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Sunday, April 21, 2013

T-Rex Toy Skeleton Makeover

Here is an amazing T-Rex skeleton kit from Elenco / Gakken. It comes with the skeleton to assemble, a cool magazine/book, and several molds to make plaster fossil casts. It is really a great kit for kids, but I got this for the big kid (myself), because I was very impressed with the sculpt of this skeleton. I am a bit of a skeleton snob. My wife always laughs at the way Halloween drives me nuts.... I can't stand all of the badly proportioned skeletons! They get a pass if they are stylized, but many are clearly suppose to look real, but falls way short of the real anatomy. So I have a great appreciation when I see a really nice sculpt of any skeleton. This small T-Rex skeleton is really a work of art.

Here is a video showing how to easily apply paint, to make cheap plastic toys look like replicas. This technique can be applied to other toys, but isn't something that you'd do for toys that you play with.... since it's water based paint, the paint on the surface can be scrubbed off with a little force, even after coating it with a protective finishing spray. Oil based paint would be much more durable, but is a mess to deal with. So for a model, or something that you handle lightly, this is a really easy way to improve the toy/model:

Here is the finished model, using dry brush, wiped on/off, with acrylic black paint, and covered with Krylon Matte Finish spray. The base is a simple wood plaque from a craft store, with a hole drilled for the leg support, glued and stained. I'm very pleased with the results, it gave this great model the justice that it deserves. It turned it from a cheap looking toy, to a nice replica:

Elenco / Gakken Jr Scientist Tyrannosaurus Rex kit comes with the unpainted skeleton, magazine, and several molds & plaster for casting fake fossils. This is the small skeleton kit. Elenco also produces a HUGE T-Rex skeleton, which has wipes already and looks amazing, especially for the price. I will be doing something with that as soon as I get more time, stay tuned :)


  1. Very cool. I can't wait to order my kit and further texture it. I have a fish tank with garden snails and i think this is an awesome addition for them.

  2. Replies
    1. You can google it and find the kit. The painting process is shown in the video :)