The last of my three dragons – painting was completed just in time in March 2014 for me to use him as “Brazzemal” – the great Red Dragon in the lowest level of G3 “Hall of the Fire Giant King” in my D&D Campaign. (I did my own conversion of the whole Giants Saga, from 1st Ed to 3.5) I got a great reaction from my players when I put the figure on the game table. It stands 11 cm high (to wingtips) and about 9 cm across. (In D&D this scales to about 22 feet high correctly towering over my player’s characters.)
Main body and wing edges all painted in a basic red. I did a light red coat over the wings and later mixed a darker red as a final coat. Belly scales all bright yellow, then dry brushed to edge them with orange. Claws silver, horns grey and wing barbs in black. Originally the horns were going to be black too, but I liked the look of them in grey and left them that way.
I need to do a little more work on the base, but it’s not a great concern at this time. When I’m in the right mood I’ll touch up the main body scales and if I can get a fine file I want to reshape those two front teeth! In any case, I’m very happy with the way this one came out. 🙂
Dragon number two… the Blue.
This figure is 7.5cm high (to wingtips) and about 11cm long. Both rear legs (and the base section they are on) had to be attached as well as each wing. Fairly easily done, with minor trimming to get everything to fit neatly. The main body and wing edges were done with my main blue paint. I mixed a lighter blue for the wings. Grey horns, wing spikes started grey as well, but I went over them with a light brown. Claws silver.
Belly scales are a dark sandy yellow-brown with almost a greenish tinge to it. Most of the recent images (and figures I have from D&D) use a bright yellow for the belly, but I wanted something darker.
I’m not satisfied with this dragon – at some point I’ll come back to it and do something to lighten the belly scales and do some shading on body scales. I’ll try and put some more detail or highlights into the wings too.
The Black Dragon has always been my favourite of these three figures. It was the easiest to assemble – two wings, one arm, horns. All slotted neatly into the “holes” in the body with little or no filing or trimming. I would have liked to have the wings a bit further apart, but that would have taken extra work that I didn’t feel confident trying.
The figure is 8cm high and 9cm long. The main body and wing edges are a standard black. I first painted the wings with grey, then went over that with black and dark green. Scales over the spine are a mid gray, slightly darkened with black dry-brushing of the edges. Belly scales were the same grey, but then given a light purple wash. Horns and wings tips are grey, claws silver.
The two photos were taken close together – but one was in bright light and the other more in shadow. The brighter light makes the greys look silver. The texture of the scales looks great when there’s light to reflect from them.
In about 1987 I purchased three boxed Dragons in the “Dragon Lords” series by Grenadier.
- 9601 Black Dragon II
- 9602 Red Dragon II
- 9607 Blue Dragon II
Each had a small human figure (priest, wizard, sorcessess) and an iconic chromatic D&D dragon, that was in 5 or 6 pieces. On occasion over the following years I used one or two of them – usually incomplete or partially held together with blue-tac – in a game. These are quite good looking sculpts with very nice detail. I’m sorry that I didn’t buy a Green and a White at the same time.
Finally I decided my next miniatures project was to assemble and paint these three dragons.
Cleaning up the figures, to remove flash and mould lines, and checking joints so that the wings in particular would fit together took a while. The red dragon in particular took extra work – on each side, the front arm/leg and wing are meant to slot into a hole next to each other with the wing edge also going into a notch along the body. Neither wing was going to sit firmly and both “hole” and joints required a bit of shaving to get the right fit. I was also very pleased to have some putty in the garage which was great for filling in the slight gaps around the wing joints.
Once glued and dried, I undercoated each one and set them aside. They already looked very good. I did note that I’d glued the black dragon’s horns on the wrong way around… but didn’t feel like trying to remove them and re-glue. I simply bent them around to the shape I wanted them in.
I spent time considering colour schemes and looking at all my rule books with dragon images. It was very interesting to see the change in appearance of these dragons (and the other colours) over the different D&D editions. These three figures show 1st and 2nd edition versions.