Megalania and Komodo Dragons

Megalania (Varanus priscus) is an extinct species of giant monitor lizard,[1] part of the megafaunal assemblage that inhabit
ed Australia during the Pleistocene. It is the largest terrestrial lizard known to have existed, reaching an estimated length of 3.5 to 7 meters (11.5 – 23 ft), and weighing between 97–1,940 kg (214–4,277 lb), but the fragmentary nature of known remains make estimates highly uncertain. Megalania is thought to have had a similar ecology to the living Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). The youngest fossil remains of giant monitor lizards in Australia date to around 50,000 years ago.[2] The first indigenous settlers of Australia might have encountered Megalania, and been a factor in their extinction.
I have three examples 0f large monitors in 15mm. A pack of 6 Komodo Dragons by Splintered Light Miniatures, a pack of two Megalania from Mick Yarrow Miniatures, and the monster of the trio from Khurasan Miniatures. The first example measures about 4CM, then second at around 5.5CM, and the third a massive 9.5cm. All are cast as one piece in white metal. All are nicely detailed models that look the part. While the M.Y. model is portrayed as raising itself up on its forelegs (about 15mm high) with protruding tongue, the Splintered Light and Khurasan models each crawl along as if approaching a potential meal. I show 15mm Blue Moon detective and Jack for scale. He comes from the Jack the Ripper set, and uselessly fires his revolver at the approaching lizard. As per figure size when compared with real animals, the S.L.M. models at 4cm would be about 13′ at 1/100th. which is a bit larger than the 10′ maximum of existing Komodo Dragons, but within the lower range for Megalania. The M.Y. Miniatures example is 5,5CM, which scales up to 18′ in 1/100th., which fall nicely within the size range estimated for giant monitors. The monster of the group. Khurasan’s Megalania measures a whopping 9’5CM. or 31′ at 1/100th., which makes this model a bit larger than known existing fossils, but this is reasonable due to the fragmentary nature of the remains. No one knows how big these things grew.

BlueMoon victorians confront Khurasan Megalania.

Blue Moon detective with Khurasan and Splintered Light monitors,

Blue Moon compared with Splintered Light Komodo Dragons
Blue Moon with M.Y. Megalania.
The three examples compared. M.Y followed by Khurasan with Splintered Light in the foreground.

I’m back!

I was away for a while, most recently due to health reasons, but finally I’m back with more product reviews. First off are some new releases by Khurasan: 15mm Daeodon, Bone-Crushing dogs, and Megalania.

Daeodon is an extinct artiodactyl Entelodont that inhabited North America in the Oligocene through the early Miocene. or about 29 million to 15.97 years ago. Thus these mammals existed long before the arrival of Homo sapiens, at least according to conventional science. The Khurasan models come 2 per-per pack. These are excellent sculpts and portray the Daeodon in all its weird glory. One model has gaping jaws to show off this animal’s distinctive teeth. Tooth-wear evidence from fossil specimens suggest that this creature was an omnivore, though its binocular vision shows it was capable of predation.

These models are about 4cm long and 2.5 cm tall.
The Khurasan offering is the only Daeodon available in 15mm, but not the only Entelodont. Above the new Daeodon is being compared with the 15mm Entelodonts by Mick Yarrow, These are sold 3 identical models to a pack. I personally would not include the M.Y. animals in the same herd as those from Khurasan, but I would use them in the same game without hesitation, There are several known species of Entelodont, and maybe the two companys’ figures are two species. Correction: The M.Y. models are listed as Entelodon/Pig Dogs/ Dinohyus. Dinohyus is now considered the same animal as Daeodon!

Blue Moon Foreign Legion miniatures.

Some of the poses from the advancing and skirmishing packs

Some of the poses from the advancing and skirmishing packs

Sergeants and buglers from the command pack

Sergeants and buglers from the command pack



I have not had a chance to update the Prehistoric Zoo in some time. Life and lack of funds have gotten in the way of idle blogging. Though stretching the theme of this blog somewhat, today I’ll have a look at Blue Moon’s French Foreign Legion figures. While the Legion does not immediately cry out ‘Prehistoric!’, the period when the FFL was most active and uniformed in their iconic fashion spanned the era when ‘Lost World/Lost Race’ fiction was at its height: the last quarter of the 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th. At that time, large parts of the world still remained unexplored and thus open to speculation regarding prehistoric survivors and exotic civilizations.
The figures pictured are from sets 15FFT-106 Command in Greatcoat, 15FFT-108 Advancing in Greatcoat, and 15FFT-109 Skirmishing in Greatcoat. With all these packs you get a massive 75 figures, so almost enough for the ‘basic force’ in a ‘Sword and the Flame’ FFL force (You would still need a mounted unit and a gun/machine gun to complete it). Painting is pretty straight-forward for these figures. Only the officers allow for variety, as you can see from the photo where I gave them a mix of dark blue and khaki tunics. With these uniforms you have troops stationed in North Africa between 1895 and 1914. There were small changes during this era (most notably troops began changing over to khaki after 1905 or so, and after 1903 the low canvas gaiters of greatcoat material were changed to black leather versions).
As usual with Blue Moon, the quality of the figures is uniformly high with the anatomy being generally correct. If you want 15MM/18MM Legionnaires to wander into the Lost Valley, explore Pellucidar, or fight against invading Martians, these are your men.

Chariot Miniatures Sabre-Tooth Cats

ImageChariot Miniatures sabre-tooth cats.
This is another pack I received from across the pond. A set of four sabre-tooth cats from Chariot Miniatures 15mm Fantasy
range. Like Chariot’s Rhinosaurs, these cats can be purchased pulling a vehicle or are availble seperately for the prehistoric
gamer. The pack has four cats in one basic pose, except that one feline has his head cocked a little to the left, and all are
snarling and baring their stabbing fangs. The models are sculpted a little shaggy with a definite fur texture. They measure
2cm from the tip of the nose to the end of the stubby tail. 2 cm at 1/100th scale makes them about 7.5′ long or close in size to
Smilodon Fatalis. Due to their shaggy appearance, I decided to try something different and gave them a grey
with black mottleing scheme. I’m thinking they might live in a mountain enviroment where their coat would allow them to
blend in with rocky terrain. Along with the Chariot sabre-tooths, I now have cats from Khurasan, Primaeval Designs, Mick Yarrow, and Splintered Light. I’ll have to review each individually and then do a Grand Kitty Review to compare all five brands. Image


Chariot Miniatures ‘Rhinosaurus'(Centrosaurus?)

I recently received a parcel from Magister Militum and one of the packs included was a set of four Chariot Miniatures’ “Rhinosaurus”.
As you can see from the photos, Rhinosaurus is depicted as a single-horned ceratopian dinosaur that looks very much like
one of the species of Centrosaurs, specifically Centrosaurus Nasicornis. Back in the old days, C.Nasicornis was known as
“Monoclonius”, but somewhere along the line was classified as a Centrosaur along with Styracosaurus, Einosaurus, Achelousa-
saurus, and Pachyrhinosaurus. Centrosaurus Nasicornis was a 5m/17′ beast which makes it not very big as far as dinosaurs are
concerned. The Chariot miniature measures out at 3.5cm making it a bit small at around 11′ in 15mm terms. Maybe these are juveniles
or females? The four castings in the bag are indentical, but this is no problem as they make a fine herd. They are also availble as with various lizard man riders and pulling a lizard man chariot.

I gave them a very
simple paint scheme-overall tan, a lighter underside, ivory horns and knobs, and a brown beak. Nothing fancy and they look
fine to me.


28mm Primaeval Designs’ Eryops

I’m an amiphibophile and have long been fascinated by the primitive amphibians of the Permian and early Triassic. I noticed
that Primaeval Designs had a pack of 6 Eryops in their 28mm range. What heresy is this? 28mm models on a 15mm blog, but don’t
worry, I found that these Eryops can serve as stand-ins for larger prehistoric amphibians. The living Eryops would have been about
1.5m/6′ in length, making a 28mm figurine about 2.8cm long (or 28mm duh). Actually the swimming Eryops figure is exactly 3cm in length.
while the version hauled up on the bank is about 2.5cm, though the tail is curved a bit. While of course these little guys
make great Eryops for 28mm games, I’ll be using my models as stand-ins for Mastodontosaurus, a larger Triassic amphibian with
pretty much the same toad/salamander hybrid form. The main distinguishing feature of Mastodontosaurus were that two of the
teeth in its lower jaw projected through slots in the upper jaw. Mastodontosaurus was 4 meters/13 feet long so in 15mm that
would work out to 4 cm in 1/100th scaleImageImage. In the pack you receive three waterline Eryops and three on land. Since the bases were nicely round
and flat, I opted not to base them and just covered the integral base in white glue and sand. For a color scheme I used a
newt for inspiration but ended up not overly happy with them, but I do like the orange dorsal stripe. Giant labyrinthodonts
would make nice guardian beasts for Deep One lairs.


Rebel Miniatures’ Deep Ones

A few weeks ago I featured Khurasan Miniatures’ Deep Ones on the Prehistoriczoo15, and today I’ll have a look at
Rebel Miniatures’ version of H.P. Lovecraft’s denizens of the deep. Rebel’s Deep Ones pack is appropriately part
of their growing Pulp Adventures range and contains 24 Deep Ones in 6 poses. Unlike Khurasan’s figures, four of
the figures are armed with javelins/spears and shields while remaining two are unarmed. Another difference with
the Khurasan offering is the prescence of a tail and a larger fin running down the creature’s back. The Khurasan
models also have a small fin on the back of each forearm, and this is absent from the Rebel Deep Ones. For me,
these differences are no problem and I happily mix the two lines together.Here is Lovecraft’s own description from “Shadows Over Innnsmouth:

“I think their predominant colour was a greyish-green, though they
had white bellies.  They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their
backs were scaly.  Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their
heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed.
At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws
webbed.  They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two
legs and sometimes on four.  I was somehow glad that they had no more than four

My only regret is that I did not bother examining my already finished Khurasan models before basing my Rebel figures.  It turns out that I used larger washers for the Khurasan Deep Ones due to slightly larger integral bases. This kept me from adding a tiny seashell here and there since I used smaller washers for the Rebel figures. Oh well.

One neat feature of the Rebel figures is that their arms are very bendy, allowing the poses to be varied and examples of this are included in the pics. I painted my Rebel Deep Ones to match my Khurasan figures. For the weapons I first considered painting the shields as natural shells and the spear-shafts wood, etc, but then I thought an ‘otherworldly’ look might be more interesting so I painted the shields and spearheads with weird colored metallic craft paints. The spear-shafts were painted blue (though the flash makes them look light blue, the are really darker), and the stone spearheads were painted a grey-green shade.

Rebel and Khurasan Deep Ones go well together and also match well with Khurasan’s Salamen. I’m considering getting myself more Salamen to paint as a different variety of Deep One (who knows what strange genetics might be involved with creatures that can mate outside of their species?). Another option would be to include a few of East Riding Miniatures frog folk for yet another variation of this strange alien race. Now I’m a little sad I never bought the Evil Gong 15mm fishmen.ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Magister Militum 10mm Iguanodon and Hadrosaurus

Another group of 10mm dinosaurs that spent several months waiting for a coat of paint. A pair of Hadrosaurs and a lone Iguandon. Both are Cretaceous herbivores that were discovered very early in the 19th Century wave of fossil discoveries. Hadrosaurus, “Trachodon” in the old Marx sets, is sometimes considered a dubious species since its missing much of its skeleton, including the skull. M.M. sculpted their Hadrosaurus with a traditional crest-less head. Based on the 35 fossilized bones, size is estimated at 7 meters/23′ and Magister Militum’s model is about 6 cm long making it 20 feet long when used with 15mm.

Iguanodon needs no introduction, being famous and one of the first-named dinos. The Magister Militum figure is also 6cm long so is a ‘mid-sized’ Iguanodon when added to the menagerie. There were several variants of Iguanodontids ranging in size from 5 meters/ 16 feet to 10 meters/ 35 feet long. These beasts were all rather similar in appearance.

To have a viable miniature eco-system you can’t have too many plant eaters. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

Magister Militum 10mm Therizinosaurus

I’ve had this model since November, but various distractions have kept me from painting it and posting about it on the Zoo. I commend Magister Militum for making a figure of such a strange beast. Therizinosaurs were a group of unusual theropods that first appear in the Early Cretaceous and lasted up until the end of the Mesozoic in Asia and North America. Unlike their carnivorous cousins, the Therizinosaurs were largely herbivorous and characterized by small, beaked heads, and large bellies to process all that plant matter. Their most distinctive feature are the Freddy Kruger-like scythe claws on their forelimbs. It has been speculated that these animals may have been too slow to outrun Tyrannosaurs and  the giant claws evolved as a defensive weapon. The largest of these animals was Therizisaurus itself which reach an estimated 10 meters/33 ft. Our model, even at 10mm size, still measures 7.5 cm which translates to 25 feet in 1/100th scale. It towers nicely over 15/18mm explorers. The comparison photos show Therizinosaurus next to a Blue Moon Manufacturing 15/18mm Victorian detective and a 15mm Primaeval Designs Tyrannosaurus Rex.ImageImageImageImage

15mm Primaeval Designs Allosaurus

Just before I was laid up in the hospital, I sent off an order for Primaeval Designs’ new 15mm Allosaurus. Big Al and I go way back and it was perhaps my favorite theropod when I was young. While T-Rex may be bigger and smarter, the more gracile Allosaurus always seemed more dangerous. Allosaurus looks like he might actually run you down.

For a paint scheme I went for a sun-dappled look. This was inspired by a couple of lizard photos I found online. The model measures 9cm long. At 1/100 that would make Primaeval Design’s offering about 29.5′ long. This makes our animal slightly longer than the average specimen of Allosaurus Fragilis (8.5m)-in other words perfectly acceptable. We have a big boy here!