Television is rather a frightening business. But I get all the relaxation I want from my collection of model soldiers.
Peter Cushing

Thursday 25 August 2016

"I Kill Where I Wish"

"I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong strong."
― Smaug, The Hobbit

 No miniature collection is really complete until it has a dragon. I've attempted a couple before but lost interest before they were finished and came close with the rescue project on the Carnosaur. But this summer I rediscovered my mojo - Middle Earth Mojo, as it happens - and so I decided to finish off in a grand fashion.


This is the GW Middle Earth Dragon. It's been another of those on-off projects since before the kids were born.

Here's the final construction. As you can see there's the usual horrific gaps you get with large lead models. 

I'm quite happy with the gap filling on this one. As you can see, once undercoating the large ones on the haunches are more or less seamless. 

I also sculpted some new, shorter, blunter horns. The horns that came with the kit were quite long and I felt they spoilt the shape of the head - see here; I went with something that helped the bullish, squat look of the model.

I was also not a huge fan of the GW suggested colour scheme. Smaug was certainly red (with a jewel-encrusted underbelly) but the Lord of the Rings films tried to make everything look very natural. So I wanted a colour scheme with a certain level of verisimilitude. Luckily, Tolkien himself sketched what he though a dragon of his Middle Earth should look like:

So with the colour scheme set, time to crack out the airbrush. 

And here's the basecoats done

Then I started adding some dark glazes to shade:

And some lightter glazes to pick out specific scales

Then a red glaze to help with the fleshy, leatherly look of the wings and also to match the red of Tolkien's sketch. 

Red glaze in the mouth and Tamiya transparent red for the tongue. 

Final highlights on the skin

And then the horns and spines. 

And finished.

And a couple more shots with the good camera to let you see the colours more accurately. 

Dragon IIDragon III

Overall a nice little project to finish the summer on. Next up... Not quite sure, actually. Stay Tuned....


  1. "No miniature collection is really complete until it has a dragon." Now scouring the info web for one of my own! Absolutely stunning, he looks superb.

    1. Thank you, sir. Sorry if I've cost you money.

  2. He does look rather magnificent :)

  3. Excellent work! That's a very cool model, and you did a great job on assembly and painting!

    Of course, Tolkien also did an illustration of Smaug (red) as well. But that doesn't mean dragons can't be other colors.

    I do have 2 or 3 dragons in my collection, but they're all small ones from Reaper (nominally they are baby dragons, but I repurposed them as adult dragons of smaller-sized species than the Great Dragons like Smaug). Still, I would like to capture a larger dragon one of these days.

    1. My biggest regret is the first dragon I ever tried was the old Zombie Dragon by Tom Mier. It was completely beyond me - I was 13 and didn't even undercoat it. But I remember it being a great sculpt even though it was small. I might have to try and track one down.

  4. Fantastic work, he looks great in green!

    1. Thanks Brian. I figured wit green at a push I can use him with elves and other good guys in Dragon Rampant.

  5. You are right, I now have to get a dragon. And amazing work.

    1. Sorry for cost you money. What dragon are you going to get?

  6. That looks great. I've an airbrush and compressor in the loft but am too nervous to use it. I always made a complete has of things in the past.