The Rainbow Dragon

The Rainbow Dragon is an outfit I designed after reading way too many fantasy and science fiction novels throughout the course of my life. It’s sort of a reoccuring theme that some dragons can transform or shapeshift into humans and I always wondered why they would bother when it meant they would lose everything that was cool about being a dragon, mainly the wings, claws and scale armor. So I decided to fix that.

The armor of the outfit is made from veg tan leather that is molded into shape using water and heat. I then airbrushed it all black and then put a silver finish over it. To get a truly metallic look takes a blend of dyes and acrylic paint that took me forever to get right. Too much dye and the color isn’t opaque enough, too much acrylic and eventually it will crack and flake off.

wings in progress

The spine is made of several different pieces all linked together. I posted a much more in depth WIP blog about it here.

The lights are all RGB neopixels being controlled by Adafruit Floras. The pauldrons and gauntlets, wings, headdress and tail are all seperate pieces with their own microcontrollers and LiPoly batteries. Each piece has a tiny microphone hidden in it somewhere to allow for the sounds around it to be picked up and translated into light by the microprocessors.


led armor test

The dress itself is made entirely of leather and there is not a single stitch in the entire thing. All the seams are held together with rivets. Small silver colored aluminum scales have been added as trim. The details of the leather pieces I used are best when seen up close. The white panels are actually scaled in texture and each tiny scale is tipped in gold. The silver black crackle leather on the sides is brush off lambskin that allows more and more metallic to show through as the leather becomes distressed. On the back sides and the center lower panel I’ve used leather with a silver rainbow glitter sheen. In bright sunlight it sparkles with rainbows and in low light just appears silver.

Warrior dress avatar

Warrior dress 5

Warrior dress back

Warrior dress 2

The clawed guantlets were the latest addition that I pulled together. Instead of the bracers with the little light up spikes I decided to go with my more popular claws, only cast the claws in a clear resin rather than my standard black so that the lights could shine through. They are part of the pauldron armor and mainly glow in shades of purple and red. I also took away the old fiber optic “bones” in the wings and switched them out for claws at the top as well. The fiber optic bones just werent jiving with the movement of the wings.

The feather mohawk that completes the piece is actually the first part of the costume to ever be created and uses almost forty lights on the inside and fiber optic cable laced into the feathers.