An Eastern Dragon

Here’s a miniature that is completely different from nearly anything else that I’ve ever painted for the tabletop. This is a souvenir given to me by a mate recently back from Japan. The novelty of it stems from the fact that it came out of a gachapon – a capsule from a vending machine. It’s also remarkable that he got the dragon he wanted first attempt, not one of the other three figures in the “set”.

Produced by “tarlin” and made in China.

The figure started as four pieces of connecting black plastic. Joined they hold together reasonably well unless dropped. So… glued, joined, sprayed white and then lightly varnished to get around the slightly sticky feel. This helped pick out the mold lines that had been pretty much invisible on the black. I cleaned these up and repainted white as best I could. There is an annoying vertical line down belly scales on two pieces which is still visible if you are close. Thankfully paint hides it well as normal viewing distance. I’ve filled slight gaps between pieces so the joins are pretty well hidden too.

Yellow base coat, orange scales, then brown and black shading. I started with red along the length of the back and on the fins and head edging, but it blended too much with the orange and I went back over all the red with some white, except along the spine where I blended the red into the orange. Then the detail again in green, with a lighter green for subtle highlighting. Then horns and claws in a bright bronze. Dabs of yellow, orange, and white as appropriate to merge colours on the legs, and tidy up detail on the head. More detailing for eyes, teeth, tongue. I ran a red line along the ridge between back and belly scales, then brown between each belly scale that I could reach. Black lines on claws to highlight the detail, and black then silver on the nails.

It was good having this without a base to be able to get at pretty much every bit of it, though that meant making sure paint was dry before I turned it around to work on the underside of anything. (Lots of turning around due to the coils!) I had originally considered a little spot highlighting on some scales, but there’s way too many of them, and they stand out reasonably well on their own.

Finally, a 50mm circular base painted silver and a careful gluing at the four main contact points.Not counting the base it’s about 80mm high. The last image shows the capsule it came in, and one of my recently infantrymen for scale.

It was a lot of fun to paint and a welcome addition to my collection of dragons. It occurs to me that I should do a blog post on my collection at some time. There are about 30 across a few shelves here, and more in my gaming figure boxes. They come from a small number of countries, but its the designs that make them interesting as well as the variety of materials. (I have one made of coal from Wales.)