In 1990 I constructed a reference maquette for the Quetzalcoatlus or “skybax” in Dinotopia.
If you’re thinking of making a maquette for a dragon or pterosaur, you might try some of these techniques.
I wanted to make this "hero" model to be fully posable so that I could position the wings in up and down flying positions. I also wanted to be able to fold up the wings so that I could imagine it perched on the ground.
It has a skeleton of aluminum armature wire running from head to tail and out through the wings. Toothpicks serve as wing bones, pipe cleaners as legs, and zigzagging floral wire support the wing. The head is made from a chunk of pine, with Sculpey bulking up the crest and eyes.
The neck is made from flexible squishy foam, allowing it to bend or twist. The prone rider is made from Sculpey, resting on a saddle glued together out of scraps of leather.
The wing membrane gave me the most trouble. My wife donated a pair of her old stockings, which I stretched over the wing bones and coated with a thin layer of latex. I added another layer of latex a few years later, but the wings got too thick and lost their elasticity.
The whole thing was knocked over several times by the cat. During one crash landing the rider lost an arm, so I replaced it with cardboard.
Previously on GJ: Cellphone tour spotlighting "Skybax Rider" painting.