Product Idea |

Forest Dragon


As you walk through the bamboo thicket, you feel as though you are being watched. Leaves rustle and you pivot around, coming face to face with brilliant green eyes and a wise, fierce face. You are transfixed, feeling both curiosity and dread, and the creature before you begins to open its mouth, which seems a sly smile. 

According to the "science" behind dragons, the only way they could fly, given their weight to wing span ratio, was if they had a hydrogen bladder that allowed them to be lighter than air; their relatively small wings were used for only steering. They could control their altitude by belching hydrogen, but since hydrogen easily explodes, dragons evolved a means of controlling the combustion by expelling along with the hydrogen a catalyst, derived from rocks the beasts consumed and stored in a special gland. Breathing fire had the added benefit of allowing the dragons to cook their food!

"Mountain" dragons were European, while "forest" dragons dwelled in Asia. The latter were smaller than their Western cousins, and could not fly as well. Their body size and shape helped them to snake between trees or bamboo stalks, their hydrogen allowing them to hover stealthily just above the forest floor.   

From the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail the dragon is 27 inches long, and from the bottom of the front leg to the top of the spine above its shoulder it is 6 inches. Along with the bamboo, the build comprises 795 pieces. The analogue model has some slight variances from the digital version, including a curled Chima banner rather than a golden sprig of vegetation for the tail; the banner was unavailable on the program I used to generate the model, but I am pleased with the digital version. On both I used flags for the wings, but it would be nice to see if ragged cape textiles could be used. The colours include red, rust, sand green, olive green, gold, and tan. The tongue is purple to stand out from the rest of the beast. I wanted the dragon to harken to classic Eastern representations while still looking scientifically viable. For its morphology, especially for the legs and feet, I looked to crocodilians and Komodo dragons. 

Design highlights include articulation of the jaw, neck, body, tail, legs, and feet, and even the tongue wags. The flames can be easily removed, and the eyes can look this way and that with a pivot hidden inside the head. One challenge was to make the neck strong enough to support the head; for the sake of expressiveness, I didn't want to scrimp on pieces in exchange for lightness.

You decide - is this a friendly being who will guide you through the woods, or a ravenous beast looking at his daily meal? 

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