Ankylosaurus Sculpture

By Melanie Richard
Billings, Montana

Micah is a life sized Ankylosaur for the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. I have made all their murals and sculptures except the dinosaur on the front of the building. Weather permitting I will complete Micah in sections, and transport them to the museum in late April where I will assemble him in place.

He is named after my youngest son.Art_sculpting_Prichard_02The face is carved out of a wood-like foam using wood carving tools. The feet are foam scraps.


The front of the body is being blocked out. One foot is covered in All Purpose Foam Coat. The details are then added with an air drying taxidermy clay that adheres to Foam Coat very well.


Front of body being foam coated and painted, other leg almost done.Art_sculpting_Prichard_07

 Another view of the face during painting. Taxidermy clay blends edges of foam coat and adds wrinkles and touch ups.
 I needed to make the dinosaur in small enough sections to fit through standard doors (my own) and be light enough to safely and easily carry up stairs since his home will be on the second floor of the museum. After drawing him out on graph paper to scale I divided the torso into four sections 2ft thick, four separate legs, the head, and two sections of tail. Art_sculpting_Prichard_16I left gaps without foam coat at all the seams for last minute adjustments. I painted most of him except for seams since he was going to be so large assembled and parts would be difficult to reach. Most of the belly was left uncovered as well, since I felt a continuous run of foam coat would be needed to give it strength.
 The whole thing was shipped in two van loads. The torso was stacked vertically on the platform, held together with spray foam between each layer, and all seams were foam coated, textured and painted. The next day the torso was tipped over (carefully) and hoisted up with straps and a come-along attached to ceiling supports.Art_sculpting_Prichard_20At this point legs were positioned and held in place by large wire “staples” and foam spray shot into the seams. After a night for the spray to harden the excess was trimmed and a skin of foam coat put on the seam and painted.Art_sculpting_Prichard_21The head and tail were supported and attached in the same way. Art_sculpting_Prichard_23All was left to cure and harden overnight, then one by one, starting with the lightest areas, the supports were removed. The platform is on casters so the entire dinosaur was moved out from under the chains and come-along so it would be safe as they were removed, then was rolled back into position.

  Final detailing was done and the platform was decorated. Total weight of foam coat was about 275 lbs., so total weight of dinosaur is probably 300 lbs.Art_sculpting_Prichard_27 Art_sculpting_Prichard_24Thanks for the interest and the great service.