Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tar'Akoona the Fiery (1)

as promised here is the first part of the step-by-step of the Tar'Akoona diorama.

Just as the Summer Heat Contest was announced I tinkered with the idea of building a dragon for my nephew Florian, as he expressed interest in the new Forgeworld dragon as a birthday gift.
Since the theme of the contest was a perfect fit, I decided to give it a go.
Had I known how much work it will be, I probably would've simply pulled my credit card and ordered the Forgeworld dragon *lol*

So I started off by creating a very simple wire frame of the dragon.

Then I started to add some mass with Milliput.

And added the "fingers" to the wings.

More Milliput directly onto the wire to ensure the following FIMO would stick.

While the Milliput dried I started to sculpt the dragons head.

Later I applied and baked the first layers of FIMO.

When I mounted the head for the first time together with the fleshed out body I started to doubt.

The head was too big :(

While digesting the idea that I had to re-create the head, I also had to begin with the gate house I had planned for the diorama.

I had already some Hirst Arts molds, so I started to pour plaster and create the neccessary bricks.

Once I had enough I started to build the gatehouse.

I mounted them on cardboard to ensure they line up nicely and also have a solid base while the PVA cured.

In the meantime I also experimented on the "old" dragons head how to flesh it out and get the dragons skin onto it.

The basic gate takes shape.

Then I added the first side.

And also mounted a little statue on the inside of the gate.

Here you can see the basic fitting of the different items together with the start of the new head.

From the beginning I always tried to keep all items in balance, so I wouldn't have to permanently mount the dragon, but i rahter could be used without the gatehouse too.

The first rough claws and spikes.

The upper side of the head is finished.

Then I worked on the other side of the gatehouse. already damaged by the dragon.

Creating the wings skin was an adventure. I rolled the Milliput out thin onto some plastic wrap, let it set for 30 minutes and then mount it onto the wire.

While the skin cured I worked some more on the new dragon head.

After the basic shape was complete I added some smoother layers of super fine Milliput, as well as pre-formed teeth of ProCreate.

Here you can see the first wing. As you can also see at the white areas, some sections of the original skin broke off and I had to repair them with Milliput

But the result together with the new head wasry promising!

... tbc tomorrow.

Tar'Akoona the Fiery (2)

...continued from previous post
Here you can see that the head isn't permanently mounted and while curing it is seperated by some plastic foil.

Once I was satisfied with the shape and size of the head, I began to apply the ProCreate skin.

I did it in small patches and then let them cure - simply to prevent me from touching and messing up a part of the skin I had already done.

But with curing time of 1-2 hours per patch, this was really a time sink!

With some of the left-over PC I created the flames for the mouth.

Also not permanently mounted.

Then I started with the body skin. The idea was to have normal skin on the head, hands and feet, and then let it fade into larger "plates".

I wanted it to look like cinder floating on liquid lava.

The first section of this skin I really applied little piece by little piece.

Later I changed the technique to apply a large flat patch of skin and then carve out the deep lava lines - this was faster, but still took a lot of time.

Here is the fading of the skin to cinder at the neck...

While these pieces cured I started to work on the gate.

Actually this is really the only piece of plasticard I used for this diorama.

I carved the wood structure with my usual scribing tool (that I also used on the bridge of the HERCULES diorama).

With rivets.

And mounted in position - view from the inside of the castle.

And outside view.

Some more details on the gatehouse and Tar'Akoona leaning over - note both wings are now completed, but still very rough.

Supporting pillar and arch.

The central road into the courtyard.

With some plaster, stones and sand I created the landscape outside the walls.

The 4 co-actors in place.

The dude in the front is subject to Tar'Akoonas fiery attention and is trying to protect himself by holding his shield over his head :)

This guy was already subject to the dragons breath.

Then I started to work on the spikes. Since I knew they wouldn't be very stable if I just glued them on, I had to pin them - but first I had to drill holes into them - best without drilling holes into my finger.

Here are the first spikes mounted.

To ensure they look right, I lined them up in matching pairs

before mounting them along the spine.

Once the spikes were mounted I was able to apply the skin here too.

By now the dragon weigths over 2 kg (4 pounds).

But he looks great!

Close up of the focus scene.

And final shots before priming.

After priming!

The wings look great - IMHO

As first paint the dragon received a dry brush of Boltgun Metal and a wash of Badab Black.

Once the first wash of Badab Black was dried he recieved another wash of Baal Red, giving him a nice redish shine.

Then I painted the deep lines with Scab Red.

Then a thinner line of Blood Red.

Even thinner a mix of Blood Red and Blazing Orange.

The same colors went into the mouth - with the darker colors on the outside and getting brighter towards the inside.

Blazing Orange and Golden Yellow.

The lava begins to glow.

I can tell you, painting all these thin lines while holding a 2+ kg dragon in your hand gets really tiring.

But the result is worth it!

The spikes were painted in Tin Bizz and highlighted with Brazen Brass (I think).

Finally another go with airbrush around the lines to give it the proper glow.

The teeth still need some clean up, but the eyes look good.

Some very small spots with Sunburst Yellow and even a 1:1 mix of Sunburst Yellow and Skull White.

One of my favourite shots.

Here the glow effect is visible to its full advantage. I addition you can see the scars are all done with Bronze.


This was a far as I got to submit it to the contest and also present it to Florian for his Birthday (with the promise to complete it soon).

But I have to admit I was so exhausted after this 1 1/2 month marathon, that I haven't touched it yet and rather played World of Tanks...*shame on me*

But now that it's getting colder I can feel the urge to complete him kreeping back in :)

I hope you like the Tar'Akoona Diorama :)