Prepare one gum paste recipe following package directions. Mix 16 oz. of fondant with gum paste; tint red. Roll out mixture 1/2 in. thick; cut four wheels with round cutter. Indent center of wheel for hubcap; fill with white fondant. Let dry on cornstarch-dusted board.
Cut cake board to 7 x 11 in. and
cover with white fondant; let dry. When fondant dries, attach pillars horizontally to underside with tape. Shape 1 in. thick x 1 1/2 in. wide fondant base for hat. Shape top of hat 3/4 in. thick x 3 in. wide, round edges and let dry. Tint portion of fondant blue and cut a 3/8 in. wide hat ribbon; attach around base of hat; cross ends. Roll a small ball for button; flatten and attach to top of hat. Attach hat top to base with water and set aside.
Prepare cakes for
stacked construction. Prepare and cover sheet cake with blue-tinted fondant; smooth. Position duck cake on board cut to fit. Ice beak smooth, pipe-in tip 8 eyes. Cover body with tip 16 stars; cover wings with tip 16 pull out feathers. Position sheet cake on fondant-covered board; position duck cake. Place hat on duck. Cut a 1/2 in. wide blue fondant tie and position around neck; cross ends. Push 8 in. dowel rods horizontally through cake, 1 inch from top, leaving 1/2 in. exposed at each end. Attach wheels to exposed dowel rods with fondant. For pull string, insert licorice in flat jelly candy; insert other end in cake.
One of the most popular techniques, stars come in a range of sizes and styles. Experiment with open and closed stars for variation in look. The star technique is timeless and can be used as a classic border or as a stunning fill-in for the top of a dessert.