Dune Bull Fighting Statue

ABOUT

PRIMARY SUPPLIES

  • PLA filament and 3D printer
  • E6000 glue
  • Sandpaper: coarse (100 – 300), medium (400 – 800) , and fine grits (+2000). A Dremel tool on slow speed can cut down your sanding time.
  • Raw copper
  • 1.5V & 200-300mA Power supply, alligator clips, and aluminum foil
  • Conductive nickel spray-paint
  • Acid or patina aging solution

More information below.

THE GOAL

Create a replica of the bull fighting statue from the 2021 Dune movie. In the movie, Paul Atreides can be seen staring at the miniature bronze statue of his grandfather pictured below.

Movie screenshot:

THE STAGES

1) 3D print the statue
2) Electroplate the statue with copper
3) Oxidize the copper to achieve a blue-ish patina

[ PREVIEW ]

STAGE 1

CONSTRUCTION

3D PRINTING

Assemble The Base

Due to my printer (Davinci Mini by XYZ) having a smaller print area of 5.9 inches by 5.9 inches, I couldn’t print the entire base in one go. Instead, I sliced the base into four parts, drilled holes on the underside of each component, and fastened them together with bolts and E6000 glue.

Smoothing

Now we need to sand our print so that the surface is as smooth as possible. The unmistakable layers of a 3D print can be charming, but in order to be more movie-accurate and allow us to plate the statue with real copper, this uneven surface is not desirable.

There are two methods I attempted: (1) sanding the PLA model immediately and (2) first painting the model with a rubber-like coating (such as Smooth-On XTC-3D) to fill in the gaps between layers and then sanding.

Test Fitting

STAGE 2

ELECTROPLATING

Creating the Acid Bath

First we need a bath to soak our statue in as it’s being electroplated. I found the most effective solution is one with copper already dissolved (copper-acetate), but any acidic solution should work. Note: by “most effective” I mean the least time required and largest area with copper coverage.

DISCLAIMER! I am not a chemist, so unless you are