Having made four Eldar Exodite dragon knights, I decided to make their leader. While most of the squad are riding small dinosaurs, like Jurassic Park's velociraptors, this chap would have something weirder and larger, perhaps a bit like oviraptor and other strudithomimids.
Some models are a pleasure to make and paint, and others... aren't. For some reason, this miniature just seemed to go on and on. By the time that I was trying to get his torso to stick to his legs for the fourth bloody time, I began to suspect that I was cursed: doomed, like the Ancient Mariner or one of those guys, to assemble the same bloody miniature forever.
Anyhow, at long last the wretched thing got finished. And, actually, I'm really pleased with him (for now, before he falls apart again).
As with all the dragon riders, this chap was based on bits - mainly metal - that I bought from GW Mail Order many years ago. I stripped it all, dismantled it, and started again.
The dragon's body comes from a steed of Slaanesh. The head is from an old Dark Elf hydra. The arms are from plastic genestealers, with a lot of the tyranid detail sanded off. They were drilled into place and I sculpted shoulders and scales from green stuff.
I'm not sure where the rider's upper legs came from - some kind of plastic knight, perhaps. I sculpted some thigh pads out of green stuff. His lower legs were cut from an old swooping hawk. The upper body is all new to this miniature.
The head and chest come from an Eldar jetbike pilot. The right arm and rifle are from the first (and awful) plastic Dark Eldar, trimmed and green stuffed to look more like an Eldar weapon. The left arm is from a modern Dark Eldar wytch. I made his sabre from a filed-down Grey Knight sword, which looked surprisingly like some of the older Eldar swords.
A pistol on the rider's thigh was from (surprisingly) a 40k beastman that I turned into a Mordheim fighter. I added some little bags from the bits box to help hold his wobbly body together. The base was decorated with an old High Elf doodah and some steps made from plasticard and blended in with DAS clay. I don't know why these guys are riding around steps, but there you go - the Eldar are mysterious.
Phew! I'd forgotten what a slog it is to convert metal models. All that hacking and pinning! Still, I'm pleased with the results. The Eldar project has been a challenge, and my painting has improved because of it. This particular unit has been one of the highlights for me: partly because I'm pleased with the results, partly because the dragon riders unit is so characteristic of 2nd Edition 40k, but mainly because elves riding dinosaurs in space is cool.
Here's the finished leader.
And here is the entire unit.
Right then, what next?!