Regular readers will know that we’ve featured many LEGO dragons over the years, but I think on this occasion YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID now that heavy-duty character builder Shawn Snyder has decided to get in on the game with this recreation of Tolkien’s Smaug. From head to tail it’s 28 inches and the wingspan is a whopping 35 inches!
We used Sauron’s seeing-stone to track down the damp cave that Shawn hides in, and dispatched our goblin hoard to interrogate him about his latest bunker-busting creation…
TBB: You’re best known for creating large figures and busts of humanoid characters from videogames such as Halo and Assassins Creed, or movies like Iron Man and Predator. What inspired you to attempt a monster this time?
SS: I’ve actually wanted to make a dragon for quite some time. It wasn’t until ArchLUG did a collaborative build of Laketown that made me commit to finally attempt it. After all, Laketown needs a Smaug!
TBB: Tell us about the build. How did you get such a large yet detailed model to stay in one piece? Did it present any new building challenges for you?
SS: The core of the body is made up of a lot of bracket pieces. By stacking the brackets and putting large plate over them, it locks everything together and makes for a very strong core. This technique also keeps the heavy wings secured to the body. The wings also have a technic support that goes from the large arm portion of the wing to the body. The wings were quite a challenge because of their size and weight and trying to secure them to the body. I spent about 3 weeks designing and building a prototype in white first, so once I had collected enough red bricks, it made making Smaug easier. I worked on Smaug off and on for about 4 weeks.
TBB: Personally we’re glad your version resembles Smaug from the classic Hobbit book cover. Is your Smaug modeled specifically after the book version, the movie version, or something else? What kind of source material did you work from?
SS: I used the dragons from the video game Skyrim as my initial inspiration. Then I used images from the internet of various dragons and illustrations of Smaug. I was glad to see the movie version was the two-legged style of dragon as opposed to the four-legged version because the two-legged style is what I wanted to make. But red was always going to be the color, and I wanted the contrast of the two different reds. The illustration look of the books is what I wanted.
TBB: So how is this model going to be displayed, and when will people get to meet him in the flesh?
SS: It’ll be displayed at BrickCon in October as part of the Laketown display, where it will be hanging from fishing line supported by a C-stand! I also made it so that any one of the scales on the chest could be removed for adding the arrow. I used headlight bricks, so when you remove the scale piece, you will have a hole to insert the arrow into.
TBB: Despite the liberties that the new Hobbit movies have taken, I’m sure everyone is very excited to see the final installment of the trilogy. Do you think the dragon will die in the end? ;-)
SS: Absolutely! I’m sure the dragon’s going down!