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Southlands Replicas

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PostSubject: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 3:22 am

Around a year ago our family was traveling back from a trip to the Taronga Zoo. We happened to travel through a tiny town called Coonabarabran where we stopped to visit the local tourist information centre. Inside was a full room dedicated to the display of a Diprotodon skeleton and the story of how it was discovered at Tambar Springs nearby.



Click here to visit the Coonabarabran Visitor Page

I've been fascinated with Australian megafauna for some time now and ever seeing the enormous size of the Diprotodon skull in real life I've wanted to follow up my Thylacoleo with a Diprotodon model. I'd like to take everyone on the journey from how the model was conceptualised right through the sculpting process, through the factory manufacturing process and right up to the point where it is commercially available. I hope everyone finds the journey interesting and follows the process here and on our Southlands Facebook Page. The whole process will take around 6 months I expect. I'm currently already 2 months into it even though this is the first time it's been publicly revealed  Smile

So, after researching many websites the first step in the process was to decide the size and get the initial materials together. The scale was not a problem.. it had to be the standard Southlands 1:15 scale. A male diprotodon grew up to 3m long - this equated to a 20cm long model. As this was going to be a bit bigger than I wanted to go I decided to make my diprotodon a female - actual length 2.4m and model length roughly 16cm. You can see my scribbled notes. There's also a factor of 1.05 involved as I have to allow for shrinkage of 5% during the mould making process.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 5:40 am

Thanks for revealing your process of creating this amazing species. I'm very interested in seeing how you create these fantastic models.

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Florian

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 9:32 am

Make a female diprotodon with a baby in the pocket (I don't know if we can say "pocket" for a marsupial) ! It would be cool  sunny
A model inspirated by the BBC documentary "The lost giants" would be great but I don't know if it is an accurate model.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OHjMIsfIzg


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 9:43 am

This is super-exiting bounce cheers

Imagine all the models we have, and as far as I am concerned, I only have a vague idea how they are made geek

Thankyou, thankyou, Jason, for letting us get a peak into the mysterious world of making wonderful models sunny Applause flower

It is also very exiting that you are making a Diprotodon !!!
I never heard of this mega-marsupial before Shocked

With the Thylacoleo and Diprotodon Sounthlands has already begun to fill in a gap in my knowledge of prehistoric animals study cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 12:18 pm

I am particularly excited with this project. You ave a story, your own research about the creature, so I think you could use your own interpretation of it, building a diprotodon as your personal paleoart project with Jason's signature. Obviously it is extensive to your family once I know they participate in the development of Southlands range. Very Happy I think it is a good idea that you represent a female, it is huge enough to give a good impression of the huge size of that beast and it will put the figure in a more marketable size without compromising your goal of keeping all animals at the same or similar scale.My only personal suggestion is that you make it organic as your other figures, with a body rich in expression and shape once there aren't many noticiable features that make this animal distinct in appearance besides the huge size. It may also mean that a Megalania and a Quinkana are probably in your cogitations. Thanks for keeping us in pair with your project. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 23, 2017 5:50 pm

Interesting :)

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 24, 2017 1:59 am

Thanks friends for joining in and I look forward to lots of discussion cheers

@Florian wrote:
Make a female diprotodon with a baby in the pocket (I don't know if we can say "pocket" for a marsupial) ! It would be cool
The right term is 'pouch'  Smile ... and the pouch will be a feature of the model, although there won't be a baby visible. Marsupial babies are about the size of a jellybean when they are born. They then instinctively crawl their way into the pouch where they find the mother's milk and stay until they are large enough to start venturing outside.

@Roger wrote:
My only personal suggestion is that you make it organic as your other figures, with a body rich in expression and shape once there aren't many noticiable features that make this animal distinct in appearance besides the huge size.
Roger, I always find your comments to be very insightful and respect your opinions greatly. I can promise the pose is very dynamic - I'm sure you will be pleased. These initial photos were taken 2 months ago so the pose is already decided and a lot of work has happened since!

I was lucky enough to find an accurate side view skeleton diagram from which to base my measurements. Also printed out a sideview of an artists representation of the model to view in proportion with our Thylacoleo.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 24, 2017 2:08 am

Oh great! A giant wombat! Great idea Jason!


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 24, 2017 3:09 am


Very good size to this project. flower

Intersting information of this animal,that I did not know.

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Florian

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 24, 2017 3:29 am

Thank you for the nice explanation ! :)
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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 24, 2017 1:15 pm

Fantastic! Can't wait to see more Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu May 25, 2017 12:43 am

Donny wrote:
Oh great! A giant wombat!
Hey Donny, thanks for joining in  Smile Anna & Fernando welcome too!

Even though a lot of the literature describes the Diprotodon as a giant wombat I don't tend to agree with that generality. Wombats and Diprotodon's shared some similar features such as turned in feet & a rear facing pouch however many of their features such the classic marsupial dental structure is shared amongst other marsupials (kangaroos, koalas etc) so I can't seem to correlate the two as being a large and small version of the same animal. Diprotodon's were too large to dig burrows, they also have a very unique skull shape and I can't see any fossil evidence to show that Diprotodon's adapted to the smaller size due to climatic or other reasons, in fact they became extinct quite suddenly only 25-45,000 years ago. I prefer to think of them as two completely different animals. Others will disagree, but that's just my opinion.  question

Stage 3 - Making the spine. This part for me is critical. The proportions must be anatomically perfect so I take plenty of time to bend the wire to match the curvature of the spine exactly - then mark the important pivot points with permanent marker.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu May 25, 2017 3:13 am

I really look forward to seeing how this project unfolds!

And--how this model unfolds! Of your line, the extinct ones are definitely the most popular!

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu May 25, 2017 9:10 am

It is so wonderful to see how enormously carfully you make your models ! Shocked cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu May 25, 2017 10:38 am

@Southlands Replicas wrote:

@Roger wrote:
My only personal suggestion is that you make it organic as your other figures, with a body rich in expression and shape once there aren't many noticiable features that make this animal distinct in appearance besides the huge size.
Roger, I always find your comments to be very insightful and respect your opinions greatly. I can promise the pose is very dynamic - I'm sure you will be pleased. These initial photos were taken 2 months ago so the pose is already decided and a lot of work has happened since!

I was lucky enough to find an accurate side view skeleton diagram from which to base my measurements. Also printed out a sideview of an artists representation of the model to view in proportion with our Thylacoleo.

Thanks Jason, I am now even more excited after reading your further comments. I am very glad that you are not just creating a "giant wombat", and I agree with all your observations about the creature. Although related with wombats, it surely was not just a huge wombat once as you pointed, there are some important differences, particularly in the skull and surely these animals occupied a different niche with a different style of life. I don't know if you'll adopt the small trunk some researchers suggest or just a "rhino" upper lip or none, I also have no idea about the coloring or how furry your diprotodon will be but I am very glad to know that you are developing it unattached to the idea of a giant wombat. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Fri May 26, 2017 12:55 am

Welcome along Sean, hopefully we'll see our Diprotodon selling through Fauna figures someday Cool

@Susanne wrote:
It is so wonderful to see how enormously carfully you make your models !  Shocked  cheers
Thanks Susanne... I think you'll enjoy what is still to come!

@Roger wrote:
I don't know if you'll adopt the small trunk some researchers suggest or just a "rhino" upper lip or none
The shape of this area has been a huge area of conjecture and frankly after all of my research I can't find a definitive answer. In fact I would have started the model sooner if it was clear. There are dozens of artistic depictions and almost all are different. To be honest I didn't even know exactly how it would look until I started physically sculpting it but I'll explain my interpretation a little further along in the process..

For now here are 4 more updates ..

Stage 4.
Making the skull frame. Note double layer so that I can use the ends for shaping the upper and lower incisors which are obviously a major feature of the animal. I use a thinner wire to bind the pieces together. Jaw hinge point is marked with permanent marker.



Stage 5. Attaching the skull to the spine, again using the thinner wire and also a drop of quick drying super glue.



Stage 6. Shaping the legs, again taking great care to measure accurately and marking hinge points.



Stage 7. Front and rear legs now done and ready to attach to the spine.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Fri May 26, 2017 1:42 am

I really like your choice of this new Southlands model Jason Applause
So interesting creature ...
And it is so great of you, that you are showing the process of this project cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat May 27, 2017 12:48 am

@Southlands Replicas wrote:
@Roger wrote:
I don't know if you'll adopt the small trunk some researchers suggest or just a "rhino" upper lip or none
The shape of this area has been a huge area of conjecture and frankly after all of my research I can't find a definitive answer. In fact I would have started the model sooner if it was clear. There are dozens of artistic depictions and almost all are different. To be honest I didn't even know exactly how it would look until I started physically sculpting it but I'll explain my interpretation a little further along in the process..


I suspected it required a lot of thought from you while developing this figure. Now the important is that you already have a decision and that you are confident in your choice. Whatever it is, it will always be your interpretation and as valuabel as any other. If you explain your decision as you mentioned, it will enrich surely your work. I think these conjectures make the hobby of collecting extinct animals, a very exciting hobby. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat May 27, 2017 6:48 am

@Costicuba wrote:
I really like your choice of this new Southlands model Jason  Applause
So interesting creature ...
Welcome along Kosta! and thankyou Smile

@Roger wrote:
I think these conjectures make the hobby of collecting extinct animals, a very exciting hobby.
I couldn't agree more. It's been my most enjoyable model so far to make as there is that element of 'design' if I may use that word, and seeing something come to life that there is no accurate record or living memory of.

Some more updates now ..

Stage 8. Basic skeleton frame is now together. Still have a few improvements to come.



Stage 9. Added pelvis and nut for armature stand. Turned out later that didn't work as the model was too heavy but here it is for now anyway.



Stage 10. Framed out the rib cage.



Stage 11. Wire frame complete  cheers  Thin wire wrapped around neck and legs to help clay to grip. Aluminium foil used to bulk out rib area.

Note the model hasn't been posed yet. It's basically a static pose at the moment. I'm very happy though that the frame is sturdy and correctly proportioned. Finally I can start on the next part .. adding clay.


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat May 27, 2017 9:09 am

A star being borne cheers

In the future I will always think of her as the lady with a bolt in her hip Laughing

Now we see how your careful start pays off Applause

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat May 27, 2017 2:44 pm

Very cool--and yes, I will want to know more for my store when it comes out!

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sun May 28, 2017 10:39 pm

It was surely a good idea to share all these steps with the community of collectors. I really feel much more excited about the project than if it was presented already done. I can't stop thinking in every detail, from ears, will it be big or small? Considering it is too big to be a burrowing creature, will the back of the beast be just conventional? Will you give a unique coloring to this creature or make it based in any other creature? You don't have to reply now, just keep showing the development of this figure and I will follow it with all excitment. bounce bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 12:07 am

@Roger wrote:
I really feel much more excited about the project than if it was presented already done.
I'm so pleased you are enjoying it!

Stage 12 - Now I'm adding the actual bones, femur, humerus and pelvic bones. This is a process I use for larger models which helps me pose the model. I've also posed the lower limbs to give the model 'movement'. The head will be posed later.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 2:36 am

Very very interesting!


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 8:40 am

And we even learn about the anatomy of the Diprotodon bounce cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 9:04 am

Fascinating! It looks very promising already and I love the walking pose!! Great! And how wonderful will be to see it next to the Thylacoleo in the same scale! drunken

I suppose many things we will never know about this animal, probably also the exact way they moved is among those details. But on the drawing of the skeleton above, one thing is slightly bothering me in the movement, it suggests as the animal landed with their front part of paw first (like, on the "fingers"?). For me, it doesn't look exactly convincing, I don't know? I imagine these animals probably walked a bit more in a way the bears do. Bears usually place the heels/back part of the paw on the ground first. It's just a thought, and it may be irrelevant to the sculpture but I'm just wondering Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 9:39 am

Anna wrote:
But on the drawing of the skeleton above, one thing is slightly bothering me in the movement, it suggests as the animal landed with their front part of paw first (like, on the "fingers"?). For me, it doesn't look exactly convincing, I don't know? I imagine these animals probably walked a bit more in a way the bears do.

Please don't worry! It is just a poor quality photo and the perspective doesn't show how the paw actually looks - in fact I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the movement and anatomy of bears. I've attached a pic which shows how the front paw really looks from the correct angle - you will see more as further photos emerge and I'm quite sure you will be satisfied with the way the movement has been expressed Smile



PS The photos that have been shown so far are already more than 6 weeks old and the pose is much too late to change!
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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon May 29, 2017 10:21 am

@Southlands Replicas wrote:
Anna wrote:
But on the drawing of the skeleton above, one thing is slightly bothering me in the movement, it suggests as the animal landed with their front part of paw first (like, on the "fingers"?). For me, it doesn't look exactly convincing, I don't know? I imagine these animals probably walked a bit more in a way the bears do.

Please don't worry! It is just a poor quality photo and the perspective doesn't show how the paw actually looks - in fact I have drawn a lot of inspiration from the movement and anatomy of bears. I've attached a pic which shows how the front paw really looks from the correct angle - you will see more as further photos emerge and I'm quite sure you will be satisfied with the way the movement has been expressed Smile


PS The photos that have been shown so far are already more than 6 weeks old and the pose is much too late to change!

Great to hear about that! I'm sure it's going to be a great sculpture. My comment was more about the drawing you've shown as one of the references, but it seems the sculpture shows a bit different phase of the movement, and I like it much more Smile Can't wait to see more photos! bounce

I was talking about that drawing of the skeleton, visible on this photo:

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 30, 2017 1:06 am

Anna wrote:
My comment was more about the drawing you've shown as one of the references,
Now I see what you mean - it does seem rather odd doesn't it?!  scratch

Stage 13 - Modelling the feet and claws. I found some perfect images of the diprotodon foot structure. This then gave me the perfect foot shape and claw position. Claws are always really hard to sculpt as they are so tiny so I'm using the wire ends (sharpened with a file) to act as the claws. They will protrude from the sculpted feet and I won't have to worry about them breaking.

It's the first time I've tried this method so I took a long time to try and get it as right as possible! I think just this part took a whole weekend Rolling Eyes


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue May 30, 2017 11:35 pm

Stage 14 - Lower limb bones, spine, scapula and rib cage added. Head now posed. I've opened up the mouth slightly.

Roger - now you can see the full pose Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 31, 2017 2:46 am

Whoa! Amazing!


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 31, 2017 8:29 am

This is already a sculpture Shocked

When you make a catalogue, it could perhaps be an idea to show some of these photos to illustrate the birth of one of the SR models Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 31, 2017 9:40 am

Pose is really looking great! cheers bounce bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed May 31, 2017 1:19 pm

I love to see this! Amazing, just wow! bounce  cheers

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:32 am

Thankyou Donny, Suzanne, Roger and Anna cheers

Stage 15 - .. and the skull. No-one really knows exactly what a Diprotodon looked like and there are many, many artisitic interpretations. Some have a large wombat type nose, others are drawn with a short tapir-like trunk. At this stage I still didn't know how my diprotodon will appear so I decided to model the skull as perfectly as I could (based off drawings & photographs of actual skulls) and then build the face up in a similar way to forensic facial reconstructions. The plan is to allow the clay to form around the shape of the skull and see where it leads. I took particular care to form the teeth. As the model is posing with an open mouth these details are going to be exposed & it's very helpful to have them pre-baked when I'm working on the rest of the face.




Here she is, skeleton complete. You may also notice that the skull is a slightly different shape to the one shown in the original drawing. This is because I chose to model the shape off the 'Bacchus Marsh' Diprotodon. The reason is that my model is a female and the original sketch to me appears more masculine, while the Bacchus Marsh skull is a bit more refined and 'feminine' looking.



Another angle. You can see the different shades of clay .. the darker areas were the first sections moulded and have therefore been baked in the oven more often.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu Jun 01, 2017 6:39 am

I haven't been able to comment yet but I've enjoyed this thread immensely! Its great to finally see the skeleton on top of the armature, do you add muscles too? Or straight to the outer composition of it with the detailing etc.? I love your company's choice of species so far and I hope it continues, and thank you again for this in depth look at how the models become reality!

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:58 pm

@Saarlooswolfhound wrote:
Its great to finally see the skeleton on top of the armature, do you add muscles too? Or straight to the outer composition of it with the detailing etc.?
Welcome here!! and thankyou for your kind comments. I think this next post will answer your question Very Happy

Stage 16 - Now for the muscle layers! I've used the skeleton to give me accurate insertion points and, as mentioned earlier on, relied quiet heavily on references to the muscle structure of large bears. Bears have a similar body mass and walking pattern (turned in feet) so it seems a reasonable approach. This is the only photo I have of this stage, until the muscles are finished ... I wish I had taken more!

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:26 pm

I like your approach to bears once it is a plantigrade creature. I haven't understood yet why so many authors use rhinos as reference, often just based on size.
Interesting that I can't find any reference to these mammals as being insectivores. Probably it is obvious that they were just herbivorous creatures but I find it curious that they have long claws, an almost ant eating like snouth structure and they even tell that they had long tongues, not as a pangolin but as a giraffe what is quite remarkable. I don't know if My Schleich sloth bear are trying to convince me that diprotodons may have included insects in their diet. Laughing Suddenly, seeing one of these beasts digging up a termites nest, makes some sense, even the reversed pouch... scratch Well, as a herbivorous creature with a bear like motion, I hope you don't use a giant panda as reference for coloring it. Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:48 am

Now the muscle layer is complete ..













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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:26 am

This is amazing, - and very interesting to see how the muscles are placed !!! Shocked
Are you a vetenarian or such ? Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:31 pm

Very cool to see how the model is shaped by anatomy layers, and how much effort you put into making a figure great.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:35 pm

Amazing! Great work Very Happy bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon Jun 05, 2017 2:49 am

I can't wait! bounce





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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:29 pm

Suzanne wrote:
Are you a vetenarian or such?
Laughing

Stage 18 - First glimpse of how our girl will look. I've basically just pressed the clay around the shape of the skull and already she seems to have a personality. The nose ended up being less challenging than I thought it would - I referenced other large marsupials of course and it just seemed to form like this. No-one will ever know exactly but I feel this is a natural fit. The idea of a tapir-like trunk just didn't seem right when working it over. I'm interested to know what others think on the topic?

Still a lot of refining to do.


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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue Jun 06, 2017 1:49 am


Anatomy and perfection in this model.

Continue to show us this work.

big congratulations. Applause Applause

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:41 am

Almost there , bravo !! An educational journey as well as a peek into the hard work of a genius , loving every phase Jason.

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:25 am

@JamesPanda wrote:
Almost there , bravo !! An educational journey as well as a peek into the hard work of a genius , loving every phase Jason.

Just my thoughts !!!! cheers

She looks wonderful ! I love it that she is completely herself, and not a giant-something Laughing

Thankyou very much for this wonderful topic, Jason flower Applause

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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:26 pm

Absolutely wonderfull. Great photos. I'ma fan Applause
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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:08 am

Thanks so much Fernando, James, Susanne and Zirkoon cheers cheers

Stage 19 - now with detail added. The advantage of preparing the skull in advance can now be seen with the dentition showing through and allowing me to work on other areas without fear of damaging the inside of the mouth. Ruffles around the neck also added. Normally I leave the head detail until last but this time I'll be finishing the head and baking it before working on the body.



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PostSubject: Re: Diprotodon Project   Wed Jun 07, 2017 2:35 am

I know that it's probably not possible, but it would be great if you could do this for all of your figures. I knew a decent amount of work went into making figures but seeing it done piece by piece and literally muscle by muscle is really cool. I check almost every day to see what has been done.

I haven't been able to buy any of the figures yet, but I most definitely will. I hope you and your company do very well and stay around for a long time.

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