I've done it again, and I'm rather proud of this one. As with all of my work, I wanted the Dragoon to still be recognisable for what it was whilst also being rather different (and with a rat-man riding it obviously).
I decided beforehand that I wanted to change the Dragoon to have an upright body, and that it would probably have arms and a rider. Other than that, nothing was set and I went into this one knife in hand and ready to carve out the model one piece at a time.
With only a rough idea of where things were going, I built the legs stock as I wouldn't be changing those. I then cut the torso to remove the hip section and added all of that together to make a base to work from. I cut off the servitor driver as I wouldn't want him in there and then I flipped the body section so that the saddle actually formed the stomach of the beast. It also gave a nice neck form and a bit of shape. Overall, it was way too skinny though, so I kept building and adding parts to bulk it out, and his chest plate is made from the gun shield in the kit.
|Sorry the photos aren't better, I was in a bit of a rush after spending so much time building it!|
Overall, the conversion uses about 70% original parts from the Dragoon/Ironstrider kit. The largest part borrowed from another source is the front of a dreadnought (well it is Dreadtober after all!), which I used to build his shoulder pads as well as the command throne. There are also a few Killa Kan parts in there to build the arms and for some of the additional details. Don't ask me what else though, as it's a bit of a blur and I'm not sure I could name everything I've used. It was also quite a lot of work trying to shape the rat-pilot up top, but I like the big lever now that it's done!
In the end, the model probably took about a day to build, but I actually worked on it over 2 days to spread out the work and to give it time to dry in the middle there.
Style-wise, I've tried to keep it true to the rest of the force with combined Mechanicus, Skaven and Ork parts. I always try to give the models a bit of an evil look or edge to them too, as Skaven should look pretty bad to the bone. I'm always wary of keeping it looking futuristic though, and not going too all-out Skaven on things, as I never want the army to look too much like their fantasy counterparts.
Originally, I had thought of mounting the pilot lower down on its back, but after I added the exhausts I knew he wouldn't fit. I quite like the face that having him "up top" sort of echoes the position of the rider on the Doom Wheel for fantasy, so it adds a little throwback too. It does make the whole thing quite tall though, and I'd be interested to see it side by side with a regular Ironstrider.
Anyway, that concludes the build, which should give me about a month to get it painted. Hopefully it shouldn't be a problem, but it is a rather detailed model (and quite large now!)