Revell Dune Ornithopter

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by blipper, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Hi folks, I recently got hold of a model I've been after for a looong time,
    the Harkonnen ornithopter from the 1984 movie Dune. I love it's design,
    and would love for one of the talented people here to some time come up
    with a studio scale version, but for now, I'm a happy man-child :)

    I thought I'd post some progress shots, with some notes for anyone who
    might pick this up in the future.

    1: The basic form, crudely taped together to give me an idea of where to start.
    And also enable me to whizz it round the garden evading sandworms
    and spice blows like a giddy 10 year old.

    [​IMG]

    2: From the side - there's some seams that will need attention where the upper
    and lower sections of the tail meet.

    [​IMG]

    3: Starting work on detailing the cabin interior with various greeblies from other kits.
    I'm an absolute nerd for vessel interiors, the movie can provide some good caps for
    the details but I decided to go my own way but try and keep it consistant with the kind
    of sparse and unconventional feel of the original.

    [​IMG]

    The ornithopter is yet another vessel that suffers from the Tardis effect, as in the
    movie Paul and Jessica are able to lay full length from the pilot seat to the cabins
    rear. Yet it doesn't seem possible looking at the model. Also the the width of the
    cabin appears to be divided into three in the movie, where the pilots occupy the
    central third and a wall or door seperates each end of the cabin. I chose not to
    include that aspect, I prefered the idea of the "bug-eye" windows being exposed
    to the whole cabin interior. It also let's in more light.

    4: Bits part one -

    [​IMG]

    Wow, some parts reeeally need a lot of care. This made me think about the kits age
    (over 20 years) and whether its a case of plastic degredation over time or simply
    the plastic used was never that great to begin with.

    The photo above shows the rear hatch steps and the rear landing gear. I managed
    to snap the rear legs multiple times even when I thought I was carefully removing
    them. And later when I just tried to roughly assemble them. And I swear later again
    when I simply looked at them. They're a pain to fix back, and also bear in mind that
    they will be supporting the a fair bit of weight of the model if you're choosing to
    display it with landing gear down.

    I'm going to try to reinforce these later and maybe at some point in the future would
    like to rescratch them from metal sheet for something sturdier.

    The steps you just need to watch out for the hand-rails which are very fragile (yup,
    both mine have already come off). Both sides of the steps once assembled needs to
    be filed a fair bit so it won't jam in the door when they swing up.


    More to follow.
     
  2. Mola Rob

    Mola Rob Sr Member

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    That is very cool. I actually have this model unbuilt. Looking at your progress shots makes me want to dig the kit out of the closet and get to work. Looking forward to more pics.
     
  3. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Definitley dig it out Watchman, love to see your take on it. Trawling the web there's
    not many of these babies to paw over so the more the better. Snap a bit of sprue
    beforehand to checkout just how brittle this plastic is though.

    5: I assembled the rear of the ornithopter and tried to fill in and get rid of the seam
    between upper and lower tail sections. In retrospect I didn't think this through, I
    needn't have been so fussy on the tail section from cabin to tail mid-point as the
    wings actually conceal this area, and any seam tidying can loose some of the
    definition of the rings that make up the length of the tail.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the rear of the cabin I used some keyboard buttons for the ceiling and
    plasticard/vent greeblies for a rear wall section to cover up the holes where the
    tails connect to the cabin. I know no-one will really be able to see this but it
    bothered me, and it might bother my pilot too and I can't have a flustered pilot
    in command of my ornithopter.



    6: Painting the interior with Tamiya Grey-Green (Luftwaffe)

    [​IMG]

    Neither the console nor green windscreen have been permanantly fixed yet.
    The whole painting thing gets a bit fangled as I later need access to the cockpit
    in order to fix the windscreen in the cabin from within, yet I need the outer cabin
    painted in order to get a good finish around the windscreen area, which I didn't
    feel could be acheived by simply masking it off.

    Anyhow here's the exterior -

    [​IMG]

    - first painted satin black as a base coat. I know in the movie its a black but
    I don't feel it does it justice. There's too much of this great design lost in the
    blackness. Also there's an amazing ornithopter done here
    by Gino Dykstra (which I can only hope mine's at least a tenth as good as)
    which made me think that a gold colour is how this flying machine really
    should be. Gold really gives it an elegance and makes me see it as
    something almost Miyazaki like which suits me fine.

    I like to think that maybe the Harknonnens stole the ornithopters from a more
    cultured people and in their philistine nature just slapped black paint over them
    to mark them as theirs. Heh.

    So here it is with a light gold coat -

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Cirielle

    Cirielle Active Member

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    That is so awesome.....
     
  5. Light_Tech

    Light_Tech Active Member

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    Great model. Hope to find one myself someday.

    Chris
     
  6. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    ^ thanks for looking in fellas.

    I've added some brass rods across the viewport to make it more accurate to
    the original design. Fiddly as heck but something I felt needed to be done.

    [​IMG]



    Also reworked the hinge on the rear door which swings down. The original hinges
    were mere nano nubs, I thought the door would be likely to just come away
    completely whenever opened.

    [​IMG]

    So I dremeled a portion of the door lip away and fixed onto it some brass rod
    (green arrow) and kept the rod attached to the rear body with some very thin
    plastic tabs (red arrows).


    And here's a couple of the painted interior. The pilot is from my spares box
    and only required a little surgery to be ornithopter-ready.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Hand Solo

    Hand Solo Sr Member

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    Coming along nicely. :thumbsup

    I can imagine you'll be sure to leave a couple of stillsuits for Lady Jessica and 'The LITTLE One'. :p
     
  8. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    I'm sure I can sort something out for Lady Jessica :D
     
  9. Hand Solo

    Hand Solo Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(blipper @ Jul 3 2006, 07:47 PM) [snapback]1273671[/snapback]</div>

    Beware of 'The Voice'.

    " First...cut my son's...buns..." ( Dune fans will get that little joke. )

    Good job on the brass windscreen spars. Definitely a nice touch.
     
  10. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Great gifs btw, Hand Solo :lol
     
  11. Hand Solo

    Hand Solo Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(blipper @ Jul 3 2006, 07:52 PM) [snapback]1273676[/snapback]</div>

    Aw shucks...thanks. I make my own.

    Not to hi-jack but here's the album link if you want to check em out. Dune IS on my list to do some .gifs from.

    Animations pages.

    Enjoy.

    Ok...back to this awesome WIP thread. :p
     
  12. Light_Tech

    Light_Tech Active Member

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    now if they only made projectors small enough to move the little lines, x's, and diamond shapes across their faces.

    Seriously though It's looking great. :thumbsup

    -Chris
     
  13. dropshipbob

    dropshipbob Sr Member

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    I never see enough DUNE models. :)

    This looks great, any plans for a base?
     
  14. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(dropshipbob @ Jul 5 2006, 04:15 PM) [snapback]1274495[/snapback]</div>

    I think once I've finished the paint job I'll go with a plain wooden base, but later on when I get some time I like the idea of a rocky perch of some sort. I did think maybe a more sand dune like base would be more appropriate, but you know, landing on sand might be asking for worm trouble. ... actually... that, sounds like a cue for a diorama.
     
  15. Hand Solo

    Hand Solo Sr Member

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    Make yourself a little Tesla Coil to shoot arcs thru the sand. :D

    Oh...don't forget to plant a thumper or two. ;)
     
  16. Light_Tech

    Light_Tech Active Member

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    I just saw some dune kits recently, but could not afford, due to just buying a house. Yours is looking great.



    -Chris
     
  17. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    All the best with the house move Light Tech, hope it's as hassle free as possible. When's the party? :D

    Well, I'm just about finished with the ornithopter, there's a stair rail missing which I need to sort out some time and I'd like to do some fine work on the forward aerials to give it a bit more of an insectoid look, but it's basically done for the moment.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    cheers for looking.
     
    Axlotl likes this.
  18. wuher da brewer

    wuher da brewer Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That looks fantastic. Thanks for all the detail shots. I really like all the improvements you put into it.
     
  19. Light_Tech

    Light_Tech Active Member

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    awsome :D

    the whole thing looks great. :thumbsup

    Chris
     
  20. dualedge

    dualedge Sr Member

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    That really does look amazing. Are you going to make a little sandy base for it to sit on? :)
     
  21. 1138

    1138 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome, very nice build up on it and a great paint job. Love that pic from the rear with the hatch open.
     
  22. Mechinyun

    Mechinyun Sr Member

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    Wow thats awesome man.. good job.
     
  23. TK0518

    TK0518 New Member

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    looks really nice..

    <div class='quotetop'>(dualedge @ Jul 20 2006, 03:29 PM) [snapback]1284402[/snapback]</div>
    yeah.. i second that.. a nice little dune (no pun inteded) for it to sit on..
     
  24. TheSt.LouisKid

    TheSt.LouisKid Sr Member

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    I remember when those models came out. Kinda surprised since everything in that movie was so wierd looking. But wierd in a different way.

    A fine job. The weathering really brings out the detail.


    I suspect people on this board will suddenly looking to Ebay to get one of these after seeing this thread.
     
  25. Scapey

    Scapey Sr Member

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    Very, very nice buildup.

    I was always very disappointed in how the 'thopters looked in the movie - Especially the Atreides one.

    They're supposed to function like birds ( Hence the name ;) ), and simply having little stubby wings fold out, before the boxy pile of junk floated away.

    Seen static, as in your pic, the design actually seems a bit more plausible...
     
  26. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Thanks for the comments fellas :) The only thing about a sand base is I wonder would the grains look to large, maybe there's something finer that looks similar? I'm sure they used some strange micro stuff for the Dune movie.



    <div class='quotetop'>(Reverend Scapegoat @ Jul 26 2006, 09:36 PM) [snapback]1288432[/snapback]</div>
    Yeah I'd love to see some more authentic ornithopter designs. I've been scratchbuilding/customising a few models that have more of a truer flapping-wing flight principle, it's such an intriguing idea. I tend to see the Lynch ornithopters as more of a standard flying vessel than a proper ornithopter but with a kind of Jules Verne look that I really like.
     
  27. cobywan

    cobywan Sr Member

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    You could use what the film crew used to shoot the Sansworms. Microballoons. You can get them at the best hobbyshops or any fiberglass supply store. You could presculpt the base form and glue a layer or the Microballoons on top. It would look really good.

    Or you could use baking soda and airbrush the sand color over it.
     
  28. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(cobywan @ Aug 10 2006, 03:22 PM) [snapback]1297680[/snapback]</div>
    Thanks cobywan, I'll look into that.
     
  29. nick daring

    nick daring Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Man, I keep on aching for this kit. Great job. I love the added etailing. The brass bars across the windsheild really add to the look of it.

    I say you should simply stain the wood base a deep rich burgandy and let it look like a museum piece. It would fit the gothic feel of the design I think. Maybe even add a plaque.

    Nick
     
  30. Dalroi

    Dalroi Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Outstanding piece of work, that man! :thumbsup

    Makes me wish I hadn't e-bayed my Ornithopter kit many moons ago... :unsure

    Have you noticed that there is such a thing as "Seller's Regret" when it comes to kits & props?

    Sigh.

    Dalroi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  31. Monsoontide

    Monsoontide New Member

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    Hi Blipper,

    Very nice job on this rather obscure model.
    Have been taking a crack at it myself - albeit in 3D
    View attachment 25231
    View attachment 25232
    and I was hoping you might be able to help...
    While I have the actual blueprints for the craft, I have been unable to work out just what the underside of the vehicle looks like (since every single reference photo I have found features top/side/45 degree angles).
    Any chance of snapping a photo of the underside of your model and posting it please?

    Regards
    Monsoontide

    Check out the rest of my 3d dune models at http://dunese.blogspot.com
     
  32. TheRealMcFly

    TheRealMcFly Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I didn't even know this model existed...

    WOW. You did a really great job with this... especially considering the condition it was in beforehand. Always great to see resurrected kits, this certainly goes beyond an out of the box build.

    Freaking nice model right there. I wouldn't even make a base for it, speaks for itself.:thumbsup
     
  33. propologist

    propologist Sr Member

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    That is cool..I always hated the movie , but the ships where great
     
  34. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Thanks for the kind compliments, unfortunately the model has been a little dinged over the past couple of years and lost some of the more delicate antennas.

    Monsoontide I have some shots to hand another member pm'd me for, let me know if you need more, they're reasonably distortion free:

    Good work/site by the way, I've visited a few times in the past to see what's "new" in the Lynch Dune model world. I particularly like the shortened Harkonnen frigate.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  35. Monsoontide

    Monsoontide New Member

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    Thanks blipper!

    Those shots are excellent!
    Just what I need to finish the underside detailing!

    Cheers
    Monsoontide
     
  36. duke2k7

    duke2k7 New Member

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    wow!

    as a first-time model-maker (31 and only just starting out, lol) this is the sort of thing i'm looking to aspire to - truly magnificent work!

    i love the movie, so i'm biased, but i can tell good skill when i see it.

    any tips for a newbie modeller regarding painting? stick to traditional schemes, or be a bit personal like your 'thopter?
     
  37. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, Duke. I don't think it's ever too late to start picking up a kit, chances are you have a good idea of what you want and the patience to match.
    That being said I wish I had a little more patience as part of me really wanted to airbrush my ornithopter to get some subtlety in the tones. Unfortunately my only experience in airbrushing was a rather cheap airbrush that super sprayed about a 3 metre radius around me in Panzer Olive Green.

    There are many many modellers/painters here far better than me and totally open to any advice, don't feel stupid to ask anything. Resin Illuminati is another great board with lots of talent too.

    Certainly be sure to post any projects you do! :)
     
  38. ProfKSergeev

    ProfKSergeev Well-Known Member

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    Glad I found this thread; about to build my own ornithopter and your work is invaluable. Great choice on the color scheme!
     
  39. blakeh1

    blakeh1 Sr Member

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    Excellent work!
     
  40. blipper

    blipper Sr Member

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    Thanks fellas - I keep meaning to return to it as some of the antennae have broken off and become lost so need replacing. I would like to rebuild the landing gear too from scratch, likely using metal so it's far stronger.

    ProfKSergeev - I hope you post any work you do, I'd love to see it. If you choose to go the route of adding bars to the viewports a helpful thing I did was wrap the clear viewport model piece in foil (and carefully make it as smooth as possible by rubbing it gently with a cloth) - then inserting it into it's designated place in the model and using it as a support while the metal bars are glued in. Helps to stop any glue fogging the viewport piece when finally adding it after the bars are fixed.

    All the best.
     
    ProfKSergeev likes this.

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