I know not all of you will like it, but I've mostly finished the main conversion bits of the Wyvern. I've lowered the launch tubes, given them more solidity and (using spade shafts!) included rods* to control their elevation. The tubes are still removable, which will make painting and storage easier.
Here are some views - notes to follow in no particular order:
Apologies for the colour scheme: the light grey bits are the FW resin pieces; the black bits are from other vehicle kits (I often undercoat everything on the sprue: I didn't for this model so it'd photograph better).
I did shorten the heavy stubber barrel, and I rather like it. Thanks to those of you who encouraged me on this one!
The track guards are the FW variants. I was really unimpressed with the quality of these components, but they're pretty vintage now, and I don't think they're being continued. On close inspection they have that "last-chicken-in-the-shop look" (points for getting the reference). Still, they're more interesting than the standard versions! I'll add the rest of the tracks in soon...
You'll note that I've rounded off the chimera's dorsal lasgun ports after all. I played with loads of ideas for these, including comms gear, searchlights, targetry optics, radar dishes, stowage boxes and missiles, but three bottom lines remain: (a) I envisage a backblast from the launch tubes - this would negate putting any sensitive equipment there; (b) I'm keen to keep my options open for the salamander variant (pictured below, as is) and magnetic mounts there just aren't a practical option for me at the moment, and (c) it's a fairly odd place to mount anything that isn't comms.
I really wanted to use the old rounded hatch variant (like on my old converted salamander), but I don't have any more. If anyone has one spare, I'll happily buy it from you with a newly devalued currency of your choosing!
The way the tubes are balanced means they rest nicely on the elevation rods* - the rods themselves are anchored in holes drilled into the tube mounts. Paint details will help me to give more of an impression of the rods' articulation.
There'll be more details added to the rear and starboard armour of the turret - some need more thought and the side I'll decide on after painting. And yes, that is a searchlight/targeting optic on the turret's port side. I think it'll work better once it's more blended with greenstuff and paint.