3D-printed "Death's Head Hawkmoth Skeleton" sculptures, inspired by The Silence of the Lambs

Joaquin Baldwin, whose animated films and 3D-printed sculptures we've featured here before a number of times, has completed a new work. I love these. Joaquin explains:

I created the skeleton of a skeletal Lepidoptera. The Death's Head Hawkmoth (Acherontia atropos), seen in The Silence of the Lambs, has a skull marking on its back. I made a full human-like bone structure for the moth, with the grinning skull protruding from its back. The model is very thin, yet sturdy and flexible. Detail level is fantastic, and the natural texture of the 3d printing process gives it a bone-like appearance that works wonders. Yes, moths don't have endoskeletons, that's the whole point...

You can buy one in white, black, or red, for $15. More photos below, including details that show off the creepy little skull.



  1. A moth with an endoskeleton. I like it.  I want to see more artwork exploring alternate biologies of real organisms.

    1. I might make a few more… I was thinking that a cephalopod would look pretty awesome, but I want something that holds a more conceptual background (like the skull here).

      1.  This might look cool in black metal, too. Maybe do it on a wax jewelery printer and cast it in aluminum, then anodize it black? Or silver, with added flat surfaces so that all but the bones could be covered with black enamel? It would make a great brooch.

      1. maybe it is just my imagination, or does the ‘real’ moth in the top photo have an image of a skull that is facing forward, just like the moth itself?

        1.  Honestly, the real moth looks like it has a sheep’s face on it more than a skull. It’s good to make a few tweaks in the art to make it look “right” rather than actually be anatomically accurate.

        2. Depends on how you want to look at it, the markings are not always the same, but in general they look like a skull with the jaw towards the abdomen. As far as that one picture goes, I never saw it the way you do until you mentioned it.

  2. Some trivia: the death’s head moths from silence of the lambs were not real death’s heads. The person in charge of the insects for the movie (Ray Mendez, credited as “moth wrangler and stylist”) used a more common moth species and glued the death’s head mask onto these other moths. Incidentally, he is also the person responsible for designing the movie poster for Aliens…

    1.  Right you are. It’s a Salvador Dali image. I think someone here on BoingBoing posted about it.

  3. A close up inspection of the ‘death’s head’ moth used for the poster of ‘Silence of the Lambs’ reveals that the moth’s skull is actually the famous image of the naked women posing from Dali’s ‘In Voluptas Mors.’

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