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Moto the Fire Dragon

A freebuild for Avalonia

 

< Previous Elemental Dragon

Moto and his rider, the elf Lord Joto, are the Fire Guardians protecting the Elvish kingdom of Mwamba from any fiery threats, especially from volcanoes. Moto's wings are smaller than those of many of his peers, enabling him to crawl into lava tubes and into magma chambers without catching the membranes on any sharp edges. Lord Joto sits on the Elemental Council of Mwamba and was one of those who supported gifting dragons to the ragtag collection of Hesperian exiles that showed up on the streets of Bandari, including Galaria. 

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More pictures:

Spoiler

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Moto finishes the collection of the Elemental Guardians of Mwamba, both dragons and riders. I need to build a council chamber for them to meet and show the story of Galaria and her friends being given permission to form a soul-bond with infant dragons and learn the basics of raising them, but I have been having trouble finding the time lately for much building. Hopefully soon! I've got some other stuff ready to go, but I need to have a day to take the pictures; maybe this weekend, unless another hurricane decides to drop lots of rain on us...

C&C welcome. Moto is probably my second favorite dragon I've made. I was rather pleased with the base on this one, so hopefully @TitusV doesn't find something to dislike about this base, too! (I don't think any lines are too straight on the front, at least...)

Edited by Henjin_Quilones

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I so love all your dragons. Really like the lava flow on this base. I need to try my hand and some dragons but you've set a high bar. And used the idea I have way before me too lol.

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Ooh, splendid work on the lava!  I'm not quite sold on the head and neck, but the rest of the body is well shaped.  Great job on the wings too.

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Love the base as always. I like the head, but Kai may be on to something about the neck. Those slopes look a little "machined". My only complaint about this one is that the main photo obscures the rider! I love your riders (maybe I should say so more often)!

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Dragon looks great (like your previous dragons), but it's the base that steals the show in this case.  Love the flow and colouring of the lava!

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I somehow missed this one on Flickr during the SJ. Like the rest of your dragons, he is simply wonderful. Although I think what really takes these builds to the next level is the base (I recently stole the design on a much smaller scale for some figs) The combination of the smooth, rounded SNOT black with the plates just really makes the whole scene pop. My favourite was Daeara the earth dragon, but I don't think I have seen her here on the forums yet?

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Nice work! That lava is really nice, especially with the red on that great dragon! One thing, personally the wings look a little small to me, that could just be the angle though. Overall, great job! :)

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23 hours ago, mlongworth said:

I so love all your dragons. Really like the lava flow on this base. I need to try my hand and some dragons but you've set a high bar. And used the idea I have way before me too lol.

Thanks, Mandee! I hope I don't scare you off of trying your own dragons. Others have set the bar high, and I was just trying to meet that bar myself. And what idea did I have/use first? 

16 hours ago, Kai NRG said:

Ooh, splendid work on the lava!  I'm not quite sold on the head and neck, but the rest of the body is well shaped.  Great job on the wings too.

Thanks, Kai! The lava was something I was pretty happy with. The neck is not his best part, but I am rather fond of the head myself. It fit the character of Moto to me, somewhat boxy and a little lumpy; homely, even. If you could be specific, what part of the head do you dislike? I plan on making more dragons, so I'd like to avoid things that are unpopular or fail to impress. 

15 hours ago, mccoyed said:

Love the base as always. I like the head, but Kai may be on to something about the neck. Those slopes look a little "machined". My only complaint about this one is that the main photo obscures the rider! I love your riders (maybe I should say so more often)!

Yeah, the neck is a little too ridged, I admit, but I felt that the alternative was just too smooth (2x2x2/3 curved slopes with no studs). There is not a whole lot of middle ground, and I went with the texture to try to mix it up a bit. Perhaps it was the wrong choice, I don't know!

I love the riders too, and will give them their own day in the sun soon, hopefully. I dislike that Joto is barely visible in the main pic, too, but it was a sacrifice I made to get a better angle on Moto. For example, on Hewa, you can see his rider, but I feel like the dragon is then not shown to full effect. Oh well. 

12 hours ago, narbilu said:

Another very cool one HQ

Thanks, Narb!

11 hours ago, Kristel said:

Dragon looks great (like your previous dragons), but it's the base that steals the show in this case.  Love the flow and colouring of the lava!

Glad you like the base (and the dragon, too)!

6 hours ago, Ayrlego said:

I somehow missed this one on Flickr during the SJ. Like the rest of your dragons, he is simply wonderful. Although I think what really takes these builds to the next level is the base (I recently stole the design on a much smaller scale for some figs) The combination of the smooth, rounded SNOT black with the plates just really makes the whole scene pop. My favourite was Daeara the earth dragon, but I don't think I have seen her here on the forums yet?

Presentation is key, right? You can build things that are really cool, but if no one can see it or you don't convey the coolness somehow, no one will notice or care. So the base is an effective way to amp up the presentation. I myself stole the idea from @Legofin2012 back when he was pretty active up in Mitgardia. 

And Deara is coming at some point, but she has not made her way over here yet. I may try to incorporate her into a larger scene as I begin to build out my Book III story in earnest. 

4 hours ago, TheLordOfBricks said:

Nice work! That lava is really nice, especially with the red on that great dragon! One thing, personally the wings look a little small to me, that could just be the angle though. Overall, great job! :)

Thanks, T'LOB! As I said above in the description, the size of the wings is deliberate, so that Moto can crawl through lava tubes and other more constricted areas and not harm his wings. Though yes, for a dragon of his size you would probably expect more surface area to make the idea of such a massive creature remaining airborne less ludicrous (though no matter how big the wings, in real life a dragon could never get lift unless they had lighter-than-air bodies, as I understand the science, at least; darn physics!). I prefer magic as the true explanation for dragon flight, so really the size of the wings doesn't matter much.

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Amazing dragon design! The neck looks a tad stiff but everything else is great! And that rider looks interesting. 

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18 hours ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

If you could be specific, what part of the head do you dislike? I plan on making more dragons, so I'd like to avoid things that are unpopular or fail to impress. 

I think it's mostly the back of the head that's throwing me off, with the slope going down into the curve piece, doesn't feel very organic to me.  Hopefully that's something that can help with a next dragon!

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This is definitely my favorite dragon build of yours.  I like the colors and the base, too.  You could have gone with a dark red color, but I like your bolder choice of primary red.  How long does it take you to build one of these from start to finish?  Do you draw up plans first or do you freebuild?

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Another beauty of a dragon... i'm loving the shaping on this one and i have to say the neck doesn't bother me that much either. It is quite straight, but because the neck isn't that long i don't think it matters too much. It makes him look rather alert, if anything. :thumbup: The base makes for an awesome presentation too - love the lava, although i reckon it would look cool spilling over the edge of the base!

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On 9/21/2018 at 4:06 PM, Windusky said:

Amazing dragon design! The neck looks a tad stiff but everything else is great! And that rider looks interesting. 

Thanks! The neck does look a bit stiff, but there is not much I can do to change that without radically altering the way I build them, which I am not ready to do yet. 

On 9/22/2018 at 9:46 AM, Kai NRG said:

I think it's mostly the back of the head that's throwing me off, with the slope going down into the curve piece, doesn't feel very organic to me.  Hopefully that's something that can help with a next dragon!

I can see that, and I was not fully convinced by it myself when I put it together, but it eventually grew on me and I kind of like it. Thanks for the feedback!

20 hours ago, Grover said:

This is definitely my favorite dragon build of yours.  I like the colors and the base, too.  You could have gone with a dark red color, but I like your bolder choice of primary red.  How long does it take you to build one of these from start to finish?  Do you draw up plans first or do you freebuild?

Thanks, Grover! It actually is dark red, in fact, rather than primary red, though the pictures don't show that especially clearly. Some parts, like the claws and the 1x1 rounds in the mouth to represent teeth, are primary red though. 

Now that I have a basic template in my mind of how to put pieces together and what kinds of shapes work where, the dragons only take maybe four hours to make (though perhaps I am wrong about that; I never really timed myself, but they were about two days' worth of naptimes, though sometimes three or four (which is how I measured build time over the summer, with two small kids)). I don't have any plans drawn out, just a thematic Element, a color scheme, and an idea of how big I want to go. The head sometimes takes longer than half of the rest of it, just trying to get it to work in proportion to the rest and not look too cartoonish. And some, like Maji the Water Dragon, got re-built two or three times before I was somewhat satisfied (though she is still my least favorite). The bases generally took another naptime or so to build once the dragon was done. 

6 hours ago, Gabe said:

Another beauty of a dragon... i'm loving the shaping on this one and i have to say the neck doesn't bother me that much either. It is quite straight, but because the neck isn't that long i don't think it matters too much. It makes him look rather alert, if anything. :thumbup: The base makes for an awesome presentation too - love the lava, although i reckon it would look cool spilling over the edge of the base!

Thanks, Gabe! I think it does look a bit stiff, but perhaps stiff with alertness as you suggest. I did try to pose him in a way that made him look ready to spring into action, so that fits. I tried to keep the lava (or water or earth) contained on the black base to keep the cleaner look, but it could have been cool to make the lava flow even further. But that would have taken more pieces that I did not have!

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good job! the colors work exceptionally well, and the shaping is cool. TBH it looks like a dark red and grey version of the Witch King's Fell Beast from LOTR. 

 

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Hahahaha, have I been so hard on the previous bases? Oopsie...

Well, this one is excellent in any case! The colourscheme is lovely and a great use of the radar dishes :thumbup: If I've got anything to remark, it would have to be that it may draw some attention away from the dragon :tongue: 

The beast itself is very nice as well, with some smoot curves, amazing wings and such a cute tail that I want to hug it :wub: 

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The mix of dark red and black works so well :wub::wub:
Very organic shape, especially for the back half of the dragon, and that lava base is spectacular :thumbup:
I feel like it might look better if his head tapered a bit towards the nose, as it looks a bit blocky now with the whole head being a pretty consistent size.
Overall, another fabulous dragon :classic:

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On 9/24/2018 at 2:41 AM, Mylenium said:

Cool design!

Mylenium

Thanks!

On 9/25/2018 at 11:47 AM, meepinater said:

good job! the colors work exceptionally well, and the shaping is cool. TBH it looks like a dark red and grey version of the Witch King's Fell Beast from LOTR. 

 

Thanks, and I don't see it as a bad thing if they are similar, but it was not at all in the forefront of my mind to make them so. I am not sure I could recall what the Fell Beast looked like without consulting a picture...

On 9/26/2018 at 2:20 AM, TitusV said:

Hahahaha, have I been so hard on the previous bases? Oopsie...

Well, this one is excellent in any case! The colourscheme is lovely and a great use of the radar dishes :thumbup: If I've got anything to remark, it would have to be that it may draw some attention away from the dragon :tongue: 

The beast itself is very nice as well, with some smoot curves, amazing wings and such a cute tail that I want to hug it :wub: 

You have been critical of the past two, so it got me on the defensive! Your comments were merited though...

I am glad the lava I threw together at the last minute works so well! (and by last minute, I mean more like in the last hour or so...)

On 9/27/2018 at 9:21 AM, soccerkid6 said:

The mix of dark red and black works so well :wub::wub:
Very organic shape, especially for the back half of the dragon, and that lava base is spectacular :thumbup:
I feel like it might look better if his head tapered a bit towards the nose, as it looks a bit blocky now with the whole head being a pretty consistent size.
Overall, another fabulous dragon :classic:

Thanks, SK, and I do understand what you mean about the head. It is rather blocky, but I wanted it to convey strength and power, much like an excessively square-jawed man, especially in comics, conveys strength (Thanos comes to mind, actually). However, perhaps it could use some more shaping and tapering, as you suggest. The neck and head are the weakest aspects of the build, in my opinion, and evidently in yours, too!

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7 hours ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

Thanks, and I don't see it as a bad thing if they are similar, but it was not at all in the forefront of my mind to make them so. I am not sure I could recall what the Fell Beast looked like without consulting a picture...

It's not a bad thing. It's actually really cool! 

It's actually really amazing that you recreated a near perfect shape of something you weren't either thinking about or had a picture of... That's a mark of true talent.

Or a coincidence. But I think it's cool.

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Nice creature, but the base with the lava steals the show :classic:

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On 9/30/2018 at 4:45 PM, Gideon said:

Nice creature, but the base with the lava steals the show :classic:

Thanks, Gideon!

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Ok I'm a little late to the party but I just have to say this looks awesome. The overall shape and posing look very fearsome.

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