UPDATE! I made a 3D model based on the original rust monster figurine
Since seeing these creatures in bags, mixed with dinosaurs and finding them on the ground as parade spoils, I have always been curious what they were meant to be. Later in life, I became convinced that they were born from sketches in some ancient manuscript.
Perhaps the artist referring to some real or mythological animal of the time. To me they spoke in the way Albrecht Dürer interpreted the rhino, maybe even more so to Meissen’s sculpture of the rhino, or even the dinosaurs of the Crystal Palace.
The model was made in Sculptris software. It was my first finished sculpt. I used the silhouette of the original injection molded figurines to mimic the original. From there, I interpreted and added details to express those that were visible. In making the model more realistic I included small details to describe features that were missing: toe nails and a more elaborate beak.
Within Dungeon and Dragons, the Rust Monster turns metal weapons to rust. There is a Ray Bradbury story titled “A Piece of Wood” about a man with a device that turns metal to rust. In the story he asks “if such a device existed what would become of the world’s armies?” https://classic.esquire.com/article/1952/6/1/a-piece-of-wood