How to build your Dragon. From initial concept sketch, to scale model and finished sculpture.
On the 7th August 2017 myself, Lee Nicholson, and my business partner, Victoria Morris, began our first project together under the company name ‘Incredible Creations’. We already had a rough business plan, design sketch and scale model in place and were excited to start the actual construction.
Before we began the full size sculpture we decided to create a scale model, or Maquette. In this case 1/10th = 150x140x140mm.
Week one: Our first job was to buy the consumable materials we would need, gather our tools and equipment and set up our workshop.
Following that we decided to take a field trip to nearby Widdop reservoir to check out the 310 million year old Gritstone Cragg. Our aim was to make the boulder our ‘Dragon’ was using as a ‘nest’ as realistic as possible, to this end we spent a good hour scrambling up and down the Cragg and taking pictures for reference purposes.
Once back in the workshop, with a ‘brew’ in hand, we started work cutting the former materials. In this case, old Eco-sheet off cuts were used for the base, and our old friend (and enemy, cos it scratches) ‘weld-mesh’ or ‘chicken wire’ was used to form the base sculpture for the boulder.
A trip to Glasplies for materials the following day, and we’re ready to go. Over the next few days we attach ‘Woven Roving’ to the ‘mesh’, and begin the fibreglass process. By the end of the week we have our boulder in it’s basic form and we’re feeling pretty happy.
Week two: We start the second week by beginning work on the ‘Dragon’, first the tail, then back and torso are ‘meshed’, ‘roved’ and ‘glassed’. Following this the neck, front and back legs are formed and attached, then it’s time to start thinking about wings.
We wanted our ‘Dragon’ to have symmetrical wings, even though one side was open and the other folded, so we created an articulating former.
Once the wings are attached and any finger/foot traps have been ‘glassed’ over, we’re at the end of our second week and have an almost complete ‘Dragon’. Time to start thinking about details.
Week Three: Lots of sanding and prepping to do, prior to ‘skinning’ the ‘Dragon’ and texture coating the boulder. We go for a dark texture coat, so as to be consistent with the Gritstone at Widdop. It’s a proprietary process, but we can tell you that the finished surface looks and feels like natural rock.
First Texture coat complete and it’s finally time to turn our attention to the muscle tone and skin texture on our ‘Dragon’.
Now that the basic head form is attached, scale textures are applied to the body, with armor plates running from the tip of the tail all the way to the back of the head. Which brings us nicely to the end of our third week.
Week four: We begin our final week by adding all of the finishing details to the head, wings, claws and back legs.
We also wanted to pay particular attention to the eyes and opted to make our own hand painted glass cabochons, which resulted in a very lifelike appearance.
The entire sculpture is now almost complete and it’s time to add paint, we start with a dark base coat and slowly add colour.
By the end of week four she is finished! We still have a few details to attend to but the overall sculpture is complete and we’re thrilled with the result!
Now we turn our attention to her eggs, which will rest in the small cave at the foot of our Bouder. We begin with a large piece of wood and a lathe and turn a ‘master egg’ to use as the basis for our finished fibreglass trio. To our surprise, one of the eggs is hatching!
We have one final job to do, it’s time to add the secret symbols that, once decoded via our site, will reveal the name of the ‘baby Dragon’. Entering this puzzle code will allow the intrepid adventurer to gain access to our hidden page containing detailed information about Zeta the Mother Dragon and her offspring.
So, there you have it, how to build your Dragon. Of course, you can always get in touch and we’ll do it for you. Don’t fancy a Dragon? No problem, just ask and let us bring your imagination to life.