I first modeled the 'thopter from the theatrical release using reference photos of a really good model kit that I found on the net.
Once I had made the original one I decided to adapt it into a new "flapping" version.
As I rather like the unique "U" shape of the Harkonnen 'thopter from the movie and because nearly all technologies end up having the same basic geometry (Look at jet airplanes for example... while each manufacturer makes them look different, the same components are all there in roughly the same places), I decided to make the Atreides thopter roughly have that same shape, although in this case its more of a "V" shape.
The wings themselves have been through numerous iterations, but are ultimately a sort of flexible "Spring" in a wing shape, with a section of aircraft wing in the middle for flaps and mounting things like sensors and weapons. The underside of each wing houses a small "foot" that extends when landed to support the tal heavy design.
As in the book, the 'thopter also features small booster rockets - and I am thinking of having some unfold at the back of the central hull for landing purposes.
The landing gear was a pain in the ass to model and rig to work as I have only two or three fuzzy images of what it is supposed to look like.