Modelling ornithopter from Dune 2021 - build log


Active Member

Day 19​

No flashy rendered for today. Yesterday was a bit busy + more importantly it's time for me to start working on legs and ramp. And that is a daunting task, to say the least. If it wasn't for this every-day-log forcing function I would prob. procrastinate and started some other project. Whole 19's day time I've spend watching two scenes in the movie where you can see front legs deploy and retract, over and over again, correlating it with all of the pictures I have of mechanical structure modeller has put in. And yes, all the moving parts, joints and sliders are modelled is to actually be able to perform those function. So, researching all of that took most of the time. I think I have better understanding now than I had before starting, which is good.
I still have something small to show, though. Used two good orthogonal views (+ everything else) I've sketched out the overall position and angles of front legs, ramp and back legs.


Active Member

Day 20​

I've missed one or two days. Was crazy busy.
So, I am learning more and more about front legs design. So far I've started modeling actual shapes:

Screen Shot 2021-12-12 at 22.13.17.jpg

Base on this references:
Screen Shot 2021-12-12 at 13.24.24.jpg

It's pretty busy design.

But then I've stepped back and made sure I understand mechanics of how legs are actually collapsed and stored away. So I've made mechanical exploratory motion model with simplified blocks. I am still not sure about couple of things. Will figure them out tomorrow.
Here is a cool animation of legs retract =)


Master Member
I'm a sucker for landing gears and this one is a beauty...and fairly difficult with all of the cuts and details. Great job so far:cool::cool:(y)(y)


Active Member

Day 21-23​

I still can't understand 100% intended mechanism of arms collapsing. I've spent some time investigating how it might work. Here are some ideas:
But since I am not planning on making movie quality asset with animation, it probably doesn't matter that much.
Meanwhile I was grinding down details on main beam of front landing legs.


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Active Member
Translation and rotation drafting greatly enhanced by today’s software. Fun figuring out how some tricky mechanical things move. Mock-ups will always help point the way, avoid errors and evaluate solutions if you are seriously building moving parts. Again, nice work.


Active Member

Day 28​

I might miss something and will have to revisit the front landing legs, but for now, I call it done. I've finished with a middle strut and added a heel.


I've also made another video explaining progress so far and some of the things you've seen already here:

Oh, and I finally went to the cinema to see Dune =) (I've seen it at home, but not in cinema) It was my birthday present to myself =)

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