I wanted a costume that could combine a great articulated wing design from a fellow Instructables user, shoot steam and possibly utilize stilts. Dragon seemed to fit the requirements. The costume uses a lot of EVA foam (aka cross-linked polyethylene foam). The head was made of sheets of foam, backed with cardboard, and supported with metal strapping to form a mounting structure. The eyes are acrylic plastic with transparent model paint. The horns are paper mache over wire mesh. The nose is made from hundreds of tiny scale shaped pieces of foam hot glued over a metal wire frame.  The wings articulate and hinge backward so I can fit through doorways. The hands use duct tape scales. You can’t see it, but there is also a tail.

The story behind the photos is actually my favorite part of the costume this year.

I wanted to get some photos so I tried to sneak into a Chinese garden after hours with a pro photographer. It was locked, but the head groundskeeper let us in after seeing the costume and told us to lock up when we left. We didn’t mention the fact we had $100 in fireworks in the trunk. The photographer decided to light everything right off the bat. There was 5 solid minutes of crackling explosions, giant clouds of smoke, dogs were barking, people were staring out the window, and photographer assistants were running around in circles with sparklers.

The sirens could be heard in the background so everyone sprinted to the cars. We all blocked each other in so it was chaos. The dragon got his head bent and tail broken.

It was all worth it for the epic photo shoot. In the end, the groundskeeper was fine with the entire debacle and just asked for copies of the photos and to have us volunteer sometime in the future.

I guess I had the luck of the dragon. Wow…that was so cheesy and lame. I sincerely apologize. Jeez.