449: Chaka Ryu

I stumbled across low res hand-drawn diagrams of a Ryu (Chinese dragon) and with a cursory glance said “why not give that a go”:

Two weeks later and a whole bunch of improvising helped me realise that may not have been a wise choice but I have something that is at least based on Hoang Trung Thanh’s model but not faithful to it.

On folding the range of pleats I added a ziggy zaggy spine, decided on 3 rows of scales and invented a method of locking the leg units (each leg is a separate sheet of paper) into the body pleats. I also stuffed the body (with neutral facial tissues) for a little shape and added a nice row of belly scales which I think make it look pretty nice.

The head instructions were un-followable (to me at least) so I sort of wrangled a new head with some lovely horns and a nice open mouth.

This has taken me an age, literally hours and hours – the density of pleats and scales have rendered the once crackly paper soft and pliable (like fabric) which is lovely to touch.

Had I known how much uncertainty and improvisation I needed to complete this model, or the amount of my life it would eat I probably would still have given it a go eventually.

I am really pleased with the final model, it is really imposing and huge – standing 40cm tall, the Ryu is 62cm long nose to tail and looks like it is taking off (I think Chinese dragons fly without wings – who knew?)

I managed to wrangle a wire spiral stand and the Ryu slipped onto the wire quite naturally (I was expecting a fight) – I think it looks better twisted and will continue to try to find a way to take a photo of it that does justice to its intricacy.

2 thoughts on “449: Chaka Ryu

  1. Hi,
    As far as I know, for flying, american dragons needs wings, but chinese one needn’t. And European dragons havent a very big body, but so little wings.
    After it, (every of) your origami(s) is(are) so beautifull !
    keep folding,
    (I’m french, sorry if there are mistakes)

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