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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - 4 Foot Disney Nautilus

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When a design is instantly recognizable the world over and across many generations, you know it's not just good, it's genius.  So it is with Captain Nemo's Nautilus.  Designed by famed production designer, Harper Goff, for Walt Disney's 1954 production of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, this futuristic, anachronistic, animal-like submarine is a true classic that has never been bettered.

Scott Brodeen should know, he's made many commercially available models of this boat over the years in his quest for the prefect replica. There have been 16" and 32" models, a six footer, an eleven footer, he even helped restore the original 11 foot movie miniature.  Scott knows a thing or two about the Nautilus.  But what size should we make the eFX version?  Too small and you can't appreciate the size and detail of the sub.  Too large and you'd need a private museum to display it.  Four feet sounded right to Scott, and so he set to work.

Like most movie sets and props, the Nautilus existed in many forms and several scales, all of which differed in their details.  Starting with the original Disney blueprints, Scott scaled them up and laser cut the longitudinal and cross sectional braces out of clear acrylic.  This substructure was assembled and clad in sheet styrene, in a similar way to how you would build an actual ship, to form the outer hull of the boat.

The original blueprints were prepared by the Disney Art Department to construct the exterior hull of the Nautilus for when she appears on the surface of the sea, and were also used by the Special Effects Department to build the miniatures used to capture the action of the Nautilus above and below the waves.

The were two primary Nautilus models, each 11 and 22 feet long.  They differed in minor ways from one another and both had different detailing from the full-sized sets.  Scott decided to make this model of the Nautilus representative of them all.  Using knowledge gleaned from working on the restoration of the movie miniature, plus reference pictures of the full size set, Scott's build tried to take all of these inconsistencies into account.  The below the waterline details match closely to the 11 foot miniature, while the above surface deck details adhere closely to the set.

Once the shape of the hull was completed, the painstaking task of hand applying the approximately 19,256 (not 20,000) rivet heads began.

This is how Jules Verne himself describes the Nautilus in his novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Who can argue with the master?   Once the hull was completed and molded, Scott began to disassemble it, determined that his masterpiece would also contain its own masterpieces - details of the inner sanctums of Captain Nemo's wondrous ship.

Referencing set blueprints and copious stills, Scott skillfully added the incredible intricate detail of the wheel house, its wall bracing and dials, the spiral staircase leading down to the chart room, and Captain Nemo's luxurious state room, replete with furniture, pipes, the sample table, rugs and those mighty viewports.  Where Nemo once stood staring out into the wonders of the deep, we can now peer back inside his mighty ship.

MORE DETAILS SHORTLY,,, including Lights!


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WARNING: Monsters In Motion sells products, including children's products, for purchase by adults 18 years and over. Products may contain sharp points, small parts, choking hazards, and other elements not suitable for children under 16 years old. If any product you are purchasing is intended for a child please assume the following warning may apply to that product. WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.

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