Finishing the Dragon – KDF Studio Sign

Our little dragon is now complete! Our last step was painting him.

We got started by priming with Coastal Enterprises FSC-88 WB HDU Surface Primer. Two quick coats and we’re ready for color.

We love the Modern Masters Metallic Paints – for our dragon we started with the silver as a base coat. It dries fast so we were mixing up our glazes immediately and ready to paint it on quick. First was a red glaze then we finished up with a black glaze. The whole process took about 20 minutes – we got the exact result we were looking for. This guy looks old and weathered but still strong and a little scary!



completeddragon2 completeddragon3

we are on to final assembly of the sign – the next post will be the completed sign – all lit up!



Dragon Wings, Steel and Scales – KDF Studio Sign

Our little studio “sign” project has been on hold for awhile but we decided to finish it up at night – our special projects folder is getting a little too big! Now alot of cool things have transpired since we last posted on this project.

The tree is completely finished and painted  – Brian did an awesome job.  We are onto the sign itself. Once completed we’ll have to finish up the dragon that will sit atop the tree branch.


The sign has multiple layers. A shield made from dragon scales, a rusted steel grate, a steel flame and the KDF letters made from forged steel. So a lot of textures and painting still need to be done. We’ll paint everything then hang the sign and probably come back and do some more details once the whole piece is together.

This is the first layer of Modern Masters silver – this will be our base layer.

Paintng Metallic

Now we are adding our black pearl to “age” the lettering.

Painting KDF Letters

Here is the sign – there are some other little surprises that we’ll be adding as we go along but for now we can work with this.

Completed Sign


The dragon is ready for its wings. we came up with idea of doing the wings out of a strong poplin fabric so they are flexible, translucent and will look as real as possible. This  fabric is easy to work with and we have it laying around. Brian welded up the armature of the wings so it will be easy to super glue the poplin direct to the steel rod.


I did a rough cut on the material and made sure it was all glued in place nice and tight.

single wing

To make the material more rigid we are going to paint the fabric with fiberglass resin. This works great – the properties of the fabric will still be in tact and it will be stiff enough to work with.

resin materials

The resin is on and hardening – on to the next step!

resin wing

Both wings are done – I’ll let this dry for a few hours then it’s time to get back to sculpting this little guy.

wing complete

I have the Magic Sculpt and a few hours so I’m going to tackle some of the dragons body. This will be the muscle and bone application – I’ll come back once this is complete and do a thin layer for detail.
dragon2 dragon1

Stay Tuned…

KDF Studio Sign Project – Creating the sign

So today I’m completing the 3D designs and I’ll begin cutting the pieces to the sign.  The sign is based around a shield that will incorporate the lettering, LED’s and some other interesting features. I’ve decided that the shield will be made of steel and dragon scales – should be pretty strong – right?

Here is the top view of the sheild.


Here is is cut – now we’re going to flip it over and cut the other side. I’ve cut a 1/8th hatch into the spoilboard so I can register the first cut.


The back of the shield  has the reverse texture of the dragon scales and we made it as deep as possible. We’ll probably paint it gold and the steel band black – we’ll see.

here it is mid cut.


Here is the final cut – we even put in a little soft spot under the dragons scales!

sheild-front sheild-back

All cut and ready to be primed!


Now onto the outside frame – this will be cut from two pieces of 1″ Precision board then glued together.


Once we cut both sides its time to glue together then do a little hand texturing to remove the straight lines created by the CNC.

glue-frame adding-texture


KDF Studio Sign

Here is a fun little internal project of us creating our studio sign. We wanted something a little different than the average sign so we went with a free standing “tree on wheels”.  Oh boy this is going to be interesting.

Original Sketch

The first step is to create the structure of the tree. We’ll be applying cement as the material then carving it in place. The structure has to be pretty strong to hold all of that cement.

Brian can be seen here welding up the armature with steel rods.




Once its all welded together the structure is then covered in wire lathe to accept the cement mix.


Its a nice day out so we’ll sculpt outside. Might even get a tan.

First we have to get the cement mixed just right.

photo3 photo4


Stay tuned…