Once the cast piece was ready, it went through a few steps:
- Sand the surface–from 320 down through 1500 to create a hint of wood grain and get rid of the texture from the bristol board. Smooth as the board was, the mold picked up whatever texture there was, and it doesn’t look like wood!
- Add detail–to the fins, tail, wings, eyes, ears, and reinforcing some of the detail (e.g., the lines), etc. This was done using the carving techniques taught by Ann High in her dragon chest class at IGMA school in Castine in 2013. Details were added to the dragon using small gouges, gravers, and different scalpel blades and chisels. (For a tutorial on making a small carving gouge, see this post.)
- Sand the outside to the right size. Since the piece is a little thicker than the 1/32″ wood that will be used for the remainder of the chest, the right and left edges need to be thinned a bit on the back. so the chest could be assembled.
- Spray the piece with a good quality primer–this is light gray from Testors
- Complete the final detail on the tail–using a gouge made just for this purpose.