For this dinosaur project I went back in time. No, not prehistoric time, but my time growing up because for me this creation is a blast from the past. As a kid my younger brother really loved to play with dinosaurs and sometimes I would play with him. My prehistoric pets of choice though were those ones that were not carnivores (i.e. ones without the big, ugly teeth). So, that meant the very gruesome Tyrannosaurus was off my list as a potential candidate for this project.
In the beginning I thought it would be a great idea to make the dinosaurs’ sizes as accurate as possible, but that notion soon vanished when I realized that if I was true to scale the finished pieces would not fit onto my cake pedestal. At that point I decided I could take some leeway when it came to the sizing of everything. I am grateful to my wonderful husband because he reassured me that after all, it is only a fantasy project, and I am sure you will agree that he is correct. Even if he was wrong, no matter how much I might have tried, at some point I would no doubt in the end not have something match up size wise.
If however you feel the need to portray the size of your dinosaurs accurately, then by all means do an Internet search “comparing the dinosaurs of your choice” to help assist you in your effort. To see how much space you will need to complete your project make paper patterns. This will give you an idea beforehand if you are on the right path and will eliminate any unpleasant surprises that could occur should your pieces not fit onto your cake and/or cake stand.
Ultimately I ended up picking three dinosaurs for my piece: a Brontosaurus (aka Apatosaurus), a Pterandon (including her nest with eggs and a baby), and a Triceratops. Although this it is not my normal type of gumpasting project (I usually like to make fluffy, feminine pieces), I am still quite happy with this plunge into prehistory.
One of the challenging things about this project for me was creating the plants. I really think it needed some “green” color to make it look more realistic, but there were not a lot of plant choices during that period of time and many had intricate leaves. I did my very best to duplicate the look of the plants I chose to use and am pleased with the results. I hope you are too.
Since dinosaurs are quite often depicted in shades of some type of gray, you will want the coloring of your ground, mountain slopes and rocks to show off the dinosaurs (as well as the plants). I found that terracotta petal dust along with a touch of several shades of brown did the trick because that brought out the shadows and details.
While deciding on how to make my plants I looked at a prehistoric plant chart that showed the plant kingdom back then and to my delight many plants had flower heads that resemble the shapes of several different commercially-made artificial stamens that are available out there. I am happy to pass along this information to visitors of this site because anything that can make a project go more smoothly and quickly is a big bonus in my book.
If you are interested in learning how I made the water and waterfall I have written another article: Using Piping Gel For Water and Waterfalls.