Who makes it? Like previous 3D figures, this is a printed Shapeways model. This one is also by Prehistoric Creature Shop (I do have figures from others, they just haven’t come up yet) like the earlier Odontochelys.
When did it come out? I would have purchased it in early 2012, but it was probably on the site before then.
Still available? I checked, and yes it’s still on the site. That’s the nice thing about Shapeways and other 3D printing–as long as the file is there, the figures are still obtainable!
Where can it be found in my displays? On a shelf full of 3D printed models…none of which are painted, because I lack the confidence to trust myself with it…I should just dive in.
How does it fit in the collection? It’s a crazy, prehistoric lobefin fish. Of course I would need to get it–as a group Sarcopterygiians are not made often enough, prehistoric ones more so.
Any story behind it? Well, I knew the sculptor through the Dinosaur Toy Forum, he was a pretty early adopter with Shapeways. So I would follow his work. This fish was a must have, however, because of it’s appearance on Walking with Monsters, the BBC program that discussed prehistoric life before the dinosaurs (in fact, it ends in the early Triassic, and WwD starts in the late Triassic, so they line up nicely). I was a big fan, as was my son, so we knew we needed to represent what we could from the show!
Notable remarks about this figure (a review that isn’t really a review): First off, I really should paint these. The details don’t come out well in the photos because of the BLINDING WHITE of the plastic (I later learned that the greys, blues, and other colours were better for this. Not so much the black though). As a model, it’s pretty spot on. The dorsal fins might be a little pointy, but overall the lobes of the paired fins show well. It’s really nice that the lobes are presented as much thicker than the fin tissue, it really helps this stand out. The scales are nicely picked out and the face is clearly detailed. The design of the body is also nice, with a slight serpentine motion instead of just being a straight-arrow body.
Would I recommend it? I would. Like most 3D models, these aren’t really toys for the youngest kids, but older ‘kids’ or people making dioramas (or loading collection shelves) would appreciate them. As I said, fossil lobefins are not common as toys/models/figures, so this is a good one in a smaller size range. And if you (or someone you know) is more of a painter/modeler, getting this one done up nicely would be even better!