First Practical Long-Grin Phase 2, Neck and Throat


     In the photo (left), the head is already in the mould. BIlly had turned it over to work on the neck, its all-important voice box and air bladders, designed to inflate (with a soft hiss), whenever Long-Grin was about to speak. The "wattle" in the vicinity of what might be considered an Adam's apple in a man, is actually the dragon's voice box, and was intended to move as the dragon speaks and forms his words. The two air bladders were properly placed on either side of the wattle. Billy's realization of my concept was nothing short of inspired, and although none of these elements would actually function in the model, it was clear how they would be utilized and operated by the puppeteers, once servos and wires were in place. This upside down view takes a minute or two to get used to, but ultimately makes sense -- although how Billy could ever extract it from its mould is a bit mind-boggling.

     In Billy's 17-part mould, the plaster-like material would harden. Then Billy would take it apart and dig out the clay. Sincerely interested, Travis paid close attention, but he reported he thought baby Tyler understood it about as well as he did, and Tyler didn't even pretend to be interested. He had complete confidence in his Dad, which might have been more reassuring had Tyler been awake, but in the end, it didn't matter if either of them understood the process, as long as Billy did.