So as this was inspired by the Disney Nautilus, I wanted to incorporate certain key features of that submarine in mine. One of them which was on the first page is the riveted hull plates, and now I wanted to add the rakers round the front, which are a very strong feature of the Disney Nautilus.
The first thing to do is finish making the front section so I have something to put the rakers on. To be honest I never really planned how this would look when finished so making the front section was more continuing the middle section, but bringing it to a point at the front.
I started by making several sheets of fibreglass which would form the various sections of the front. I used cardboard propped on a couple of containers to give me the mid line height, then made a upper surface which is slightly angled towards each side. from there i then added the mid line section and built the sides to line up with the middle section and fixed them all together. with the top section in place, it was then turned over and the underside built up the same way.
By using fibreglass to make this when adding the outer hull section, very thin fibreglass sheet can be made, thin enough to be cut with scissors which makes trimming and fitting very easy. when everything is in place fibreglass tissue can be added to the back side joining them very strongly all together.
The rakers while resembling the Disney Nautilus were made from scratch quite simply so they could be casted easily and quickly, as I would need 38 in total to cover all the sections I wanted.
It was mainly made from styrene sheet and a bit of car body filler to give the sides shape. When I was happy with the shape and fit using a bit of gelcoat I applied the rivets to the side. once done a silicon mould was made and the casting started. I designed the mould so they were cast from the narrowest square end with is the part which slots into the next raker, and by filling the mould with resin from this point, a clean cast was obtained every time, and the end could be trimmed off with just a craft knife.
Once I had made enough they were stuck to the mid line using epoxy resin, plus making them so they interlock with each other makes them much firmer when in place.
Once the side rakers were fixed in place I set about the top rakers which unlike the Disney nautilus, I have twin raker ribs on the front, mainly because I wanted a few more weapons on my version, and one of these was a large front facing cannon, scale wise around a twelve inch gun.
So paint wise I went for a custom mix made up as I went mixing colours till I got the colour I wanted. It's sort of a bronze colour but with a metallic green mixed in so at certain angles it has a green tinge to it, which adds to the old weathered look. I did weather it a bit but didn't go over the top with rust, just a few old runs here and there going for that used but not uncared for look.
Some might say I got carried away with the weapons, but in all honesty I thought the Disney nautilus was under armed for a warship as it was portrayed. So not only did I want the large frontal cannon, but two gun turrets both with twin cannons in them. When finished these will be in a separate channel on the radio so when on the surface they can be swivelled back and forth. Not an essential action, but i like to give onlookers something more than a static model to look at.
Other weapons I envisioned are the four missile tubes each side, plus the four smaller machine gun turrets each housing a 7.62 chain gun. The five round bits near the front were a custom weapon I came up with which is like the reverse of a depth charge. I always thought watching WWII war films with submarines the ships could drop depth charges down onto the submarine, but the submarines only have torpedoes so at this point a submarine is helpless to defend itself. So I came up with surface charges which are used if a ship passes over the submarine, at which point these can be released and have both magnetic and depth fuses meaning if they hit a ship they go off breaching the hull under the water line and if they miss the ship on reaching the surface they go off anyway.
The rear is decking area is dotted with weapons which can be used once the submarine has surfaced, and include two more 7.62 chain guns, four 30mm guns and twin 20mm anti aircraft guns at the back.
Unlike the Disney nautilus, which had two large round windows which they looked out of to steer which looked like eyes, I decided to have an upper bridge, and the familiar larger eye looking windows as an observations deck. As I like models to do stuff, both these eyes light up bright white to again look like eyes. While doing lighting, I also wanted the green glow the Disney nautilus had, so bought to water proof super bright green LED strips and fitted them underneath so when switched on the whole front end glows green from underneath and the bright white eyes on the top.
As for weapons no submarine is complete without torpedoes, so I fitted four forward facing tubes and two rearward just to keep it like a proper submarine.
Propeller wise I did want to use the Disney nautilus version, but although it looked really good, performance wise it created a lot of wash but very little forward thrust, so I opted for a more modern seven blade prop. To still keep it in keeping, I built a prop guard round it similar to the Disney nautilus one, and a nice big rudder. To keep the tail section in scale, instead of going for a rod operate rudder, i used chains and fixed them to a bar inside so the bar turns and the chains move the rudder which looks far better than rods or a fat tail to hide the steering arms inside.
A shot from the front just shows the main gun and upper bridge looking through the rakers. One other grip about the Disney nautilus is there are lights that sit to either side of the central raker beam, which when it rammed a ship these would come in contact with the ship's hull causing damage, so everything on mine is lower or protected by the rakers.
Lastly a couple of shots of it in my test tank. After a bit of testing I found having it sit this high in the water required over two litres of ballast to be taken onboard, which was just not practical so the final version sit much lower in the water and only requires around one litre to sink it. However it still looks quite menacing like this as the wider side areas can still be seen through the shallow water covering them.