A long time ago (in 2012, no less), I showed some of my collection of 28mm Prehistoric animals: the Megafauna. Not all mammals from prehistory are so big, though! I also have a reasonable collection of smaller creatures that I'd like to record and publish. Since there are really too many of them for a single article, I thought that I'd start with the subgroup of herbivores. Even though these would have been numerous in real life, I find than I don't have many such models, so this might be quite a short post.
As with the Megafauna article, I've included a figure of a 28mm Neanderthal hunter, for scale purposes. Note however that most of these creatures were removed a very long way in time and space from such a hunter. They'd only meet in some strange, Hollywood-inspired Lost World setting for a game - and who would ever have the imagination to do that?! Something like this, perhaps?
Diprotodon is (roughly speaking) a giant wombat. They were the largest marsupial ever to have lived. Diprotodons lived in Australia and died out maybe 46,000 years ago. I suppose that contact with very early humans was just about possible, though I'm not an anthropologist and don't know this with any certainty.
Actually, this model must be either a female or an immature youngster. The fully-grown male would have been 3m (9.8 ft) long and have weighed 2.7 tons.
The model is (I think) from Mega Miniatures. Although it was sold as a 25/28mm model, I can't help wondering if the sculptor intended it to match 15mm figures instead.
Chalicotheres are very strange-looking animals. They were widespread across Europe, Asia and Africa for many millions of years. Sadly for our Neanderthal hunter, Chalicotheres seem to have died out about 3.6 million years ago; that's long before any humans were around!
Once again, this is a Mega Miniatures model and (like the Diprotodon) it's about half the size that it should be! A fully-grown Chalicothere stood around 2.5m (8 ft) tall at the shoulders, whereas this creature is no higher than the man.
Doedicurus is one of the best-known Glyptodonts; it ranged across the Americas (North and South) and finally became extinct about 11,000 years ago. This puts it very definitely in the period for early humans, though it wouldn't have met our Neanderthal (he's a European, after all).
Guess what? This is from Mega Miniatures and it's a lot smaller than it should be for a 28mm model! An adult Doedicurus could reach about 4m (12 ft) in length, so once again this figure would make more sense with 15mm humans.
Horses have been growing bigger for many millions of years, from the very small ancestors such as Eohippus (60cm / 2 ft long) to our current animals. The prehistoric species differed mainly from modern horses in being smaller and in having separate toes rather than fused hooves (but who's going to notice that or care in such a small model). However, the basic form of the animal remained similar, whatever the size of the species.
This being so, I decided to create my Miohippus herd by using models that were designed for 15mm. Rather than using 15mm horse figures, I chose to use donkeys - though zebras or wild asses would probably have a more accurate body shape. Still, these are good enough for me, especially when painted with a spotted coat. I think the models came fro Lancashire Games, but I could be mistaken about that.
Miohippus lived in North America and died out about 25 million years ago, so once again our hunter is completely anachronistic!
Now here's a real oddity! Dodos were flightless birds that lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean until they encountered modern European sailors; they were last seen in 1662 (the dodos, that is - not the Dutch and Portuguese sailors). Once again, our poor hunter wouldn't have encountered dodos, if only because they existed in such an isolated location.
Unlike the earlier models in this article, these figures are too large. A dodo should be about 1m (3.3 ft) tall, whereas these birds are much bigger than that. The sculpts also have a rather strange body shape and are missing the very distinctive upright plume of tail feathers. Still, I don't know of any other dodo models in this scale, so I'm quite happy to have a small flock!
These dodos are from Black Cat Bases, home of some of the most intriguing and bizarre miniatures on the internet!
If you exclude dinosaurs, there aren't many models of the smaller (i.e. less than a mammoth or wooly rhinoceros) prehistoric herbivores in any scale, though most of those which do exist are scaled for 28mm figures.
Here are some herbivores that I don't have (yet!) and which I believe to be still available:
- Steve Barber Models make an alternate Diprotodon and the unusual Macrauchenia
- Eureka Miniatures make a herd of Aurochs.
As ever, the best source of information on this subject is Steve Pugh's Very True Things site, which is an absolutely invaluable resource!