I picked up a pair of plastic dragons at a “Dollar Tree” store several years ago. They were packaged in a small plastic tower about the size of a small thermos mug, and there were also knights in the same sort of towers, but I passed on them as they were six inches or so tall and didn’t seem useful in the scales I model. The dragons and knights came disassembled; in the case of the dragons each leg, the tail, wings, and head were all separate pieces that fit together with pegs and holes. The joints were pretty loose and I filled them in with liquid nails, but couldn’t get them to look very good. I later tried spackling the joints with some epoxy putty (the blue and grey kind plumbers use; that did not work out too well either because it sets very fast. I need to find some of the green stuff.
Anyway I primed them with Rustolem plastic primer and went to work with a few coats of watered down craft paints, and then did some detailing with full-strength paint. Both dragons were done in about and hour and a half of painting, total. They were black and green originally but I figured red and green would be more useful, since I already have dragons of similar size from Descent that I painted black and blue, and I have metal white dragon. I based them on plain old matte board, some 60 x 80 mm rectangles I probably cut for chariots or elephants for wargaming.
They still look kind of unfinished, but they are good enough for now. I’ll seal them and add more details, and maybe paint their bellies another color, later. but for now with so much unpainted lead, I’m willing to let the plastics slide.
The neck joint looks a little better from this side, but it’s still visible, between the seventh and eighth ventral scale:
I suppose painting up cheap plastic dragons like this qualifies as polishing turds, but I don’t care. They have a fairly classic design, even if they are not very “animated,” and just the right size at mini scale to inspire fear but not hopelessness!