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Building the

The sideview I drew, from which the Lucky Dragon was created.

After the original Rabbit model had received some positive feedback, I wanted to follow up one year later with a dragon for the Year of the Dragon, that was 2012. In comparison, the dragon was a much bigger challenge, as the body itself already would need to be more complex. At the time I hadn't started to learn 3D-software yet, as the Chicken was the first model on this website to be created with Sketchup.
To use as a reference, I drew a sideview, which already had the necessary sections drawn in. I did not have a top and front view. Using this, I created the model by hand as I had done with the Rabbit. I then took it apart and flattened the parts to scan them.

At the time this is written, the photos of this prototype have fallen prey to a trashed harddrive and it remains unclear whether they can be recovered. If they can be recovered I am going to update this, but there is little hope.

The 4th testbuild with legs for standing version on the right and legs for flying version on the left side.   The 4th testbuild after the legs of the flying version had been replaced with standing legs. First full build of the model.

Before the Chinese New Year that year I actually had quite a lot other things to do and did not have time to finish the model, although the basic parts had been drawn on the computer and a successful first testbuild had been done.
But the model needed so many adjustments, as the model parts drawn from the scanned hand-built parts are usually not 100% accurate, especially as they need to be mirrored, while the hand-built can never be that accurate. As time ran out, I gave up on the model after the second test build, but keeping in mind, that I may be able to finish it for the next Year of the Dragon, 12 years later. The development went into a deep sleep for very long.

The 4th testbuild seen from the front.   Closeup of the head.

Funnily, the first two testbuilds were still literally toothless. I can't follow up on when this was done, but an image is left of the head, which was photographed to create the teeth, this image is dated on the computer as of 2019. In March 2020, after having returned to China and going through lockdowns during the CoViD-epidemic, I finally started to work again on the dragon. The third testbuild was still toothless, but it was the first to get the spine right. On previous testbuilds, not only did the spine not align with the body and had to be adjusted, but it also didn't hold, so in the third testbuild, I added the tabs to the spine and it worked well.
The most important testbuild was the 4th one. This added the teeth and the former. Allover, small inaccuracies were ironed out. The 4th was the only full testbuild. I also used it to create some preview picture of the flying version, where I actually photoshopped in the legs in flying position as I had only built them on one side. But afterwards, it was modified with four legs for the standing version. For all previous testbuild versions I had built only one pair of legs for flying and standing versions.

Preview picture of the Lucky Dragon photoshoppeed from the 4th testbuild.
When I originally came up with the appearance of the dragon, it was largely inspired by an ancient Chinese dragon toy (there is a photo of it on the info page), in that it had a clean head.
When I was working again on the dragon, it occured to me, that this type of dragon, often called Chinese dragon and sometimes also Asian dragon, is actually the same creature as Fuchur (Falkor) the luckdragon from the famous children’s book “The neverending story”, my favourite book of all time. So I decided to create a version depicting him. For this I needed to add a mane, as he is described in the book as having one.
So I created the optional head details and also included a mane more resembling the typical Chinese depictions of such a dragon.
Testbuilds 5 and 6 were basically largerly improvements on parts, such as some leg sections, the claws, the teeth and the new optional head parts.
The bodyless head of the 4th testbuild, with new optional details added.   The 5th testbuild, which finalized the former, the ears and legs.

At the end of 2013, the model was ready for detail work. I had already drawn instruction illustrations in 2020, but I had to add shades in there, put together the instructions pdf and assign the number parts.
Then at the beginning of 2024 came a huge shock: Within days, first the old MacBook the current files were on crashed and then the harddrive which contained the backups also became unreadable. For a time, it looked like, after waiting 12 years to be released, the dragon model, which by then I decided to call Lucky Dragon model, would never be released. After several days, I was able to recover the MacBook and get back all files currently on that computer's harddrive. The Lucky Dragon so in the end was really lucky, as in the event I have lost all my old model files for all models that have already finished production along with all my digital files from more than twenty years of work, scans of photos of my childhood, scans of all my artworks, that had been left from my whole live and kept only as scans. Lost forever, but the Lucky Dragon has survived and is thriving. Now it is yours to build and bring you luck!

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