Walmart Adventure Force Megasaur --> Dinky the T-Rex

While tagging along on a thrift store run (and suffering through the lack of air conditioning in this particular store – oog :frowning: ), I happened upon a big plastic dinosaur toy that I’d actually seen before in the local Walmart: an Adventure Force 11.5" Megasaur. I thought, “Hey, this could be DINKY!” and snatched it up.

The toy has some electric features – move the right claw/arm and the jaw opens, its eye-lights flash, and it emits a roar from the speaker in its backside. (Strange place for the roar to come from, but whatever.) The one I picked up, of course, had dead batteries, but that’s not a concern for my purposes.

This is a hard plastic toy, so it takes well to basic spray-on primer. Another bonus is that it’s just held together with Phillips-head screws (holes mostly on the right side, a couple holes hidden depending upon position of the right leg, and one screw under the jaw), so it was fairly easy to disassemble.

I disconnected the right claw from the spring-loaded mechanism, so I could position it freely. The jaw was attached to a tongue/lever piece that I removed, so I’d have some more space inside the cavity of the mouth. Once the thing was reassembled, I used putty to gap-fill the screw holes and speaker holes. (After the pic, I used some card to cover the battery cover hole in the front; the battery cover itself does not mesh well with the body. I built up a little putty around it, and textured that, but left a bare patch where I would paint it up as rusty metal, like part of the outer “skin” had eroded/broken away to reveal some of the rusty under-structure.)


Although my original plan was to have a sniper position inside the mouth, the jaw is a bit too narrow to accommodate Modiphius F:WW 30mm bases (let alone anything bigger). Also an issue is that even if I could squeeze a mini in there (way in the back), there’s the matter of wiggling it in and out past the teeth. I built up a platform out of scrap MDF pieces, and a spare Tehnolog/Robogear/Platformer base piece – using the socket on the base for a spot to plug in a Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard support gun piece. I may not practically be able to fit a sniper mini in there, but I can at least hint at the “sniper position” setup by having a big ol’ gun poking out. (But it’s removable for storage or repurposing.)

Actually attaching the jaw required a bit of work with some craft popsicle sticks, more scrap MDF, and some epoxy putty, so I could make the jaw open a lot wider than the original toy and make a plausible space for someone to be able to stand in there and look out. There would definitely be no more open-close jaw action at this point. It would be nice if I could lift the top of the head off for access to the sniper platform, but that would require a LOT of chopping up the toy, and I’m not sure it would pay off.


Painting Dinky involved just dry-brushing the grey primer with white craft paint, letting that dry, then covering it with a cheap craft “ivy green” acrylic paint. That mostly gave a look of definition to the scales. I then spattered and drizzled on some dirty grey mixes and patches of brown and orange to suggest rust, especially around any obvious seams in the toy, or other unnatural gaps. This is, after all, a representation of a representation of a dinosaur. I’m not trying to paint it to look like a living thing, in-universe.

The Dino D-Lite Motel sign is a prop made of foam board, foam-core illustration board, some plastic tubes from a broken “tangle toy,” a bead (for the bottom of the thermometer), wire (to hold the thermometer together), coffee stirrer sticks (support posts), and some plastic “letter board” letters I found at a thrift store. The chain link fence is made from plastic sprue frames from the same letter-board letter set, with some poly fabric mesh glued in for the chain links, and all spray-painted with Rustoleum red/brown primer, with a couple of Hirst Arts Castlemolds crates attached to help them stand up.

The sign isn’t actually attached to anything (or even self-standing – yet), but held up by positioning the dino’s arms to brace it. I figure I might try replacing the sign with other props or items so I can reuse the dino for other sites for a “road trip” campaign.


For the door in the side of Dinky, I pretty much just cheated. I used a Dremel cutting wheel to gouge out the frame of a door. Initially I traced it to a scrap of plastic I had that would make a decent door, but once I’d finished the outline, instead of popping out the plastic and then trying to figure out how to anchor and nestle a flat plastic door inside, I figured I’d just make it so the door is dino-textured. (Or, that is, leave the section in place, just with the newly-cut outline around it.) I used a bit of scrap coffee-stirrer stick to add the “GIFT SHOP” sign, and a bit of putty to add a scale/handle feature.

My gap-filling on the right side was a bit haphazard, but I tried to just roll with it, painting some rusty spots in the obvious depressions where the screw-holes were, supposing maybe it’ll pass for structural damage or such.

The platform and ramp pieces are separate, stand-alone pieces. That makes it easier to store (no need for an overall base to unify the whole thing), but also might give me some leeway on customization. At the very last, I have some choice in which way I have the stairs line up compared to the platform – or perhaps I can JUST have the stairs there, with no platform.

The stairs are Hirst Arts Castlemolds castings with coffee stirrer sticks for reinforcement and supports. The platform is made from a 2"x2" wafer tray (from a local surplus store), some scraps from a broken railway model set, and more poly mesh.


Wow! That looks really good. Next comes the motel, right? :stuck_out_tongue:

Actually, next I was going to do the “NOVAC” sign out front, and the office. :smiley: At that point, I can position all this at the edge of the table and we can just pretend there’s a motel past that table edge, and stage the fight outside. I’ve got a Poseidon store that I can put out there, with a bunch of workbench tables and such. (It could use some touch-up, though.)

Eventually I want to make the motel, as it holds a lot of nostalgia for me in the game. I’ll have to do the little out-buildings, too, and some more chain-link fence, eventually.