So this one is a bitter of a bittersweet one for me. I think it’s a fantastic model, but it does remind me that it is the last model made with Brandon Demoss for the FaunaFiguresFishes series, this one specifically as a joint with Brandon’s Obscurus line. And was done in my last year of running the online store. But to go out on such a dynamic and fantastic model? This Protosphyraena is a great way to do it.
The funny thing is that we were discussing ‘the next figure’ after the completion of the Ornate bichir figure that had been completed in summer 2018. I had (well, still have) a long list of species that I had been hoping to carry into, including a number of prehistoric species. We had moved into single-figure releases instead of the regional trios that we started with, so it felt like it might be fun to go with a fossil taxon. When I mentioned this to Brandon, I’d made a couple of suggestions, including Mawsonia, Panderichthys, Rhizodus and of course Protosphyraena. As it turns out, Brandon had been developing a design for Protosphyraena already, so the choice was easy! Based on the smoother pectoral fin, it is probably meant to be Protosphyraena nitida.
So the style of the fish was as a breaching or leaping predator, indicating the fast and powerful fish this animal probably was. The deep curve in the body with the fins trailing out makes it look like the animal is moving at real speed. The sculpting on the base uses a different resin, one that is more translucent with white highlights, to really emphasize the movement of the water. Even the raised dorsal is meant to reflect an species like a marlin or sailfish, on full display as it clears the water. This is also where the colour pattern comes from, kind of a merging of marlin and mahi-mahi, both of which are known for their ability to leap out of the water. The glossy finish gives the fish a wet shine–and just by luck, some of it ran just a little, making it look like a few drops of water are coming off of the trailing pelvic fins.
Unfortunately, my partnership with Brandon appears to have ended, so that makes this the last figure from that venture. I also don’t know if Brandon is still making more models for his own Obscurus line for that matter. For those who are wondering, there are a few still available out there–I have a few still left over. For now they will stay safely in storage, but I am sure I will find homes for them at some point. There are not enough prehistoric fish figures, so I was happy to try and get one more out there. Occasionally we see more, but rarely fossil bony fishes (considering it took this long to get Xiphactinus, one of the most famous fossil bony fishes). Hopefully I can help round out a few more collections still, until we see other ones become available. Other than what I have, I don’t think there will be many others out there to find!