Twitter may be an increasingly weird and creaky platform, but it’s still the only place on the internet where you’ll find Warhammer 40k authors attempting to ID a toy dinosaur used in an advert by PETA. When I saw the exchange between Black Library authors Robert Rath and Nate Crowley it was obvious they were dino-toy connoisseurs, and I had to ask them for their recommendations.
Rath and Crowley are relatively recent Warhammer 40k book authors, so in case you’re not familiar with their work, I’ll introduce their main books. Rath’s ‘Assassinorum: Kingmaker’ is packed with psychopathic Assassins and egotistic Imperial Knights (and those are just the protagonists), while ‘The Infinite and the Divine’ follows a Necron feud that lasts for 10,000 years and nearly ends the galaxy.
Crowley’s ‘Twice Dead King’ captures both the humor and horror of Necron unlife perfectly, and ‘Ghazghkull Thraka: Prophet of the Waaagh!’ manages to make the Orks both more understandable and more alien at the same time.
In case it’s not obvious, I recommend all those books highly. But Rath and Crowley aren’t just great authors: they know their stuff when it comes to toy dinosaurs.
“Historically, a German firm called Schleich had the market for realistic dinosaur figurines cornered, and they remain pretty great,” Crowley says, adding “French manufacturer Papo are really giving them a run for their money these days”.
“The poses are dynamic, the skin textures are extraordinary (if lacking in down), and the colors are superb – this acrocanthosaurus really makes me think of Ricardo Delgado’s incredible Age Of Reptiles comics.”
Crowley gives an honorable mention to Jacksons, which makes a range of just eight dinosaurs for the British Natural History Museum “they’re well detailed and up-to-date; I think they’re the only company that sells a feathered t-rex”.
Rath concurs: “Totally agree, and also add that I regularly ogle the Beasts of the Mesozoic line—which are articulated and posable—though they tend to be on the pricey side.”
Is it any surprise that two Warhammer 40k authors are massive dinosaur fans? A love of enormous brutes is well catered for in the hobby: editor Alex is absolutely stoked about painting the latest Seraphon miniatures, which take Contrast paint like absolute champions and feature feathered dinosaurs (as they should).