Harkonnen Ornithopter from "Dune" (1984)
About the Design
The vehicles featured in David Lynch's 1984 version of the Frank Herbert sci-fi classic "Dune" were a characteristically Lynch-ian reaction to both the functional, high-tech look of George Lucas' "Star Wars" series and the elegant descriptions contained in the source novel itself. The director's penchant for things base, mean and nasty resulted in a fleet of awkward, almost grotesque spacecraft that suggested a cross between Victorian-era sweatshop chic and H.R. Geiger's "bio-mechanics." For example, while Herbert described ornithopters as being graceful, almost bird-like flying machines, the Harkonnen 'thopter seen (only briefly) in Lynch's movie looked like the bastard spawn of a centipede and stove pipe.
About the Kit
Revell had plans for an extensive line of "Dune" models, but the picture's failure at the box office resulted in the company canceling its program after the release of the first generation of kits. (These included the Ornithopter, the Sand Crawler and the Sandworm.)
The 'thopter itself was a unique and well-designed kit, nice-sized and brimming with detail. (Many of the delicate spines were prone to break off with handling.) Although released only once, the kit tends to pop up with relative frequency at collector shows and on Ebay.
This kit was purchased and built in 1984.