Box art

Grenadier Blue Dragon II

Project start 2023-04-30

As preparation for a much more involved project, I need to do some experimentation on a big lizard's skin.
Sitting in the stash was a rather nice dragon by Grenadier models.
As can be seen, the parts are well defined and mostly free of mould lines/flash. The only issue is that one on the claws on the wings has broken off, but that should be an easy fix.
The nearly naked lady on the cover art was actually included as well, but she was painted separately ages ago.

picture of the sprues

These dragons came out in 1988. The numeral II in the name refers to the fact that these were new releases, distinct from the original series of dragons Grenadier had produced years before. Quality wise, the earlier dragons were certainly up to scratch for the time, but the new clutch left them in the dust.
Now seemed as good a time as any other to actually get to work on the newer dragon. Although the box says "blue", I'm actually thinking "red" in this case, mainly because the warmer colour is more suited to the experiment.
I cleaned up the parts and, ahem, responsibly disposed of the 60% lead scrapings and filings by dumping them into the nose cone of a Flanker that needed extra weight to prevent a tail sitter.
Dry fitting shows that the parts fit well, and only really require glue if the model it to be moved; gravity keeps the wings in place, and the hind legs are quite happy to sit alongside the body mostly unsupported. I've decided not to bother with pinning the hind legs, and instead glue a piece of 2mm plastic to the bottom of the "rocks" that serve as a base. That should be sufficient to keep the legs and body in formation.
Some very minor filling with expoxy putty was needed around the joins.

Just some minor stuff today, smoothing over the area where plastic meets metal, and sculpting a replacement wing claw. It seemed easier to make a new one than to re-attach the broken off bit.

Messing around with the base is done, and the dragon now has wings.
I expect there'll be some work left on the wing roots, but with any luck I should be starting the actual painting experiment this weekend. The idea is to give the whole critter a base coat of gold, and then slowly build up the red with the airbrush, making it gradually more saturated towards the back and the wings, while leaving the belly just slightly ruddy gold.
A bit like you'd do with a horse in lighter and darker browns, only with more teeth, claws and scales.

Rather than a blue dragen (which the box says), or a grey dragon (as earlier today), I now have a gold dragon.
I'll check tomorrow for areas that need touching up (the picture has already revealed some), and then leave the paint to very thouroughly cure before I start messing around with Alclad's transparent red. I'm still debating whether or not to put on some grey or brown wash first, as a sort of pre-shading.

His lizardous lordship is back from the paintshop. There's a lot of detail painting left to do with zero error margin (no way I can touch up that finish), and there's the risky varnish step at the end, but so far, so good.

I'm worried about the ability of the paint job to deal with the rather forceful handling it will have to endure while I do the rest of the paintwork. Were this plastic, I could handle it carefully and with a very light touch, but this is metal. As a result, it is very heavy, and to get anything but a serious grip on it invites gravity assisted escape attempts..
To provide it with some protection, I've given it a generous coat of Model Master 'sealer for metallizer'. The metallizers themselves were mostly gone for good before I figured out how good they were, but I have quite a supply of sealer.

I've started the detail work. Teeth and eyeballs are scary, but limited in number, but those spines are going to take some doing. I can't keep up the level of concentration needed to avoid slip ups very long, so I'll have to do the spines bit by bit. As I've noticed before, the best paints to work very fine detail, that is, zero tolerances and minute amounts, are old fashioned artists' oils, so the spikes, claws, and possibly the irises will be raw umber. Takes forever to cure though, which comes with it's own risks.

Here, there be dragons..

Finishing materials:

Motip primer overall
Tamiya X-12 Gold LEaf overall
Alclad ALC-411 Hot Metal Red colouring
Model Master Sealer for Metallizer overall

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