I made this cake of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon for my son, Caleb's, 9th birthday.
The board that the cake is on is 20"x30", so that gives you and idea of the size of this cake.
The head and body of Toothless were made using a cake baked in a Wilton football pan. The legs and tail were made using foil wrapped around plastic wrap (just to fill it out some and not use so much foil). I'm sure that a medium like rice krispy treats or modeling chocolate would work as well instead of the foil. Before covering everything with fondant, I carved the football cake to get his basic head and body shape and used fondant to make some of the contouring of his head, attached the legs and tail to the cake, and put a layer of chocolate buttercream icing over everything.
When I rolled out the large piece of fondant to cover Toothless I used a plastic mold that looked kind of like dragon scales to imprint onto the fondant. I used it on the wings as well. You could see it well on some parts of the cake and not on others. I'm still learning how to do this technique well with keeping the fondant soft and not letting the pattern disappear when you are smoothing it on the cake, but I was glad it could be seen somewhat. :)
The wings were one piece of fondant that I rolled out, cut, and let dry as much as possible. It rested on the clouds, but it ended up needing to be reinforced a bit more which I did using wooden skewers secured with fondant to the underside of the wings in a few places. It did crack just a bit up on the body because I didn’t think about the curve of the body it would want to follow, but the crack was pretty small and once I sprayed everything black you couldn’t tell so much. If you didn't want to mess with using fondant for the wings though you could use cardboard covered with fondant (or whatever you feel would work well for making wings). :)
All the details (claws, spines, bumps, etc.) were made with fondant. I used water to attach the different pieces onto the body, head, etc.
For most of my cakes I color my fondant first. For this cake, though, since it was going to be a lot of fondant and colored black on top of that, I decided to try the Wilton color spray. It’s an aerosol can and they come in lots of different colors. So, I used white fondant for everything and then when I had it all assembled and had all the details done (except the eyes and the tail rudder piece) I sprayed it with the food coloring spray. I think I used about 3 cans to cover it all and get it as dark as it was. I would’ve used my airbrush, but I didn’t have it up and running yet. After it was sprayed I attached the eyes which were made from green fondant and the details painted on with black food coloring, and the tail rudder which was made from white fondant painted with red food coloring and white fondant skull and crossbones attached.
I wanted him elevated off the board so for the white clouds I baked cakes in ½ a Wilton ball pan. I piped white buttercream icing on the cakes using a large round tip to kind of look like puffy little clouds.
There was a lot of looking at different pictures of Toothless (and watching parts of the movie) to try and get things right. :) Caleb was thrilled with the result, and it was a big hit at his party! :)
Below you can see a slideshow of the progression of making this cake.
(I created my animated name at this site.)