A fiery greeting

Earlier this month, the team at Wellington Airport added a third giant, Tolkien-inspired character to its collection of statues that currently greet tourists. Joining Gollum and the Great Eagles is Smaug the Magnificent, considered to be the last of the great dragons in Middle Earth.        

Developed by Weta Workshop in association with Wellington Airport, Smaug is 4.25 metres for nose to the back of its head, 2.9 metres tall, 2.5 metres wide and has been constructed 75 percent to scale of the of one used in the Hobbit films. 

The project was art directed by Weta’s co-founder Richard Taylor and workshop supervisor Rob Gillies, using the same base 3D files Weta Digital used for Smaug’s creation in the Hobbit films.

The installation was then realised by a team of Weta Workshop 3D modellers, sculptors, model makers, painters, engineers and other specialists using a variety of large-sculpture technologies developed in-house at Weta Workshop.

Thereafter, on 6 November, the impressive creature was unveiled to a collection of 200 fans who had assembled at the airport.      

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