Today I finished welding up a small dragon to guard our deck. It took me about 3 weeks of working on it an hour or two at a time when I could, mostly nights after work or weekends, maybe 35-40 hours total.
It all started like this.
It's hard sometimes to see a design in my head as I am going. This one though was clear as a bell in my mind from the very first weld. It rapidly progressed from there. Making the body and back legs.
Filling in the ribs and front legs.
Making a cool head. This one turned out quite well.
Attaching the head. Heating, Bending and welding the tail into the desired shape so it curves up and over the deck railing. And adding the first outer lines of the wings.
The wings and tail are the most difficult parts for me to get just right when making dragons. Getting a natural curve with whatever metal I happen to be using is a lot harder then it could be. The big brother to this one, a 22 foot long/8 foot high/16 foot wingspan, which lives at my parents house, has some sort of steel links about 1 1/2 inch in diameter. That was surprisingly easy to bend where using lighter gear chain like I did for this one is harder to heat and bend without melting thru or over bending. Filling in the wings has always been fun, and it usually takes a lot of time since I spend a bunch of time just standing back looking at what I have while making tiny tweaks to a bend here or there as I add in more pieces. These turned out quite well.
Once I got to that point I realized I did not like how the back legs looked. They looked to thin and spindly, so I cut and added another piece to the lower part of the legs.
And finally the paint. Starting with a base coat of metallic green on the body. Followed by a accent coat of purple on the underside of the body, topped this with a light spritz of metallic copper. The wings started with a base coat of purple then a light coat of copper on top, then a spritz of the metallic green over the top and bottom of the wings. Various light shots of copper, purple and green to accent different areas.