A surprising and welcome advertisement (right) appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of Prehistoric Times magazine. The Japanese company Master Fossil is set to re-release the fabulous skeleton models of Shigeru Yamazaki. Shigeru's work was originally released in the mid 1990's as very limited edition hand-cast resin kits by the KAIYODO company. The original kits are wonderful but were rare and expensive. They were also aimed at serious hobbyists as they were only available as unassembled raw cast parts.
Now Master Fossil is re-releasing these amazing models as fully-assembled sculptures complete with custom diorama mount and a wood base with brass nameplate. Fantastic!
The first model to be released is the Velociraptor skeleton, which is appropriate as it was the first skeleton model Shigeru made (back in about 1993). The prototype images (below) look awesome, although there are a few changes to the original sculpt: the dorsal (back) vertebrae and rib mounts seem to have been revised, there are new small uncinate processes added to the side of the ribcage, a furcula (wishbone) has been added, and the gastralia have been removed. For completeness, the gastralia and scleral rings (eye bones) should have been included, but these are very challenging parts to fabricate and are probably too delicate to mount in a production model like this, which is understandable. The new diorama mount of a Protoceratops skull is spectacular. Altogether this promises to be a fantastic opportunity for many collectors to obtain these rare and special Shigeru skeletons at long last.