A 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs alternate build
Being something of a prehistory enthusiast as well as a fan of LEGO’s Creator Creatures line and inveterate MOCmaker, naturally the new 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs set was on my “must get” list. Not only does the set include instructions three fairly cool-looking dinosaurs (well, “two dinosaurs and one extinct flying reptile”, as my inner precisionist palaeontology nerd insists), but the set includes two awesome new element types including one I’ve been wishing existed for a couple of years at least, and there’s a free downloadable fourth set of instructions to build another dinosaur as well.
Other people have reviewed the set and done an excellent job of it, and that’s not really my purpose here. No; my purpose is MOCmaking.
There are instructions for four dinosaurs (using the populist definition) here, plus there’s an Ankylosaurus MOC alternate build floating around on the Internet with instructions, too. Can we build a sixth alternate while staying with the dinosaur theme?
I think so.
A therapod, a ceratopsian, a pterosaur, a sauropod and an ankylosaur gives a pretty good overview of some of the Mesozoic dinosaur-and-hangers-on families. What else could we build?
Stegosaurus being my favourite dinosaur (swapped out from my childhood fave Triceratops; how it ties in with my ongoing love of heroes with brain to love a dinosaur that barely has one I’m not sure), that was my initial thought. But the stegosaur family have too many plates and spikes and fiddly bits that I can certainly do, just probably not with only the elements from this set. 31062’s relative paucity of SNOTability makes those back plates a major headache.
Next I contemplated a pliosaur. It would round out the triad of land, sea and air nicely, even if the marine reptiles are more closely related to modern lizards and snakes than they are to dinosaurs.
While this is certainly a viable option, and I still might, I suspect that it would end up basically reprising the Tyrannosaurus except with a short tail and fins instead of legs. I can do it, but I’d like my first alternate of this set to be a little more creative than that.
No; I’m thinking Hadrosaur.
Put like that it sounds like an advertising jingle for a Mesozoic restaurant, but the hadrosaurs have a lot of possibilities. They’re a bit underrepresented in LEGO dinosaur sets, probably because most kids would rather build something with cool fangs or horns or tail clubs or flying ability. When your anti-predator strategy is to run like a rabbit or disappear into the swamp, most dinosaur-fan children are going to prefer something a bit more assertive.
Plus they were one of the most successful dinosaur groups of the Cretaceous period. There were quite a number of different “duck-billed dinosaurs” filling a lot of herbivore niches. Your T. rex has to have something to eat, right?
Parasaurolophus seemed to have a good balance between buildability and visual interest, so I started with that incarnation of the Hadrosauria.
Obviously the body shares some basic Bauplan characteristics with the T. rex, but I’ve done several things very differently, in part because I needed the elements elsewhere, but also because I wanted to differentiate it from the official set’s primary build.
And because I’ve learned from the last time I posted one of these alternate builds, when I didn’t have instructions for it, this time I’ve included a set of assembly photos (technically, “disassembly photos”; they were taken in reverse order after I had already built this). They aren’t quite as step-by-step as something the LEGO Group would write, but anyone should be able to follow them to assemble the Parasaurolophus.
On a cautionary note, this model isn’t nearly as robust as any of the originals, but the available elements left me little choice in the matter. It’ll hold together for display and gentle play, but You Have Been Warned.
Best of all, the set also allows you to make at least a couple of additional crests, allowing your Parasaurolophus to be a Corythosaurus or Tsingtaosaurus instead. Or probably an Anatosaurus with no crest at all. I haven’t included pics of these. You’re capable people. Work it out.
Building a Parasaurolophus from scratch myself, I would have done a lot of things differently, but restricted as I chose to be to the elements of this set alone, I couldn’t always do things the way they logically needed to be done. The arms in particular were an unhappy compromise based on what bricks I had left over, but they more or less work. They’re no worse than those of the T. rex, but a couple more small balljoints instead of the clip fasteners would have gone down a treat.
Anyway, here follow those assembly photos I mentioned: