Here is my take on the D&D, D4e black dragon. To be honest I didn't intend to get so detail with these sketches, but I just wasn't able to figure out how to stop!?
This is more of mixtue of the D1 and D4 designs than most of what I will be posting. The D1 black was my favorite back in the day and I had to bring back some of the missing features, isuch as: the plate scales on the neck and tail (the tail is hinted at in some D4 pictures) and to a lesser extent on the arms and legs. I also changed the nose to be more like the D1 design with the banded scales across the bridge.
I also broading the tail to give it a keel like look ( I hope it appears that way at least) - that was my own tweak. As blacks spend a lot of time in the water I thought a better swimming tail as a good feature to have.