September 28, 2023

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.

The FLEGO Spinosaurus I ordered from AliExpress.

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.

The paint colors I used in my FLEGO Spinosaurus repaint.

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.

I used five coats of steel grey as the base color in my FLEGO Spinosaurus repaint.

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,


My FLEGO Spinosaurus repainted

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