Outdoor Sculpture My Luck Dragon

Introduction: Outdoor Sculpture My Luck Dragon

This project came out of a childhood Dream, that I decided needed to become a reality. "The Neverending Story" movie from1983 is my Favorite childhood Movie , the very 1st time I saw Falkor , the Luck Dragon , I knew one day I needed to have myself one ! So Now I am 38 years old and decided it was time to make it happen! So my Adventure I'm Creating Larger than Life Sculptures, that would last outdoors, in All weather conditions, Began....

This Project is My Best ,And My Favorite ! The Greatest part about it is Most of the material is Reused, scavenged, or stuff I just had lying around the garage! The supplies needed are surprisingly few! I have made the list into 3 sections.

Supplies

___BASE STRUCTURE___

* Wire Mesh(chicken wire doesn't cost much and
can be shaped easily)
*Styrofoam ( packaging scraps are Great)
*Boxes , (Any kind you have around)
*Duct tape (1 roll of cheap brand is fine)

____PAPER MACHE MIX____
* All Purpose Flour (10lb bag)
*White School Glue (3-4 bottles)
*Warm Water
*Old Newspapers (a bunch of them)
--Tear into 1-3 inch wide strips

+++Optional Air dry Clay for Fine details+++
NOTE: Clay Adds lots of weight to the sculpture faster than you realize! If your not planning on your sculpture being permanently in a location, Paper-mache Clay is a better alternative .*there are several good instructables written by others to choose from *
***I learned this lesson the hard way!***.
Falkor's Head weighs over 100 lbs!

___WEATHERPROOF Layers and Finishing
Touches____
*50 LB bag of Flexible Tile Mortar
*More News Papers
*Outdoor Paint
++NOTE: Most area Landfills have an area for paint , cleaners, and other chemicals... That they store for ReUse. Just Ask , it's FREE. I get ALL my spray paint, stain, wall paint , fertilizer from the ReUse Shed. You can often find Great products from construction sites, whatever they had left over and threw away, still perfect working condition.***Saves a Ton for US project people!
*High heat glue and glue gun
* Fabric of your choice for Fur

Step 1: Building the Base Structure

Tools: leather gloves, wire cutters, needle nose pliers.

First I did lots of research on Falkor and gathered pictures from every angle I could find so I had a good visual reference. Then I find it best, to break down his body into a general shape and size, keeping it as simple as possible.

Next you want put your gloves on and use wire cutters to cut your chicken wire to the length you will need. I split his body into 3 sections to keep it easier to move the final project. Approximately 8 feet in length each.( My Falkor is 50% scale of the movie prop) After you've cut your wire, use your pliers to shape his body. . I just bent the chicken wire over itself to join parts together. But you could use bailing wire, duct tape, whatever suits you.

Step 2: Give the Wire Base Structural Strength

After you have created the wire Base you will need to give it structure and strength. I did this using styrofoam, cardboard boxes and crumpled up newspaper inside the wire frame. I used the duct tape to help keep everything in place . I added more styrofoam for his legs and feet again using duct tape to hold in place . After you have the basic shape finished you will need to mix up some Paper-mache mix for the next phase.

Step 3: Paper-mache Mix

It is best to mix small batches of paper-mache so you don't have to worry about storing unused mix, it doesn't store very long especially if it's warm outside. If you need to, you can cover unused mix with plastic wrap and refrigerate . But I don't suggest storing more than 24 hrs or so. It's better when freshly mixed. Mix 1cup Flour to 1 cup warm water and 1/4 bottle of white School Glue in a large bowl. I prefer using a wire wisk stir until mostly lump free..The mix should be similar to the thickness of pancake mix. Dip paper strips into the mix then run it through 2 fingers to wipe of excess. Lay the strips overlapping in a cross cross pattern. This adds more strength than if you lay them in all one direction nice and neat. Cover the entire base with paper-mache Mix. Allow 24-48 hours to dry completely. Then cover the base with a 2nd layer and allow to dry.

Step 4: Starting the Finer Details

Like I mentioned, I used air-dry clay. And just sculpted the details of the face. I didn't realize the amount of clay it would take to achieve what I wanted, and it added way too much weight to my finished project..I recommend the paper-mache clay mix. You can type it into the search box here on instructables.. For his eyes I used some fancy ribbon folded accordion style , glued it to black cardstock and covered it with a clear plastic plate.

Step 5: Flex Mortar and Weather Proofing

Mix the Flex mortar 2 parts Mortar to 1 part water. I used the least expensive brand and I prefer it to the name brand. It dries faster and the final outcome is equal in strength and quality. Best part is it's half the cost! Use the same technique as you did with the Mache mix. Chris-cross pattern. This may take some practice , the paper tears easier because the mortar is heavier. Be gentle , but work swiftly. If your mix starts getting too thick add a splash of warm water and stir. If you add too much, it's alright , you can wait a few minutes and it will start to thicken up again. Cover project and allow to dry minimum of 6-8 hours . Then add a 2nd layer. Allow the 2nd layer 2 days to dry completely. Once you are sure it has dried cover with 2 layers(allow time to dry in between layers) of Outdoor, Exterior Paint. This is what keeps it protected from the weather. The mortar protects your project from critters! Trust me , prior to finding the flex mortar trick here on instructables, I had lost several large projects and lots of months were wasted because I stores my project in my garage rafters, only to discover the mice had made a happy home and comfy nursery for their babies inside my half eaten projects! VERY HEART BREAKING! SO I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL THE PEOPLE WHO POSTED HOW TO USE THE FLEX MORTAR ON INSTRUCTABLES, YOU HAVE CHANGED MY PROJECTING ABILITIES FOR THE BETTER! I AM FOREVER GREAT FUL!

Step 6: The Finishing Touches( the Fun Part)

To create a realistic Falkor, I found several types of fabric, for his Fur , scales , and his skin texture. I am always on the look out for clearance deals, or I shop the thrift store for clothing I can repurpose. Saves alot of money that way. After finding what I needed I used I high temp glue gun with the gorilla glue brand all weather Glue sticks. They are well worth the extra money.! And it saves you having to reglue later. I attached my fabric and 10 weeks of hard work later ... We have My Very Own Luck Dragon 50% scale but Big enough to Ride! So if You are ever near Tooele Utah leave me a comment and you can come take a ride too!😁

Step 7: Ride a Luck Dragon!

What good is a Luck Dragon, if You don't Share the Fun?!

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