Introduction: Cardboard Dragon (RainWing) With Moving Limbs, Tail, and Head With Water Spitting Teeth.

About: I am a 15 year old boy who loves making things out of cardboard. I have currently one instructable, but I have many more YouTube videos where I make things from cardboard

This dragon is a certain Type called a RainWing which means that the dragon can shoot water from its teeth. The dragon also has movable limbs and a movable tail. If you don't want any of these difficult and time consuming extras then you don't have to make them movable, you can just glue the parts together.

Also The dragon is quite complicated and difficult and takes upwards 25 hours to make so just keep that in mind.

Another thing, you might notice the parts from the video are a little bit different, that's because I made some parts in the video which I later deemed unnecessary and wanted to fix it here or that I had to recreate a part for the picture because I didn't have a good enough original picture that I could take from the video


The first step to any good project is to gather supplies. Your going to need:

1 razor and/or x-acto knife

1 hot glue gun(doesn't matter which kind)

1 large, medium, and, small paintbrush

1 digital caliper

1 liquid super glue bottle

1 gel super glue bottle

1 black and 1 white J-B Kwik tube (if you prefer it over the super glue)

10 - 20 toothpicks

2 5ml syringes

1 straw

4 nails or screws with a head about 7 mm in diameter

paint, in my case I used orange, brown, black, and, white


Step 1: Find a Picture

Start by finding a picture of a RainWing dragon online like (Fig 1.1). You can use the generic base that is found online along other fanmade, yet accurate bases drawn at different angles. Just like humans, all dragons are unique, so it doesn't have to be exact. Just keep the pictures that you want to be your reference open.

Step 2: The Body

This particular type of dragon has a sleek body that gets increasingly skinnier.

Cut out a tall isosceles trapezoid (Fig 2.1) like shape with slightly curved A&B ends then roll it up and glue the C&D ends together.

If you want the body to be curved which I wanted, cut a slightly sloped line in the middle and turn one end around so that the body is curved and glue it back together. If you want the body to be more curved then cut it into 4 or five pieces instead of one.

Cut holes at points E-H small enough for a straw to fit all of the way through (Fig 2.2 & Fig 2.3). Put a straw through holes E and F and one through G and H. Glue the straws in place and cut off any excess on the straw, leaving only half a centimeter.

These will be the hinges for the arms

Step 3: The Tail Preperation

Before you start working on the tail you will want to go ahead and cut off one end of 15 of the toothpicks and put a small blob oh hot glue on each of the cut ends (Fig 3.1 ). When they dry take them off without damaging the blobs and repeat. (Yeah I know it's weird)

If your hot glue is so strong that you can't pull it off, (which I doubt) skip the rest of this step.

These toothpicks will be the rotation point of the tail segments and the hot glue blobs that you just took off will be the caps

Go ahead and glue the blobs back on the on to just one end of the toothpick using the gel super glue. (The reason you will want to do this is the hot glue wasn't originally strong enough tho hold itself to the toothpick. You saw this when you were able to pull it off, but it is now strong enough with the super glue).

Step 4: The Tail

This is where things get tricky

Basically you will want to cut out shapes in (Fig 4.1) with making shape 1 as tall as the rear end of your current dragons body and shape 7 to be .5 cm tall. Make sure to keep them in numerical order.

Make a small hole at the B points small enough for a toothpick

Poke a blobbed toothpick through the hole of shape 1

Make sure to never let the toothpick be glued to the cardboard or else the tail wont move

Glue shape 1 to the rear of the dragon vertically (Fig 4.2). This will be the start of the first tail segment

poke a blobbed toothpick through each point B of each odd numbered shape

Put shape 2 on 1 via the hole, then 3 on 2, and 4 on 3, and so on and so forth.

Step 5: The Tail Cont.

**For those with hot glue that you couldn't pull off

Make sure the shapes are tight together on the toothpick and then cut off the excess tooth pick leaving 3 - 5 mm. Leave more for a less chance of making a mistake, but the more you leave the worse the tail will be, so you decide.

Glue the remaining blobs to the newly cut ends. but make sure to not let any of the glue touch the cardboard.(The shorter the end, the higher risk of gluing the toothpick to the cardboard).

Now just glue on cardboard on the shapes to make the tail actually round without letting glue touch the toothpicks

Point the end of the last shape

**Make sure the shapes are tight together on the toothpick and then cut off the excess tooth pick leaving 5-7 mm. Leave more for a less chance of making a mistake, but the more you leave the worse the tail will be, so you decide.

**Put blobs on the newly cut ends but make sure to not let any of the glue touch the cardboard. (The shorter the end, the higher risk of gluing the toothpick to the cardboard).

**Now just glue on cardboard on the shapes to make the tail actually round without letting glue touch the toothpicks

**Point the end of the last shape

Step 6: Upper Arm and Leg

Decide what you want the upper arm of your dragon to look like and draw it 3 times once with hole A the size if the straw, once with hole B the size of the nail/screw head, and once with no hole. Make the tip of the part with hole B a couple of mm longer (Fig 6.1)

Put the hole A part on the straw first, glue the nail/screw's end in the straw, (try not to use too much hot glue because it might melt the straws, especially if you have a high temp glue gun) then glue the hole B part to the hole A part without letting glue touch the nail/screw head (If it does touch the nail/screw head it wont be the end of the world as long as it is a tiny bit. Finally cover the hole B part with the holeless part, again avoid letting the glue touch the nail/screw

Repeat for the other side

Do the same thing with the leg, be sure to make the tip of the part with hole B longer too

Step 7: Lower Arm

Take the pen apart and get the brown pen tip and cut off the cylinder, now cut the cylinder in half and repeat with another pen (Fig 7.1).

Now use gel super glue or the JB - Kwik to glue the cylinders to the tips that should be a bit longer on the arm and leg (Fig 7.2)

Be sure not to get glue inside the cylinder

Once it is dry use the liquid super glue to further glue the cylinder to the arm/leg, you will want this to be really secure because my dragon's legs fell off a total of 18 times

Step 8: Lower Arm/Leg Cont.

Cut the ink holding part of the pen 2 or 3x as long as the cylinders of the previous step and stick them through those very cylinders (Fig 8.1)

For the arms, peel the too paper layer off of some cardboard and make a cylinder for the forearms and glue that cylinder to the ink-holder on the arm without getting glue on the big cylinder. (Fig 8.2)

If you do end up gluing the two cylinders together then you will probably have to get new cylinders

For the legs make a shorter cylinder and glue it on the same way the arms were glued, but the difference here is that you will need to put another brown-orange cylinder on its end an stick another ink-holder through so that another short cylinder can be glued on.

Step 9: Feet

Cut out which shape that you want your dragons feet to be

Put a brown-orange cylinder on an ink-holder and glue the brown-orange to the back of the foot and glue the ink-holder to the end of the legs and arms (Fig 9.1)

If the brown-orange cylinder gets in your way then cut a notch on the bottom of the arm.

Step 10: Neck

Make a long cylinder for the neck

Cut it into segments and re-glue them based on how you want the neck to be shaped make shape A (Fig 10.1) with a hole small enough to fit a brown-orange cylinder and the rectangular end should be small enough to fit inside the opening of the neck (Fig 10.2)

Step 11: Teeth

Cut the tip ink-holding cylinder into a tooth shape and then cut off the end at a 45 degree angle and then re-glue it with gel super glue so that the ink-holder ends in a 90 degree angle cut off the excess, leaving 5mm then glue the straight cut piece to the tip of the syringe using gel super glue (Fig 11.1)

Don't let the hole be sealed up by the glue.

When it's dry use the liquid glue to further seal and strengthen it then use hot glue to make it watertight

Step 12: Head

Make the bottom jaw in what shape you want but you will want to make it wide enough to fit the two teeth now draw the side of the dragon's face and cut out two of those shapes. Glue one syringe on each shape, but glue it in a way that when you put the two shapes together the syringes are on the inside cut off the excess syringe

Put the piston inside the syringe all of the way and cut off the excess of that too leaving 5mm

Peel off the paper from the cardboard and roll it up and glue it with hot glue so that you form a horn shape. Make sure to leave the hole of the horn open and without glue. Reinforce the horns strength with the liquid super glue then glue it on the left over 5mm of the piston end

Glue the two sides of the head together and cover up the top

also use the gel super glue to make thew venom hove smaller, so that the water can shoot further. (You will probably end up sealing the hole up completely and if you do that you will have to make a whole new tooth)

Step 13: Head Cont.

Put two orange-brown cylinders on the jaw (Fig 13.1) using the gel first and then liquid super glue taking the usual precautions to not get glue inside it.

Use the digital caliper or ruler if you don't have one to figure out dimension A and then cut two ink-holders to that length put one through the cylinder of the jaw and and one through the cylinder on the neck

Glue the jaw to the head (Fig 13.2) and glue the head to the neck (Fig 13.3)

You will more than likely have to make several adjustments to this part

Step 14: Wings

Now for an easier part.

Peel the paper off the cardboard again and use it to make the wing's frame really however you want and then use cardboard paper to fill in the wings (Fig 14.1)

Step 15: Claws

Cut the ends off the toothpicks and add claws or teeth or spikes wherever you want and use the gel and liquid super glue technique to glue them on

Step 16: Scales + Paint

I can't really tell you what to do here being that all dragons are different, but if you are going for the standard RainWing, use the cardboard paper to add scale strips on the dragons underbelly from the tail tip to the neck tip with hot glue, cut out a lot of small triangles for the spine spikes and use the gel and liquid technique to glue those on, and cut out circles and glue on the circles using the same super glue technique.

Now paint the dragon whatever color you want

For the final step use the waterproof poly on the snout so when you dip the teeth in water the snout dosen't get destroyed and be sure not to cover the venom holes.

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