Tag Archives: Ornithopter

Armored LEGO evac bumbles into our hearts

Biomimicry in industrial engineering isn’t just a path to innovation and efficiency — it can also lead to amazing designs that are functional and fun. That’s definitely the case with Bongobert‘s “Bombas Armatis” (armored bee). This  evac vehicle has the chonky proportions of a bumblebee, only instead of fuzz it boasts heavy armor for extracting agents from combat situations. The Evac repurposes the wings from the similarly insect-inspired Dune Ornithopter and the wheeled landing struts remind me of a bulkier version of the spider-like Tachikoma tank. The cockpit is perfect, with a purple party bus windshield that complements the bright light orange body, angled down in a way that evokes a bumblebee on the lookout for pollen. Bongobert’s vehicle is both innovative and cozily familiar. Definitely a LEGO creation worth buzzing about.

Bombas Armatis

Dragonfly in the sky, I can go twice as high

Let me guess: you watched the recent Dune movies and thought, “Man, those ornithopters were cool-looking and all, but what if they were a little more steampunk? And flown by elves?” Don’t worry, LEGO builder Ted Andes has your back. For Brickworld Chicago 2024, he imagined that elves would build a ‘thopter inspired by their natural surroundings, giving the craft its smooth, organic lines. And where the Dune version definitely had a little dragonfly in it, this little marvel seems to take its cues from the wider insect world: Aside from the dragonfly wings, there’s a bit of grasshopper leg in the fuselage and something a little more wicked in that stinger at the back.

Dragonfly Ornithopter

This dimunitive Dune ‘thopter is thoroughly thrilling

With an impressive minifigure complement and plenty of wing-flapping, landing gear-extending action, this year’s 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter was an early contender for my favorite LEGO set of 2024. Still, for some, its higher-than-average price per element might be as hard to swallow as the Water of Life, so we’re fortunate we have GolPlaysWithLego to create this iconic aircraft at a smaller scale.

Dune Ornithopter LEGO MOC

One of the biggest challenges in rendering the ornithopter at any scale is making those long, spindly wings. Heck, the official set had to create a whole new piece to solve that problem. In this case (in an inspired choice worthy of the Kwisatz Haderach) the wings are ingeniously made from garage door panels. Here’s a rear view, where you can see the boarding ramp and landing gear recreated with beautiful fidelity. It just goes to show that when it comes to desert power, bigger isn’t always better.

Dune Ornithopter LEGO MOC

LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter [REVIEW]

Science fiction is one of the best inspirations for custom LEGO creations, from franchises like Star Wars, Alien, Starship Troopers, Bladerunner, and many more. And there have been plenty of official sets inspired by the genre as well. But outside of Star Wars and LEGO space-related themes, there have not been very many official sets (LEGO Ideas 21340: Tales of the Space Age being a rare exception). But this changed at the start of this month. With the premiere of Dune part 2 in theaters on March 1st, one of the most iconic vehicles from the movie is finally brought to fantastic LEGO life with the release of LEGO Icons 10327 Atreides Royal Ornithopter. The set comes with 1,369 pieces, includes 8 minifigures, and is available now from LEGO.com and other retailers for US $164.99 | CAN $214.99 | UK £149.99.

Find out what’s in the box below! Don’t worry, it’s not the Reverend Mother’s…

LEGO reveals LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter, available for preorder now [News]

LEGO today revealed a large-scale tie-in set for the upcoming Dune: Part Two directed by Denis Villeneuve, based on the classic sci-fi novel by Frank Herbert. The movie — starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, and a cast of thousands — is currently scheduled for release in theaters on March 15, 2024, but LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter will launch on February 1st, 2024. The set includes 1,369 pieces with 8 minifigures, and is already available for preorder from the LEGO Shop online now at US $164.99 | CAN $214.99 | UK £149.99.

Read on for the full details, including play features and minifigure selection. Make sure to check out the full gallery at the end of the article.

Click through to see the full details about LEGO Icons 10327 Dune Atreides Royal Ornithopter

Our road leads into the desert of Arrakis

From Arrakis comes spice and these LEGO vignettes by builder Bryan Firks, whom you may know from the second season of LEGO Masters. I had the good fortune to chat with Bryan about these scenes and the inspiration behind them. He became a fan of the “Duniverse” after watching the 2021 film Dune, sparking an interest in the original book and the richly detailed world. Soon, the idea to create a series of microscale scenes developed in his mind. He drew inspiration from 2021’s TBB creation of the year, Jan Woźnica’s Tales from the Space Age, for providing atmosphere and color. Equipped with new color palettes, he employs similar techniques with his vignettes. On the left, transparent neon orange antennae represent orbital strikes on the old city of Arrakeen. A spice refinery explodes in the foreground. In the center, we see an ornithopter hovers above a spice harvester with levers as its wings. On the right, there’s one of the legendary sandworms of Arrakis! The worm is captured brilliantly with round bricks interlinked by flex tubing for poseable segments. The sand dunes give a sense of scale to the worm, showing just how massive it really is!

Bryan faced a few challenges rendering these scenes on this scale. Being a Lord of the Rings fan, he wanted to use Uruk-hai swords for the ornithopter wings. Alas, they were too big for this size. The sandworm presented a fun challenge, and using an inverted 2×2 dome for the gaping maw is very cool! The flow of direction, from left to right following the lines of the orbital strike through to the worm’s mouth, is intentional to give the build a sense of motion. Another clever choice is the night-day-night pattern of the backgrounds, giving the vignettes a lovely balance. The mirroring of the dual moons in the night scenes helps to frame and hold the day scene in your attention as you take in the whole. My favorite part of the build, besides the sandworm? It demonstrates how inspiring the LEGO community can be. Anyone can become inspired by another builder’s creation, leading to more beautiful homages and builds!

An interesting take on the ornithopter from Dune

Now that the world has finally seen the release of Denis Villenueve’s adaptation of the classic novel Dune by Frank Herbert, many LEGO builders have taken inspiration from the movie and the original source material, using desert power to fuel their imagination. One of the most interesting vehicles in the story is the small patrol craft known as ornithopters, or ‘thopters, which are described as looking a bit like a dragonfly, with two sets of wings that can either flap or retract for jet-powered flight. Alpha Bernini‘s version of the four-winged craft may look a bit unconventional, but there are many interesting details of note. First, the angled cockpit with its transparent blue canopy really picks \up the insect vibe, paired with the small Mixels jointed legs.

Somewhere on Arrakis

The long scaffolding part used for the tail further resembles the extended abdomen of the dragonfly. Seen from the side, with the wings folded back, the cockpit also includes storage space below the pilot’s chair.


Be sure to check out our other Dune-inspired ornithopters featured recently.

This LEGO Ornithopter from Dune 2021 has me all a-flutter

The brilliant (in my opinion) 2021 adaptation of Dune is finally out in theaters, and one of the most distinctive vehicles introduced in the Sci-fi epic is the flying ship known as the Ornithopter. ZiO Chao captures the details of this small craft perfectly. The book describes an insect-like multi-winged vessel that flies using a mechanical flapping motion but is also capable of jet-powered flight. Director Denis Villeneuve combined this inspiration with an Apache helicopter, so it is only fitting that ZiO used helicopter rotors for the wings.

Ornithopter from DUNE

Other details like the retractable ramp for boarding, and the landing gear that continue the insect vibe as they extend downward for landings. With photographic effects to add motion blur, you can almost hear the low whining thrum of the wing beats.

Soaring over Arrakis with House Atreides: Dune’s Ornithopter in LEGO

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has quickly become a hit amongst fans and critics. The cinematography and soundtrack balance perfectly with the classic narrative to deliver a knock-out blockbuster that will last the ages. Much like Star Wars, Star Trek, and others, Dune features a plethora of cultures, planets, and religions. For me and other fans of LEGO, though, it’s the spacecraft and vehicles that really round it all out. The Ornithopters of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic have been a challenge for past projects but Denis Villeneuve’s design team produced a craft that will surely become iconic. When I saw this Ornithopter by TBB alumn Simon Liu, I had to know more. I talked with Simon about avoiding spoilers prior to opening night, his immediate need to build this beauty, and the challenges he faced with its final design.

The Ornithopter

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