Category Archives: Prehistoric beasts

AnkylosauRover

Combining dinosaurs and space is a long-standing LEGO tradition for my AFOL self. Ever since I allowed myself to get back into building I’ve had a bit of a thing for merging the future and prehistoric realms. My username on the old LEGO.com forums – SaurianSpacer – referred to this; I knew I was going to be Building A Spaceship a lot, but my first posted creation was a Quetzalcoatlus pterosaur. And then some of my first (digital) AFOL creations were a series of dinosaur-shaped spaceships and vehicles.

But I don’t think I’ve done an Ankylosaur before.

It’s a strange omission in some ways. Ankylosaurs were one of the major dinosaur families, and the armoured beasts were and are pretty cool.

So as the first instalment of FebRovery 2019 I decided to rectify the situation.

Role-wise I think the Ankyloroversaurus is some sort of geo-sensing rover, possibly akin to 6841 Mineral Detector or 6844 Seismologic Vehicle. All the bristly antennas along the sides look like they’re part of some kind of sensing equipment, like an advanced Ground Penetrating Radar array or similar.

The cannon-armed thagomizer is possibly a little out of place on a geo-sensing vehicle, but in real Classic Space those wouldn’t actually be cannons despite what they look like. No, they’d be rock sampling lasers or the nodes of some other kind of sensor (using gamma rays?).

Of course, possibly those spikes along the sides aren’t antennas, and the vehicle has a more military nature. That seems a little less likely given the prominent non-existence of weaponry other than the tail club, but perhaps a force-shield generator rover or similar?

That’s actually a pretty good idea and goes well with Ankylosaurus’ armoured nature. But it still looks a lot like a geosensor rover to me.

Steampunk Safari

Did someone say “steampunk mecha-elephant”?

For once in my steampunkery, I’m actually not invoking the planet Mars.  Okay, the mechaphant has a heat-ray or other type of steampunk ray-gun for a trunk, but we can do this without having to go to Mars.  As the song says: “Got my ray gun and a cup of tea in hand”.

Given the presence of a sabertooth tiger lurking in the undergrowth, they are probably somewhere a bit like Conan Doyle’s Lost World.  Apparently on a steampunk safari you get really exotic big game.  I also don’t actually mind having to use the robomonkey from Ninjago Skybound.  I don’t have access to any regular monkeys, but since my elephant is a mecha it doesn’t look out of place.

The build was actually inspired by a hero card from the app game Legendary: Game of Heroes.  Tangentially, anyway.  Their Ultra Ivoire was a full-on high-tech droid, whereas I decided that the Mighty White Hunter doing their thing from atop a howdah was such a 19th-Century trope that it naturally lent itself to steampunkery.

I’m at least as pleased with the scenery as I am with the actual mechaphant, though.  That’s one of my better trees (and the first time I think I’ve used those palm leaf elements in a MOC), and some of my best rockwork yet.  And while all the bits of scenery are way too brick-intensive and complex to be much like anything you’d find in an official set, the overall impression really does seem to be of sethood.  Which is rather amusing, really.  For all of my AFOLhood and SHIPs and complex techniques and inverted mirror-universe takes on Classic Space, I still tend to think in terms of set design.

 

Everybody Build the Dinosaur

A 31058 Mighty Dinosaurs alternate build

31058 Parasaurolophus 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:

                          

Real Unicorns Don’t Poop Rainbows

Say “unicorn” and the image usually conjured is the epitome of delicacy and, well, girliness.

Hasbro and the irritating My Little Pony line are only partly responsible for this, but they certainly haven’t helped any: being horsy sorts of creatures, they’re in there, of course, along with pegasi, regular(ish) ponies and winged unicorns as well. It’s from here that we get the modern cliché of pooping out rainbows.

But look at almost any period European art and you’ll find its unicorns are gracile, impossibly slender beasts with long legs, spiral horns and blinding white coats. They symbolise innocence and purity, and they’re associated with virgins.

All this is largely informed by the narwhal tusks brought back by sailors and passed off as unicorn horn. Having a real bruiser of a creature with a horn like that just looks wrong.

Venture into Eastern Europe and Central Asia, though, and you may hear of a rather different single-horned beast. And this one sounds like a real creature.

The Russians call it Indrik, the Chinese qilin seems similar. It’s said to be huge, powerful, like an ox, a big bruiser of an animal. More like a rhinoceros than anything else.

As it should happen, there was an extinct rhinoceros species that might fit the bill: Elasmotherium. Native to Eurasia, it stood nearly as tall as a woolly mammoth at the shoulder, with what most scientists agree was a huge single horn, not on the tip of its nose like modern rhinoceros species but further up its face between its eyes.

It had long legs like a horse, too, and appears to have been adapted to a horselike galloping gait. African rhinoes can charge at 30mph; imagine something four times the mass with a horn almost as long as an adult man, bearing down on you on legs proportioned like those of a horse. What speeds would it be capable of, do you think?

Elasmotherium probably went extinct around the end of the last ice age, so humans definitely encountered it. And if it was going to hang on anywhere into recorded history, the wilds of north Asia is a fairly good bet for where it might, which would explain those Russian and Chinese (and Yakutian) stories.

Elasmotherium has been on my mind of late, as a story I’m writing features Central Asian Turco-Mongolian-type tribesmen riding around on them in a Russian-influenced steampunk universe. (“Why?” you ask? Because ice-age beasts are awesome, and steampunk is awesome, and Central Asia is somewhere I know a little bit about).

So anyway, I decided to build myself one.

My Little Pony this ain’t

I used a new technique for the lower legs, and I like the way it works even if the ankles are really too spindly. The thighs are suitably muscular.

The humped body form follows the French cave drawing believed to represent the creature (as the only known single-horned rhinocerotid in Europe at the time, it’s a reasonably safe bet), and the horn is up between the eyes where most scientists agree it should be.

Unfortunately even for an Elasmotherium it’s too monstrously huge to be minifig-scale, which is a pity but hardly unexpected. It’s not too far off, but it still manages to look too big against a minifigure.

I toyed with the various 1×1 tile eyes, but they all looked too cute and not fierce enough. Which again, was not unexpected. I went with trans neon orange studs to add a note of fire.

Anyway, here’s my real-life unicorn. Any mention of rainbows will result in the commentator being trampled in LEGO effigy.

Tyrannosaurus mechs

Stomps around… Shoots big lasers… Eats AT-ATs… Must be a Tyrannomech!
When making a series of Neoclassic Space mechs modelled on dinosaurs, your Tyrannosaur derivative had better be impressive. I hope I’ve achieved that goal.

I always intended the Tyrannomech to be the biggest and baddest of my dinomechs. I was originally thinking it would have a crew of two, one or at most two big guns and a selection of smaller ones. A detachable head spaceship would be an added bonus.

Then I actually started building. Working from the feet up (yeah, possibly a strange place to start, but I grew up in the era before SNOT became the expected norm, and I wasn’t quite sure how to do some of the techniques involving plates used as angled walls) it quickly became clear that this was going to be a considerably larger dinomech than I had originally envisioned.

This is ok, but it creates quite a gap in size between the Raptor and the T-mech. And since nature abhors a vacuum, stay posted…


The Tyrannomech in all its glory

The Tyrannomech, sometimes called the T-mech for short, is the largest dinomech produced by the VLC Corporation and one of the most combat-capable mechs in use anywhere in the Galactic Federation.

Frontal view

Frontal view

A large bipedal walker featuring a detachable reconnaissance spacecraft as the “head” and an elongated balancing tail, the Tyrannomech combines the heavy armament of many quadrupedal walkers with the better speed characteristics of bipeds. Gyroscopically stabilised and with the tail to aid in balancing, the stability problems sometimes associated with large biped walkers have been effectively overcome by Federation engineers.

The big guns fully rotate

The big guns fully rotate

The T-mech has a crew of three and an internal transport bay able to hold up to four troops. It may be controlled solely from either of the dorsal cockpit control stations, or from the head via a specially-designed interface bracket, or functions may be shared between all three stations.

Contains a small internal troop transport bay

Contains a small internal troop transport bay

The main armament is a pair of heavy antimatter lasers mounted on a dorsal turret featuring a unique double boom arrangement. Numerous other lasers and antimatter lasers act as secondary armament: two each on the small “arms”, four on the head mount, two more in a small ventral turret and five on the tail, making the prospect of attacking a T-mech from any angle a dangerous one.

Tyrannomech 3a

After aspect

The reconnaissance spacecraft, known as the R3X fighter, features variable-angle wings and a pair of antimatter lasers as armament. Its primary purpose is to give the T-mech an integral long-range reconnaissance ability.

The R3X fighter detatched

The R3X fighter detatched

The Tyrannomech is not widely used outside of the Saurian Sector. In most of the Federation its design as a dedicated combat mech makes it less attractive to more peaceful Sector Commands requiring a more versatile design. In the dangerous Saurian Sector, however, it provides a much-needed heavy defensive capability.

VLC Troodon mini-dinomech

Continuing the series of dinosaur-derived Neo-Classic Space vehicles, I present the VLC Troodon mini-mech.

It was clear that while the VLC Raptor is a relatively light vehicle as mechs go, it was still too bulky to realistically fit inside the cargo bay of any vehicle designed as a rough equivalent to the LL928-series Space Cruiser/Galaxy Explorer. And such is the Pliosaur-class.

To do that, I had to go not larger, in a big Tyrannosaurus mechs, but smaller. A mini-Raptor. The Troodon is that smaller dinomech.


The VLC Troodon dinomech

The VLC Troodon dinomech

This mini-mech is produced by the VLC Corporation of the Saurian Sector as a small personal mobility vehicle. Designated the Troodon, the vehicle is the smallest dinomech produced by VLC Corp.

Due to the rugged nature of many of the Sector’s planets, mechs are far more suitable than rovers for surface mobility, and the rover of the old LL928 series Galaxy Explorer has been replaced by other vehicles in the large LL1028 series Saurian Sector Explorer, also known as the Pliosaur-class (article forthcoming). Chief among these is the VLC Troodon dinomech.

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

Due to the necessity of fitting into a fairly constrained cargo bay area, the mech has been designed to partially fold up into a relatively small volume. The hinged tail is part of this folding ability, as is the ability of the mech to disembark an LL1028-series vessel remotely without a pilot on its back.

The VLC Troodon’s pilot controls the vehicle via a handlebar-type controller mounted on the neck. The operator may either stand atop the small dinomech’s back (usual operations) or sit just behind the neck (which may be more comfortable for long-duration missions but which is less stable at high speed).

After aspect of the Troodon

After aspect of the Troodon

The Troodon is far more minimally-armed than the larger Raptor mech, with only a single head-mounted laser cannon as ranged armament. The single claws mounted in the arms can be used either for close-quarters battle, or more commonly to aid in climbing. Its minimal armament reflects its different role; the Raptor is an armed vehicle for reconnaissance-in-force, whereas the Troodon is more of a light explorer and general mobility vehicle.

Welcome to the Saurian Sector

Once you start down the path of merging Classic Space Lego with dinosaur inspiration, forever will it dominate your destiny. Or in other words, I’ve been making more of these things.

My original dinomech, the VLC Raptor, was effectively a test piece for the whole concept. I think it’s a fun idea, but even I can recognise that from an objective future-history point of view it makes only slightly more sense than Transformers Dinobots. Why would people from the galactic future model their space hardware after extinct reptiles from Earth?

I’m ignoring this question, for the same reason that no-one seems to ask why it’s a good idea for alien robots to be able to disguise themselves as giant metal dinosaurs. Cool makes its own sense.

I’ve continued on with making my Neoclassic Space dino-hardware. Terrestrial vehicles modelled on dinosaurs is, once you have the initial concept, pretty straightforward. Robot dinosaurs with cockpits. Zoids, but in Lego, and with a Classic Space vibe. Tyrannosaurus mechs and Mechaceratops and Seismechosaurus.

But what about the spaceships?

Spaceships modelled on pterosaurs would perhaps be the most intuitive approach, and it has something to recommend it. Winged, pterodactyloid spacecraft soaring through deep space… But mechanical pterosaurs somehow seemed more Steampunk than Classic Space, and I just wasn’t being very inspired. Also, the ships would end up all looking very much alike despite being vastly different sizes.

Then it occurred to me that most sci-fi spacegoing organisations are structured as navies: (Starfleet, the Imperial Fleet, the Rebel Fleet etc). So why not a marine reptile?

My initial inspiration, but finished more recently, was what has become the Pliosaur-class. Then I created a smaller ship. So now I have two dinomechs and two spaceships, and ideas for many more.

All I needed was a backstory. And perhaps, given how well-armed my hardware is by comparison to the regular old Classic Space sets, an adversary.

In my initial design decision to go with a Neoclassic Space feel, and in the details of creating the various ships and mechs that I have, I’ve begun to piece together some of the backstory. For example, the “VLC” in “VLC Raptor” initially existed to complete the thought of VeLoCiRaptor, but I decided that it made a great manufacturer designation and created the VLC Corporation. Also for example, the stuff is Classic or Neoclassic Space Lego, thus, it’s in the same universe as sets like the 928 Space Cruiser and Moonbase (known as the Galaxy Explorer in the US) and the 918 One-Man Spaceship, and presumably the 6930 Space Supply Station and its ilk as well. Whether this is precisely the same universe as Peter Reid’s book Lego Space: Building the Future is a slightly more open question, because I don’t know how “official” his future history is, and I don’t yet have the book anyway.

I’ve almost certainly made a lot of different assumptions than Peter Reid did, but this is my corner of the Classic Space universe. I decided that, given the dinosaur subtheme, “the Saurian Sector” had a nicely appropriate ring to it as a milieu.

So welcome to the Saurian Sector.


The discovery of what came to be known as the Saurian Sector presented Space Fleet Command with new challenges and opportunities.

On the one hand, the Saurian Sector contained the only known naturally-occurring sources of the energy-rich crystalline mineral Mesozorium. The lesser form Protozorium was known from other Sectors, though even that was rare, but the refining process of converting Protozorium to the more valuable and useful Mesozorium was both costly and time-consuming.

The Saurian Sector, however, contained a number of planets with apparently naturally-occurring Mesozorium seams.

View over planet Ankylo in the Saurian Sector

View over planet Ankylo in the Saurian Sector

On the other hand, the Sector included many planets with terrain so harsh as to defeat many of the wheeled surface vehicles that Space Fleet Command regularly relied upon, necessitating the development of an entirely new inventory of planetary vehicles. In addition, much of the Sector was contested space. The hostile Cephalon Dominion was also expanding into the Sector, and the competing claims remained a source of tension and conflict for many years.

The ever-present Cephalon threat led to the development of a new generation of space vehicles alongside the new ground vehicles. Individual Federation Sector Commands had always been given wide latitude to design and build their own spacecraft and other equipment as needed, so long as it conformed to basic technological standards. But few Sector Commands had ever contemplated as complete a replacement of standard equipment as Saurian Sector Command now found themselves doing. Even venerable and ubiquitous ship types like the old LL928 series Galaxy Explorer were replaced by alternates like the LL1028 series Saurian Sector Explorer.

The LL1028-series "Pliosaur" spaceship replaces the old LL928-series in the Saurian Sector

The LL1028-series “Pliosaur” spaceship replaces the old LL928-series in the Saurian Sector

Space Fleet Command raised no objections to the sweeping equipment changes that Sector Admiral Jael Thera was making, however. The fact of the matter was that a number of the old, weakly-armed Galaxy Explorer ships had disappeared, presumed destroyed, along the edges of what was known to be Cephalon space. An upgunned space exploration fleet was a perceived necessity.

Besides, the mining and extraction of the Sector’s Mesozorium reserves was a great prize, and easily covered the development and retraining costs.

Joining the LL1028 series Saurian Sector Explorer (“Pliosaur-class”) ships were the LL1024 series Transporter (“Nothosaur-class”) and LL1018 series space fighter (“Plesiosaur-class”). Even Space Fleet Command’s larger vessels saw general replacement in the Saurian Sector: the main Fleet vessels were the Ichthyosaur-class space frigate, the Mosasaur-class battlecruiser and the big Leedsichthys-class carrier.

The LL1018-series "Plesiosaur" serves as a space fighter and general-purpose single-crew spaceship

The LL1018-series “Plesiosaur” serves as a space fighter and general-purpose single-crew spaceship

On the planetary surface, Saurian Sector Command utilised a number of walking, legged vehicles known as dinomechs, produced by the VLC Corporation, as well as vehicles like the Trilobite hovertruck and Ankylocrawler mobile Mesozorium-mining station.

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

The VLC Troodon is the smallest dinomech made by the Corporation

The Trilobite: A small hover transport used in the Sector

The Trilobite: A small hover transport used in the Sector

I Think I’m a Dinosaur, therefore I am

The really fun thing about building a fully-poseable (or nearly so) Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur is the ever-present opportunity to be silly.

The Thinker

The Thinker

Dinosaurs have a reputation as not very bright, so putting a T. rex into the pose of Rodin’s The Thinker is as natural as legs on a killer whale.

Umm… Anyway. I did it.

Here’s the T. rex again in a more conventional pose. Technically he’s a little skinny and his arms are too long, but if you’re going to quibble you can go and make your own. Part of Lego is doing what you can with what you have.

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And here’s a nice little sequence I’m calling Professor Jackson’s Short-Lived Expedition To The Mesozoic:

 

Professor Jackson materialises in the late Cretaceous

Professor Jackson’s time machine materialises in the late Cretaceous

Roar!!

Roar!!

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This is not good…

100_2574

Chomp, chomp

 

VLC Raptor Mech

Mechs are cool. Impractical in real life, but cool nonetheless.

Classic Space Lego is cool. “Neo-Classic Space” stuff such as Peter Reid’s amazing creations are especially cool.

Dinosaurs are also cool.

So… Neo-Classic Space Lego mechs shaped like dinosaurs, then. Gotta be awesome, right?

Raptor Mech

The VLC Raptor mech

Not having the bricks I needed in the colours I wanted, I had to make this dinomech digitally. And because no-one uses MLCad any more, I decided to bite the bullet and learn to use the Lego Group’s own Digital Designer.

There are pros and cons to this transition. On the one hand, Lego Digital Designer (LDD) is a lot less finicky and a lot more instinctive to use, much more like building with actual bricks. The program knows how things fit together a lot more than MLCad, and won’t allow you to place bricks where they cannot go. It also has a much more up-to-date brick inventory.

But on the other hand, MLCad has a much broader inventory of obsolete bricks that are no longer made. In addition, it has the ability to make any brick in any colour, even neon green axle rods if you so desire, while LDD restricts you to the palette of currently-available bricks. This is not an unreasonable imposition on the Lego Group’s part; just like in real life, you have to work with what they actually produce. But it is a limitation.

Also, because I’m used to the way MLCad sorts bricks, I’m having difficulty finding what I need. This will change, but it’s annoying at the moment.

Still, on the whole it’s been positive. I couldn’t have built this little dinomech in MLCad.

And having proved the dinomech concept, this little guy will probably be the first of a whole series of T-Mechs and Ankylocrawlers, and perhaps even Mechatheriums.

Same mech, different environment

Same mech, different environment

I’m calling it, for reasons that ought to be obvious, the VLC Raptor Mech, or Raptor for short. “VLC” doesn’t actually stand for anything; it’s there to complete the thought of “VeLoCi-Raptor”. I imagine it’s a makers’ designation, some future Lego equivalent of Honda or GMC.

Slightly different view

Slightly different view

The VLC Raptor is a fast, well-armed scout mech designed for reconnaissance-in-force in hostile terrain. It has a laser cannon mounted in the head, a couple more in front, grabbing arms that can hold tools or weapons, and a pair of foot-mounted cutting blades for close combat. It’s probably the fastest and most agile of my planned dinomechs, and may be one of the most versatile.

Rear aspect

Rear aspect

A Prickly Customer

Spiky bits. What can you do with them?

They’re very organic, in a prickly, Rodney Matthews sort of way. On the 31032 Red Creatures set in which I got them, they were the claws and horns of the dragon, the teeth of the snake and the fangs and claws of the scorpion. The small piece’s official designation is “horn”, and indeed, they look very menacing as hornlike decorations on the Lego Castle horse’s head armour. The larger piece is officially a “tooth”, and is a lot more bladelike than the small round “horn”.

They’ve been robot claws in the wonderful Neo-Classic Space Exo-Suit (I want this set!), and they’d make an excellent decorative battlement fringe on an evil knight’s castle.

But that’s not what I built first.

Following on from my Quetzalcoatlus, I guess I was in dinosaur mode or something, because all I could think was “Kentrosaurus”.

Kentrosaurus, for those uninitiated into the mysteries of the Dinosauria, is probably the second most famous member of the Stegosaur group. If you’ve heard of only one Stegosaur that isn’t Stegosaurus, chances are good that it’s this one.

Unlike its larger and more famous cousin, Kentrosaurus lacks a proper thagomizer (as the cluster of tail spikes has come to be known); instead having paired spikes at intervals along its tail, from the tail-tip to halfway up its back. So it only has plates along the front half of its back, not all the way down like most Stegosaurs.

In addition, it bears a pair of wicked defensive shoulder spikes to help fend off predators.

So I decided that Stegosaur spines was really rather a good use of all these wonderful spiky bits, and built a Kentrosaurus. It would have looked better with black plates to match the spikes (or white spikes to match the plates), but you work with what you have.

Kentosaurus, Lego-style

Kentosaurus, Lego-style

And from the other side

And from the other side

Unlike my previous Quetzalcoatlus, this Kentrosaurus isn’t remotely minifigure scale. For that, I’d need to shrink it to about the size of a Lego horse, because Kentrosaurus wasn’t all that big. Still, there’s no law requiring that I build to minifig scale.

And standing, just to show off the poseability

And standing, just to show off the poseability