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1/72 scale 'Nautilus' - April 2013

Posted by Tim Kidwell
on Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ed Kimpel, Clifton, Idaho

Ed writes: “After reading Matt Usher’s remarks about scratchbuilding in the September 2012 FSM, I was inspired to share some pictures of my first scratchbuilt project, a 1/72 scale Disney Nautilus (about 31") from ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.’ I always wanted one, but the high price of the available kits was prohibitive. Working from blueprints by David McCamant, I built a framework following the same process I’d used for tissue-covered balsa airplanes in my childhood. The hull is balsa and basswood, with gaps filled by drywall spackling compound. I bought the raker teeth, skiff, propeller, and speed screw from; the blueprints I used can also be found there. Other details are brass wire, sheet styrene, and artist board. I simulated deck gratings using Plastruct patterned styrene siding and created thousands of rivets by applying droplets of Formula 560 canopy glue with a toothpick. Perhaps my favorite part of the build was creating tiny, round details by using my motor tool as a miniature lathe, attaching small pieces of scrap basswood and rotating the tool on its slowest setting. The finish is Testors Model Master burnt iron Metalizer over a coat of Krylon ruddy brown primer, followed by several thin coats of Pledge Future floor polish. I wanted the sub to look new, so I did minimal weathering using Mig rubble dust and gunmetal powders.”

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