One day I had the idea to make a bigger model, just like the ones shown in the WD. It had to be something for my new lizardmen army. A dinosaur would be nice, maybe a big Brontosaurus with a whole regiment of skinks on top or a big tyranosaurus rex.

First I tried to find a toy dinosaur of the right size, but they all looked far to nice. Not agressive enough. Ok, I thought, then I make it from scratch. This way I can chose the size and make it really look mean, with long claws and tooth, some horns and small eyes.

Tyranosaur picture from the museum of natural history

At a visit in a natural museum I took some photos. As it turned out later they were very useful in making the model.


Tyranosaur sketch

As I knew from some earlier projects such a big model needs a very strong skeleton. The one for the tyrannosaur was made of 1.4 mm steel wire. It had the same shape as the tyrannosaur. For this I could use the pictures because they had the same size. After four hours I had a nice looking skeleton of a tyrannosaur with a big head made out of balsa wood.

cover
How to build dioramas
An extremly good book from a professional model builder. Just read the reviews on Amazon

The next step was to model the dinosaur. For this I took Fimo. It is a material that hardens in the oven. It can be worked like the Green Stuff but unlike Milliput or Green Stuff you don't have to mix the components. It only hardens when it gets hot. At about 130 degrees it hardens. Simply put it in the oven. If you use Milliput you have only about two hours to model but here you have all the time you want.
In my later modeling projects I use a air-hardening clay for the overall shape and Milliput for the skin. This is an other way, but the clay shrinks a lot when hardening leaving you with ugly skars if you are not lucky.


Tyrannodon

It was real fun to make the dinosaur. After a while I noticed that it was better to make first all the muscles and after that the skin. After about 20 hours the dinosaur was finished. At last I realized that the arms were much to long for a tyrannosaurus rex but I think for a tyrannodon they are all right.

Saurus warriors following the Tyrannodon

After that was the base's turn. At first I thought about a group of skink which lead the dinosaur to the battle. But after I placed a group of skink around it I changed my mind. A tiny skink standing in the shadow of the dinosaur just looked to funny. So I settled for a group of saurus warriors with chains which lead the tyrannosaurus through the swamp.
The base had to appear wet and muddy with small footprints from the saurus and huge footprints from the tyrannosaurus. Because I planned to make the water out of transparent polyester resin I had to make the whole base waterproof. So the base was made out of Fimo with some twigs and stones.
The mushrooms were made out of Fimo. Make a small ball for the stem, make a bigger ball for the head and flatten the bigger ball. Then put the big flat ball on top of the small ball, there you are. I made some reed out of wire and a small piece of paper which was glued around it.
The high grass was also made out of wire (I've read that you can make them out of brushes but who cuts a brush to pieces only for a little grass). The whole grass was stuck in the base and then all of it put in the oven to harden.

Tyrannodon from above

The next step was to paint the whole thing. All the pieces were painted separate. First I painted the saurus warriors. They got the same green as the rest of my saurus warrior army but with dark brown scales.
The next was the dinosaur. It should have the same overall colour as the saurus warriors. I settled for a kind of python painting scheme. First the light green colour (some kind of pythons are white with black dots) which a gray stomach. Then I painted the dots. Smaller dots around the mouth and the arms, larger dots on the back. As finish I painted the small details such as the small red eyes (the saurus warriors too have red eyes) and the claws.
Tyrannodon back side At last I painted the base. It should be a muddy brown and the grass should look dry. At this point don't try to glue small grass or other porous to the base because it will suck the water in (this happened as I tried to make a frog-base for the buffos-hex-scroll).

Next I glued all models to the base and after that came the water. I put a plastic foil under the whole base so that nothing of the resin flows through small holes. Then the water was made in tree steps. Fist a little bit on all the places were later the ponds should be to make absolutely sure that there is no hole somewhere that I missed. After the first layer was hard I mixed enough resin to fill the whole pond and also the smaller footprints. After this was hard I looked where I forgot some places and filled them up. After this step the Tyrannosaurus stood with one foot half submerged in the water and you can see it standing half buried in the mud.

Tyrannodon herder

At last I took some small chains to connect the tyrannosaurus and the saurus warriors so that they really look like one model and not like two groups that only happen to stand in the same place.

The whole project took about 50 hours to complete. If you want to make your own diorama take a look at the book "How to Build Dioramas" from Sheperd Paine (ISBN 0 89024 195 3). It has a multitude of hints how to build landscape, paint figures and plan a diorama. This book is not for warhammer but for aircraft, armor and ship dioramas but you can use a lot of the stuff.

I add the tyrannodon rules for the fifth edition from the Citadel journal. Note that they are different from the ones in Total Power.

Tyrannodon

May be included in the Warhammer Lizardmen army monster section ....300 Points

M WS BS S T W I A LD
7 4 7 7 7 4 1 7 8

Special Rules

Terror: Tyrannodons are extremly large and horrifying monsters and cause Terror as described in the Warhammer rulebook. This means that they automatically cause Fear also.

Bound Monster: Tyrannodons are ferocious creatures and must be bound by magic. Although Bound, being Cold Blooded they may test with 3 dice.


I even played with the dinosaur once. Unfortunally the tyrannosaurus was quickly killed by a demon prince.

Ok, now I try to make up some rules for the sixth edition.

Tyrannodon

May be included in the Warhammer Lizardmen army monster section ....300 Points

M WS BS S T W I A LD
6 4 - 7 5 4 1 7 8

Special Rules

Terror: Tyrannodons are extremly large and horrifying monsters and cause Terror as described in the Warhammer rulebook. This means that they automatically cause Fear also.

Scaly Skin: Tyrannodons have a very thick scaly skin which gives them a 3+ armour save. This save cannot be worse than 5+ due to strength modifiers. Cold blooded:The Tyrannodon has a small brain and does flee not often. It may make all leadership test with 3 dice discarding the highest. Stupid:The Tyrannodon has a very small brain and suffers the effects of stupidity as described in the Rulebook.


I even played with the dinosaur once. Unfortunally the tyrannosaurus was quickly killed by a demon prince.


Last updated August 22 2012