Carefully opening the box, I was greeted with a mass of yellow polystyrene disks, and nestled amongst them were all the component parts of the great beastie itself.
For purposes of the photograph I've placed the parts together in a balancing act, lying the dragon on its side, minus the right hindquarters and leg. The coin you see in the bottom left corner is a 20p piece to give an idea of scale.
But for me, the best detail belonged to that of the dragon's head; a beautiful piece of modelling.
I think what had put me off putting this beast together and giving it 'life' was the sheer terror of cocking it up and ruining a fantastic dragon model. Something on this scale cannot go unmounted - to do this model justice I have always thought it had to take pride of place upon a fantasy diorama. Hence this poor dragon lying in slumber for the past twenty one years (I think?). Even now I feel I could not do it justice.
When I think back to day I was given this as a present from my then girlfriend, I can fully appreciate the thought that went into its selection, not to mention the cost of it back in 1985/86, which was £15.00 - a hefty amount to splash out on a model of a dragon. I do recall being totally embarrassed by the price of it (I think the most I had ever paid for a boxed figure had been £5, and that decision wasn't an easy one to make either - money has never found its way to me easily in life, and still doesn't, more's the pity), and overwhelmed by my girlfriend's kind generosity.
So, maybe one day, when I feel it is time to breathe life into this ancient slumbering friend of mine, I shall do the grand beast justice and ensure it stands majestically on a setting worthy of its heritage.
... and 'thank you', Jane for the dragon gift, where ever you are.