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T-rex model by Melody Smith

Polymer pieces

I made these teeth, claws, t-rex feet and stegosaurus spikes from oven hardening polymer (Fimo, Sculpey etc.). You could use pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and/or sliced almonds for the teeth, claws and spikes.


The body is a crème egg sized polystyrene egg. The thighs are a smaller one cut in half. The head is the same but cut so that the top of the head is slightly bigger than the jaw. Bendy rollers will be used for the neck and tail.

placing teeth

Cover the inside of the head (top and bottom) with PVA glue and red tissue paper. Make a hole for each tooth and glue it in place (pine nuts or slivers of sliced almonds will do).

stage 4 - wiring legs

Pierce the thighs with the wires on the feet.

stage 5 - body

Pierce the body with two pieces of wire as in the picture.

stage 6 - tail

Place a bendy roller on the tail end and fix as shown. Pull the wire tight and make a ‘knot’ at the narrow end to tension tail.

stage 7 -tail
stage 8 tail

Working on head and neck:

stage 9 neck

Cut slots in a shortened piece of bendy roller and slip onto the neck wire so that slotted end opens out over the narrow end of the egg.

stage 10

Make two pieces of wire as shown ready to join head and jaw.

stage 11  hinged jaw

On each side of the head, pierce head with wire as shown, and put jaw on the two remaining wire pieces in the same way.

stage 12 -neck hinge

Thread neck wire through the two hoops at the back of the head and wrap around to secure.

stage 13

stage 13 -  attaching legs

stage 13

Use the end of a bendy roller and a piece of foam as a ‘washer’, to attach thigh onto body as shown. Pull wire to tension and repeat with the other end of the wire through the other thigh.

stage 14 arms

Make  ‘arms’ in wire as shown and pierce into chest on body.

stage 14 before arms
stage 14 with arms

Soften the plasticine, blending chosen colours together. Roll out and cover model in sections, carefully smoothing over joins. Add features such as eyes and nostrils.

When animating the model keep an eye out for any cracks which develop through excessive bending and finger prints. Smooth over as needed.

completed model
This framework can also be used for the base of similar animal shapes such as rabbits or kangaroos.