DRAGONS

a space for dragons and their kind, expect to see wyrms, wyverns, and whatever at a later date. Well, maybe. Meanwhile, here's some progress-work on my first miniature dragon, though you'll see it's not all that small as it happens - mainly 'cause I wanted to start off with a creature that properly lives up to all the scary stories that were ever told about 'em...

beginnings of a dragon sculpt

first up, a quick scale-size comparison up against an old-style miniature monk (possibly of Citadel Miniatures, dunno)of '25mm scale'



dragon with wing

next on the choppity-block, here's one showing how the wing's coming along - with a quickie below to show some of the detail on the membrane:

wing-wrinkles



...and here's one with the gang altogether, so you can see how the giant measures up against this big old bugger

giant, monk, dragon

- or for that matter, how she squares up against a demon of the D&D Underworld, Geryon:



...a bit further on with the wing side of things...

dragon wing further on

- one of my (and I now know quite a few other folks') long-time gripes is that the structure of dragon-wing attachment has never really been done in a satisfactory fashion anatomy-wise where such four-legged critters have been concerned - even referencing such modern takes on the form as those committed to celluloid in the likes of 'Dragonheart' and 'Eragon', the attachment of the wing to the body seems woefully unrealistic, (as much as that can be said about an animal that doesn't actually exist); "it's 'fantasy" can be used as an excuse for a lot of things, but I still think there ought to be at least some degree of grounding in the realistic functioning and attachment of such an appendage, hence this attempt to resolve the problem. While I have no quibble at all with the creatures in 'Dragonslayer' and 'Reign of Fire', whose more wyvern-like bodyshapes (i.e. the wings also act as the forelimbs as in birds, and especially so in bats - which will, when grounded, employ a similar form of 'walking' using the forelimbs as shown in those films) have the wing-limb attached to a large chest-muscle that enables the wing to produce lifting-power. In Eragon/Dragonheart (etc.) the wing is simply sitting above the shoulder-joint of the forelimb, and therefore has no obvious means of achieving motion, having no dedicated muscle-structure to power it.

- so, here we have a sort of double-shoulder whose musculature is effectively part-pectoral, allowing both for normal arm-like movement, and also providing a more credible means of propelling the wing in flight.



...I know, the next thing to be said will be something along the lines of "...yeah, maybe - but those wings are nowhere near big enough to get a creature that size off the ground..." - well, while that might be true - in real-world terms - it has to be considered again that this is where that earlier 'fantasy' thing comes in again: an animal this big wouldn't actually be able to support the weight of wings (nor would it be able to get airborne at all, in fact, with the additional weight of such such appendages) that would be big enough to get it airborne in terms of real-world physics, so ultimately the size of the wings doesn't apply in the same way relative to the size and mass of the dragon's body - especially if you allow for the quite-credible explanation of the achievement of flight by dragons theorised in the worth-a-watch 'documentary' The Last Dragon, which owes more to the differing densities of certain gases within the body than to the accepted standards of self-powered flight that real-world birds and bats enjoy.

Secondly to this, the smaller wings shown on this creature would make it a much more formidable monster: you only have to see the clumsiness of a large-winged swan or albatross when landing, and see how much effort they have to put into taking off, to recognise that though they are very graceful when flying, in gliding fashion, their actual flight capability is quite limited: a dragon with a huge wingspan would likewise be a very slow flyer, needing long run-ups to get airborne (just as such big-winged birds do) and would have to execute very long turning-circles when trying to return to any given scene - giving any enemy on the ground more than enough time to shoot its wings full of ballista-bolts and render it flightless, and thereafter fill its body full of similar missiles and render it lifeless.

In short, it'd be a bit crap on the monstering front.

- this isn't to say that big-winged dragons couldn't exist in such fantasy worlds - they certainly could, just as variously-sized-winged birds exist in the real world - but they'd probably have to rely chiefly on carrion, and/or village idiots or other prey too slow and stupid to get away from them.

- now, a small wing, on the other hand, would allow your typical dragon to be a much more nimble and acrobatic beast, able to take off and land on a single point, dropping right on top of who or whatever they're in the mood to be eating, setting the whole village on fire, idiots and all, and nipping straight back up into the air 'til all the screaming stops and it can come back for a nicely-cooked meal...

Of course, there's also the consideration that a huge pair of wings would be even more difficult to take a mould and make castings of, these ones will be a bit of a nightmare as it is, so even bigger 'uns would be a double pain...



thumb glue!

- blimey, blathered on a bit there, didn't I? Time for a couple more pics to take yer mind off it - assuming you didn't give it the old tl;dr treatment anyway: up above, this is me holding the wing on by pure thumb-power after having ripped it off - quite deliberately, by the way; I've made it so's it's an option-appendage, if peeps prefer the lizard as it is, then a quick hole-fill will be the end of it - but if wings are the thing, then the whole structure fits (relatively) neatly over the existing shoulder-muscle structure with as little need for filler-faffing as I could manage to make it to be in need of. That's a weird sentence.

Meanwhile, with the main hassles of side one dealt with, I can start getting on with the other 'arf - hence this quickie of a bit of dragon-bum:

dragon arse



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All original artworks, drawings, sculptures, models and photographs, and any names, terms, or phrases originating in the text or logos appearing on this page or any other page throughout this website are copyright Jon Brumby 2008 unless noted otherwise.