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OK - this is my first crack at an interesting prop. :)

I'm going to make dragons out of my curbside reindeer. The antlers unscrew so they can be taken off easily and turned upside down to make wings.

I want the nostrils to smoke via fog machine.

I've been looking at pictures of dragons and I'll have to work the framework of the legs in the front to look more like claws... the rest, from the muscles to outline of bones, horns and extra talons on the tips of the wings can be added...

So my questions are: what is the best way to build up the framework? Paper mache, then cover with latex ? Is that even possible?

What do you think is the best method of applying the latex to make the skin look as realistic as possible?

What's the best way to channel the fog through the nostrils? i.e. what kind of hoses?

Any suggestions, ideas or advice would be GREATLY appreciated because I've never tried anything like this before.

Here's an illustration of a basic dragon... Thanks SO much

http://cloudcastle.hut.ru/pics/images/dragon_054.jpg
 

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Sounds like a good idea.
I think you could use Chicken wire to build it up or make longer legs, tail etc.
I believe that you can cover paper mache with latex or the sculpt and coat as Krough uses. ( he could tell you better)
I also read somewhere you can wet your hand down to smooth that out. or use tip of bristle brush for texture.
Can't tell you on the size hoses but im guessing it depends how much you want to come out - small for a little and bigger for more smoke, but clear plastic/vinyl hoses can be bought at the hardware store all sizes cut to order. or you can use aquarium hose if the smaaller is what you need.
 

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Lilly has put you on the right direction Kellie.

For the dragon skin (or any skinning with latex for that matter) I have always wondered about a Monster Mud type technique using strips of cloth (or sheets of cloth) dipped in latex and laid out smooth on the frame to be skinned.

Yes indeed using chicken wire is probably the best way to go for the additional legs/body/tail.

For the wings - I can imagine the antlers used as the top of the wings but you will want that wing to extend down further. For that I would use a heavy gauge wire. That or using Bucky bones for the wing skeletal structure and 1/2" PVC for the cartelige structure from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wings. Actually I believe a guy named Perfessor Evil has a project listed on www.hauntproject.com for this very thing. He made the wing skeletal structure out of bucky bones. You might want to check that out as well for some other ideas.
 

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my advice is to study various pictures of reptile bones first, to ensure you get the body shape you are looking for. I made a few dragon shaped creatures last year and before I even began, I studied the bone structure of various animals. For mine I used reptiles and bats. This step will really help your dragon look dragonish.

Chicken wire can be used, I have used it for small and large creations.


WEAR GLOVES. Chicken wire will leave you looking like you fought with 3 cats. Have good tin snips at hand to cut various shapes with the wire. Don't be afraid to layer the chicken wire, it will add stability.

I love using mache. Its cheap! But I am not going to go into detail about how to do it. Krough wrote up a nice little how-to on it, and also about weatherproofing it. http://grimvisions.com/2007/01/13/mache-how-to/

Are you planning on hiding the fog machine inside the creature? or just running a tube thru to its nose? I am sure there are a few who have done this already. Hopefully they will put in their 2 cents.
 

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The concern I would have aboutthe tubing is that the tip of the fog machine I have gets very very hot, and may melt vynal or plastic. Test yours, and see if it gets hot, too. If so, then maybe copper coil is the way to go.
 

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Hey Sickie that's an even better idea, good thinkin there,
and the copper may keep the fog cold enough so it doesn't dissipate by the time it gets to the end.
 

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1st of all i wish you luck with this project! i can't wait to see how it turns out.
2nd, here's a link to a page about how to make gargoyles from FE breath smoke: http://www.edyeb.com/halloween/blome/blome.htm there's a video on the page and it shows how they made it look like they were breathing rather than shooting a 5 foot long line of steam out of their mouths!
hope this helps! make sure to keep us informed about how the project is going and take plenty of pictures!!!

Zach
 

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Hi Ms W. I'm afraid that the only dragon I ever made was considerably larger, but I do have a few suggestions.
My first would be to go with latex rather than mache. I've worked in both mediums, and latex is far easier, more realistic, and more durable IMO. I would avoid the chicken wire altogether, and go with a plastic mesh on the deer frames. Have you ever seen the black mesh pool covers, or plastic window screen replacements. These will more easily follow the shape of the frame, can be easily tied on, and will allow either mache or latex to seep through the small pores and bond to the mesh much better than chicken wire.
I would also suggest that you consider incorporating the fog machine directly inside the dragon frame, and use a short piece of wiring conduit, or PVC to channel the fog to the nostrils or mouth. If you're using mache, it's easy to leave a "trap door" in order to refill the fogger.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow everybody - thanks so much for you help, links and ideas. This is all extremely useful and will definitely give me the info I need to get cracking on this project.

I'm sure I'll have lots questions once I'm elbow deep into it, especially with the latex as I've ever never used it before.

But this is all great. Thanks so much.
 

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Ms W. I'll have Black Cat chime in with the type of latex she uses. She tends to use molding latex, unthinned, as it tends to be easieer to work with. But buying it from Cementex.com will save you tons of money. The only problem, is that they may not ship it now due to below freezing temps.
I also should have stated, that the very small 200 watt foggers would fit very nicely unside the deer based dragon frame.
 

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For smoke I ran pvc pipe from the mouth down to the heel of the creature. Different machines gave different levels of force for the smoke coming out as you see in the 2 photos. I stick the nozzle right up against the pvc and nothing has melted yet. I can't wait to see your finished dragon. I wanted to make a dragon head that hung out of the second story window that breathed flames but my wife wasn't too keen on the idea.



 

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Hey, Deadspider, awesome dragon on the door. Did you finish that project, and maybe have pictures? I loved the shape of him and want to do one myself. He's fantastic. Would love to see more...

Can't wait to see your project take shape Ms. Wicked. Have fun with it...
 

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Hey, Deadspider, awesome dragon on the door. Did you finish that project, and maybe have pictures? I loved the shape of him and want to do one myself. He's fantastic. Would love to see more...
Aw thanx, yep here it is, but changed the head shape... http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=4189

Make sure you post pics as you get your project going Ms. Wicked!! Looking forward to seeing it.
 
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