Disney Nautilus in 1/50th scale - R/C!

Back in the 1980's, a gentleman by the name of Ray Mason created a wonderful reproduction of the Disney Nautilus that's 50" in length (or about 1/48 scale if you subscribe to the modified 200' overall length that is popular with Nautilus fans).

The hull itself is very thick fiberglass, and it features amazingly uniform rivet details. A lot of the hull is very accurate to the hero miniature as far as I can tell, including many details that would be difficult to see from the movie, such as the authentic skiff berth.

This model has been commissioned for R/C operation by a great customer of mine.

View most recent update

July 17, 2009

The Mason Nautilus is one of the most coveted Nautilus models around due to its rarity and the amazing details of the hull. It lends itself very well to both R/C conversion and to static display.

Due to its perfect size for R/C (not too big to transport and not too small so that it bobs around on a pond like a cork), my plans as of right now are to convert it to R/C, most likely utilizing a pump style ballast system or RCABS.

For now, enjoy the photos!

May 3, 2014

Let it begin!

This model has seen a lot of action over the last few years! I actually sold it to a customer "as-is" and then had it returned back after they decided it was one project too many for them to handle.

When a customer approached me looking to have a unique and great-performing Nautilus model, I knew this was the one for him.

Work has begun in earnest and here is how it breaks down: The model will be powered by a customer OTW 3.5" diameter Dive Module with pump ballast system. Pitch control will be achieved via my tilting prop mechanism.

Here are some photos of the first steps I've taken:

May 8, 2014

More progress before I leave for an international business trip for a couple of weeks!

Propeller has been completed and balanced using lead shot in the hub. The wheelhouse floor has been cut out and a mounting mechanism fabricated. This will allow for maintenance and cleaning of that area after the wheelhouse is secured to the upper hull permanently.

The upper tail section was cut free of the upper hull and a mounting system installed so that it is removable for maintenance/repairs to the prop linkages and drive shaft.

June 13, 2014

Wow.. Lots of updates to share.

Rather than tell you what I've done, I'll tell you where I'm currently at: The hull detailing, painting and weathering is complete. LED lighting has been installed in all locations, including the skiff berth, which should make for easier tracking during operation in dark water.

The custom OTW Dive Module is in-hand and the mounting bulkheads are in place. I'm currently working on the linkages for the rudder and pitching propeller. This model will have a 6 channel radio system with two free channels for future upgrades.

Enjoy the pics! I hope to have this model completed by around the end of the month if things go well!

June 26, 2014

A bit of a revelation in regard to the boat's true scale thanks to Dave McCamant on the Nautilus forums. With a length of 52", and assuming the full-sized Nautilus was 200' overall (necessary in order to fit all of the interior sets, despite the usually accepted full sized length of 178'), that makes this boat 1/44th scale.

That said, here is the latest: I've completed the linkages, added some flotation foam, and I've ordered a high-quality, waterproof LiPo to power it.

I will also be building up a really neat transport case for this boat to ensure that it arrives to the new owner unscathed.

I'll be heading over to Switzerland starting tomorrow, so no progress until the week of the 7th of July, but I hope for the entire project to be completed by the middle to end of next month.

Stay tuned!

September 9, 2014

The project is complete!

Actually, I finished it up a few weeks ago, but just got around to posting this up now (sorry about that!).

Testing went amazingly well (about the best I've managed so far) in that my guestimate addition of foam and lead was near bang-on during initial trim testing. One trip back to the garage to secure everything and it was done!

I also completed a sturdy custom transport case for this model. The skin was 1/2" plywood, studded with metal rivets. The interior featured custom-cut foam to securely hold the model and other R/C gear securely in place. I think it turned out great, but you be the judge!

Be sure to check out the YouTube video!