The Nautilus

This is a 32-inch model of Disney's Nautilus, a garage kit I picked up at Wonderfest. The kit is mostly resin with some white metal parts, and beautifully detailed.

I repainted some HO scale sailors so that I could include Captain Nemo on the bridge.

Like most resin kits, this one had some fit issues. One of the worst offenders were the gallery window railings, which were sized wrong and bent like pretzels. I decided to replace them with some metallic vinyl. I wanted a few brass accents on my Nautilus, which would be a little less travel-worn than the movie version.

I dispensed with the googly eyes provided to make the hull light lenses, and replaced them with jewelry cabochons. Rather than backlighting them (which involved a lot of drilling, wiring and figuring out how to power it all), I painted the inside of the lights with glow-in-the-dark paint, which creates a ghostly, aquatic-looking light.

The movie Nautilus is a rust bucket, which is not a look I find very appealing. (The studio model was mostly brass) I opted for a less weathered iron with brass accents. The rust is mostly colored pencil and oil paint.

I wanted lots of rust on the base, though, as if it were some undersea shipwreck corroding on the ocean floor. I used an activated iron paint which simulates rust by actually rusting. It looks wonderful and has lots of great texture. (The actual process smells like yak vomit, though, so do it outside)

The base is a simple basswood pre-cut craft store base which I stained with oil paint.

I made a plaque from sheet styrene, metallic vinyl and dollhouse nails (for rivets)

The ocean floor was sculpted from Durham's water putty and festooned with toy store aquatic life, real rocks and a handmade sea anemone. I purchased some jewelry supplies to make the anchor and chain.

The final touch, of course, was to add the squid. I found a good, poseable toy store squid and drilled out his eyes, replacing them with glass ones, and did a little touch up filing and painting. The entire display makes for a nice shelf piece.

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