While Cole’s Dragon is a very decent little set, it never felt right to me that the dragon is unable close its jaws. For me this is such an obvious action-feature that I am really surprised it is missing. To make matters worse, it has almost everywhere ball-joints except for the place where its head is attached to its body. The place where every vertebrate has one! I straight away felt the need to fix these shortcomings.
My two goals were clear: allowing the dragon to close its jaws and (ideally) also giving the poor thing a better movement of the head/neck region too. It took me quite a while though to come up with a decent solution. I didn’t wanted to change the appearance of the dragon too much, since its just right as it is. A very sleek build where every piece has its purpose. Staying within these building restrictions made my challenge tricky, yet the solution is surprisingly simple and quite in the spirit of Lego!
But before I show you what I came up with, lets have a recap on how the original version of the dragon looked like:
As you can see there aren’t too many parts and therefore not much you can tinker with, so it seems. The head is attached by a simple joint-connection, and the jaw is clipped to something with looks like the handle of an old-school blaster piece I never seen before.
Of course they had to go. But replacing the blaster-like piece proved to be really tricky, since the new piece needs to have studs on almost every side too. This piece quickly turned out to be the key to the whole problem.
Luckily I eventually had my eureka-moment! All I needed was these few parts:
And the result was:
The short bar pieces with clip proved incredibly helpful. They provide a lot of articulation – and while doing so they use up the least possible space. Wonderful! As a result the jaw is now significantly narrower, but being one piece, instead of two makes it actually much more sturdy. Also the studs on top of it work very well as teeth!
Cole’s dragon seems to be very happy about my modifications. This is also a nice opportunity to take a look at my fix from a different angle.
We will likely never know why the Lego designers didn’t choose a solution like mine and instead went for a much more limited neck. Maybe they wanted to keep the build more simple, then again my variant uses just as many parts, has a much better articulation and seems much more sturdy too. You certainly cant break the jaw off from it as easily anymore.
Anyway, that’s it for now. There are a couple more fixes I am going to post in the near future. One includes a new landing gear for my X-Wing, the other a redesign of the little pirate flyer from the Misfortune Keep!