The "Flesh Crocodile" gets kit-ready...
Sarcosuchus Imperator was a piece created about a year ago which had a lot of research put into the pattern and was quite a difficult puzzle to realize. The challenge arose again when it came time to convert the original detailed sculpture into a buildable kit form.
The original Sarcosuchus was one who was built in a way that I'd never tried before. He had his rib bones that extended all the way underneath connecting to his chest bone and also incorporated stitching in the tail. His skull connected inwardly in order to capture the look behind his orbital bones and I went through many scraps of leather before getting him right.
I wanted to retain the model's overall detail which was my favorite part about the giant crocodile, but I didn't want the kit to become overwhelming. With so many small, wooden pieces that could be lost, require glue, not to mention the idea of hand-stitching suede chevrons underneath the caudal tail verts, (that I'd found was the only solution I had at the time for adding those important bones to the pattern) there had to be another answer.
I kept revising out different methods to simplify Sarco, but also keep him elegant as a model. His base was absolutely huge and needed to be scaled down. But it wasn't enough. The wooden base mimicks swamp water and motion when the model is placed over it, making it quite larger than the model itself. Even made smaller, it still needed breaking up in order to fit in a box as a kit. So the puzzle base idea came up again. The whole base would be re-designed to be held together with pegs or prop wooden grasses, which could be interchanged with wherever the builder would like to place them. The grass prop feature gave a new "set-like" feel to the swamp scene. In addition, there are even a few hidden swamp critters engraved around the murky waters for the builder to discover.
The wooden sections puzzle together nicely and the engraved areas sink down to allow the upper island pieces to fit well into them. Not wanting the builder to require glue or a needle and thread took a lot of modifications and effort, but it's great to find that this new version holds together rather well on its own and I'm happy with that. I think the folks who get to try this new croc kit will be too. Sarcosuchus is expected to be released in the near-future with the rest of the ancient ocean series. All you'll need is water. <3