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Conversion of Lysander into Tiamat

Queen of Dragons: Converting a Toscano statue into Tiamat

The final and ultimate miniature for my Tyranny of Dragons campaign is the Queen of Dragons, the goddess Tiamat herself! I saved this figure for last, and it’s a huge one. It is – by far – the biggest painting project I have done so far. It took me over a month of working on it nearly every day. Why is that? Because I took a 12 by 15 inch resin statue, which I first had to convert into Tiamat, which already took half of the time!


Tiamat is the five-headed dragon goddess of the (evil) chromatic dragons. In the final confrontation of the Tyranny of Dragons campaign, Severin tries to open a gate to Avernus and to bring forth the Queen of Dragons to the world of Toril. And how cool is it, if at the end of the adventure, you can have your players fight a real god materializing slowly through a ritual? It should be a very memorable moment, and I loved the challenge to find a fitting miniature to use on the battlefield.

Severin the Red summoning Tiamat, the Queen of Dragons from hell

There are official Tiamat statues on the market, like the Aspect of Tiamat (#24) from the War of the 2006 Dragon Queen set or the Tiamat premium figure from the 2014 Tyranny of Dragons WizKids set. Both of them are way too small for a true Queen of Dragons. Just look at the size of her in the picture above!

Unofficially, Reaper has a gargantuan five-headed dragon you can use: Ma’al Drakar the Dragon Tyrant (77580) by Julie Guthrie was the final miniature of a later Bones Kickstarter project. This baddie is huge! But when I started to look for a fitting miniature for Tiamat, Ma’al Drakar wasn’t released, yet.

Lysander the Five-Headed Dragon

By accident, I found a post from Sirithiel in the Reaper forums where she did a commission Tiamat, using a collector’s statue from the company Toscano. I followed the WIP thread closely and decided, I also wanted to use Lysander from Toscano as my very own Tiamat! And here it is:

This “miniature” is about 14 inches (36 cm) high and 15 inch (38 cm) wide. My usual photo setup cannot contain this beast as a whole!

Converting Lysander into Tiamat

I could just have used the figure as is and painted it to use as Tiamat like Sirithiel did on the Reaper forums. But I disliked how the miniature had five identical dragon heads. Tiamat has one head for each of the five types of chromatic dragons: black, blue, red, green, and white. In D&D, these dragons have a very iconic style that distinguishes them. And I wanted to have my Tiamat have an original D&D look.

So I decided on doing a conversion and shaping the heads and necks to resemble the D&D looks for the five dragon types. I used the official artwork for Tiamat as a guideline to know which head should be where and started with sawing off horns and fins and spikes. Then, I used black stuff and green stuff to slowly add piece after piece to remake the heads into their D&D versions.

Here’s the creation process for the Black Head, which needed new, long horns and a crest on its neck:

Here are pictures from creating the Blue Head, which needed a big horn on the nose and lots of fins on the side:

The Red Head needed more horns:

The Green Head needed spikes and a neck crest:

The White Head needed a new shape of the snout and a fin/horn on the head:


After two weeks I was finished with the conversion and happy with the results. Next up was priming the miniature to get a real look at what it would become.

I love it even in black and white! In the next post, I’ll paint it.