Jurassic Park is my favorite movie of all time, and 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the film. To celebrate, I recently hosted Jurassic Week here at True North Bricks. One of the featured articles took a look at a fake LEGO® Spinosaurus I ordered from AliExpress. Say what you will about Jurassic Park 3, the Spinosaurus in that movie was awesome. However, the LEGO® Group has never released a proper Spinosaurus figurine (no, the 2001 set does not count). My LEGO® dinosaur collection feels incomplete without one. So, I resorted to ordering a LEGO®-compatible figurine. Sadly, it was pretty ugly, so I decided to give my FLEGO Spinosaurus a repaint.
Before we delve to far into this article, I am not a professional re-painter of action figures. I watched one or two YouTube videos by people way more experienced than me. Incidentally, I probably did not undertake this project in the best possible way, and I might not have used the proper paints. I used what I had and what I could get my hands on quickly. So, my FLEGO Spinosaurus repaint project used multi-surface acrylic paints and Sharpie paint markers. Additionally, I sealed everything a UV-resistant clear acrylic coating. Plastic model paints probably work better, but I’ve never tried them myself. You can also get pretty fancy with airbrush set-ups… but I don’t plan to paint very many of these, so I decided to keep the cost down.
Stills of the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park 3 that show its color are hard to find.
I tried to find clear images of the Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park 3 as reference. Stills from the actual film do not really show its coloration very well though. Alternatively, I found images from Camp Cretaceous, Jurassic World Evolution, and the Mattel Jurassic World toys more useful. I didn’t aim to copy any one design. Instead, I went for a general look and coloration based on multiple sources. I also rewatched Jurassic Park 3 and tried paying attention to closeups of the Spinosaurus in action.
With my source material researched, I took apart my FLEGO Spinosaurus for the repaint. Firstly, I washed it. Apparently toy manufacturers apply a light grease coat to their toys to help with articulation and such. You want to make sure that is gone, along with any other dirt and scuffs. I started by painting the whole thing steel grey. It took five coats to completely hide all the original coloring. After letting it dry, I used painter’s tape to cover the lower half of the torso and tail, as well as any other areas I wanted to leave steel grey. Give your model a lot of drying time before taping it up. I’d wait a full day or two. The paint bottles say its dry in two hours… but my tape peeled off a little paint and I had to retouch areas.
Give lots of drying time before you tape up your model for detailing.
With my tape in place, I painted the upper half of the model with medium grey paint. I did the same for the outer surface of the legs and the arms. I applied four coats. Afterwards, I began detailing. Most of that was in French Wine color (dark red). The Spinosaurus’ dorsal fin is mostly red, as its upper back and tail. Additionally, I painted much of the top of the head and interior of the mouth in this color. Since I wanted to preserve the steel grey on the skull, I used a very fine brush for the side detailing, The red coloring was also four coats.
Once the red dried, I used a sponge to speckle the base of the dorsal fin, upper back, and upper legs. Firstly, I speckled these areas with steel grey. Once dry, I speckled them again with medium grey. Finally, after drying I speckled the areas once more with French Wine red. While these areas were drying between coats, I also applied Vintage White coloration to the teeth and claws. I used four coats in those areas with a very fine brush. The teeth were a bit tedious…
I used Sharpie paint markers for fine line details.
In Jurassic Park 3, the Spinosaurus has white lateral lines and faint blue patterning. I added these using Sharpie paint markers. I tried with the fine brush, but the lines were simply not crisp enough for my liking. Even the marker is boarder line since my hands are a bit shaky with the fine detailing. Additionally, I used the Sharpie markers for the eyes and surrounding area. Finally, I striped the legs a little with a paint marker as well. I did three coats with the markers. Subsequently, I let the figurine dry for two full days before spraying the whole thing with three coats of UV-resistant clear acrylic coating.
In the end, my FLEGO Spinosaurus repaint job is not perfect. However, I think it looks nicer than the original. Certainly, I like the eyes more now. The Spinosaurus had beady, green eyes in the movie, not those horrendously large yellow things from the original figurine. If I was to do it again, I might not speckle it with the sponge. It would match the official LEGO® dinosaurs better with only crisp lines everywhere. Painting on scutes in red might work better. I think I’d also leave off the leg striping. But, I am happy enough with my Spinosaurus until the day the LEGO® Group actually produces one. What do you think? Have you tried repainting a FLEGO dinosaur before? Or will you try now? Let me know in the comments or reach out on social media.
Until next time,
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