Smaug the Magnificent waits to surprise travellers at Wellington Airport, New Zealand

smaug group

Smaug the Magnificent has made himself comfortable in Wellington Airport’s busy terminal. The sculpture was revealed in front of 200 of the world’s biggest Hobbit fans this week, who made their way to New Zealand as part of the global Hobbit Fan Fellowship competition.

Under the art directions from Richard Taylor and Rob Gillies, Smaug was developed using the same base 3D files used in the Hobbit films. With a total length of 4.25 metres from nose to the back of his head, the 75% to scale Smaug has been developed by Weta Workshop and Wellington Airport to accompany Gollum & the Great Eagles in welcoming visitors to the Wellington region and New Zealand.

Richard Taylor said, “we were thrilled to create a third installation for Wellington Airport … For me, Smaug is the ultimate creation of Tolkien’s imagination and having a chance to bring this creature into Wellington Airport, along with the other characters we have done, was an opportunity not to be missed.” 

Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport’s Chief Executive, said “Weta truly share our vision of presenting an exciting gateway into our city and Smaug is sure to delight travellers. We were thrilled to be able to reveal Smaug to his biggest fans.”

Key facts about the installation:

    • The dimensions of his head, excluding horns, are; 250m from nose to back of head, 2.920m high, 2.500m wide.
    • Smaug’s eyelid is made up of an animatronic latex and polyurethane foam mechanism with a rear projection eyeball. The eyes emulate the “real dragon” from the first two movies and gives him an eerily life like appearance.
    • Weta Workshop built Smaug using the same base 3D files Weta Digital used for his creation in the Hobbit films, the same files were used for the collectable small scale reproductions.
    • The installation is 75% of the size of the dragon in the movies.

Video of the installation:
Time-lapse of the installation:


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