In Progress » God Emperor of Dune

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but if I could only read one series of books then it would be Frank Herbert’s Dune series. I’ve read all 6 of his releases 3 times in the past 15 years or so since I discovered them. (only one of his sons more recent ones so far, House Atreides, but I plan to read them sooner or later) I decided to look around to see if any decent Dune Models existed, but aside from a cool Sandworm and some old 80’s plastic kits from the awful 1980’s movie rendition of Dune, the pickings were slim to none. I’ve always found Leto II transformation/symbiosis with the sand trout to become a Sandworm fascinating so I decided to fill that gap in my collection by sculpting one of my own. This is by no means “canon” as a: it’s a BOOK (imaginations people!) and b: I’ve taken at least one design liberty to be sure, but I think the essence of Leto II’s multi-millennia-old form is there. It’s been a few years since I last read the books so everything here is from memory and random art found on the interwebs.

I can’t recall if he still had his legs in the book, but I recall something about one being lost and them being an encumbrance anyway so I decided to leave them off. Some of the art I found had them, others did not. I also decided to have his arms inside of the “cowling” with his head as opposed to being part of the worms exterior. Again, I can’t recall where they actually were.   I figured if he’s turning into a worm (and mostly there already) and enjoys his time in the desert sands, that the ability to have his arms tucked inside of the cowl would be a bonus for burrowing about. I also recall Siona sleeping inside of his cowl in the desert under his tucked-in head so I want there to be some sort of space there as well as a visual mechanism for adjusting the head position. For that I am using something that looks what’s left of his “sandtrout” skin as the skin-folds and musculature. (spoiler: Sandtrout are tiny slug/worm like creatures that encapsulate the planets water to protect the worms from it)

The rear worm parts of the body I decided to leave somewhat plain and segmented. The only detailing being some muscle-like detail between the outward bent segments, a rough weathered stone-like texture with small scours from eons of sand, and some breathing-holes along the exterior in three lines. This lack of horns, ribs, etc is to allow thew worm to travel beneath the sands in a more streamlined fashion. Real worms and mother nature always have the best solutions, if not a little plain. Around the mouth/cowl though I plan to jazz it up a bit.

As usual I don’t have anything decent in sketches to show and am doing this mostly from my own head. What I have sketched is so rough that it’s not worth showing. Just arm placements, to-scale roughs for sizing the arms, etc… This is turning out to be a fairly big piece though and would be bigger if I didn’t have him in a somewhat coiled pose. Stretched out he’d be about 20-22″ long. He’s sculpted in Super Sculpey mixed with Sculpey III. The armature was coiled wire, like a spring in order to maintain the worm-shape.

I’m constructing this with possible casting in mind as it’s always a possibility and making it in sections helps. I’ll probably bake the tail section tomorrow after cleaning up under the segment edges a bit, then start on the front segment. The head is baked and the arms are roughed up. Just waiting till the front segment is ready to add/detail those. Here’s all the pics:

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