Ya gotta love her!! Here is Sue at a Chicago museum.
By the time I finished reading the book about a T- Rex (Tyrannosaurus) named Sue, a true story btw, I felt sorry for the people in the story who worked so hard for “two years” digging her out of the mountain and going thru all that trouble of wrapping her up in burlap and plaster to keep her protected while in transit. Then when they just about finished with that, she was promptly confiscated and taken away from them because it was said that no one remembered to file for a 30 dollar permit to dig for fossils. Lawsuits were filed, but to no avail. Sue wound up sold at auction for just under 8 million dollars and is now on display in a Chicago museum.
More facts about Sue:
Sue is roughly between 40 and 45 feet long depending on how measured. Some say less, some say more. In any case she is the most articulated T-Rex fossil ever found because she was discovered with 90% of her bones (said to be “real” bones), intact.
Why was she named “Sue?”
Among the party of fossil hunters who discovered her was a paleontologist named Sue Hendrickson. It was she who noticed one of Sue’s bones protruding from a rocky ridge. The team felt it only right to name her after her discoverer, Sue Hendrickson.
Sue Hendrickson standing next to her find:
…the team hard at work:
Now you KNOW, I just had to make her!!! In full scale as well. Since Sue is depicted in a running stance, that worked out even better for me because it would naturally cut down on height as she is stooped over. In my estimation at the time, I guessed her height to be around 13 to 15 feet. All doable since also at the time, I had a home with a nice big yard, so her length wasn’t a problem, either.
I wanted to replicate her exactly as she was shown in the newspapers and the like. Maybe later, I would even decide to flesh her out, fully. Time would tell. First things first: I had to figure out how to make her so that she would be sturdy, durable and easily managed by me as I worked alone. The first material to use that popped into my head was “furring strips.” They are long, narrow pieces of wood (pine based) measuring roughly at 3/4 of an inch by 8 feet long, they’re lightweight and cut easily. Mostly, they are used as interior supports for other materials and hidden. But for me, they would do to start. I might overlay with something else later on once the whole thing was standing in front of me, so I could judge if more was needed.
This is the picture I would work from. It was in the New York Post
I decided to start with the head which was just shy of 5ft long. Fact: the real head weighed 600lbs!!
Hand carved her teeth (mostly at work during breaks). They ranged from 4in to 9in.
I noticed that I numbered each piece but am now wondering why? Maybe in case I had to take it apart for some reason? Hmmm…
Pieces had to be put together before I could make them stand. Below is just the tail section which is 21 feet long.
Here is the back end of T-Rex, standing. I actually don’t have enough room to back up so I could get all of her in one shot. Had to do it in two!
Here’s the rest of her.
Had to stand in my neighbors yard to get THIS shot (below)…too bad it’s not that great a pic., but best I could do, then. You know…the only way I could get this thing to stand was I had to attach a bunch of ropes to it, one rope every 3 or 4 feet or so along the entire length of the animal. Then I had to gather all of them up at once and slowly pull, keeping my eyes scanning up and down each section looking for the slightest sign of any separation or breakage. I finally breathed a huge sigh of relief once I saw that she was standing up, still fully intact. Wish I could’ve gotten a pic of me doing that, but no one home but me!! But I tell you, I was just so happy to have that part over with because now the real fun could start. Little did I know…
Sorry to say that I never finished her because one day while working on her, I had developed chest pains. I was dragged off to the hospital and wound up with two stents. I came home feeling great and ready to work on Sue. But to my shock and horror, she was GONE!!! My kids threw her away!!! Can you imagine that!!! I didn’t yell, I didn’t holler my head off at them (tho inside I was screaming), because I knew they did it to protect me. Till this day I STILL want to build her! …Sigh!
Aaah, but she was a magnificent animal!!!
Almost forgot about the Raptors, Velociraptor that is. I was gonna make a couple of them and in fact was also working on one of them outside my shop, built a hoist to hold him so I could turn him around more easily as I added stuff.
Poor guy, I threw him out after I found my T-Rex gone. No point in finishing him.