There's a plastic Wave Serpent coming out from Games Workshop. I heard it'll be on shelves in January. This is a picture of it right here (Games Workshop did confirm that, yes, this is how the plastic Wave Serpent will look). This is something of a boon to Eldar players because, despite the fact that the Wave Serpent is the primary transport for Eldar troops, there has never been an actual model of it from Games Workshop. Players have had to either build one from scratch or spend a lot of money to get the model from another company. With all the attention going to Space Marines lately (with the release of the new models, the new codex and the Macragge box set), it's nice to know some Eldar models are coming.
The Wave Serpent has an interesting history as far as the models are concerned. The old Wave Serpent (i.e. the first one) looked like a giant iron and was designed for the Epic game (where many very, very tiny models are used rather than the larger models of 40k). A large version was made by a company called Armorcast (who made crappy models, btw) and it was inserted into 40k that way. As you can see from the photo I think it's preferable to actually make your troops walk then force them to ride in something that ugly. If that were in my army I'd shoot at it with my own troops.
Later there was this model in Epic which didn't actually have a counterpart in 40k; players had to build their own. As you can see, it's converted from the common Falcon tank, so the average player would grab one of those kits and then go to work with some plasticard, some glue and some ambition. The one in the picture is well-made and well-painted, no doubt about it... but I don't like this model. Those of you who know me will know that I love the Falcon's clean, smooth lines and I hate things that break those lines up. The Wave Serpent with those giant panels on the edges looks about as elegant as nailing a toolbox to the hood of a Jaguar XJS.
Forgeworld came up with this kit which put the stabilizer piece between the wings at the front and added shield generators all along the edge. This is my favorite Wave Serpent design (that's one of my own in the picture). The turret was low-profile as well and overall the model retained those great, smooth lines of the basic Falcon and made it much easier to believe that it could move at extremely fast speeds. This, to me, will always be the best Wave Serpent design. I just love it. I have owned several of these.
Now Games Workshop is creating one to put on the shelves. I don't loathe the new one, but I don't love it either; the extended antennae on the wings look like they'll break off easily and the turret lacks the smooth beauty of the Forgeworld turret. Still, it's occurred to me that I may make one of my own; using the Falcon chassis (as always), the Falcon anntenae (the two that stick up from its' turret at the back) could easily be made to line the wings in the way the new Wave Serpent's do. The turret... well... I don't use turrets anymore anyhow because I have a system I like better which uses a clear flying base covering the turret mount. I miss that stabilizer section in the front, though. I like the way that thing looks. I may try to design one of my own. We'll see.
I'll let you know if I come up with something brilliant for this or start work on something. I likely will.