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Need help with Orthocone sculpture

modelnut

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#1
Hello! Newbie here.

I was researching images of giant orthocones and came across Phil's thread and had to register!

The giant orthocone in Nigel Marvin's "Swimming with Sea Monsters" really caught my imagination. I have wanted to sculpt the beast ever since. So far I have the conical shell complete at 26cm. Since the finished model is intended to be 35th scale that makes it less than the suggested greatest size of 11 meters. (I may lengthen the shell or not. It is a good size for the base it will sit on.)

I have the image from Phil's thread:

I have this also:

It is from the bottom of this page: http://bestiarium.kryptozoologie.net/artikel/2007/09/

What I need to know is what this animals tentacles were like.
The DVD suggested that suckers hadn't evolved in the Ordovician so what gave the animal its grip?
A rough gripping callous? Claws?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. :grin:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In the meantime . . .

I have a sculpture that you might find interesting. If you have heard of the Speculative Dinosaur Project you may know about their baleen squid. In the Spec dimension, the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed. So life on that world did not turn out the way it did here. Mammals never took over so whales never evolved. Squid diversified and took their place. I got excited about the idea and sculpted one: http://groups.msn.com/ModelersAndHobbyForum/modeltsar.msnw?Page=1

I don't know why, but squids and octopi fascinate me. :sink:

Thank you!
-Leelan
 

monty

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#2
:welcome: I don't know why either, but squids and octopuses fascinate most of us, too!

I bet we'd all love to know what adorned the tentacles of ancient ammonoids and nautiloids, but the honest answer is that we have no idea... there's some evidence that the ancestral form had 10 appendages, since all living cephs start development with 10 buds on the embryo. Nautilus is the only example we have of a nautiloid, and its tentacles split into a large number (40-ish, IIRC) of tentacles that look relatively plain, but have some sticky and rough parts for traction, but no suckers. I think it's quite a stretch to say that nautilus is representative of the ancestral forms, though: as the sole survivor of the lineage through a number of extinctions and radiations, it quite likely has very different traits than some of its ancestors.

I picture the early shelled cephs as only needing fairly straightforward arms, since their ability to move in 3-d really gave them an advantage in that they could swoop down and scoop up trilobites, who didn't really have any obvious way to apply leverage to escape once they were lifted off the ground... but that's purely hypothetical: if they had feeding tentacles with suction cups like modern squids and cuttles, that would also have worked fine, I just see those as probably a later development in coleoids, which is somewhat backed up by the 10 identical hooked arms seen in fossil belemnites. But, for reasons we don't really know, no one has ever found a well-preserved impression of the soft body parts of any ammonoid our nautiloid.
 

Sordes

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#6
The model is really great, I also love the speculative Dinosaur project and already linked some pages about the cephalopods somewhere in the forum. I actually registered very late that I know two of the specworld creators since a longer time.
 

modelnut

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#8
Thank you for your warm welcome and kind words!

Spent yesterday adding a bit more length to the cameroceras' cone. I was using the measurements I found in the book, "Swimming with Sea Monsters". They had the shell a bit shorter than the 11 meters I found online. No worries. The project isn't on any time schedule. I am only doing it because I want to. :cyclops:

I will look around a bit to see what I might reasonably populate the base with (sponges, a few trilobites, who knows?) It should be enough to make it interesting without attracting attention away from the model.

Any idea how long it took cameroceras to get so large? How lived-in should the shell appear? Should there be a few barnacles?

How about algal growth? The shell is as long as a minisub and never leaves the water. The animal can't groom or clean its shell --- its arms aren't long enough. So what sort of grime should be present and how much is reasonable?

The project is weeks away from replicating that grime. But I think about those things . . . :read:

-Leelan
 

modelnut

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#9
Sordes!

Love your work, man! :shock: Very well done!

This one reminds me of a book by Eric Flint, Mother of Demons : http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Demons-Eric-Flint/dp/067187800X/ref=sr_1_43?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1209054925&sr=1-43



Humans try to colonize a distant planet only to find an intelligent species already in charge --- intelligent terrestrial cephalopods!

Very professional! Maybe someday I will be as good. Just have to keep at it. :banghead:

Here is another that I have done: http://starshipmodeler.org/gallery6/ll_basil.htm
It isn't a cephalopod but it probably ate them.

Going to do more research now. Check with you all later!

-Leelan
 

Sordes

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#10
At the base of my last model I did spend a lot of time sculpting little sponges, coralls and old shells of dead orthocones, but unpainted it still looks a bit boring. The orthocone shells I saw in the paleontological collection in Tübingen had all a very smooth surface without any signs of additional growth. But I don´t know how the shells of the very large ones looked. But given the fact that even modern giant and colossal squid live only for some years, it could be that those ancient giant grew also very fast, and their shells looked even at the end of their lifes very "proper", similar to nautilus shells.
 

Sordes

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#11
The basilosaurus model is really great, I know it already since a long time. It would be really great as a model kit. I wanted to sculpt a Basilosaurus too, but it turned out that there are many many problems, because there are many problems with the references of the skull but also with the whole body. It seems that many skeleton pictures are not correct, and actually too short. Furthermore it is very difficult to decide how it looked, because it looks completely different if you choose a skinny look or a more modern look with blubber, so that you don´t see a true neck. One of my problems with Basilosaurus is also the fact that its head is so small. You have a make a really big model to show the details, but in general my models are only very small, the giant orthocone is one of the few exceptions. One of my very first sculptures I did with this medium two years ago was some kind of Basilosaurus with a length of about 6cm (you can see it in the thread about my models), and it was really a lot of work. But at the end it turned out, that there are several errors with it, including the neck which is too long and the rest of the body which is too short. But well, it works probably if you don´t see it as Basilosaurus but Prozeuglodon.
 

modelnut

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#12
Yeah. References are pretty scarce for the kind of models we like. I found a great article in National Geographic and a few other illustrations of basilosaurus skulls. And I used images from the DVD "Walking with Prehistoric Beasts" which is to blame for my sculpture in the first place. :sagrin:
I took the rerences I had and looked at modern whales and used my common sense for the rest. Turned out pretty good. It won the approval of a local paleontologist and ancient whale expert here in Georgia. He had pictures of my sculpture put in his museum.

I had tried to turn my whale into a kit. Sold two. Lost so much money that I will never do that again. :tomato:

-Leelan
 

Architeuthoceras

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#15
modelnut;116133 said:
Why do so many museum dioramas show orthocones sitting on the sea bed? http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/ordovician/ordolife.html
Surely they couldn't grow so big so fast if all they could do was lay there like a lump and hope food would come by.

-Leelan
I have a feeling it is a support issue, it may be that the artist just didnt want any wires hanging from the ceiling or coming up from the floor.:nautiloi:
 

Sordes

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#16
I have also a printed picture of the BBC-Basilosaurus I wanted to use as reference, but I realized early enough, that it has a lot of errors. Its teeth are also completely false (okay, this is not important for a small model, but the accuracy of the documentation). I even started a metre-long papermache model, but I never finished it.
Finding good references of orthocones is really not very easy. The BBC-Orthocone looks indeed very cool, but I have my doubts that they really looked so, especially with the "hood". I could also imagine that their eyes were lesser primitive. But I also highly dislike this strange but very common reconstructions which shows orthocones with this bulbous head. I really can´t imagine that this was their natural appearance, it looks just too stupid. And then there´s the aptychus-problem, but I completely ignored it, because it can turn you crazy (it is possible that 99,9% of all nautiloid reconstructions are very very false). When I was in Vienna last year, I made some photos of partly very nice reconstructions: http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/7646/
In the thread about the photos I made in Tübingen, there are also some photos of orthocone fossils. Some of them once belonged to really gigantic specimens: http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/6543/page-2
 

modelnut

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#17
Sordes, how did you sculpt that incredible skin texture on your models?

The only time I got anything like that I sculpted my animal and sprayed faux stone on the model for texture. I could do this again but there is not much control in this method.

-Leelan
 

Sordes

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#18
Well, this is a skin texture you will never be able to sculpt with a tool...I made a sculpey die witht the negative impression of a dried starfish with a very interesting surface structure and used it to transfer it on the model. But it was really not easy and a lot of work. I also sculpted last week a new model in a comparable unusual reconstructive way, will post photos later.
 

modelnut

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#19
Neat!

Reminds me of a story from Babylon 5. One of the CGI FX artists were designing ships for the Shadows when he looked over at his dog. He said something like, "Aha!!!" and scanned his dog's nose. That scan became the texture for the Shadow's main battle ship.

The story might not be true but if it isn't, it should be. :sagrin:

I might go to my local craft store to check out their starfish. Or I may just go with faux stone.

-Leelan :sink:
 

monty

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#20
modelnut;117638 said:
Neat!

Reminds me of a story from Babylon 5. One of the CGI FX artists were designing ships for the Shadows when he looked over at his dog. He said something like, "Aha!!!" and scanned his dog's nose. That scan became the texture for the Shadow's main battle ship.

The story might not be true but if it isn't, it should be. :sagrin:

I might go to my local craft store to check out their starfish. Or I may just go with faux stone.

-Leelan :sink:
I don't know about that, but I'm almost positive that the moving textures on the Vorlons were either initially a bug, or were at least inspired by a bug... it's exactly what happens when your 3-d/solid texture isn't transformed along with the object it matches... a very common problem for student projects in a computer graphics class!
 

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