Critter of the Week: Pliosaurus

Meet Tigger. This big guy is always ready to flash a big, toothy smile, especially at mealtime.


Tigger plio

Look at that giant, toothy grin.  He’s sure happy to see you!  He’s looking for a treat or two (or ten), so that’s what this stinky bucket of slimy deliciousness is for.  Tigger has a huge appetite, and he’ll eat anything that fits in that giant mouth of his.  Even dinosaurs if one of them decides to go for a swim.  (you heard right, dinos can swim, we have tracks to prove it)

Now when I say dinosaurs, I don’t mean swimming critters like Tigger.  If you want the nitty gritty on what a dinosaur is or isn’t, you can quiz yourself on “Which One is the Dinosaur?”. 🙂  But even though Tigger wouldn’t mind a dino snack on occasion, it wasn’t usually on the menu, since he has plenty of turtles, squid, ammonites (think squid with a snail shell), fish, and marine reptiles to chomp on.

I say marine reptiles, because that’s what this big guy is.  Tigger isn’t a dinosaur at all, but a pliosaur.  In fact, his species, Pliosaurus, named his whole group!

The other marine reptiles swimming around here are ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs.  My little girl calls them “icky-saurs” and “pleasy-saurs”. 😛


Making progress…


So last week I showed off this little doodle… 😉

Diorama sketch

So I’ve got the basic layout down, and I’ll be referencing it’s size on a little stegosaurus figure I have. It’s a Safari Ltd. Stegosaurus. Overall not bad as far as toys go, especially how beautifully tiny that head is, but I can’t really use it as my reference.


Color changes how light appears, you see. So I really need a flat grey model to see how the light and shadows fall. This little model is also not in the position I need it in, and it has a few inaccuracies- like a tail that’s too short, issues with its plates and spikes, and foot problems. Plus it’s missing some fat and muscle in a few key areas, like that shoulder girdle.

Is it really so hard to put a bit of muscle on this bone? But that’s a subject for another day. I’ll get off that soapbox right now before I start ranting. 😛

So I’ll be making a little model the same size, and basing the size of the diorama on the little model.

I’ll spare you the nitty gritty on scale and such (I don’t understand it much myself) but it seems that my little models of Daddy and Mr. Diggle will need to be 1 1/2″ tall. Mommy and the kids will be smaller of course. 🙂

So I figure I’ll pick up an 8.5″x14″ frame, since the stego is about 6 inches. I saw a frame this size in a craft store, and I think it’ll do well.

diorama plan.jpg

Then I’ll get some of that fix-it-all patching paste as demonstrated in the movie I showed you last week. 🙂 I like how you can mold it like clay. It seems a lot more intuitive to use than paper mache or plaster, which I’ve never used before.

There’s a dry creek bed nearby very much like the one I’ll be modeling in the diorama, so I’ll have plenty of good river stones and gravel to use. I could probably find some craggy branches and twigs to form the base for my tree too. 🙂

I’m getting pretty excited about this, and the ideas for how to get it done are flowing! Now a tad bit more research on Steggy, to make sure I have everything right, and then I’ll be good to go as soon as I have the supplies. 😀

I’ll be basing Steggy’s basic proportions on Scott Hartman’s lovely new skeletal based on the Sophie specimen.

Image copyright to Scott Hartman. Please go appreciate the original image on his Deviantart page at

Coming Next Week…

This swimmer likes a game of hide and seek, can you find her? 🙂

Share your guess in the comments! She’ll be one of the critters over on the critter page. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Critter of the Week: Pliosaurus

  1. Hi Kaprosaurus! Hehe, Tigger is not very picky about what he eats. His only requirement is that it fits in that huge mouth. 😀

    I plan on making little human figures. It’s super hard to find human scale figures in the size and position you want, so it’ll actually be easier for me to make a few clay “stick figures”. If I can figure out how to make them posable then I’ll only have to make them once 😀

    I figured out the scale by finding a handy little formula online. I think I actually found it on the old Dinosaur toy forum, though I know I’ve seen it in the new one too.

    I’ll post it here on the site at some point. 🙂

    Yes! Nessie is next if we can find her 😉


  2. Tigger! Mah favorite sea critter,however i probably won’t like taking care of him,cause food (I hope he doesn’t prefer livestock meat than fishes) Other than that,i have no problem.I feel weird reading all those process in the diorama,you really went all out,i mean you even researched on accuracies,scale and stuff.How did you do the scale and are you gonna buy models for the humans or make them yourself? When i make dioramas,i simply take a figure,slap it on the layout,BAM! It’s done,i remember putting a toy elephant in a diorama that’s the same size of a wolf 😀 Next critter is (cue drumroll) is Nessie!


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