. I've compared it with my guide to the AMNH Hall
of Vertebrate Origins which has a photo of a D. skull and it looks
right on. Even the eye has that armored look. The teeth have tiny
grooves on them; very subtle and impressive. I particularly like the
presentation of the mouth -- the lower jaw is separate, and the
head/body has a really substantial hollow part to convincingly
portray a gaping cavity. The five gills are on the lower jaw piece.
Assembly seems straightforward, with few pieces -- body, lower jaw,
two sets of pectoral fins. The ambitious lower jaw part seems to fit
ok from a dry test. It's a little off, but Wiccart is not Tamiya,
and that's what Dremels are for. Figures list readers: it's a
pretty darned good fit.
This aquatic behemoth is going to look great with my Dinosaur Studio
and Mike Trcic 1/35th scale pieces. These were really odd and
awesome creatures, truly ancient and alien to us. The kit captures
If you'd like to know more about the manufacturer or purchase the
piece, go to the Wiccart website:
The page hasn't been updated, and says the Dunkleosteus is "coming
soon," but I know for obvious reasons that they're selling them now.
Don't know if they're limited edition or not.
Hope you enjoyed this out-of-the-box review and you like this
God-send kit as much as I do.
For some interesting background on the Age of Fishes (which includes
the trendy shark-like Dunk), check out Pamela Gore's page on the
The Wiccart Dunkleosteus gives us a paleoart subject I never
thought we'd see. Now, when do we get that phytosaur model? :)
ps: I'm not affiliated in any way with Wiccart or Dunkleosteus.
I'm not interested in how dinosaurs lived
I'm just glad they're dead
Jack Horner as quoted by Dan Quayle