Short post tonight just to prove that I'm still here.
The Heldrake is great on the table (best flyer in the game, IMHO) but I'm less than enthused about how it looks. It doesn't really fit well in a Nurgle army without some great effort. So, if I'm going to put a bunch of effort into a conversion, I think it should be into something unique.
I've been casually keeping my eyes open for an insect model that is about the size of a Heldrake for a few weeks now. I finally found something that will work.
It's an educational model of a Hercules Beetle that is manufactured by 4D-Vision and sells for about $30.00 US. Granted, it's a bit bulkier than a standard Heldrake. And, the posing needs modification, too, because it's posed as walking, which looks funny on a flying stand.
So after some major Dremel work and a good bit of greenstuff work, this is where I'm at:
The first thing I did was drop the angle of the four back legs so they look like they are hanging rather than supporting the weight of the thing. The front legs were fine as I thing they look like they may be trying to hug a Land Raider or a Wraithknight.
Next, I mounted the wings with magnets and did some minor GS work to try and adjust the scale so it looks right in a 25mm army. I have a lot left to do on the wings... mostly Dremel work and some GS.
I also decided to do without the giant horn on top of the head. I could see that turning into an argument about what is targetable during the game. Instead, I put in a Robogear jet intake that will tie into some engine/cybernetic/Nurgle parts in the back of the thorax, which is currently very empty.
After that, I "Nurgled" the wing covers and much of the face and forward parts of the body, which was a colon-load of fun and supremely messy.
As you can see, I still have a ton more work to do. This thing is the main reason I haven't posted lately. I'm having too much fun converting to take the time to post.