Saturday, 2 March 2019

The Great Spined Dragon (repaired)

There was some talk online last week about how to best construct the wings for the famous Great Spined Dragon by Nicky Bibby. Some suggested PVA soaked tissues, others a paper cut out but reading through the ideas got me thinking about my model. It was broken some years previously in a game up in Mansfield and I never got around to fixing it. 

So I thought what better time to go about repairing the old model and brightening it up, especially with the increase in quality light in the evenings. The photographs you can see here are the results of my efforts. 

I have stated many times over the years that I think this is the greatest dragon ever sculpted, and my view hasn't changed one iota. My miniature was quite damaged when I finally got my hands on it and I had to puzzle out a way to construct the wings without them totally disintergrating. In the end, I cut some thin plasticard to size and attached the metal 'fingers' of the winds to it with superglue. I used then used layers of greenstuff to sculpt a textured flesh to cover the plasticard and add additional support to the model. 

As I said, one of the wings broke away during transport. But can you see my new fix?

The model had also been a real magnet for dust despite being safely stored away inside my display cabinet. But how to best clean the model without creating further damage? I used one of my wife's make up brushes (the bushy ones like an old shaving brush for men) to dust off the worst of the build up and them used babywipes to gently remove any residual grime. 

It was a thing of beauty to see the paintjob emerge from the gloom! 

Luckily, I still had the orginal Army painter green (British Battledress) kicking about so I repainted the wing once the greenstuff repair was complete. It didn't quite match the tone of my original paintjob so I re-drybrushed the entire model and added a few additional highlights here and there. 

What do you think?

I took advantage of a sunny afternoon to capture these photographs, something I neglected to do when I originally painted up the model. So at last I have some decent shots to celebrate the hours and hours of hard work that went into this classic miniature. 

And the repair?

It may look small, but this little stress fracture resulted in the entire wing dropping off. I cleaned the area up, taking the wind back to bare metal before filling the space with a little epoxy resin. 

Once dry, it was a simple task to fill the void with a little green stuff! He is now back in his rightful place in my miniature cabinet. 

Until the next time he breaks, no doubt! 



  1. fantastic job : One day I'll finish painting Asgard minis and get around to doing mine !

  2. Out of my price range back in the day. Lovely job.

  3. Amazing work! Without a doubt my favourite dragon miniature, luckily managed to get a complete one for myself a couple of years back.

    But trying to figure out what I want to do with the wing membranes has held me back from working on it...

  4. Well done, certainly one model I wish I owned!

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  6. This is great work. It's a shame having arrived to the hobby too late to acquire such a magnificient figure. I've been in love with it since I saw it in Heroes for Wargames. It is understandably both rare and expensive on eBay, and I can't justify paying that much money for a figure, so I guess I'll have to admire it from afar.

  7. OMG. All of those metal dragons were fantastic but I'm inclined to agree that that was the best of them, the best balanced in terms of 'looks like a real animal' sort of thing.

    Yours is magnificent, well done putting so much work in on the 'winds' (just love spell chucker)they look fantastic. Any chance of indulging us with a side on view as well, just to show off the spines ?

  8. Lovely work and so good to bring it back to life no doubt! Does anyone remember the black and white Mail Order Catalogues they did years ago? I remember having one with loads of metal dragons and beasts listed and this fine creature was one of them - I remember the wee notes suggesting wing materials! Oh to be young again (or rich)

  9. Nice to see the repair job, fantastic Dragon. Out of price range back then and even more so now :P