Finally I am gonna start the first step towards folding the most complex model ever designed — The Ryujin by Satoshi Kamiya. Ryujin (龍神) is a Japanese phrase meaning “God of Dragon” and Satoshi has created the ultimate model that aptly fit to hold the title.
To date, Satoshi has designed 3 versions of Ryujin and all are published in the form of crease pattern (CP). The versions are actually the evolution of his design from the simplest (version 1.2), then the intermediate (version 2.1) and the most difficult (version 3.5).
Being engineering trained, I am taking this exercise systematically and will start from the simplest version — Ryujin 1.2, in order to familiarize with the design.
The first thing to do is to generate the CP. I uses the Autodesk 2D drafting software, AutoCAD, to draw the CP and later plotted it out on HP plotter. I like to use this method to generate CP because you can control the precise measurement for all the crease line. Another advantage of using the drafting package for drawing the CP is the scale feature, where you can plot the CP to any size within the limit of the plotter paper. But you still can fold model bigger than the plotter paper by plotting the CP in 4 quaters and then join the paper to form a large sheet. The only drawback so far is the models is only white in color. After about 1 hr of drafting and checking, my first Ryujin 1.2 CP is plotted on standard plotting paper (about 80 gram) measured 42cm square.
CP of Ryujin 1.2 plotted on HP DesignJet
The crease pattern looks pretty straight forward, so I did not spend much time planning and started folding right away…. Big Mistake. I manage to figure out how to fold the body, tail and legs, but when it comes to the dragon head, I just cannot seems to get it right.
Almost there… but still far from finish
So I decided to cut up the CP into smaller portion for test folding just the dragon head…. divide and conquer.
CP of dragon head of Ryujin 1.2
The head design is not as straight forward as it appears. After 2 failed attempt on folding the head and tenths of hours of research in the internet, I finally manage to get the rough shape of the dragon head.
The dragon head — Ryujin 1.2
One thing I find lacking in all the CP available in the internet is the specification of mountain-valley fold line. So I decided to put in these detail into the CP for reference, and here is the M-V lines for the dragon head.
Tracing of the Mountain-Valley fold lines of the dragon head of Ryujin 1.2
Now need to plot a new CP to re-fold the Ryujin 1.2 again….