Papo Archaeopteryx Model Reviewed
Papo, the French based figure and model manufacturer have introduced into their dinosaur model range a replica of Archaeopteryx ( Archaeopteryx lithographica ), a bird whose fossils have been found in the fine-grained, famous limestone strata associated with Solnhofen in southern Germany.
When Archaeopteryx was formally named and described back in 1861, this was just two years after the first publication of the "Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin, the book that introduced the world the concepts of natural selection and the evolution of life. Here was a bird-like creature with feathers and a wishbone, but the animal also retained features that betrayed its reptilian ancestry. The magpie sized creature had teeth and a long tail, just like a small Theropod dinosaur. The discovery of Archaeopteryx was heralded as evidence in support of Darwin's theories and it has been described as a transitional fossil.
Brightly Colored Replica
It is fitting that such an important bird from the fossil record should be included in a prehistoric animal model range. Ironically, this is the first prehistoric bird figure attempted by Papo and it does differ from the company's other sculpts, in that it is very brightly painted. Papo tend to use just one or two main colors to paint their models and figures, but in the case of the Papo Archaeopteryx the design team have opted to give their "dino-bird" feathers that are painted bronze, light gray and even white. Other feathers are painted a stunning azure blue color, making this figure a very colorful replica indeed.
Fine Details on Archaeopteryx
There is a lot of fine detailing to be seen on the figure. The mouth is posed in the open position and individual teeth in the tiny jaws have been carefully painted. There is even a crest of brightly painted red feathers on the top of the animal's head. This gives the impression that this Upper Jurassic specimen is wearing a swimming cap. The three-fingered hands, with their sharply curved claws, can be seen on the model and the sculpting team have done a lot of research to ensure that their figure is the known fossil material.
Approximately 1: 5 Scale Replica
As the model measures a little under thirteen centimetres in length and the head is about seven centimetres off the ground, it has been estimated that this figure is in approximately 1: 5 model scale. This calculation is based on the assumption that this Jurassic bird was indeed about the size of a magpie.
All in all, this is an excellent figure and one of the most accurate and reasonably priced Archaeopteryx models currently available. Highly recommended for homeschoolers, teachers and for dinosaur model fans.