For this cake, I used a 12x18 inch (half sheet cake) pan with three chocolate cake mixes. I put a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan and then baked the cake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. While it was baking, I taped a few pieces of cardstock together to create my outline and then I cut it out. I also prepared my cake board. Instead of covering the board with fondant, I used black wrapping paper and covered it with clear contact paper. This enabled me to work directly on the board, instead of completing the cake on a piece of cardboard and then transferring it to the cake board.
When the cake was cool, I placed my outline on top and used a serrated knife to cut out the basic shape of my dragon. Then I removed all of the scraps and rounded the edges of the dragon while it was still in the pan. Once it had the shape that I wanted, I transferred it to the cake board. I covered it with a coating of chocolate frosting (which I had slightly melted in the microwave for smoother application). Then I rolled out some red fondant and covered the body of the dragon.
I created the belly next by rolling out a strip of yellow fondant and cutting it into sections. Then I overlapped the sections to create a new strip. I cut the strip to fit on the front/chest of the dragon, and I attached it with piping gel. I repeated this process to create the wider section of the belly that twists around the dragon. Then I used a small amount of black fondant to create an elongated ball for the eye.
I used the same yellow fondant for the hair/mane and the tail. I used a pizza cutter to cut flame-shaped segments, and then I scored them with the back of my knife. I attached these pieces to the head and tail with a bit of piping gel. Once the pieces were arranged the way that I wanted them, I used some edible gold paint and painted all of the yellow pieces. (It ended up needing three coats... An airbrush would've been handy!)
Next I added the scales, which seemed to take FOREVER! I used a frosting tip to cut out the scales. I used the smaller end for the scales near the end of the tail and around the base of the legs, and I used the wider end for the rest of the scales. I started at the tail and worked my way upward, overlapping the scales. I used piping gel to attach the scales to the body.
The last thing I did was add some detail to the face. I cut some small triangles of white fondant for the teeth, and I added a wavy strip of red fondant above the eyebrow. I also painted some piping gel on the eye to make it shiny.
Here is the finished product: