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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Collect The Best with Carnegie Dinosaur Models

At age 6 or age 60, those with a serious passion for dinosaurs turn to Carnegie dinosaur models. 

The collection began in 1989 with the introduction of 17 dinosaur figurines from Safari Ltd., a Florida-based company. The company's owners worked with paleontologists from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History to make sure details on the models were technically correct. Since then, the company has added new or updated figurines to the line each year. Production of the collection ended in 2015.

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History houses the world's largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs, including the world's first specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex and an extremely rare juvenile Apatosaurus. The museum also boasts the third largest collection of mounted and displayed dinosaurs in the United States.

At first, the Carnegie models were cast in gray and covered with a base color of paint. Addition details were painted on by hand, but this resulted in a buildup of paint which obscured some of the sculptural details. Beginning in 1996, the dinosaur models were cast in the base color of the finished figurine. Details were hand-painted directly onto the model, allowing all the sculptural details to show through. Because the models are hand-painted, no two of the same figure are the same.

On most of the Carnegie dinosaur models, one inch is equivalent to 40 inches of the actual creature, or a 1:40 ratio. Smaller creatures may be built on a 1:10 ratio, and ratios of 1:25, 1:30, and 1:50 have also been used. The models range in size from three inches for the Dimetrodon to 24 inches for the original Diplodocus.

Over the years, several original models have been retired, and color schemes for some of the dinosaurs have been updated to reflect newer findings.

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