The Great Dragon Project – Update 3
Once again it has been a while since the last update, After the last update I was feeling pretty positive about where I was at. I had a free evening and was going to work on filling more of the gaps. My son, Connor, mentioned that it felt a bit unstable as he brought it to me. I told him it was just the warping of the base. The dragon was firmly attached, He set it down on the desk and I gave it a little nudge with my finger.
You guessed it. It felt straight off the base. The lower segment of the tail had broken off and the rest came tumbling down.
After checking it over I dfound the broken tail was the only real damage, but that did not answer the question of why it broke in the first place. I started with removing all of the old glue and resin from the two connecting pieces of the tale. I then scraped it and made sure they fir back together nearly seemlessly. I glued the two back together and let it dry while I took a closer at what the real problem was.
My investigation led me to believe that the problem was the three contact points were not getting enough of a bond even with the pinning. I cleaned up the connection points and put it back together. It took a little effort to keep it from crashing straight away. I tried using large amounts of E6500 to create a stronger bond across a broader surface to see if that would do the trick. It still crashed. I tried again but added some spot welds with Resin. Another crash. I was at the point of tossing the whole thing in the dumpster, but decided to take another look. I cut off the existing supports, turned it on the base until I found a position that kept the center mass a little more over center and offered a bit more physical contact with the base. So I took a bunch of greenstuff and pressed it into the lower points. I placed the dragon on the base, pressed it into the greenstuff. I add the glue and hold it in place until I am confident it will hold. I then give it a week and it is still rock solid. It feels like success.
This week I set about finishing the gap fills and used the excess greenstuff to fill in a bit more of the base and make it look better. I used some air dry clay on the base to hide the screws better and give the base some depth. Once the new clay dries it will be time to prime this thing and get to the real challenge…painting this beast by hand.
As a side note, the brown clay in the picture came from the dollar store. I know that there are some things you should not go cheap on, and this looks to be one of those things. It was very wet and sticky out of the package. Wetting my fingers helped with working the clay considerably. It is drying fast, a little too fast, and is cracking like crazy. Its not a huge deal in this instance, but it is certainly something to keep in mind.