This series of dinosaur paper toys was designed for Twinkl in 2017, the set includes 10 models, including 4 smaller designs, the series was designed to scale in difficulty so children of different key stages would be able to build different dinosaurs.
The triceratops, stegosaurus and Ankylosaurus were designed to be simple paper crafts, with more rounded out and simplified edges to make construction quick and easy, where as the tyrannosaurus, spinosaurus and pterodactyl were more complex and featured more advanced paper engineering. A single page including three smaller paper toys, the archaeopteryx, deinonychus and Dunkleosteus bridge the gap by being simple toys, but on a smaller scale requiring more advanced hand to eye coadunation.
The series was designed in a single working week, which will sound impressive to fellow paper toy designers but was a pretty standard turnaround time for the workplace I was in.
You can find out more about this paper model series by watching the project overview video here.
This model is a 2 page template the main T-rex consist of 3 pieces and the model includes a smaller baby t-rex which was used to fill empty space on the templates page. The baby T-rex consists of 2 parts, a simple body encompassing a long strip with both the head and tail. This simple build allowed me to have differentiation between the arms at the front and the body, although leaves the inside of the leg untextured and exposed.
More than anything I wanted the large T-rex to feel chunky, and solid, deciding to go for simple prism style legs rather than anything more fancy and flimsy gave the model a wide frame and a solid footing. Designing theropods, or for that matter any animal that stands on 2 legs can be difficult and becomes a literal balancing act, especially a model like this, featuring a large and detailed head compared to a thin and light tail.
The head features a curved front which adds to the curved bottom jaw to round out the overall head shape instead of leaving it too angular. The jaw is created by folding the back of the head inside of itself to create the back of the mouth and then two folding sections at either side of a flat panel representing the bottom of the mouth. This meant that the whole bottom of the jaw was created with only a single tab and can be opened and closed.
The front of the T-rex’s feet extends outwards, making it easier to build and acts as a joining piece to extend the middle toe out from. Although not essential, I wanted to give the t-rex 3D toes, they helped balance the model by making the footprint and base larger but also help make the dinosaurs shape more identifiable. A t-rex without long extending toes just doesn’t look quite right.
The arms are a single extending flap which dangled out from the chest, which looks far more dynamic than just adding the texture of an arm to the body.
The skin texture uses minimal highlights and shading to give the illusion of depth and lighting where needed. The model was designed using a mouse rather than a tablet so shading had to be done using a mixture of layer effects and careful blurring.
Lastly, the tail has a bottom to it, which uses two small tabs to attach to the rest of the design. This section features two extending sections that help lock this piece in place.
This series of dinosaurs was a lot of fun to work on, mostly because dinosaurs are pretty cool.