Tupuxuara: details, details

I could consider the skull finished. It’s light (about 100 grams) and it took me less than two full days. That makes it the cheapest of the five pterosaurs so far. But this time I have very good fossil images so I will invest time into making it as detailed as possible.

Today I worked on improving the structure of the skull, filling gaps, giving volume to flat layers, molding and shaping. I also worked on the texture of the crest to make it look a bit like veins. I marked inset lines by pressing the foam and formed outset lines by pasting some thin strips of foam along the crest. Then I slightly melted the foam with a lighter, letting it burn away some of the width of the crest while giving it a realistic look. I also pasted extra foam to the edges of orbits and lacrimal cavities so I could mold them better.


This is the a side view of the skull. You can see the mandible joint has a different colour. That’s because I coated it with epoxi resin (it needs to have a stronger surface in order to offer stable support to the mandible).


This is the other side of the skull showing the temporal aperture.


There is still a lot of work to be done in the back of the head (occipital bone). I started adding some strips of foam to model bones and cavities according to the fossil images.


Then I added a bunch of minor details by pressing, cutting, burning. I tried to shape it so it resembles the fossil image as much as possible. Of course there are many limitations. My sources are still just photos. I don’t have access to any 3D models (not even digital ones). That means I may be deceived by some stain that looks like a shadow or miss the information given by some shadow that I overlook as a stain. I have two photos of the occipital area in two very similar angles. The lighting is reasonable, but could be better.

details_back_palate details_back

This is what it looks like on the inside. I have no photos of the head from the inside, so I based my speculation on the effect the outer structure (which I know from photos) would cause on the inside and from what I infer from other animals: round concave cases for the eyeballs, for example. This is the imaginary part of this pterosaur.


So here are some photos os the Tupuxuara so far. Except for the mandible and the details inside the skull, all the rest is based on photographs of an actual fossil.



Tomorrow I will finish it with a coating of acrylic resin, sand it a bit and add some stains.



Filed under Pterosaur #5: Tupuxuara

2 responses to “Tupuxuara: details, details

  1. Pingback: Pterosaur #5: Tupuxuara leonardii | The Imaginary Pterosaur

  2. Pingback: Making of a Tupuxuara | The Imaginary Pterosaur

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