Tyrannosaurus Rex / T-Rex dinosaur maquette
After making the model Allosaurus, I decided to do a close-up of another dinosaur to concentrate on putting in as much detail on the maquette as I could. Although there is evidence that small carnivorous dinosaurs may have had ‘proto-feathers’, the only skin impressions that remain from species closely related to the tyrannosaurus shows a typically reptilian polygonal scale pattern, which meant making a range of differently-sized scale punches to create an appropriate miniature model. The scale pattern I used is based mainly on a lizard: the Chinese water dragon, but with strongly crocodilian touches as well.
My main concern was to make it look like a living creature, and to avoid the temptation to make it look too theatrical, which is hard to avoid in a model of something as iconic as a T-Rex. I worked directly from photos of a T-Rex skull, and built up the musculature based on the attachment points of wear on the bones. Most dinosaurs had a sclerotic ring – a feature shared with some modern birds and reptiles - and this hoop of bone supporting the eyeball means that the eye itself is smaller than you might expect in relation to the eye socket.
I bought the glass eyes for the maquette from www.glasseyes.com, who have a huge range to choose from, though of course none are specifically labelled as dinosaur eyes. These are small snake eyes.I have now mounted the T-Rex maquette on a wooden plate with a brass label bearing the title ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’, in reference the hunting trophies from bygone centuries.