Resin Dragon
KIT #: ?
PRICE: $10 at a swap meet
DECALS: None
REVIEWER: Mark Hiott
NOTES: Bought in a bag, no idea of scale or maker

HISTORY

I have no idea of the history of Dragons. However, I did find this on Wikipedia:

A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures. There are two distinct cultural traditions of dragons: the European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Greek and Middle Eastern mythologies, and the Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan, Korea and other East Asian countries. The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries. The English word "dragon" derives from Greek δράκων (drkōn), "dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake".

A dragon is a mythological representation of a reptile. In antiquity, dragons were mostly envisaged as serpents, but since the Middle Ages, it has become common to depict them with legs, resembling a lizard. Dragons are usually shown in modern times with a body like a huge lizard, or a snake with two pairs of lizard-type legs, and able to emit fire from their mouths. The European dragon has bat-like wings growing from its back. A dragon-like creature with wings but only a single pair of legs is known as a wyvern.

THE KIT

I have always wanted to try a figure model. They are normally out of my price range, but when I saw this for $10 at swap meet, I snatched it up. A simple kit, it consists of 3 crme colored resin parts with the arms, lower jaw and 4 horns made of white metal. The detail is good, but there are molding seams on most of the parts. The base is quite nice as it has molded on moss among the rocks. There were no instructions in the bag, so I have no idea who made it or what scale it is.

CONSTRUCTION

The base is a single large resin casting, so there is nothing to do but paint it. The first thing I did was remove all the casting seams from the various parts. This was done with a combination of sandpaper and micro files. Care had to be taken so as not to destroy the nice detail. After that was done, everything was given a bath in some soapy water and left to dry.

The first part attached was the head. Being a "newbie", I may have removed too much resin, because the fit of the head left large lips between it and the body. I used 3M glazing and Spot putty to build up the areas and let it dry overnight. I then used a round micro file to carve what I thought were reasonable folds to match the existing ones. The neck was then sanded smooth with 3M flexible sanding pads and checked for any missed spots. It took me 3 applications of filler to get what I thought looked acceptable.

Next up were the arms. The fit is also bad here and there are no positive locators to tell what the arms positions should be. I inserted the body into the base and used that to set where I wanted the arms. They were then attached with CA glue. The gaps were filled with glazing putty and allowed to dry overnight. Again, it took a couple applications to get a good result.

The lower jaw was added after the mouth was painted but before the body was. While the fit here was rather good, I still used the glazing putty to fill a small gap that was left. The last parts installed were the 4 horns on the back of the head. I used no filler here as I thought they looked ok without any.

THE BASE

I'm going to cover the base separately, as it was the first thing I painted. I wanted to see how well I could do this before giving the actual dragon a try.

I went down to Hobby Lobby and picked up a SceneArama "Desert Oasis Diorama Set". Now these sets are really cool. They come in different type settings, contain everything in the box you need to make the diorama and cost less the $20. If anyone ever wanted to give a diorama a try, this is the way to start!

The first thing I did was give it a base coat of MM primer. The rocks were then drybrushed with 2 shades of light gray. Sorry, I can't remember what colors I used. The dirt and moss areas were then painted with Testors Flat Dark Tan acrylic.

I followed the instructions in the diorama kit and applied a diluted white glue to the dirt areas and sprinkled on the rocks. I used the same method on the moss areas and sprinkled on the grass. It took a couple tries to get something I liked, but the end result is very nice. After everything had dried for a couple days, I gave it a coat of Floquil Clear Flat.

COLORS & MARKINGS

Once the head and arms were finished, I gave the whole thing a coat of MM Enamel primer to check for imperfections. After fixing any found, they were repainted in primer. Since this was an experiment for me, I didn't want to go out and spend money on paints that I may never use again. So I decided that I had to use what was on hand... aircraft, auto and ship colors! I looked online for pictures of dragons and decided that shades of blue was the best choice given the colors I had available.

First off, the entire thing was brush painted with a mixture of enamels and acrylics. The body was painted with 2 coats of MM Insignia Blue enamel. After allowing that to thoroughly dry, the scales were painted with FolkArt Gloss Sea Blue acrylic. I tried to be careful with the scales so the Insignia Blue would show between them, but in some places I got a bit carried away. The chest area was painted MM Light Sea Gray enamel.

The inside of the mouth was painted first with MM Rust acrylic and the tongue was painted Testors Flat Red acrylic. The tongue was then lightly drybrushed with MM Light Sea Gray enamel. The teeth and horns on the dragons back were painted with MM Panzer Interior Buff enamel. They were then drybrushed with MM Flat White enamel, followed by a very light dry brushing with MM Flat Brown enamel. After painting the lower jaw was attached, any filler needed applied and painted. The eyes were first painted MM Flat White and then given 2 coats of Tamiya Clear Orange.

Once all the painting was done, everything but the scales was given a coat of Floquil Clear Flat to seal it all. The dragon was then inserted into the base, but was not glued down.

CONCLUSIONS

 

This being my first figure, I wasn't expecting too much. However, I found that I really enjoyed building this and I have already started my second figure! If anyone is wanting to try a figure, I suggest you troll around a swap meet and see what simple, cheap figures you can find. You never know what you can find, I recently bought 3 figures out of the Trumpy 1/24 Spitfire for $1 each! If I mess them up, no big deal.

I also suggest trying the SceneArama sets. They really are the easiest way to get into dioramas without spending a load of money.

REFERENCES

Wikipedia for some kind of history

Various dragon photos on the 'net

Dragons in Action, 875 AD, Squadron Scrolls.

 Mark Hiott

January 2013

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