Dragon Wagon's Dragon

Built by: Randy L. Koger in Naples, Florida

Tom Daniel's Dragon Wagon is one of my top-five favorite Monogram kits that Tom designed. I remember going to the hobby store in my home town of Ft. Myers when I was a kid and standing and staring at the cool box art and thinking that the Wagon had to be one of the hottest show cars ever designed! I also clearly remember not buying the kit because I thought I could never paint the dragon so he looked as nice as he does in the box art. And I couldn't, of course. So the Dragon Wagon never graced the bookshelves in my room like the other Tom Daniel kits I bought and built way back then, and for years I have regretted not buying that kit when it was readily available and less than $2!

Well, that was then and this is now, as it's said, and my love of Tom Daniel's kits has grown even stronger, and over the years my modeling interest has expanded from just show rods to figure kits as well....needless to say, these days the dragon in the Wagon kit isn't so intimidating! So I searched and searched at shows and on E-bay for a buildable Dragon Wagon kit and finally found a semi glue-bomb Wagon kit that I am rescuing from junk-box hell. (A Hangman kit is providing several parts which were glued into uselessness on the Dragon Wagon kit I bought.)

As with all my modeling projects that contain an animal or person I start out by painting the figure first, and simply plan the colors for the car around whatever colors I have used in the figure build up. (That way all the colors in the figure and the car "read" well together, and makes for a pleasing cohesive whole that look like they belong together.) Fortunately, the dragon wasn't too much of a glue bomb, so I just pried him apart, stripped the old green paint off with oven cleaner and glued him back together, sanded out the seam down his back and ground some of the designs of his scales back into his body with my Dremel tool.

Once that was done, I painted the entire figure flat black and proceeded to dry-sponge several Tamiya Acrylic colors (greens, yellows and rust) on the dragon's body until his skin looked about right. His fin is painted rust red , and his eyes are just flat red, with teeth painted in flat Gull Gray and some red and white paint mixed for his mouth and when dry dusted with a bit of black pastel chalk to give his mouth some shadow detail. The paint was sealed with Testor's Semi-gloss cote. I think he turned out pretty nice. See what you think. I am working on the body and cage of the Wagon now that the dragon is finished, and will post more photos as the work proceeds.

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