More Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society from the shop.
The alligator, carved by Mike Andrew, is made of styrofoam mounted on 1/4" plywood. Mike adds as many layers of foam board as need to make the required thickness for the various parts of the design before he begins to carve. He comes to the shop in the evening and works well into the night. I think he can make absolutely anything! He has also carved the flamingo and pineapple for the shield. I will post them in a day or two.
Nathan Rodda, the set designer, has everything painted black as a base. The white is added next, then the coloring layers which are made with a clear acrylic medium (house paint) with color concentrate added, just as you would have custom colors mixed to paint your house. We mix very small amounts in recycled plastic ice cream and yogurt containers.