Marlon of AssaultTuesdays.com
Ok, this idea is not originally mine. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for good tutorials about how to make Greenstuff flames (you can find a great one here). The airborne dragon in the site's example pictures got me thinking about how could I build and paint the 40k version of such an amazing composition...so...
If there's something I truly enjoy about the Wargamimg hobby is how you can convert, hack, and cut things to the point you end with something entirely new. Bonus points if you have something that actually helps the final model composition at the end.
Take the flyer and skimmer bases, for example. They’re just clear plastic stems that support a model. It is somewhat visible and leaves something on the basing that’s not actually a part of the model or the environment. So, I began to think about what could I do to solve this; especially now that the 40k sixth edition is out and the flyers are king.
Well, nothing new in here conversion wise. It's the final composition that matters - I drove a metal bar through the Drake's mouth and the other end through this HUGE epoxy hill. The idea is for the hill to serve as the counter-weight for the dragon "fly" without worrying about balancing issues.
This thing is heavy once you hold it! The rest is paint and about two nights of drybrushing to get these flames just right. Since I don't want my Dragon to just happily flame his way out in the open, I added some Cadian folk to the mix so my flyer would have a purpose: Burn the followers of the false emperor!
This model was a HUGE lesson on one facet of conversion I didn't know could be that powerful: Balance. By shifting the model out from over its base you can create a whole new array of options, especially for things that are not firmly footed on the ground. Flyers are in fact free to move in a whole new way in the game, and balancing the model like that actually helps to show it.
I’m not saying to do this for every transparent base you have from now one - heck, I have 40 unpainted Tyranid Gargoyles and I REALLY don't wanna go this route with them - but it will certainly help you to open your mind on how you can make an army centerpiece shine, or in this case, burn. Hope you enjoy!