Monday, October 14, 2013

What's on My Desk: Dragon Chariot Base!

I've got an exciting project on my desk this week, a custom sculpted dragon base!  The client who commissioned this piece requested a 50mm x 100mm chariot base that featured a dragon's nest with a few eggs and one with an emerging hatchling.   I loved the idea; I've been a dragon fanatic ever since I can remember and jumped at the opportunity to make my first themed piece.

To get started, I needed to make the base's foundation.  To do this I cut three pieces of 1mm plasticard to dimensions and lightly glued them with super glue.  Two brass pinning rods also added some stability to the plasticard sandwhich before a rough sanding on the sides created the edge gradation.

A layer of Apoxie Sculpt gave the foundation some natural terrain variation, and Procreate rocks began to build the scene.  Larry the skeleton also did a great job providing scale reference.  Thanks Larry!

What I envisioned was the dragon-mother digging out a bowl for her eggs, and breathing dragon-fire out from her nest to clear the surroundings.  Each of the rocks has been sculpted to be "slagged" away from the nest, showing the intense heat they were under from the she-dragon's cleansing fire.

What to do to represent the nest was the most exciting part for me, there were so many cool options when it came to building a dragon's roost.  I decided to go with a simple earthen base, strewn with artifacts in its foundation and bedding made of a pile of coins!  Dragons love treasure, and this seemed to encapsulate that perfectly for me.

The she-dragon used a round shield, heraldic shield, sword, dagger, and skull to build her nest.

And here's the completed piece! 

One early bloomer is already pushing its way out of its egg.  The skull is evidence that some unfortunate human became the dragon's lunch, and then part of her nest.

This unlucky horse calf was another meal for the waiting mother.

The coins were sliced from a round plasticard rod and pressed into a green stuff foundation.  Though many casting companies use a "cold casting" technique that doesn't require vulcanization these days, I wanted to play it safe and go easy on the use of glue, which can melt in high heat casting and ruin the mold.  Most joins are made by adhesion to green stuff or Procreate.

The shield is beaten and worn, and was of no use to its bearer in defense against the expecting mother!

And here's Larry again with the finished piece, hopefully the dragon-mother doesn't come home while he's shambling about or he'll likely find himself part of her next nest!

That's it for this week and what's on my desk, I hope you enjoyed the custom sculpted dragon base.  I'm looking forward to making a whole series of these so an entire army can be dragon/wasteland themed!

Until next time, good gaming and happy hobbying!

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