The Dragon

For years I have wanted to make a dragon costume. There are 2 main designs I've tried to do. The first is a full body, upright costume where my head is the dragon's head, and my arms are the dragon's wings. I also tried to design a set of wings that were like a back pack, but it was difficult to get them strong and yet light enough to wear around all night. The second is a "walkaround" costume. The upper half of my body would be a dark knight, and the lower half would be the dragon's legs, etc. Kind of like the goblins riding dinosaurs in Labirynth. I am currently working on this style costume.

I forgot to take pictures along the way for most of my dragon attempts. He are the few pictures I still have laying around. This year I actually remembered to take pictures along the way, so I will be able to document my progress.

This was one of my original dragon designs I didn't think it was scarry enough, it kind of looked like a sleepy giraffe
I tried making the nostrils bigger, adding a horn to his nose, making the ears pointier, and turning the corners of the mouth down, it still didn't look right.
I decided to completely redesign the eyes and add a ridge for the eyebrow. I also added a ridge in the center leading to a third horn. Notice the lack of a lower jaw. I tried to make the jaw open, so that when I molded it, I would have a fully functional jaw, rather than having to cut it like I would have on the previous version, and I did on the Skeksis. Unfortunately I didn't have a strong enough support, and the jaw fell off. Halloween came before I got anywhere near finished.

I don't have any pictures from the next year. I basically did the same thing, modeling the dragon in clay. But when I tried to make a mold from it, the mold didn't come out right, and the model was destroyed.

<-- By this year I had learned a lot about building an under skeleton to support the weight of the clay. I used styrofoam and wood to build the frame, and a wire hanger wrapped in duct tape for the jaw support. I used latex to make a stamp for the scales and got some really good texture. Unfortunately I didn't take any picturesd after this to show the great detail that went into it. I had less than a week left before Halloween, and so was in a hurry to make the mold so I could cast it in latex. But you know what happens when you rush.... The model was destroyed, and the only part of the mold that came out was the top. I still have it if anyone wants to check it out =)

Notice there are no horns. At this point I decided to use sculpy or possibly paper mache to make the horns after I made the latex skin. That way I wouldn't have to worry about trying to make the horns stiff. I also used sculpy to make the eyes. Over the last few years, I had learned that the eyes will keep getting deformed if they are made out of clay.

This year I have decided to try something different. Instead of modeling the head in clay and then making a mold, I decided to make the head out of paper mache on a metal skeleton. This method has the benefit of being faster, but I won't be able to get as much detail on the scales and I won't be able to make multiple copies like I would if I made a mold.

Here is the skeleton I constructed using some metal I bought at Ace. I think it was intended for shelf mounting.

A close-up of the eye and jaw mechanisms. The eyes move up-down and left-right with the lever on the back of the stick. The Jaw opens by pulling on the loop of string. A spring makes it snapback closed.

I filled the form with paper to bulk it out while I was paper mache-ing.

This is what he looked like after the first layer of paper mache. I added spikes to his jaw and a horn on his nose.

Here he is after the second layer of paper mache. I did his lower jaw and added some nostrils. He ended up looking Fatter than I expected. Without the paper I didn't realize how big his lower jaw really was.

There is more to come as I finish this project. I'll add pics as I take them, so come back soon.