Dune 1984 Prop Replica: Hunter Seeker

I love the 1984 Dune film. I always like movies that fire my imagination, and this ticked all the boxes. It was cryptic but had fascinating ideas, and whatever was happening on-screen, I felt there was so much going on in the universe that we weren’t seeing.

As a fan of hard sci-fi, I was particularly taken with the technology of the Dune universe and how it was presented in the props used in the film.

In the suspenseful Hunter-Seeker scene, Paul has to stand very still while a remote-controlled hunter-seeker weapon slowly floats around the room, scanning for movement.

I always found the prop’s mechanical, clockwork nature fascinating, and when casting my mind around for lathe projects, recreating a Hunter-Seeker for myself seemed like a no-brainer. I got myself some 303 stainless, brass and acrylic stock and got to work.

The Build

Like most projects, I modelled what I would make in Fusion 360. To do so, I got some screen grabs for the film and tried to work out scale and dimensions based on context and clues from the scenes. This is when I started noticing that, as is often the case, we weren’t seeing one prop but several. Unusually, I found that each was radically different (“radically” in the detail-oriented world of prop recreation).

I ended up producing my impression of the prop, an object that, to me, is unmistakably a Dune 1984 Hunter-Seeker. It’s not accurate to any of the props used in the film; it’s more of a melding of all of them.

The display stand is an oak offcut I had. I shaped the wood, turned the acrylic on the lathe and made a mild steel name plate that I electro-etched with a vinyl mask.

I’ve shared the basic measurements I used for my recreation. They won’t be screen-accurate, and it’s not a complete list of build instructions, but the measurements might be a jumping-off point for someone to create their own.