2005.06.01 It's been raining for a few days, delaying the renovation of the Draconaut, I prefer working outdoors when working with fibreglass, dusty stuff, spray-paint and other smelly chemicals.
Starting with the Dragon's HUD - Heads Up Display - which I've made from a sheet of polycarbonate I shaped in an oven to look like this. I glued a wooden button to it and cut out my initial-lightning (MMN) from a piece of masking-tape with a scalpel. I do own an air-brush but when you know your craft you make better fades with an ordinary artist's brush. The best result is achieved if the tape is carefully removed before the paint has dried, thus avoiding cracked edges.
This is the fourth HUD I make for the draconaut, the previous ones had Cybercom's logotype on them, but now the Draconaut will be placed in a show window with the side carrying my signature facing inwards where no one will see it, so therefore I put my signature here instead. Last step before attaching the HUD is to spray paint it with copper paint, giving it a gold plated finish. I also use copper paint on the air hose and the collars on the draconaut. I do not waste time masking everything but use a cloth and a piece of paper to shield off the rest of the dragon from the spray bursts. Eventual colour fog is wiped off with ligroin.
I use some leftover copper paint to pimp up mah ride a bit.
Most of the Draconaut's damages aren't inflicted purposely, but people have just enjoyed it a bit too much - children and drunks riding and climbing it. I suspect that it's people trying to sit on the dragon's helmet which is the number one cause for its destruction.
I use ligroin to wipe off about a hundred sole marks.
When the helmet is broken the HUD is inevitably stolen. But one weird thing that always happens next is that people tend to pick off the orange spots from the dragon's eyes. These spots are meant to be the light from the imaging laser in the HUD and consist only of fluorescent orange paint.
The camera isn't really able to pick up that orange colour as you can see - or do you see that colour in that way, human?
Patining is good for many reasons - merging old and new parts, emphasizing structures, making details look less plastic, gives things a air of "history" etc. Amateurs buy expensive patining paint and special patining brushes, we that know just use some dark thin paint and a cloth.
That's sure a big bug, tried to get into my ear.
I'm attaching the HUD, before that I put some gloss varnish on the dragon's head, somewhat shinier on the eyes giving them a wet, more living look. I use my glue gun to fasten the HUD, the glue gun is one of the most important weapons in my arsenal.
Finally I'm mounting the bubble helmet. Since this is the most costly part on the dragon I feel a certain tension whatever work I do on it. Since it's made of plexiglass it scratches very easy, a sharp nail is enough to put a mark on it. It's also very easy to scratch off paint from the dragon's head with the helmet's sharp edges, leaving white marks that has to be fixed.
Last thing I put som red paint on the collar and that's it! Jobs done, and so is one long day.