Diplodocus Enjoys a Dino-Mite Makeover

TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015

PITTSBURGH--Being extinct is no excuse for not looking one's best.

Thus, Diplodocus carnegii"Dippy the Dinosaur," to his friends at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History—has just completed the mother of all makeovers.

In a behemoth effort befitting his size, the fiberglass replica of the 154 million-year-old beast has just been transformed (in his own words) "from ragged statue to sparkling icon."

Dippy kept fans abreast of the project via his Facebook Page, where all details and more photos are available.

The job was completed Friday (June 12), Dippy announced joyfully.

Skin Deep

While perhaps less fatal than, say, meteors, Pittsburgh's climate has been none too kind to the sauropod.

“Sixteen years of Pittsburgh weather had taken its toll: Dippy was not only affected by freeze-thaw, but he had a ‘sunburn’—UV light and heat had begun to damage the coating,” the museum said in an announcement on the restoration.

His skin looked like it was shedding, said Gretchen Anderson, the conservator at the museum. Entire chunks of his fiberglass coat had broken off, and new scales had to be created by hand.

Dippy DippyClaw

The project, which lasted several weeks, included repairs to Dippy's peeling skin.

Anderson enlisted Lucas Markantone & Associates, of Pittsburgh, to help freshen the dinosaur’s weathered appearance.

Dino Details

In addition to cleaning and painting, the work included removing an anti-graffiti coating, repairing cracks, and adding decorative etching, Ken Wolf of Markantone & Associates told a local CBS television outlet.

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries Inc. donated seven gallons of PSX 700, a high-performance siloxane-epoxy coating, for the project.

painting Dippy

Pittsburgh-based PPG donated an acrylic aliphatic urethane coating for the Dippy redo.

Dippy has been a Pittsburgh icon since he first roamed the outside of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in 1999—the 100-year anniversary of the Diplodocus carnegii fossil discovery by a team of Carnegie scientists.

An avid sports fan, the dinosaur sports scarfs from his Pittsburgh teams throughout the winter.

And considering his age, the long-necked one keeps remarkably current, opining on matters both artistic and scientific.

You can catch his review of Jurassic World on his Facebook page.

Editor’s Note: The story was updated at 9:30 a.m. June 16 to reflect a last minute change to the coating system used on the project.


Tagged categories: Coatings manufacturers; Contractors; Graffiti-resistant coatings; North America; Paint application; Painters; PPG; Program/Project Management; Restoration

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