Friday, January 22, 2016

Something completely different - I made a thing!

Last year my good friend Dave Pauwels decided he wanted to put together a project that was an homage to DUNE (the novel celebrated its 50th birthday in 2015). He had a sculptor in the UK sculpt up some 6mm spice smugglers, a mutual friend Rich Erickson is sculpting an appropriately sized desert-wyrm, and he approached me to sculpt an ornithopter. I've been a fan of David Lynch's DUNE movie since its release, and was excited to mess around with this project. Despite being a big fan of most of the designs in the movie, I did not like the look of the ornithopter.  Felt it was very clumsy and could never "really" fly. Fortunately, Dave gave me free rein and I went straight to Google image search.

I was struck immediately by this image, by artist Mark Moinar, of an ornithopter landing in Arrakeen in a world that was aesthetically very different to the Lynchian vision, but just as strong.

As you can see, the image was a great inspiration for me. I loved the idea of massive wings to hold aloft the more upright body. I have two casts here, the first is in flying model with the wings at the top of their upstroke.

And here is the ornithopter in the landed position, feet deployed and the wings providing additional balance.

These casts were done by the incomparable Chris Borer, who has never failed to replicate my sculpting flaws perfectly : )

And here ar the component pieces that I sent to Chris to work his magic with.

I'm not sure exactly what is next for the ornithopter, but I'll let you all know once I do.



  1. Oh my! This is super neat and very different from the movie (which I love). Outstanding!

  2. Good stuff, I love the film and the series Children of Dune, all good. I also still have my Sega Mega Drive with Dune II, the original Westerwood Studios precursor to Command and Conquer.

    Now get back to your Warlord ;)

  3. That is fantastic! Always loved that style of art from the Dune series - used to have a cool illustrated book that I wish I knew what happened to. You've done a phenomenal job bringing it to life!

    The spice must flow!

  4. That's pretty impressive, Dave.

    Maybe you could just go to sculpting minis for a living?

  5. A very excellent model base of a very cool painting. It's great to see designs by one artist, fleshed out by another.

  6. That's a wild,and well translated design. I'd love to paint and weather something like that. Great work!

  7. Quite nice Davey boy! Love love the landed version. As a weary traveler of Herbert's worlds, I approve and demand more.

  8. Awesome work mate! I would definitely buy a couple of these should they ever be available.

  9. whats the black material you are using there

    (sick looking model btw)

  10. A neat looking model with a lot of possibilities!

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