When I first established this page, I had only a small collection of designs to feature. Since then, the list has grown and grown, as has the popularity of the page. Examination of the many designs reveals relationships between them. Cross-pollination has occurred when designers who viewed the page produced new boats incorporating features they saw here. What began as a passive collection has become an active inspiration. (Ken Anslow records some interesting thoughts about creative cross-pollination and differing visions evoked by a writer's words. Read them on his blog.)
Originally, the catalog was limited to versions of the Nautilus
that I considered compatible or consistent at least in part with Jules Verne's
description. As the collection has grown I've expanded the criteria for
inclusion. Sometimes a Nautilus is here because it has a prominent
feature similar to a design already included, sometimes because it is true to
Verne's spirit if not his words, sometimes becasue it purports to be Verne's
Nautilus, and sometimes simply because I find it cool. The result is a
much more diverse collection. Although interesting in their own way, the versions
from the original League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novel and the
movie's very different "Sword of the Sea" design, are still excluded
because these are not the Nautilus of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea,
or even Mysterious Island, but a new generation. I have included a representation
of the first generation Nautilus from Alan Moore's Extraordinary
Gentlemen sequel, The Black Dossier. I’ve
organized the designs in roughly but not strict chronological order to provide
something of an historical
perspective. Most illustrations are approximately the same scale for
Some of the designers identify their creations as the Nautilus, some as other submarines inspired by the Nautilus or from the same era, and at least one as not related to the Nautilus at all. I invite you to look for the relationships among them all.
In 1999 I conducted an extensive survey of illustrated editions of 20,000 Leagues and added the interesting designs I found, dated from 1932 to 1992. These are usually identified with the word "illustrated" and are mostly 2D CorelDraw recreations. At least one of these was originally published many years earlier than the edition I saw and the same may be true of others. Because of the unavailability of these illustrations, I've taken the liberty of including small copies of some copyrighted images. I will remove any of these if the copyright holder has a problem with this.
Note that many of the elevation graphics were done from images from several angles so positioning and proportion of details may be inaccurate.
Click the small knot logo (example left) associated with an individual design below to view the model in a new window. Some models have a 360° animation created in Carrara accessed by clicking the Carrara logo (example right).
Click the wire frame image at right for general information about the 3D models.
The earliest depictions of the Nautilus are Hildibrand’s many woodcuts (of Alphonse de Neuville's and Edouard Riou's drawings) that graced the pages of the original publications. The full submarine as shown submerged matches Verne's words although details are lacking in the long-range views. The deck views show more detail, although they are not strictly consistent. Generally, the pilothouse and lantern are very small, not "medium height", and the mounted longboat rather high.
The submarine in the 1916 silent movie in the surface views seems partly based on original illustrations with a small pilothouse forward. The deck is narrower and there seems to be a prow, not unlike submarines of the time. The underwater views of the Nautilus are less accurate. Although cigar shaped, the hull is much shorter than it should be in proportion to the width. There are two sets of diving planes, one somewhat forward and one somewhat aft. The ram has been replaced with torpedo tubes. (See my 20,000 Leagues page for information on a video of this film).
~ c. 1920 ~
Milo Winter illustrated the 1954 Rand McNally Windermere Readers edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. His design features large hull plates, overlapping fore to aft. The paintings of Illinois watercolorist Winter (1888-1956) first appeared in a 1922 juvenile edition published by Rand McNally & Company. You can see the color plates in Zvi Har'El virtual library - F. P. Walter's translation. The pilothouse and lantern appear very similar, suggesting fore and aft windowed structures with lanterns set on top. All of Winter's paintings show the Nautilus on the surface and I've made no attempt to extrapolate such hidden features as salon windows, prop, or diving planes. As with all the illustrator collections, proportions and feature locations and shapes vary from illustration to illustration, so the recreation is approximate at best.
~ c. 1930 ~
Otto Fischer (1882-1962) illustrated the John C. Winston Company 20,000
Leagues edition published about 1932. This design features a low,
eight-windowed cabin at each end of a flat deck. There is what is likely a
dinghy running a good length of the deck between the cabins. A drawing of the
Nautilus breaching gives a view of the spar and a dive plane far
forward. Another drawing shows a rather small, rectangular window in the
side of the hull. I've placed the window arbitrarily, but not speculated
on any other un-pictured features.
painter and illustrator Zdeněk Burian (1905-1981) is well known around the world
for his paintings of dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, but he also
illustrated novels, including a Czech translation of 20,000 Leagues under the
Sea, Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem, published in 1937 by Jos.
R. Vilimek. There
are near a dozen illustrations that show the Nautilus, including several beautifully
executed gouache plates. Details vary from illustration to
illustration, but my graphic is true to most of them. The hull is
spindle-shaped with a rather small pointed ram. Both the wheelhouse and
lantern housing appear retractable. I've depicted them fairly large, but
one or two of the illustrations show them smaller and at least one closely
matches an original Hetzel illustration's appearance. There is a fairly
long deck with a slightly raised, wide center portion. It's not clear
where the boat is stored, but there is a large rectangular hatch with a sliding
cover in the center of the deck. The hull has a spindle-shaped swelling on
each side of the deck. There is no dive plane amidships, but on the upper
aft hull, arrays of three fins with a tab control surface at the aft end of
each. The submarine has a small four-bladed propeller mounted below the
centerline in a notched-out section in the stern. The rudder is shown with
somewhat different appearance among the illustrations. One is smaller than
I've shown it here, but several show this large, rather fragile looking
mechanism. The windows are the most interesting features of Burian's design.
There are three on each side, all with external sliding protective covers.
One of the large ones is in the location of the salon, but there is a second
identically sized one in the same position on the aft hull. Some years ago
I saw an drawing with a similar arrangement; that egalitarian artist placed a
large window in the crew quarters so that they could have the same view of the
oceans as Nemo. Burian's design adds a third, smaller window even further
aft, in the location of the engine room.
This Czech page shows a a portion of Burian's plate of the Nautilus in the Maelstrom, used as cover art for a recent Czech edition of Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem published by Albatros. The new edition in Czech, is not a translation Verne's text - the story is retold by Ondřej Neff - but it reproduces Burian's illustrations. I got my copy from Knihkupectví Papyrus in the Czech Republic.
~ c. 1940 ~
Kurt Wiese (1887-1974) illustrated the 1946 Rainbow Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. His design features similar large, flat, streamlined cabins at each end of the deck. One illustration shows what may be the dinghy midway between these structures and looking very much like them. An underwater view shows a square salon window that I've placed approximately but no features other than the ram are pictured. I've made no attempt to recreate un-pictured details. Wiese's Nautilus resembles Fischer's, most obvious in his drawing of the submarine breaching. There is some difference in detail, but this drawing is nearly identical to that by the earlier artist, so there can be little doubt Fischer was a source for Wiese's concept.
Henry C. Kiefer (1890-1957) drew this Nautilus for the Classics Illustrated 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (No. 47), first published in 1948. The illustrations are not 100% consistent, but the forward part of the hull is tapered to a point. There are two large port holes on the each side of the hull. There also appears to be a port on the top forward hull for the wheelhouse. the boat is mounted forward of the small, oval railing surrounded deck situated around the hatch. One graphic shows a diving hatch on the bottom, but another shows one on the side. There are unfortunately no images that show the stern. You can read an on-line copy of this classic publication with the original graphics at Tom's Place.
~ c. 1950 ~
Harper Goff began working out the design of the Nautilus in series of drawings. The one captured here (courtesy of the folks at Disney Sub and NautilusSubmarine) is very different from the the eventual cinematic version. It has a more or less spindle shaped hull with bulges at the sides for salon windows and on the lower aft portion where the keel expands to accommodate the diving room with side hatch. There is a large, tapered ram that flares into the hull. The wheelhouse is a complex structure with three large windows and a set of lantern ports on the upper part. The superstructure changes to a large deck aft with a circular hatch at the aft end. A boat is mounted in the aft of the deck. There are two pairs of dive planes, but no side fairings or protective rakers. Knowing what the design would become, it's possible to see similarities, but otherwise they might not be noticed.
Before the Disney Nautilus took its final cinematic form it went through several variations. The story is that the Disneys wanted a simple cigar-tube hull rather as described in the novel (perhaps like that at the top of the page?) and not unlike contemporary submarines. Harper Goff preferred an intricate Victorian appearance but could not convince the studio heads. He scratch-built this concept model over a long holiday weekend. Walt Disney was taken by the model and Goff's concept prevailed. The original model is lost but documented in a number of photos. My recreation is based partly on these photos, but mostly on Tom Scherman's later reconstruction.
Harper Goff's design for the Disney film is his own successful elaboration on Verne's design. Rather than the stark utilitarian exterior that Verne described and Neuville and Riou drew, Goff (1911-1993) extended the ornate Victorian interior decoration to the hull and deck. He enhanced the monster impression by adding reptilian fins and protuberances and gave the pilothouse a crocodilian look. I think he wanted movie viewers to come away with an impression equivalent to that of Verne's readers in the previous century. People used to the sailing and steam ships of the mid-1800s and unfamiliar with submarines would see and remember a low sleek hull as monster-like. Moviegoers in the 1950s knew what a submarine looked like, but they had never seen anything like this Nautilus. The basic hull, exclusive of the additions, seems to have Verne's width but a somewhat shorter length. Two sets of diving planes are incorporated in the structures along the side of the hull. The round salon window is placed much farther aft than Verne's interior description allows, but then the salon, dining room and library seem to have been combined into one room. Incidentally, some details of the submarine and some scenes in the film pay clear homage to the 1916 film. (My 20,000 Leagues page has information on videos of both classic films.)
Phil Cormier pointed out this version of the Nautilus, from a 1954 three-reel set View-Master 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. View-Master took pains not to resemble the Disney movie version that was released at about the same time. Not strictly following the text, the sub is roughly cigar-shaped with the hull top considerably flattened to form a deck. A row of vicious rakers is set on each side of the deck, which has what appears to be a raised hatch amidships. Wayne Orzel informed me that the hatch conceals a retractable conning tower, not shown in my image. The pilot house in this concept has two parts, one mounted on either side of the hull. The salon window is approximately amidships and a single set of dive planes is set on the stern. The lower stern with rudder and prop (as well as the whole lower hull) is not visible in the images I've seen so the rudder on my recreation is speculative.
In 1955 Robert Maynard created this working, rubber-band-powered, "hurry-up, make-it-fast" model of Goff's Nautilus using little more than sketches scribbled in a dark theatre while watching the movie. As he described it in the 10 Nov 1955 issue of Model Engineer, the 30-inch-long model could dive using only dive planes and forward motion, staying under water for 35 feet of a 100-foot-long run. Maynard, who built the model for his 6-year-old son, actually received photos and plans from Disney Enterprises in response to an air-mail request, but he'd already started the build and used these only for detailing. Some differences, the large rudder for example, were practical considerations for a working boat. Some were simplifications for the quick build cycle. Considering, the lengths aficionados go to to achieve accuracy today, I think Maynard did a remarkable job. There were even Nemo, Aronnax, and Ned Land figures visible behind the salon window. (Thanks to Jim Alves for telling me about this model.)
This Nautilus, designed by Jack McCoy, appeared in a July 1987 Scale Ship Modeler article by Tom Hershey. It has a large fish tail, reminiscent of Goff's, but distinctive. Although the article describes a centerline propeller, the drawings place it below the hull. There is no launch and no deck railing. Like Jeff Phillip's boat below, the lantern is taller than the wheelhouse to light the sea in front of the Nautilus. The salon window seems to be correctly placed within the salon area, but rather high for the tall-ceilinged room described by Verne. The most distinctive feature of the design is the large, wing-like diving plane. The article had only elevation and section views, so I may not have got the shape right, but there was no mistaking the size. When I first posted this design I added this: "According to the article Tom based his design on Verne's novel, but I suspect he read an abridged version and, in part because he specified colors for the components of the boat, may have been influenced by accompanying illustrations". Since then David Merriman and Rory McLeod have independently pointed out that this design actually first appeared in the 1955 Book of Submarines by Jack McCoy (reprinted in 1966), and is in fact McCoy's design. I found a copy in my local library. Unfortunately it had been rebound and only half of the Nautilus frontispiece illustration remained, but it was enough to confirm my comment on the colors.
Henry Pitz (1895-1976) illustrated the 1956 Doubleday Junior Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues. Pitz shows a flat deck with a single structure forward that includes a cabin-like pilot house and what appears to be the lantern. The only other feature visible is a long triangular ram. As with other illustrator recreations, I've left out un-pictured features.
Edward A. Wilson (1886-1970) illustrated the 1956 Easton Press 20,000 Leagues edition. Wilson's concept combines some contemporary submarine features with those described by Verne. His Nautilus includes an extremely long, triangular ram with a flat, cookie-cutter end. The hull is somewhat spindle-shaped the the rudder-propeller arrangement and fore and aft diving planes are modern. The diving planes are actually fin-shaped as shown at right, so the overall hull has an organic look, especially with the lethal spar. The pilothouse looks very much like a modern conning tower. The two goose-necked structures appear to be lanterns and may be retractable. I don't know what the cylindrical object just aft of the pilothouse is. The salon window is hinted in only one exterior views but its size and approximate shape are clear in an interior view.
Vynález zkázy (titled The Fabulous World of Jules Verne in English), the masterpiece of filmmaker and animator Karel Zeman (1910-1989), features several slightly different versions of the Nautilus along with other vehicles from Verne's novels. The film is particularly notable for its visual style, with live actors in sets that resemble Victorian woodcut illustrations. The Nautilus in the film has a sharply pointed ram, a rounded hull with a large tapered keel, and several variations of a more contemporary conning tower with small deck (one variation has two large lights or possibly ports on the forward side). Some scenes show a large oval salon window and slightly smaller ports farther astern. One scene shows a large anchor on the hull just aft of the ram. This Nautilus has a rectangular airlock port in the lower hull for excursions on the sea bed. You can see the film online here or find the DVD at amazon.
~ c. 1960 ~
This design appeared on the cover of the Regent Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, published by the Thames Publishing Company in London about 1960. Hugh Marchant has provided the possible artist's name Glanville from the cover art. The hull has a tapered shape with mid-hull dive planes, as described in the novel. There is no ram. The cover art view, from above, hides the keel location. There is a vertical fin on the tail and no horizontal fins. I've chosen to extend the tail below the hull in my graphic to accommodate the rudder, but this area is also out of view in the artwork. There are two short and wide rectangular windows forward of the plane and another aft. The long deck has a large conning-tower-like wheelhouse forward and a similar but smaller lantern housing aft. Both of these may be retractable as in the novel. There appears to be a hatch or possibly an inset boat on the deck. I've included a small copy of the dust jacket image for reference. The same Nautilus appears in slightly different jacket art for a Purnell edition, published about the same time. This illustration clearly has a boat set in the deck amidships. (Thanks to John Smeathers for providing a publication date and confirming the artist name.)
The 1961 Film Mysterious Island featured Ray Harryhausen's Nautilus. My reconstruction graphic is based on a few images I've been able to see. It's seen only above the waterline and the stern section is not visible in these images. However Arthur Strubelt provided me a production sketch of the Nautilus sinking that shows the stern as I've illustrated it. It may be that Harryhausen began with Goff's concept and made so many changes that there's almost no resemblance in the finished design. Not obvious in my side view, there are two barbed raker flying arches. Two lower arches connect to the trapezoidal profile wheelhouse. The wheelhouse has a single large window facing forward and incorporates an upper-level deck with ornate railings on a rectangular extension. Four lighted view ports are visible in the upper hull, one far forward and three aft. The design has rather stubby side fins on the stern, ending in short dive planes. A similar vertical fin, probably incorporating a rudder, is visible on the bottom. I've assumed a corresponding fin atop the tail. There are two small propellers, one mounted on either side of the tail below the horizontal fins.
Scottish illustrator and Francophile William McLaren (1923-1987) did drawings and paintings for the 1966 J.M.Dent & Sons Illustrated Classics edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea. McLaren's drawings are not consistent, but I've tried to capture the essence of his concept in my recreation. The hull is spindle-shaped but shown with rounded ends in some drawings. A four-bladed prop is mounted on the stern. One drawing shows a noticeable keel, but the rudder isn't obvious. That same view shows a blunt ram. A pair of large dive planes is located amidships and a small rectangular salon window forward. The deck, which is clearly reversed in some illustrations, has what appears to be a glass-paneled pilothouse forward and a tall, tower-mounted lantern just aft. An oval-ended deck with a round hatch extends from the aft side of the pilothouse. Since the tower allows the lantern to shine over the pilothouse, I've chosen that orientation rather than the tower-forward depiction.
Pierre Garcin sent me photos of this model, which may be from a 1960s ORTF (Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française) production of Mysterious Island. The model has an interesting history. Fabrice Mestrot (president of TOYMANIA and a collector of toy boats and subs) found it in 2002 at the Paris Arsenal antique show. The antiquarian at the show had gotten it in a small navy craft shop in the old harbor of St-Malo, Brittany. The owner of that shop bought it from a retired sailor and fan of Jules Verne, who told him he found the sub through a special effects specialist associated with ORTF before its restructuring at the end of 70s. (The photo from which my image was made is © 2007-P.Fautrat/Envie d'Image.)
Vaughn Bodé illustrated a number of classics rewritten for “reading challenged” children in the 1960s. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea was published for schools by Frank E. Richards in 1967. Bodé took a simple approach to his Nautilus. The ram consists of the saw-tooth ends of extended horizontal and vertical fairing. There is a long deck with the wheelhouse far aft. This structure has an arch and large circular windows but little in common with Harper Goff's. The hull is cylindrical with what may be an octagonal cross-section. There are large almost Goff-like salon windows on the lower hull amidships, but no obvious dive planes. The propeller is protected by the aft extensions of the fairings. You can see many of Bodé's illustrations on the Atomic Surgery blog.
Don Irwing illustrated the 1968 Classic Press, Inc. (Santa Rosa, California) edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The simple design is a slightly modified spindle with a plain, needle-shaped ram. The only features visible are large: wheel house, dive planes, and salon window. The tail isn't visible in the images I have, so I've left it off my illustration here. Thanks to Jürgen Guerrero Kommritz for telling me about this Nautilus.
In 1969 comic illustrator Gino D'Antonio did the art for a Look and Learn Ltd publication of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. There is no spar but the rakers on the upper forward hull, minus an arch, are a nod to Goff. There are circular hatches just forward of the wheelhouse on either side of a cutwater. The wheelhouse with angled sides and hemispherical windows resembles the 1956 version but is much simpler. The large structure just aft looks like it could house a boat, but the illustrations don't show that it actually does. The deck extends aft to a large rectangular hatch much like in the Hetzel illustrations. D'Antonio's hull is fish shaped with pectoral fins forward and a large fishtail at the stern. There are two forward looking lanterns set in the upper hull and large circular salon windows. The propeller is hidden in a large cylindrical shroud. See the entire set of comic panels on the Bear Alley blog.
~ c. 1970 ~
The 1973 Pendulum Press edition of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, (a black and white Weekly Reader edition, later published as a Now Age Illustrated Series Paperback, and finally in color but with somewhat muddier graphics and some illustrations deleted, as Marvel Classic Comics number 4) was illustrated by Romy Gamboa (pen) and Ernie Patricio (ink). Details of the design vary among the many illustrations, but it has a very large barbed ram and a somewhat fish-like shape. The wheelhouse is distinguished by forward-looking window "eyes", and just under them, twin nozzles for the water jets described in the novel. There is a small deck and hatch atop the wheelhouse. The hull has dorsal and side fins and a vertical tail. There is a double set of salon windows under the side fins and a dive hatch on the side. A large rudder is mounted aft of the propeller. You can find copies of the Pendulum edition at amazon, among other places. A large image of the original cover is viewable in the Comic Book Database.
David Grove's beautiful gouache illustrations for the 1973 Fearon/Janus/Quercus edition show a broad, rather modern, organic-shaped hull. There is a large rectangular salon window and a number of small ports aft. The pilothouse, with short rectangular ports, is integral with a solid, open-topped deck enclosure. The boat is recessed in the hull aft of enclosure. The hull flares out to narrow side fins. At the tail these become horizontal fins with dive planes. There is a tall vertical fin above the ring-enclosed four-bladed propeller. The lower hull has large cylindrical structure, perhaps a ballast tank, below the side flare on either side.
Dan Thompson scratch-built a Nautilus model in the 1970s. He based it on photos of Harper Goff's Disney creation, but adhered to the dimensions stated in Jules Verne's text. Dan captured most of the Goff details, remarkable considering the minimal references he had, but stretched the hull to Verne's full proportional length. You can see photos of his model here and here.
The cover of an audio book recording of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea read by James Mason and published by Caedmon in 1977 featured this very un-Disney Nautilus. Well, this fishlike design still features a Goff-inspired raker arch. There is a double-cone spar at the tip of the spindle hull. The short deck is dominated by a conical conning tower topped with a tall lantern tower. There is a large circular salon window forward on the hull, forming the fish's eye and at least nine fins to complement the appearance. The design includes a small hatch on the deck and what is probably a large diving hatch on the hull bottom. The propeller is large and many bladed. It's unfortunately not possible to identify the artist who created this Nautilus design from the image I have.
~ c. 1980 ~
fiction illustrator Vincent Di Fate created this 1980 Nautilus
design for Di
Fate's Catalog of Science Fiction Hardware. See this and other
artwork on his web
in Motion sells a replica 20,000 Leagues under the Sea Nautilus Aurora
plastic model kit box featuring Di Fate's art on the cover. Although there was never such a
kit, the box
represents the kit model builders would like to have seen. The sub's hull is
more or less spindle shaped with a faceted cross section not unlike
Goff's. The massive wheelhouse, with oddly back-facing ports making it
resemble a nautilus-like sea creature, dominates the deck. Rather than a
single window, a row of smaller ports provide outside views.
In 2007 Pierre-Yves Garcin commissioned Bernard Brimeur to build the Nautilus shown on the box for his Mobilis in Mobile on-line museum. The illustration at right pictures Brimeur's realization next to the commemorative box. See large photos of the box (box-art section) and the model (science fiction anthologies section) on the museum web site. The museum is viewable both in French and in English.
elevated deck platform. The pilothouse faces forward and, like the lantern, has four somewhat convex windows.
Jean Gagneux heard about this web site and contacted me. Thanks to his
generosity you can see much more of his Nautilus model here.
My illustration and MetaStream model adhere to Gagneux's plan, which differs slightly from his model.
I’ve placed Gagneux’s Nautilus plan on "The Author’s Desk" at the top of my 20,000 Leagues page.
producer Dino DiLaurentiis wanted to remake 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
and went to far as to get a script, faithful to the novel, from George MacDonald
Fraser. The movie was never made, but Ron Miller shared some of his
production drawings for the Nautilus. The submarine,
conceived rather like and underwater airship, was rather less faithful, but
interesting. The deck had an integral wheelhouse at the forward end with a
hatch just aft. The boat was set just below the center of the deck but
athwartships so that it could be easily launched to the side. Rather than
a single lantern on the deck, lights were set on the upper and lower hull.
All the control surfaces were large. Dive planes were attached to the after
ends of horizontal fins extending from the spur with a second set mounted
on the tail. The ram looked something like a mace attached to the very
prow. There were four-bladed props below the centerline protected by rings
on either side keel. Most interesting, the salon was attached to forward
lower hull like an air ship air car, with large windows on either side of the organ.
Perhaps the oddest concept was a fire place at the aft end of salon.
elevated or withdrawn. Jean-Pierre has generously permitted me to feature much of detail of his Nautilus
plans here. The illustration and MetaStream model
here omit some detail but depict the major features. You can now also view
J-P's many Jules Verne drawings on this French-language web
Jim Humphries' design for his rubber-band powered Nautilus model was published in the December 1987 Scale Ship Modeler, but he actually designed it in the early 1980s. Jim used the novel's woodcut illustrations as his main source and his lantern and platform are especially faithful to de Neuville's renditions of these structures. The wheelhouse has Verne's four windows and an original organic look. The large front windows facing off at an angle are reminiscent of Goff's, a very reasonable reference to that memorable boat. Jim's is a working model with the two sets of planes needed for proper operation. He started without a vertical fin, but found lateral stability required it and incorporated the fish-like tail with another nod to Goff. The model lacks a launch and the salon window is too far aft. The propeller is three bladed, an oversight that Jim intends to fix.
One of the most carefully executed depictions of the Nautilus I've seen is Ron Miller's design in all his Unicorn editions. The hull has a fully tapered cigar shape and the salon windows are rectangular, which may well have been Verne's intent. The platform is slightly elevated with the longboat in the center and structures placed as Verne described them. There are a few embellishments, some I think reminiscent of Goff's Nautilus, but none in conflict with the novel. In general this Nautilus, with its retractable pilothouse, is truer to Verne than mine.
Since the publication of Ron Miller's several Unicorn volumes he's incorporated some improvements to his design. This version is a little sleeker, the planes are longer, the salon window repositioned, and notice the placement of the rudder out of the propeller wake. ECardmodels.com offers a very nice 1:100 scale paper model kit of design.
~ c. 1990 ~
This spindle-hulled Nautilus with its distinctive barbed spur was created by illustrator Joseph Ciardiello for a Reader's Digest Association edition published around 1990. Except for the relatively small, two-bladed prop, it appears to follow Verne's text well. The position of the long boat was not obvious in the drawings so I omitted it from the model.
When Greg Sharpe saw Jim Humphries rubber-band model he had to have one and Jim's design became the basis for Deep Sea Designs' first Nautilus, published several times in the early 1990s. This model can be built from detailed plans available from Deep Sea Designs. It has a non-elevated deck with a hidden launch. The wheelhouse, taken almost directly from the Humphries boat and like many of the other designs shown here, has a diamond shape with two large, canted, forward-facing windows, somewhat reminiscent of Goff’s design. The ram is a cylindrical cone rather than Verne’s triangular shape and the fish-like stern is clearly based on Goff's. There is a diving hatch in the keel near the stern very like Goff's. The round salon window is positioned too far astern for the novel’s interior description. In appearance the model resembles Goff’s but, especially with its prominent fin-like diving planes, looks more fishlike and less reptilian. Greg has a working version of this design.
Another Nautilus design available from Deep Sea Designs is closer to Verne’s description than the first. The deck is raised slightly to provide some additional space for retracting the pilothouse and lantern. Two hatches are recessed into the deck. The launch is also recessed and stowed upside-down. This permits entry from the Nautilus through a hatch in the launch’s deck rather than its hull. Of course it must roll over on its trip to the surface, causing the occupants some discomfit. There is a davit to handle it on the surface. The salon window is too far astern, although it is consistent with the interior arrangement on the plan. This is a working design with two sets of diving planes, one near the stern and the other in the fin structure at the bow.
Graphic designer Lyle Simoneaux sent me this image of a Nautilus design he first conceived in the 90s or earlier. He's made it a bit more streamlined than the original sketches, but the general appearance remains the same. He changed the classic Harper Goff look for a more cuttlefish-like shape. Also influencing the shape were his thoughts of kit-bashing a GI Joe helicopter toy to realize the design as a model. The pilot house, which can be withdrawn below the protective stylistic nautilus tentacles just forward, provides a panoramic view through large windows. The ram is purposely drill-like, a theme continued in the hull side rakers conceived to deflect debris away from the sub. Two midship arches, a tribute to Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus, were not in Lyle's original sketches but serve two practical purposes. Like the side rakers they protect the hull from ramming debris and add strength to the structure. There are two lanterns at the aft end of the arches, shown retracted, can be extended above the deck. The deeply recessed salon windows are also protected by sliding panels. Lastly, the tail fins retract when ramming. Overall this Nautilus is designed to have a sleek nautical creature look with practical considerations to handle the violence of a ram attack.
In 1995 New Zealand Television broadcast an Atlantis Films Ltd and Tasman Film and Television Ltd Production of Mysterious Island as a 22-epsode miniseries. This is the Nautilus from that production, which also aired in Canada. The design has a circular cross-section and is basically fish-like in shape with a symmetrical set of vertical and horizontal tail fins. The single propeller is protected by a circular shroud. There is a deck with a boat aft of a long tapered conning tower. There is a recessed open bridge at the forward end of conning tower. As in a normal submarine, this could be used only on the surface. There appear to be a line of small ports on the sides of the hull. There is a line of rakers on the forward hull. These might support ramming, but a set of three forward of the tail don't appear to have a function. More puzzling are the lattice frame construction on the forward hull that tapers to the bow and the many panels on the lower part of the forward hull. Having not seen the series, I have no idea what function these mechanisms may have had, if any. Likewise for the pair of perforated plates at the aft end of the tower. Looking at the images, I'd like to say the design was inspired by a catfish (a bottom feeder doesn't match the Nemo of 20,000 Leagues, but perhaps does match the manipulative Nemo in this particular version of Mysterious Island.) but my guess is the concept was more hap-hazard than that. (Thanks to Wayne Orzel for the screenshots used to reconstruct the design.)
Bjorn Lundberg sent me an interesting article from a 1996 issue of Model Ship Builder. Using numerous citations from the novel, the author, Jeff Phillips, discusses details of the Nautilus design, and raises some technical issues also mentioned elsewhere on these pages. He carefully evaluates some conflicts in the text and describes a particularly true design. Like Ian Williams and for the same reason, he places the ram above the centerline. He attempts to solve some of the problems with the lantern by making it taller than the wheelhouse. That structure still casts a large shadow forward, and Jeff suggests Nemo's design would be improved by several better positioned lights rather than one. His design has a very large salon window, filling, as he says, "most of the area of the salon". Although he scrutinized the description of the structure, he neglected the contents. Nemo's art collection requires a good deal of wall space, limiting the window size.
Stan Sanders has built a Nautilus model with some noticeable differences. The most significant feature is the stern with its low mounted screw. I originally thought Stan had placed the lantern between the deck and the pilothouse, but closer examination of the pictures revealed a second lantern astern. The illustration of the Nautilus in the cavern in the Hetzel Mysterious Island has lanterns rather like these. The lanterns and the pilothouse appear retractable and the launch is at least partially recessed into the deck. There are a couple of features clearly derived from Goff's design. I've reconstructed the design from a set of small black and white pictures so some proportions and details are speculative. The aft diving planes, typical of the working models, are prominent in the pictures, but the location of a forward set is my best guess.
The 1997 Hallmark TV movie Nautilus by Production Designer Brian Ackland-Snow is true to Jules Verne in some ways and different in others. It has a triangular, cookie cutter like ram with what may be an extendable center. The ram is faired with three saw-tooth fins, reminiscent of Harper Goff. The main salon windows are set into the hull and look forward, although there are also side looking ports. The lantern is set forward on the upper hull and the retractable wheelhouse sits nearly amidships, just forward of the main hatch. A pair of large downward tilted dive planes or fins amidships is augmented by apparent planes on the horizontal tail. The vertical tail ends in a tall fin-shaped rudder aft of the three-bladed prop. Both tail fins have a serrated edge, again a likely nod to Goff. The hull is rather bulbous with a squat cross-section, the beam dimension greater than the height. This Nautilus is more organic in shape than most and appears to be smaller. See pictures of the Nautilus in the movie on this Mobilis in Mobile page.
The Village Roadshow Pictures production of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea aired in 1997 on the ABC television network. I liked the Nautilus, designed by Stewart Burnside and Jim Millett of the Model Smiths, immediately, but for a long time thought it looked more like a space ship, or maybe a deep sea exploration platform, than Nemo's weapon of revenge. However it does in fact resemble a sea creature, the horseshoe crab. The designers actually had a Balmain bug (butterfly fan lobster) in mind. Coincidentally or not, it also reminds me of the Nautilus from Captain Nemo and the Underwater City. There is a reference to the Disney/Goff design with a row of rakers running up the forward hull. The wheelhouse is integral with the hull and has three rectangular windows facing more or less forward. There is a deck set into the aft portion of the upper hull. The lower part of the hull is more open and spindly than the top. It has what appears to be a hidden, perhaps extendable ram below the front of the armored carapace. Just aft, two large circular salon windows face forward. The aft part of the hull narrows and then flares into a wide tail with dual propeller mechanisms. All in all this Nautilus resembles a giant prehistoric crustacean, but also has a Victorian look. See this ReoCities page for photos of the movie model and this Mobilis in Mobile page pictures of the Nautilus from the movie.
Paul Wright's version in the new Eyewitness Classics children's book is based on Miller's but he has taken some liberties inconsistent with the novel. There is a horizontal tail rather like a modern submarine with, apparently, a second set of planes. The triangular ram has been replaced with a cruciform one. The rectangular salon window is now round. The most glaring revision is the raising of the platform into a sort of conning tower, perhaps to better resemble a modern sub. The deck hatch no longer opens on the platform, but on the hull. There are several other cosmetic, non-conflicting embellishments.
John Dutton has modified his working Nautilus model sub, originally built from a Deep Sea Designs plan published in R/C Ship Modeling (Vol. 1, No.1). He's incorporated numerous new ideas, including a feature or two from my design. The wheelhouse now has a forward-facing window with a headlight mounted on top. He has retained two sets of diving planes along the side of the hull, a practical consideration for any working model. Diving planes at the "center of floatation" where Verne positions them, provide less control than the fore and aft planes found on modern subs. John has told me the circular salon window is stronger and less likely to leak than other shapes. John's web site has disappeared from the Internet, but with John's permission, Didier Jaffrédo is now hosting many of the pictures of the new sub in action .
Greg Rico drew this Nautilus in the mid 1990s. It has more classic lines than his later armored, steam punk designs, featured below. The deck is in a smoothly faired superstructure marked only by the deck scuppers along the sides and the recessed wheelhouse windows. This gives the boat an overall clean appearance. The lantern is mounted just aft of the deck atop the superstructure. There are two sets of horizontal fins, the forward fins incorporating small diving planes. The salon windows are recessed in the hull just below the forward fins.
The hole punched in the Scotia's hull is described as two and a half meters below her waterline, but Nemo says he was traveling two meters below the surface when the collision occurred. This would place the Nautilus's centerline more than six meters deep. Ian Williams' design, illustrated here, addresses this problem by raising the ram to match the hole. The ram in this position also addresses a similar issue. During the trip to the South Pole, Aronnax describes the Nautilus using its ram as an icebreaker as it crosses the Antarctic ice shelf on the surface. Perhaps this could be done with a centerline ram but it seems to me the force would tend to drive the submarine beneath the ice. Ian has given the salon a much larger window than the other designs and two rudders. The rudders, meant to evoke Goff's embedded diving planes, may seem strange, but a plan of Nordenfelt's first submarine, built in 1885, shows two rudders in a similar arrangement. I found a sketch of Ian's Nautilus on his web page. He has since updated both. Visit his site for the sketch and a detailed plan and then look around a bit to enjoy the examples of his art (opens in a new window).
I have talked about my design elsewhere but here is a little more background and an illustration for comparison. I used a true cylinder with tapered ends for hull, based in part on fitting the very large salon within it. Some illustrations of the cigar ships from the mid-1800s show a more tapered cigar shape. I placed the platform directly on the hull because the text places it 80 centimeters out of the water. This corresponds exactly with Nemo's statement that one tenth of the hull is exposed on the surface.
Leo Arnold sent me his plans and a short description of this design. The most interesting detail is the sideways mounted longboat, facilitating its launch and retrieval. The wheelhouse and lantern, spaced far apart, have upper flanges that close the deck openings when retracted. The lantern is slightly taller than the wheelhouse, partially addressing the problem of the wheelhouse shadow. The design positions the triangular spur above the centerline. The hull cross-section includes somewhat flat sides and bottom, perhaps to improve interior space utilization.
3D artist Jon A. Bell designed this streamlined Nautilus for a Sega CD adventure game. Unfortunately Sega discontinued the CD platform before production could be completed. Eric Quackenbush was the primary designer for the game, but Jon, with Eric's input, designed and built the 3D model. They were considerably influenced by the Naval Institute Press annotated edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (see more about this excellent version on my Twenty Thousand Leagues page). Although the actual game design never got past the demo stage, Jon completed various proof-of-concept animations showing the exterior of the submarine and the interior rooms. His design, notable for its odd, fan-shaped propeller, includes two forward lanterns near the pilothouse in addition to the one at the end of the platform. You can see a rendering and some plans of this Nautilus here.
I found an image of Jérôme Comblat's Nautilus during a periodic web search for Nautilus designs. Clearly based on the novel, it has similarly shaped pilot house and lantern structures at either end of a subtle deck. There is a dinghy approximately amidships and a hatch just aft. The hull has no obvious ram but there is an elaborate structure with a salon window forward of a large trapezoidal dive plane. A gracefully shaped vertical fin encloses the prop and probably incorporates the rudder. There may also be a small horizontal fin component, perhaps serving as a partial prop guard. The image shows a hint of a keel structure on the forward part of the cylindrical section of the hull. A large bulge on the lower hull aft might be associated with a diving hatch. You can see Comblat's original image on his web page here.
~ c. 2000 ~
Anthony Testa's Nautilus uses an exaggerated version of Goff's rakes to distinguish itself with a vicious and organic look. The hull is spindle-shaped and the wheelhouse and lantern appear retractable. Anthony has placed the launch at the end of the platform and protected the five-bladed propeller within a cylindrical guard. I produced the image and 3D model from two 3/4 forward views, so my interpretation is missing some details and probably has some errors.
Nobumitsu Kobayashi's dramatic design has a raised vertical ram, like an axe blade. The wheelhouse and lantern are at least partially retractable into the cylindrical hull. The rectangular salon windows, which are placed a little far aft, are fitted with a protective grid. Nobumitsu has added what may be a set of forward-facing windows in the hull, although these may be lights to augment the lantern. The prop appears to have three blades. Unfortunately, the renderings of this Nautilus appears to be no longer available on the Internet. Thanks to Mark Dee who told me about this design.
Bianco based his design on de Neuville and Riou
illustrations, with additional inspiration from these pages. The
flattened upper surface of the hull is notable. Most designs add a raised
platform, or leave the deck surface rounded. Michael uses a five-sided
lantern, like Jim Humphries, but turns it around to keep the light from shining
directly into the wheelhouse. Note the window atop the wheelhouse that
provides a sternward view when the structure is rotated into the hull for
Artist and illustrator Brüno Thielleux created this Nautilus for a series of comic books based on chapters from 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and drawn in his distinctive style. The space ship-like cylindrical design, which only loosely follows Verne's description, is twice the size of Verne's, but it would work at the standard size. Instead of a ram, this Nautilus has a pair of blades on the bow, the upper with a saw-tooth edge, that form a vicious pincer, mimicking the beak of a giant mechanical squid. (There are also retractable mechanical tentacles that featured unsuccessfully in one sequence in the fourth comic.) There is a more Verne-like retractable compartment at the forward end of the deck, just aft of the saw tooth, and a captain's yacht that can be launched from a mid-deck recess. Instead of a salon, the submarine has a large library amidships with very large circular view ports. These appear to be protected by large panels with the single letter N, visible in some of the illustrations. Propulsion is by three large conical “reactors” at the stern. You can see drawings from the comics at Brüno's French-language web site. Navigate to "Albums", then to "Nemo" to see images from four issues.
Illustrator Didier Graffet's Nautilus is showcased in the richly illustrated Gründ full French text Vingt Mille Lieus sous les mers, published in 2003. Although not strictly following the text, his design is reasonably true to Verne while incorporating elements from Goff and many other sources. Notable features are a partially retractable control room forward of the small wheelhouse, a folding exterior ladder in the aft keel below the dive hatch, a downward looking window at the bottom of the main, spiral stairway, and additional lights fore and aft on the lower hull. The very large fins are distinctly fishlike. One of the more interesting details of the design is his overlapping the hull plates top-to-bottom, rather than bow-to-stern as others have done. The images here are of my model based on the plan and drawings in the book. Now you can see Didier's plans, other images, and photos of the electrified wood and cardboard model of his Nautilus on his official Mondes & Voyages website. He also has some very fine prints of his Nautilus plans available here.
This is Jesper Kurt-Nielsen's original spindle-hulled Nautilus concept. The deck details reflect the Hetzel edition illustrations, like many of the designs. The stern features an asymmetric rudder. His original art included Aronnax standing on the deck in the classic Riou drawing that, according to Walter James Miller in The Annotated 20,000 Leagues, Verne posed for himself.
Kurt-Nielsen added ornamentation to his second Nautilus and changed
to a symmetrical stern.
You can see his color renditions of both designs including the Aronnax
figure on his Danish Virtual
site. (See Riou’s Aronnax on Zvi Har’El’s Illustrated
Jules Verne pages.)
Clive Cussler's umpteenth novel Valhalla Rising included the rediscovery of the Nautilus in the Hudson Valley. The cover artist was Lawrence Ratzkin, but I have not been able to identify the illustrator responsible for the drawings in the book. The design features a spindle hull offset toward the bow. A set of relatively small dive planes is located just below the center line and about halfway from the bow to midships. A large round port is placed on the centerline amidships. The hull tapers back to a fair-sized four-bladed propeller protected by vertical and horizontal fins. The horizontal fins appear to function as dive planes and the vertical fins hold a large rudder. A good-sized, hexagonal wheelhouse with six round windows is set forward of a simple deck at about the widest part of the hull. There's no indication of a launch or lantern.
Frank Chase has conceived a Nautilus that calls Goff's design to mind but is very different. Frank began from Verne's text but has taken a few liberties. The result is a graceful but powerful appearance. His 3D model has a full interior laid out very much as Verne described. I find the appointments and machinery somewhat modern, but the detail is incredible and the result impressive.
web site also features interior views of his second Nautilus.
resembling his original design, Frank went back to the text for this
version. The Goff influence is gone. The deck
is clearly Verne but the ram is set high like Ian Williams. The salon
window is rectangular like Ron Miller's. See much more of this Nautilus,
including the interior, on Frank's web page
(also linked from my Nautilus page).
Design Wheel, a company that designs film, television, and interior spaces created this Nautilus concept as a study for a 2002 film of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. To quote their website, "The 'Nautalis' is reborn in this new version of the famous Jules Verne novel". The concept draws on the classic Harper Goff design but reverses some elements for a very different appearance and includes the movie scene of the Nautilus held by the giant squid by adding a tentacle motif to the hull. See the Design Wheel concept drawing as well as some interior sketches on the Design Wheel website.
artist Serge Micheli created this Nautilus for Voyage
sous les eaux, a graphic novel about Jules Verne and Captain Nemo, published
in 2002. The design has an organic, but also jerry-rigged
appearance. The only part that might be traced to Harper Goff is the large
and vicious saw-tooth affixed to the forward hull. The pilothouse, with
two large, irregular windows, just aft of saw, is otherwise the highest point on
the hull. There are small lanterns mounted atop the forward hull on each
side of the saw, and possibly two more atop the hull just aft of the pilothouse,
although these may be portholes. Two large, roughly rectangular view ports
extend from each side, the forward pair from the library, and a slightly larger
set from the salon. Just aft of these the hull is adorned with some
complex structures that merge into curling tentacles. The book has an
epilogue in which the author, François Rivičre, discusses Jules Verne, and
which includes what is perhaps Micheli's concept art of the Nautilus.
It has most of the features of the version described here, but is flatter and
more elongated, with a more prehistoric sea creature appearance.
You can buy the English version of this richly illustrated book, Voyage Into the Deep, at amazon.com.
Kelley misses a few details of Verne's description in this version of the Nautilus,
but I like the rough and tough look. The
sinister wheelhouse and light, shown in their retracted positions, remind me of pill
box gun emplacements. Kelley's lethal blade-shaped ram, inspired in part by Ron
Miller's design, might have caused Nemo to say "like a knife through
butter" instead of "a needle through sailcloth". The
renderings I’ve seen, now available on Kelley’s web site, give an
impression of toughness and violence. This sub could have easily terrorized 19th
century seas. See Robert's images here
Bruce Bowman has designed a simple, clean looking Nautilus, based
on Jules Verne's text. In his description Bruce acknowledges the only
obvious error - five blades on the prop instead of four. My graphic
doesn't do justice to the classic appearance of the spindle hull and almost
stiletto-like triangular cross-section, three-bladed ram. The small
wheelhouse has five or six sides with one facing forward. The lantern is a
little taller than the wheelhouse with two lights facing forward. The
deck between the wheelhouse and the lantern is integral with the hull - there is
no platform - and protected by a low railing, part of which appears to be a
chain that can be lowered to launch the boat, located mid-deck. The oval
salon window is sized to match the interior view of some of the original woodcut
illustrations. The dive planes, located amidships, are short fore and aft
but project noticeably to the sides to provide a large control surface.
The rudder, mounted on the hull bottom forward of the prop, is similarly
large. You can see some nice graphics of this Nautilus on
the Bowman Arts website.
The Adventure Company game Return
to Mysterious Island features a Nautilus
surprisingly true to the novel. The
design is clearly inspired by an illustration in the original Hetzel edition
with details suggested by other sources. The
image at right, produced from a published screenshot, shows two searchlights imbedded in the deck, matching the Hetzel
illustration shown as an inset. (Close examination of the original drawing shows the lights are
imbedded in the superstructure, but no matter.) The
design has two dinghies, one on each side of the deck, a nice improvement on my
own original Nautilus. The
pilot house and a pilot house and lantern are similar to several designs in the
catalog. The nicely detailed hull
uses overlapping plates just like those of my new Nautilus,
except that they are much smaller. My
recreation image of this design at left speculates on parts such as the salon
window and dive plane not visible in the published screenshot graphics. The
published interior screenshots show a recurring chambered nautilus design motif
similar to the raised emblem on the bow. Such
decoration might extend to the outside portion of the window.
Additional information and screen shots can be found at this game web site or by a web search of the game title. You can buy the game at amazon.com but check out some reviews first to know what you are getting. The submarine does have passages from the deck to the complete salon but unfortunately no other interior rooms to explore.
According to a capsule history provided by John McEwan, his Victorian Science Fiction Submarine Narwal was built by the French in 1889 using information that Aronnax, actually a French secret agent, collected during his sojourn aboard the Nautilus. It has many of the features described in the novel and improvements similar to other designs featured in the Catalog. John acknowledges Ian William's Nautilus as an inspiration. The lantern is mounted atop the wheel house. In addition to the helmsman's windows, the extended wheelhouse includes a set of portholes on the sides of what might be a full control room. A launch is located in the center of the deck forward of the main hatch. There are aft dive planes in a set of horizontal fins and the expected hull-mounted planes planes are moved forward of the large salon windows. A double rudder is set in the vertical fins very similar to the Williams Nautilus and the triangular cross-section ram is set high. The four bladed prop is protected by an annular shroud attached to aft fins. McEwan's Reviresco war gaming company features some other images and a paper card model of the Narwal on its web site.
Jean-Marc Deschamps’ Nautilus includes all the details described in the novel. The hull is asymmetrically cigar-shaped with a rounded stern and a pointed bow. The ram has two fins that, combined with the extended keel, would make a triangular cut in the hull of an attacked ship. The pilothouse and lantern have the same shape and appearance. You can see photos of Deschamps’ model and a detailed plan on the NemoTechnik web site.
The Nautilus - 1st version - of Hugues Rouleux ("BatNemo") has many influences, including the novel. The profile is reminiscent of Harper Goff's but there are two side-by-side raker arches, like Ray Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus. Only part of the railing is visible in my graphic, but the top of the wheelhouse somewhat resembles a fleet boat submarine conning tower. There is a rather beak-like triangular ram and an eye-like salon window. This RC design has four dive planes, two small ones just forward of the salon window and two aft in a set of large horizontal fins. The deck includes a boat amidships and a large forward-facing lantern at the aft end. You can see photos of this nicely finished model on BatNemo's website or, for the time being, here. See his newer in-work Nautilus version below.
Christian Zaber’s Nautilus has a sinister, organic look. It's not only Victorian era seamen who might mistake this lethal ramming machine for a sea monster. The design is less true to the novel than most in the catalog. It has a long boat set in the hull a little aft of amidships. The hull, composed of several intersecting and cut-off ellipsoids, is not topped with a deck, but there is a small promenade just forward of the wheel house and a larger one aft of the long boat. Both are reached by hatches. Instead of a lantern there are a pair of searchlights on the lower forward hull. The salon window amidships, the raker arch, and the two large wheel house windows are reminiscent of Goff, but there is no real resemblance. See many images of both the exterior and interior of this Nautilus on Christian's Ultra Mondes web site.
Illustrator Max Hierro created this Nautilus for the Anaya illustrated juvenile edition Veinte mil leguas de viaje submarino (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea). Its most striking features are the large barbed and rakered ram and the unusual keel, resembling an inverted arch. A four-sided wheelhouse is located atop the hull where the forward taper ends. There is no obvious deck, just a clean hull extending almost to the large perforated vertical tail fin where there is a small lantern structure. A large, oddly canted centerline propeller is located at the stern and a fair-sized rudder in the lower tail fin. No dive planes are evident. The sweeping window arrangement on the hull side (including an element like a nautilus shell) lends to the organic appearance. See Max's illustration at DeviantArt. You can purchase the illustrated Anya edition (in Spanish) at amazon.
In 2005 the German printing firm Lingoli published a combined children's edition of 80 Tagen um die Welt and 20.000 Meilen unter dem Meer in their Entdecker (Discovery) series, cleverly illustrated by Tony Wolf. The design has a triangular ram composed of a full-width horizontal plate with a half-height vertical plate placed atop it. The vertical component transitions to two large raker fins atop the forward hull. The deck and superstructure are unique. A large, but not unusual wheel house at the forward end has two canted circular windows. There is a similarly large lantern hosing at the aft end with four circular windows. But in the center, the boat is not set into the deck but enclosed in a boat house between these two elements. Hinged panels are raised like a garage door to launch the boat. Large circular salon windows are approximately where expected, but Wolf has placed the dive planes at the aft end of horizontal fins that protrude slightly from a fairing running almost the full length of the hull. Two similar vertical fins extend from the aft hull with the rudder set at the end of the lower one. The aft hull terminates in a cone with a large, free-standing, four-bladed prop. The book, available internationally (in German) from booksellers in Germany, includes a cutaway view of the Nautilus, more or less true to Verne's description. Verne's characters are all there, but are animals in this children's version. Thanks again to Jürgen Guerrero Kommritz for bringing this Nautilus to my attention.
This Nautilus was created by digital painter "Tauceti" as a commissioned piece. He did research to make the design true to Verne and it shows. The hull is spindle shaped. Both the wheelhouse, far forward on the hull, and lantern housing are retractable. There is a deck area with a rectangular hatch a little forward of amidships. The boat is mounted at the aft end of the deck. The ram is integral with the hull at the bow. The oval salon window is set on the hull side forward of wheelhouse. They aren't easy to see in my graphic, but there are three sets of dive planes, the first pair just aft of the wheelhouse and the other two pairs about a third of the way aft. The large four-bladed prop is at the stern end of the hull. It isn't clear in the original art, but the rudder may be on the hull bottom just forward of the prop. See the original image at DeviantArt.
is Philip Heinrich's interesting fishlike Nautilus. Inspired some
by Dave Warren's design, but based largely on calculations from the novel,
Philip's Nautilus has the look of
some prehistoric fish with overlapping scales. He admits his unique positioning of the propeller forward of the
large, flat tail, while looking very good, might not work. It calls the
original cigar steamer's midships propeller to my mind. That boat had a
frame that held the forward and aft hulls together. Missing that, Philip's
design requires a hollow propeller shaft surrounding a central, non-rotating
structural shaft to keep the tail stationary, as well as rudder controls. It would be complex and difficult
engineering, but perhaps not beyond Nemo's genius. Philip created his Nautilus
in Carrara and kindly provided all the images that appear here.
You can see hi-res renderings of this Nautilus on Philip's art
page on his web site.
Leelan Lampkins’ Nautilus combines features of Greg Sharpe’s first design with Ian Williams’ ram. He’s added a cutwater forward of the pilothouse and incorporated a tall lantern in a dorsal fin for protection during ramming. He's moved the salon windows forward in keeping with the internal dimensions of the novel.
William Burningham's Nautilus echoes many of the designs shown here but particularly resembles Jim Humphries' boat. His design includes rotating davits that operate like those I've planned for my new Nautilus and animated on my dinghy page, with the dinghy stored inverted, but flipped during launch. These look very much like those on the Return to Mysterious Island Nautilus but those are not positioned to operate the same way. Burningham markets 3D models under his KuroKuma professional name. See more of this Poser-ready 3D model at DAZ. (The Poser model includes a texture-mapped OBJ file that can be imported into many other 3D modeling programs.) (My Carrara animation was made after importing the Poser model with TransPoser.)
Greg deSantis started with the idea of recreating Nemo’s Nautilus but decided he didn't want to be limited by the novel, opting for the freedom to create his own ultimate Nautilus. The result, an imposing Victorian submarine, includes large, ornate salon windows, a deck-mounted launch, and an elevated cable-braced spar. The two-sided pilot house with center lantern is unique, but an interesting frog-head extension of Goff's big windows. The design owes more to Goff as well, with its flat-plate, polygonal cross-sectioned hull, fish-like tail and horizontal hull extensions, but in the end it is all Greg's. Perhaps most interesting is the attention to detail he's put into the model. It looks as good close up as from a distance. See a some images of Greg's "Improbable" Nautilus at this “Wayback Machine” capture of his Museum of the Improbable website (the original site is lamentably gone). Except for the standard side view here, which Greg provided, the images were shaded and rendered in Carrara. A very nice plastic 1:144 scale model of this Nautilus is now available. I got my kit from CultTVman's Hobby Shop.
Lee Krystek built this Nautilus for an on-line graphic novel version of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The design is unique, with a deck that runs nearly the full length of the hull and a cigar shaped hull with a truncated stern. A cruciform vertical and horizontal fin structure is attached to the stern and the long spar appears to have a diamond cross-section for most of its length. The two diving planes are mounted somewhat forward forward of the hull center. There are three windows on each side of the hull although only one appears to be in the salon. (Actually, the salon apparently combines the salon, library, and dining room.) The retractable wheelhouse with a searchlight lantern mounted on either side and a large hatch amidships are the only noticeable features on the deck. The boat is stored in a deck compartment forward of the wheelhouse, and doesn't appear to be lauchable underwater. The blunt end of the hull combined with the fin structure that encloses the prop neatly protects it during a ram attack. You can see more of this Nautilus in the 20,000 Leagues graphic novel (made using figures from an earlier version of Poser) on Lee's "Museum of Unnatural History" web site.
When I first saw this BCI Nautilus model I found it interesting, but certainly not based on the novel as described in the advertising. I assume this description was actually to account for the fact that it had no resemblance to Harper Goff's Disney version. The design is clearly fish- or even shark-like, although the shape, except for the sturdy ram, set above the centerline, the hull reminds me of a salmon in spawning season. There are a number of sharp fins that migrate into a unique pair of counter-rotating annular propellers. There's no specific salon window but a number of similar portholes on the upper hull, and no obvious wheelhouse or lantern. The upper hull forms into what might be a very squat conning tower with perhaps periscopes and other submarine equipment not mentioned by Verne. Two pairs of side fins are pre probably dive planes. The feature amidships where Verne places the dive controls is a bulkier structure that appears to be immobile. Also unique to this model are the four pairs of pipes on the upper hull, possibly to account for the jets of water described in the novel. See images of the BCI Nautilus model here.
Jiri Chytil sent me images of his Nautilus. He has been very faithful to the text. His design features guards in front of the dive planes, rather like the Hunley, to protect them during a ram attack. The salon windows have external covers, again for protection and his ram is the most massive of those pictured here. The boat is designed as a weapon. Jiri didn't include a description, but the dinghy appears to be mounted to the side similar to my original design and probably for the same reason.
Didier Jaffrédo sent me a copy of the April 2005 issue of the French boat modeling magazine MRB that features André Laisney's article "Le vrai Nautilus de Jules Verne". The two-part article, inspired by Jean Gagneux's earlier work, includes a comprehensive analysis of the text of 20,000 Leagues not unlike that on these pages and detailed illustrations of a powered model built by the author. It includes a full plan (including interior) that I used to create the 3D model for the images shown here. Laisney began with Gagneux's design and added salon window covers, diving plane guards, and a longer keel. He modified the ram and the rudder, and used a slightly elevated wood deck to account for the curvature of the hull. Other small differences are apparent on examination, but the Gagneux pedigree is clear.
Didier also sent me a page from the February/March 2005 issue of Bateau modčle showing this Nautilus. M. Claude Martinet built his model based on Michel Métivier's "Monographie du Nautilus". The design used the the shape of the 1863 French submarine Le Plongeur, often cited as an inspiration the Nautilus, for the hull. Martinet added the features described by Verne in the novel, including the salon window, wheelhouse, lantern, and deck. Le Plongeur had a torpedo spar but this Nautilus has a ram that is integral to the somewhat triangular bow. I have unfortunately not seen Métivier's monograph, but the magazine article indicates the large number of port holes in this design are true to it. Read about Le Plongeur and see some images for comparison on Wikipedia.org.
John Whitesel says of his Nautilus that he tried to keep away from Jules Verne's design, but staying in the technology of that time period it's hard to come up with anything that doesn't look like the Nautilus. With Whitesel's disclaimer I won't comment on the design, which I like. It looks like it could sit on the bottom as Verne's often does in the novel. I do see elements of real and proposed 19th century submarines. Note the keel construction resemblance to the Zédé model below. John has created 3D models and animations for various projects and historical documentaries as can be seen on his web page here.
John Ott sent me his impressive Nautilus. Sacrificing some authenticity, he designed it for "looks". The bow, with a lethal ram and massive rakers reminiscent of Goff, makes this clearly a "ship killer". Ott cites real 19th century submarines Gymote, Peral's Spanish boat, and others as inspiration for details of the stern. The slightly raised deck casing accommodates retraction of the wheel house and the lantern without penetrating the inner hull and provides room for an 8-meter catboat that could serve as a lifeboat for the entire crew. The design includes a full interior with a cigar-shaped inner hull and more cylindrical out hull.
Adam Eli Clem took the deep sea Goblin Shark (Mitsukurina owstoni) as inspiration for his Nautilus. The hull is more or less spindle shaped with the salon window, with a possible sliding cover, approximately amidships. The ram is elevated well above the centerline and more complex than it appears in my graphic (it is diamond-shaped when viewed from above), looking very much like the inspiration's rostrum or snout. The pilot house is set into the forward end of the deck, at the end of the ram. There are two forward-looking, canted rectangular windows, hidden by the deck sides in my graphic. The wheel house may be retractable. There is another structure further aft on the deck that may be a possibly retractable lantern, or perhaps a boat. The deck extends well beyond the aft end of the hull in emulation of the goblin shark's very long tail. Clem's sketches show a propeller at the end of the hull proper and a complex fin structure probably intended to emulate the shark's fins. If this shark were Nemo's inspiration, this might combine the functions of dive planes and rudder. Sightings of this "sea monster" would have surely amazed and puzzled 19th century naturalists. This entry is based on Clem's original 2006 sketch posted on his blog. His more recent sketches elaborate and update the design.
Looking for a Victorianesque appearance while matching Verne's description, Randolph Hess created this Nautilus. The wheelhouse and tall lantern are completely retractable and in attack configuration the salon windows are protected by sliding external panels. The large and lethal blade-like ram is triangular in that it widens from a knife-sharp leading edge to the width of the wheelhouse where it fairs into the deck. The lantern top is pentagonal with three lights facing forward and two aft. There is a large hatch in the deck forward of the lantern tower and the canot is set into the deck just aft. A large rudder is mounted in the keel extension mirroring the ram profile. Randolph positioned the large dive planes forward of the salon window in his original desing. The interlocking hull plates were purposefully designed with a far-eastern motif consistent the “Indian” ethnicity given to Nemo in Mysterious Island but also lend a reptilian appearance. This is further emphasized by vertical frame elements in the salon window "eye". See Randolph's updated design below.
This Nautilus - the 2nd version - of Hugues Rouleux ("BatNemo") is still in work, so some of the details illustrated here may change. The beak-like ram of the first version has grown much more elaborate while the hull has assumed a more rounded, organic shape. BatNemo's rough line drawing shows a barbed raker arch similar to the first, but it is not yet on the model. Hugues informs me this will be a double arch, as with his first boat, above. I've ghosted it in my graphic. There is a two level deck. The upper level, built into a rounded structure atop the hull, has a classic four-sided wheel house near the forward end and a large boat aft. The lower deck has a small dorsal fin forward and a lantern with forward facing light aft. Again, Hugues tells me that the wheelhouse and the lantern will withdraw into the hull, as in the novel, giving a clean profile for ram attacks. The tail is similar to the first version and still somewhat Goff-like. The hull is flared at the center line extending into what may be dive planes amidships and then again into horizontal tail fins aft. The hull plates overlap bow to stern. The salon windows are set in recesses in the lower hull and face partly forward. The hull includes a smoothly fared keel. You can see photos of the unfinished model on BatNemo's website or, for the time being, here.
Greg Rico began from the perspective of Civil War ironclads when he conceived his Nautilus. The ironclads were built to take a pounding and give it back. That succinctly describes this very "steam punk" design. Greg has designed an upper attack deck as a superstructure set on top of a normally submerged secondary, utility deck. Both the pilothouse and lantern housing are retractable more for the practical purpose of protecting them during an attack then to streamline the submarine. The ram is more brutal and functional then in most designs. The large, round salon window is positioned just forward of the nearly amidships dive plane. The dive hatch is placed in the keel, rather Goff-style. The prop and rudder are well protected by a beefy set of guards. Click here to see more of Greg's Nautilus drawings.
Garcin conceived the design of this Nautilus, extrapolated from the original
illustrations, evident in the wheelhouse, lamp, and deck details, but with some deliberate differences. His version has a
six-bladed propeller, several small portholes, and no
spur. Pierre's intent was to bring Verne's vision closer to the reality of
such early submarines as Zédé's. Pierre had his vision realized in a
one-of-a-kind 60-cm model, built for him by Bernard Brimeur, who works for
Disney, MGM, and various other film companies. (The photo
of the model at right is © 2007-P.Fautrat/Envie d'Image.) See more photos
of this model on the Mobilis in Mobile museum
Leelan Lampkins is in the process of refining his Nautilus. The obvious difference is the redesigned tail. Noting that Aronnax thought the monster might be a giant narwhale, Leelan was looking for a surface profile more like a whale than a shark. The new tail fin is normally below the waterline and in any case not obvious even when rolling seas expose the propeller.
film Concept artist and Digital Matte Painter Meinert Hansen sent me his
interesting, somewhat organic Nautilus design. The spiral screw propeller isn't from Verne
but was in fact conceived and patented as a propulsion device for vessels in the
late 18th century. It is technology that Nemo might have
considered when he designed the Nautilus. This propeller is
consistent with the flowing, fluid, fishlike appearance of the forward part of
this design. The shape of the hull and the propeller call to mind a
Paleozoic nautiloid ancestor of the modern chambered nautilus, the namesake of
Nemo's submarine. Nautiloids, predators like the Nautilus, propel
themselves backwards, their tentacles trailing. The fin-like
ventral rudder and dive planes evoke the body of a squid, and the spiral
prop might be its fins. The giant squid attack is Disney, not Verne, but
the association is fixed in popular perception, and Meinert captures it
nicely. See a color, undersea
image of this Nautilus on
Science Design web site. See another Hansen design below.
modeler Helmut Schaub's Nautilus calls to mind a number of other
designs. The basic hull shape and appearance remind me of the Greg
deSantis Improbable Nautilus. It shares external anchor chains, a
three-part salon window, and the basic deck structure with that Nautilus.
The tall conning tower wheelhouse, which resembles Gino d'Achille's illustrations
for the 1983 Random House Step into Classics edition of 20,000 Leagues,
the signature ornate tail (characteristic of other Schaub creations), and
tiered centerline ram give it a distinct appearance. Upper and lower rakers
on the bow continue the ram tiers but also recall the classic Goff design.
My facsimile drawing doesn't do justice to the details of the original, hinted
in the render at right. See more of the model on the Cornucopia3D
web site (follow the links near the bottom of the Cornucopia page for other
with the hull of a Japanese
model and adding bits and pieces of designs found on this page, Jim Smith
created a simple, but recognizable Nautilus consistent with a story he conceived.
Jim features his Nautilus in the diorama pictured here. He provided
this narrative to explain it: "On June 25, 1961 while on a routine
test dive at 900 feet near an exploded volcano in the Pacific, the USS
Nautilus finds what the crew thought was something that was only from the
pages of a book. Chills went up their spines, yet there she lay, still intact,
and stranger still, fully operational: Captain Nemo's Nautilus!"
once in while a strikingly different Nautilus appears. Film
Production Designer Hugh Marchant has created such a design. Jules
Verne described a nearly featureless vessel that appeared suddenly, attacked,
and disappeared as quickly. Its monstrosity was in the impression it left
behind. So different from ships of the time, it could only have been a sea
monster. Most of the designs on this page are simple interpretations of
the novel's text, imaginative elaborations on Victorian Age motifs, variations
on a sea creature of great size, or some combination of these. Although
there are hints of all these in Marchant's Nautilus, it is
unique. To me this design is skeletal, sinister, a very different kind of
Rico sent me a second version of his Nautilus. Although
similar to his first this one has cleaner lines - a little less steam punk and,
I think, a little more art deco. The attack deck is much less
pronounced and the deck housings have more of what I'll call the Jim Humphries form. The ram is unchanged from Greg's first but the design of the forward
hull, with fewer rakers, is much less brutal. This Nautilus is less
a warship and more a luxury yacht.
“zak”'s Nautilus is a classic spindle-hulled design, modeled in SketchUp. The short, centerline ram has a cruciform cross-section. A small forward-shining lantern that appears to be retractable is located low on the forward end of the deck. The retractable, circular cross-section wheelhouse is just aft of the lantern. It has one-forward looking port and one on each side. The long, flat deck has a large hatch amidships and a launch is mounted at the aft end, inset as in Harper Goff's Nautilus. Circular salon windows are situated below the centerline on the forward part of the hull. There appears to be a circular diving hatch on the hull bottom beneath the salon. A fairly small, centerline, four-bladed propeller is mounted at the aft end of the hull. There are small vertical and horizontal fins just forward of the prop, but there are no obvious diving planes or rudder. You can view and download this Nautilus, which has an incomplete but detailed interior, from the Google 3D Warehouse.
Artist Malin Hedström created pencil drawings of the Nautilus under construction in a cave as a an art class exercise. The drawings show only the upper hull so my graphic may be inaccurate. The design is a straightforward tapered cylinder with a small spar but a strong fairing on the forward hull, providing protection for the two-windowed wheelhouse that strikes me as looking alive in one drawing. There is a smaller lantern housing set far aft on the hull. Most noticeable is the open frame vertical fin. I've duplicated the form below, but the lower fin might incorporate the rudder. A large centerline seven-bladed propeller is fitted to the stern. See Malin's drawings at DeviantArt here and here.
I found this interesting Nautilus in paintings by artist "PixeeDust" on DeviantArt. The design features a long, deck-level spar. It's not apparent in my graphic, but the spar fairs into the wide deck that then tapers into a mirrored structure aft that supports the rudder. There is a five-windowed wheelhouse at the deck's forward end and a similarly sized and shaped lantern near the aft end. The spindle-shaped hull has a very large oval salon window, large trapozoidal, batwing-like dive planes and a unique centrifugal impeller/propeller. See PixeeDust's original images here and here.
This Nautilus appeared on the public blog of La Legion Fantastique, a theater group whose shows bring the worlds of Jules Verne to life. You can read the posting and see photos of the Nautilus model o the No.7 Saville Road blog. I created my image from those photos so it is somewhat distorted. The submarine has a lethal-looking ram, backed up by four large fins with rakers, slightly reminiscent of the Harper Goff Nautilus. There is no doubt that this Nautilus is a warship. The only other element that might be traced to Goff is the long wheel house with its goggle-eye windows. There is a rectangular salon window with what may be a smaller circular window just forward and what appears to be a hull-mounted light just aft. There is no deck-mounted lantern and no obvious boat. The tale has a ventral fin and two horizontal fins and an elaborate fin-mounted rudder. Like the bow fins, the upper part of the tail is fitted with rakers.
Benson based his design on late 19th century submarines in addition
to the text from the novel. He began with an approximately square cross-section
that tapers to rounded ends. Protrusions on each side give it an almost
conventional submarine appearance. Phil placed the lantern on the hull
forward of the deck and mounted four additional lamps below the centerline on each side of the
hull for underwater illumination. He's placed a second deck house aft,
defining a narrow promenade deck between the houses. The boat is recessed
in the deck extension aft of the second house. Covered by panels, it is launched and
retrieved on extendable rails. The tall structure near the middle of the
deck is a telescoping air vent. The ram, inspired by the narwhale's horn,
is mounted just a bit above the centerline. Phil supplied the photo
of his small prototype model at right. He's planning a larger scale
Wardrop also drew his inspiration from early submarines as well as Verne's text. Except for the
Confederate Pioneer hull shape, most everything in this design traces to
Aronnax's description and other information in the novel, down to the undersea
excursion hatch and ladder in the lower aft hull. See a photo of William's Nautilus
model and take
a look at some of his other creations on his Steam
web site. His work, modeled in cardboard and the result of years of
research, presents innovative and eccentric vehicles of the 18th, 19th
and early 20th centuries.
Alan Moore's graphic novel, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, features a giant, double-hulled Nautilus. This original concept, with one hull in the form of a giant squid attached to a second whale-shaped hull, has little to do with Verne, but the sequel, The Black Dossier, includes a small image of the first Nautilus with illustrator Kevin O'Neill's cut-away drawing of the second. O'Neill's spindle-hulled design has a massive ram backed up by large raker fins. It appears he has moved the lantern just forward of the wheelhouse and placed a large porthole in the lower aft hull, but most everything else matches the description in the novel.
Didier Jaffrédo has completed his N. ANNULATUS Radio-Controlled submarine. As described on his web site, in addition to carefully reading the text of novel, Didier began with Ian Williams' design and modified it some per John McEwan’s Victorian Science Fiction Submarine Narwal and other sources. Jaffrédo's design differs from Williams' in a number of particulars. He re-envisioned the ram to resemble the Whitemargin Unicorn Fish (naso annulatus) "nose" and named his submarine accordingly. To improve control, he moved the dive planes far forward and added a second set aft within the horizontal fins, similar to the rudders in the vertical fins. He replaced the single propeller with two smaller shrouded props at the aft end of the fins to improve stability. The deck details differ, especially with the addition of two large ventilators to facilitate Nemo's replenishment of air when on the surface. Lastly, Didier has eliminated the salon windows. He justifies the changes with speculation that Nemo continued to improve the Nautilus in the years after the events of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. See much more about the ANNULATUS at Didier's Reve de Sous-Marin site. Click the small button labeled ANNULATUS on the upper left. The pages are in French but with many pictures most things are readily understandable. Click around a little because the links to some sub-pages, such as the details of construction (including many photos), are not obvious.
Fascinated with steam power, human-computer interaction researcher Nathan Prestopnik conceived this steam-powered Nautilus in early 2008. The design features a relatively small spar mounted high on the bow. The cutwater ends in a protective arch for a large steamship-like bridge. The small structure on top, just forward of a railed upper deck, is probably a lantern but could be a flying bridge/wheelhouse. Aft of the bridgethere is a large, recessed deck with an elevated bulwark. The two stacks and several ventilators on this deck are clearly surface ship features. Although Prestopnik expresses some doubt, we can assume Nemo would have been technically astute enough to equip these for submerged running. A narrow deck with railing extends aft above the hull to a lantern housing The hull has a rounded spindle shape (the classic cigar), with two sets of large dive planes, one forward and one aft. There are Goff-like salon windows located fore and aft of the forward planes. This Nautilus features a long, elaborate tail culminating in a large rudder. The interesting arrangement of two four-bladed props on a single shaft reminds me of the experimental propellers tested on the modified Walter S. Winans cigar ship. See Nate's rendering of this Nautilus as a desk model, perhaps with the paint still wet, on his Imperial Solutions web site.
The International Maritime Museum - Hamburg features Felix Lühning's large Nautilus model representing "The Fabulous" on its Deck 7 exhibit floor. The hull is spindle shaped with a beefy conical ram forming the bow. The wheelhouse, with three round ports, is recessed into the hull so that only the pyramidal port structure projects above hull lines. The deck begins immediately aft with a circular hatch at its forward end. The boat is set into the deck and the hull amidships. The lantern, with six round lenses, is located just aft of the deck. The wheelhouse is not retractable but the lantern might be. The stern features a vertical tail that protects a large six-bladed propeller and ends in a large rudder. The rudder is operated with a rather vulnerable looking external chain drive. The hull is constructed with almost full length longitudinal plates in two layers, one overlapping the the other. The construction is obvious; the model features a cutout to show part of the interior. A small rounded-end, rectangular salon window is situated on the lower forward hull. Small dive planes are located just forward of amidships. See some photos taken by Kai Brüninghaus here.
Clyde Childress sent me a photo of this scratch-built Nautilus model. The design demonstrates how you might take elements of Goff's Nautilus and finish with something that looks nothing like it. The hill is more angular with flat sides. There is no separate ram, but the bow appears reinforced to provide a ram. Several triangular fins, large rakers, on the upper hull serve to protect the super structure during an attack. The wheelhouse, with perhaps a forward-mounted lamp, resembles no other. There are two deck hatches and a dorsal fin that might be a nod to Goff or maybe just a counter-point to the fins at the bow. There are horizontal fins high on the hull and on a line with the plate-covered salon window that probably include dive planes. There is a single prop in a somewhat stylized vertical tail fin. The only part of the design that resembles Goff's in any way is the keel structure. The dive hatch aft of the salon window is very like Goff's but the corkscrew mechanism is a dead giveaway.
Frossard ("matic") posted this Nautilus on the 3DVF Le
Magazine Online de la 3d Francophone web site for a "Jules Verne's Universe"
challenge. The hull is spindle-shaped, with a somewhat heavy
superstructure that seems inconsistent with the lattice-like centerline
ram. There is a huge circular salon window, no obvious dive planes or
rudder and a frail looking propeller. The long wheelhouse located
amidships, is shaped vaguely like Goff's and tapers into the deck as his
does. See the original image on www.3dvf.com.
I found this design in one of my regular sweeps. I'm not sure of the designer's name, possibly Ancel Alexandre or Alexandre Ancel. His Nautilus was created to participate in the "Jules Verne's Universe" challenge on www.3dvf.com, for which he reread the novel. He chose the cigar-form hull because he felt it was the only way to achieve the great speed Nemo claims and made it sturdy to absorb the shock of ram attacks and the escape from beneath the Antarctic ice described in the novel. The design closely follows the text. There is a sharp, triangular spar, an oval window for the salon, and large dive planes amidships. The deck is very much as Verne described it with a rectangular structure at each end with a rather novel rail. The launch is visible near the aft end of the deck. Alexandre has placed a number of small lights along the top and bottom of the hull and a ventral fin aft. There appears to be a large rudder and possibly a horizontal propeller guard. If you follow the 3dvf link above, you'll find Alexandre's comments in French, and links to some large images of his Nautilus.
Eric Gasper took inspiration from Confederate ironclad rams, especially the Virginia, in designing his Nautilus. The upper part of the hull is configured for attack, with a unique pike-ram, nearly as long as the hull, mounted above the deck on tall blades. In an attack with the deck awash, only the pike and the dorsal blade aft would be visible on the surface. The large propeller is protected by a long cylindrical shroud and the rudder includes a lock to prevent damage from attack debris. There is a full bridge forward beneath the conical observation wheelhouse, the top of which would just clear the surface when attacking. The lower part of this Nautilus is configured for undersea exploration and treasure hunting, the source of Nemo's wealth. There is a large oval window with a cluster of smaller observation ports amidships. Eight hull-mounted rectangular searchlights illuminate the sea below the boat. Eric has included a racing-sailboat-like keel ballast tank extension to the hull. This structure protects the rest of the lower hull when the Nautilus rests on the bottom for seafloor excursions. The keel mount provides an observation deck with portholes all around that look out on the sea bottom.
In 2008, when the Czech publisher Albatros put out a new edition of Dvacet tisíc mil pod mořem featuring the beautiful illustrations of Zdeněk Burian, they had Ladislav Badalec create a set of Nautilus interior plans for the back cover end papers. (Badalec had earlier done a similar set of plans for Jules Verne a jeho svět, Jules Verne and his World, with Ondřej Neff, who rewrote the text for the Albatros edition.) Badalec kept some features of Burian's 1937 Nautilus, featured above, for the end papers but did make the overall design his own. This Nautilus retains Burina's triple dive plane arrangement on the stern hull, and the rest of the stern is similar, although the spiral propeller is very different. There is a large, vicious-looking ram. A detail on the drawing shows a Mecedes-emblem-like triangular cross-section, but the plans have the cruciform shape I've reproduced in my graphic. The forward hull features short rakers top and bottom and on the sides, a feature found on so many designs. Badalec returns to the standard single window at the salon location instead of Burian's set of three and places a set of wide dive planes amidships. He shows a diving hatch on the lower hull. There is a long deck between the wheelhouse forward and the similar lantern housing aft. These structures are fixed. The boat is recessed into the hull and deck just forward of the hatch. Finally he retains and exaggerates the cylindrical humps on Burian's upper hull, using them as ballast tanks.
Artist Myke Amend created this Nautilus for an engraving that depicts giant squid, actually in Myke's words "a rather Lovecraftian creature of the deep embracing" the submarine. This fishlike Nautilus might well be considered prey but I suspect all but the very largest predators would regret an attack. Sharp rakers run along the entire length of the upper hull and on the sides of the fish tail. With this design I think Nemo's submarine is primarily for exploration - notice the many large windows - and not for exacting revenge. The barbed fins look more defensive than aggressive. There is a set of horizontal control fins on the conning tower and pectoral fins on the lower hull. The lower fins each have a small four-bladed propeller, with a third propeller on on the stern. Instead of a rudder, there is a helicopter-like fan in the vertical tail. I suspect this Nautilus is extremely maneuverable, an advantage in exploring and defense. See Myke's beautiful black-on-white engraving on his web site.
Hansen has updated his original design (seen above).
This version, although very much like the first, has a few obvious
differences. The old semi-spherical wheelhouse and its protective arch set
forward has been replaced by a spire-topped cylindrical structure near the aft end of the
deck. The deck itself is longer, starting further forward, and more
obvious than before. Although especially from some vantage points, the design
is still very organic and even shark-like, I think it has a nice retro-mechanical
look, not unlike something from a space opera serial in the 1930s and 40s.
See Meinert's images of this Nautilus on Utamo's
Illustrator and designer David Herfel, walking the line between Jules Verne's text and his own artistic vision, has produced this wonderfully detailed Nautilus. The spindle-shaped hull flares slightly on the sides to smoothly accommodate the amidships dive planes and horizontal tail fins, which together with the vertical fins, support a shroud to protect the large, five-bladed propeller. The narrow but deep keel is similarly faired to the hull. A ladder on the keel provides access to the airlock hatch on the lower hull, aft. A streamlined superstructure permits a raised deck so that no part of the hull is visible during surface running. A boat, inspired by Robert Fulton's Nautilus is mounted in the deck just aft of midships. The submarine is fitted with anchors, one forward, port side and one aft and starboard. In addition to the lantern housing that mimics the wheelhouse at the other end of the deck, David's design includes lights around the salon windows and the diver hatch, four lights each around the hull at the bow and stern, and a small lantern on the superstructure just forward of the deck. This lantern and the two housings withdraw into the deck for attack, panels close over the salon windows, and the classically positioned ram is extended forward. The bow is fitted with serrated rakers for lethality. David has dated his drawing 2000, but I've placed it here because he has constantly tweaked it over the years and this represents today's design.
Richard Svensson built his Nautilus model from parts from an old Revell Hindenburg zepellin and other kits. He wanted a submarine that resembled the original illustrations in the novel and not something fish or monster like. The three-piece saw-tooth ram almost dominates the forward part of the hull, but is overwhelmed by the large, bulbous view ports in the same area. A row of smaller port holes run along the upper aft hull that terminates in a relatively small centerline propeller. There is a small, complex deck area amidships. A single ventral fin aft mounts the rudder. The only other major hull feature is a large, keel-mounted searchlight. Read Richard's account of the construction, "The Sword of the Oceans", and see some nice photos and other illustrations on his blog, "The Lone Animator".
Ron Strickler's Nautilus has some of Goff's design with its large arched raker but the overall appearance is more like a retro-style rocket. The arch structure incorporates the wheelhouse, whose windows create the open arch impression. A deck extends aft from the wheelhouse structure to a small hatch aft. There is a short ram on the bow and the hull terminates with a small rudder. A set of searchlights is mounted in the bow just aft of the ram and the large view port is circled with lights just aft of amidships. You can see Ron's final drawing but also follow the changes he made as he drew it on the "Rate my Drawings" website under his site moniker.
"Techromancer" makes no claim to Nemo's Nautilus in his short description, but his Victorian Submarine surely could be. His angular design has a polygon-cross-section hull with the forward section re-inforced for ramming (making the long spar seem almost fragile by comparison). The pilot house reminds me of an armored train that, further protected by a hefty wedge just forward, appears strong enough to support ram attacks. It has two large ports on its sides and a small one forward. The small roundhouse that tops it might even be retractable. The fair-sized, wedge-shaped dive planes are forward of a set of four circular ports positioned just forward of amidships. The two vertical fins aft end in a large double rudder. The propulsion mechanism isn't clear but could be a small prop protected by a polygonal shroud.
C.J. Leigh's Nautilus, modeled in SketchUp, has a long, somewhat Victorian-looking spar, mounted at deck height. A narrow web stretching to the hull supports the spar over most of its length and extends protectively over the wheelhouse. The hexagonal wheelhouse located at the forward end of the deck has a round window on five sides, oriented so that one looks forward. There is a small set of lights atop the structure and the aft side has a hatch with some stairs ascending to the deck. Squat cylinders on either side just aft of the wheelhouse may account for the water jets associated with the “sea monster” in the novel. The deck itself is inset in the hull and has a solid railing over much of its length. There is another hatch slight to the side at the aft end next to a stair that ascends to a scuppered platform at the very end. The lantern, similar to but smaller than the wheelhouse, is located on the platform. The launch is inset in the very aft end, Goff-style. The Victorian appearance of the hull is enhanced by low fairings on the sides of the hull that increase in height to accommodate large oval salon windows, situated at the wheelhouse position, and then narrow again but transform into horizontal fins near the stern. Large, rectangular dive planes with an airfoil cross-section are located on the fairings amidships. There are diving hatches low on the hull sides approximately amidships. A small four-bladed propeller is mounted below the stern at the end of a vertical fairing extended from the keel. A semicircular rudder is situated just aft of the prop. You can view and download Leigh's Nautilus from the Google 3D Warehouse.
The clean lines of Elías Enmanuel Castillo Rivera's spindle-hulled Nautilus make me think of it as a more Jules Verne-like "Sword of the Sea" than that in the Extraordinary Gentlemen film. His raised, dagger-like ram extends to fairing running to the forward end of the deck. A narrow vertical fin extends the length of the hull aft of the deck. The keel begins just aft of the salon window and extends into a similar lower fin. The vertical fins culminate in a large rudder aft of the prop. These planes make the Nautilus resemble a prehistoric marine reptile from a top view. There are four large diving planes centered amidships, two just aft of the salon window and two a corresponding distance aft of mid-hull. The small deck is very much as Verne described it with a low wheelhouse forward, a boat amidships and a lantern aft. The lantern is mounted on a high tower as the only exception to the text. Both deck structures can be withdrawn into the hull for a streamlined attack configuration. With the tall ventral fin Elías has placed just aft of the deck, his Nautilus the appearance of a monstrous killer whale when running rigged for attack.
Elías Enmanuel Castillo Rivera continued to refine his Nautilus and provided me this update. Truer to the novel, this version replaces the quad diving planes and ventral fin with a pair of midship-mounted planes. The hull is very much the same although he's added a scale-like plating. The salon window is now rectangular and protected by a sliding exterior cover. The ram is unchanged but the keel and fins have been refined for a more fishlike silhouette, and Elías reduced the rudder height while extending it aft. With smaller pilot house and lantern and the new railing all retracted into the hull for attacks and the cleaner fins structure aft, this Nautilus has a more natural sea creature appearance. This new effort is much more classic in appearance but at the cost of the quad planes.
Illustrator Emilio Amade features this Nautilus in the poster El Submarino del Futuro from his Jules Verne cutaway series. The design closely follows Jules Verne's text. There is a three-bladed center-line ram at the stem of the cylindrical hull. The deck is only a little more elevated than other novel-consistent designs and has three low fairing blades at the forward end, perhaps to protect the deck during a ram attack. My image of the poster is too small to read, but the pilot house and lantern appear retractable. The large fin-like rudder is controlled by a chain running from the aft hull. The poster itself appears quite interesting with considerable background information on period submarine technology, features of the Nautilus and on the novel. See an image of the poster here.
are faced with the problem of presenting something different when doing
covers for new editions of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. Freelance
illustrator Nitzan Klamer (kipizki) created this Nautilus for a
art project cover. Klamer has retained his own distinctive style while
evoking Verne in a way that doesn't repeat elements of the well-known Goff
version, and doesn't look too much like a modern submarine. The simplified
image here is missing the artist's details and the context of the cover
art. See the full cover illustration here.
Justin Oaksford's Nautilus has an industrial look and a streamlined shape unlike any of the others featured here. Per his words, Justin "tried to make it cool, but still within the descriptions of the book". His Nautilus has a flat, possibly two-level upper hull and a gracefully tapered lower hull, narrower at the bow and thicker at the stern. The ram is more suggested than apparent with a sloping raker structure a short distance further aft on top of the hull. The upper hull sweeps straight back more than half the boat's length to the second level section that starts with a large hemispherical globe on each side. These are likely pilothouse windows. Further aft a small superstructure rises from the deck and then slopes back to the hull that curves down to the stern. On the lower hull there is a small lantern attached to the hull bottom a short distance back from the bow. About a third of the way sternward several large cylindrical structures are attached to the hull bottom and what may be a large rectangular window or perhaps just a lighted panel is situated higher up. There is a more conventional circular port low on the hull about two thirds of the way back. A large scoop is apparent on the hull side just forward of the unconventional propulsion section. A rudder is mounted on the bottom of the upper hull near the stern. See Justin Oaksford's finely detailed illustration of his Nautilus at DeviantArt.
This sleek, modern Nautilus by senior digital modeler Michael Meyers pays homage to Harper Goff, but is clearly designed as a giant shark. Goff's ram has been smoothed down to a spike and the long, sweeping raker arch is now almost half the length of the boat and studded with shark's teeth. The Victorian wheelhouse is faired into the shark's body hull, with organically shaped windows forward. The circular side windows recall the original wheelhouse but also Goff's salon windows. The dorsal and tail fins are there, perhaps a little less streamlined than Goff's. Meyers has opened up the bow with a set of monster-eye windows. Is this Nemo's salon? Further aft, the large gills must be intakes for some advanced propulsion system, evidenced by the un-shark-like cylinders on the tail. Otherwise the giant shark appearance is enhanced by three pairs of fins from the largest, well forward of amidships, to the tail. The dorsal fin is complemented by a smaller ventral fin below. There are three relatively small circular windows on the hull where one might expect the salon and a larger one slightly farther aft on the lower hull. Overall, the appearance is less threatening than graceful but powerful, a beautiful sea monster. See Meyers' original concept art here.
another Nautilus design by Michael Meyers. Clearly in the
form of a shark, this Nautilus might be the lower-tech predecessor of his
sleek design above. It has three eight-bladed propellers, a large one in
the tail and a smaller side-by-side pair below the aft hull. There appears
to be a circular window (not visible in the graphic) at the forward end of the
superstructure where we'd expect the wheelhouse. I'm not sure of my interpretation
but there may be a round port in the hull above the pectoral fins and three
smaller ports farther aft. There's not much of Verne in this design, but
it is surely a monster of the deep.
I found Ruby White's partial Nautilus during a periodic sweep for new designs. Ruby White Enterprises produced the image, which can be seen on their web site, as an example illustration for 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, hoping to interest a publisher. The image doesn't show the bow, nor is the salon window area visible, but what is there is interesting. The hull is more or less spindle shaped and constructed of overlapping plates, not unlike my design. Large dive planes appear to be mounted a little aft of amidships. The rudder isn't visible but the large propeller breaks the surface, as described in the novel. The deck details are most interesting. Instead of a wheelhouse there are four small observation domes set in a line fore and aft. These appear to be retractable, the openings covered by half shell sliding plates on either side. There is a small deck and hatch amidships. The launch is set into the hull nearby, on the port side.
Oceanology: The True Account of the Voyage of the Nautilus includes this unique design. Some elements are reminiscent of Harper Goff's but the overall impression is very different. The large perforated raker arch extends will past the midpoint to the large hexagonal wheelhouse. The external platform atop the wheelhouse has several rail-mounted searchlights and a periscope. The deck extends all the way aft and includes a hatch and launch. The hull has a large salon window amidships but also several smaller portholes. An interior drawing included in the book shows four in the library, two in Nemo's cabin and one in his study, and six in the diving chamber. That chamber is not for divers but for a spherical miniature submarine called the Nautosphere. The divers exit via the deck hatch, which has its own airlock. There appear to be two small lights on the bottom forward hull in addition to large forward looking searchlights faired into the hull alongside the massive and intricate ram. Incidentally, in this account Nemo tells the main character, a young boy, that the ram is intended for defense. The lethal silhouette of this Nautilus belies that statement. The submarine is equipped with a single propeller mounted under the hull and a set of large dive planes mounted well aft of amidships.
Peter Findley, a television production designer who understands that a sleek, simple submarine will look dull on screen, created this Nautilus that is anything but dull. His organic design has many flat planes, unexpected curves, and odd geometric shapes. The long sharp and strong nose (let's think of this as a monster) but complex, detailed stern give the impression of a vessel with a purpose. It's brutish and lethal in some ways, but, noticing the large windows on its bottom, capable of benign observation and research as well, not unlike Captain Nemo himself. The spar has a spiral form that looks like razor wire and merges cleanly into an amorphous hull. There is no wheelhouse, but large forward-looking windows at the waterline - the eyes of the beast. There is a small circular deck near amidships, forward of a large unexplained superstructure. Much of this submarine defies explanation. The propulsion mechanism isn't clear, but the large vertical and horizontal fins imply its motion is controlled with strength. The large observation windows on the lower forward hull - the grinning mouth of the beast - provide a panoramic view. Further aft, there are three small dome ports on the side and a large downward-looking dome on the bottom. See more of Peter's creation here.
"Reitsuki Kojima" has created this faithful Nautilus in the Vernian Sea of Second Life. His design has a long, barbed, triangular ram. Except for the slightly angled bow, the hull is spindle-shaped. The salon windows are inset behind protective sliding exterior panels. There a a pair of airfoil shaped diving planes amidships. The tail consists of thick vertical and horizontal fins that support a protective ring around the large four-bladed propeller and a large rudder aft of the prop. The deck has identical retractable four-sided structures for the wheelhouse and lantern. Each has a larger plate at the top to compensate for the tapered shape and a circular glass on each side. There is a launch in the deck just forward of amidships. Reitsuki has included an interior that resembles that of my original design, with slanting upper walls covered with classical paintings. Thanks very much to Hajime Nishimura who brought this Nautilus to my attention.
modeler/illustrator Peter Pohle created this design. Although not
explicitly identified as the Nautilus, I include it here because it looks
like the Nautilus. The design has only a small pointed ram, but a
large, Goff-like raker arch extends from the bow to the forward edge of the
raised deck. The hull has a long dive plane on the side of the bow and a
large circular window amidships, flanked by two large but narrow ports.
Small vertical and horizontal fins frame a five-bladed propeller and support a
large rudder at the stern. A fairly large keel is visible on the bottom of the
hull. The deck includes a low conning tower aft of what are probably a
non-Vernian periscope and snorkel. There appears to be a small boat at the
aft end, very like Goff's.
The 2009 Library of Wonder edition of Jules Verne Extraordinary Voyages, published by Falls Press includes Nate Pride's illustrations of the Nautilus. This design has a sleek spindle hull with double salon windows. The ram is set high on the bow, and faired into a forward fin. This fairing extends at the stern into streamlined vertical and horizontal fins. The low wheelhouse sits just forward of a retractable lantern.
John Martinez created this classic Nautilus. The hull is a cylinder, tapered at the ends, with a brutal and massive triangular ram positioned above the centerline. A rectangular window is set into the lower hull in the approximate salon location per the novel's text and dive planes at the centerline amidships. There are horizontal fins on the after part of the hull and a large four-bladed prop at the end of the hull. A rudder is set below the hull aft, although its details are not visible in Martinez' image. A long, low deck atop the hull amidships has a modest pilothouse with a large circular port forward and two smaller ports on the sides. In one image its profile is triangular but in another appears trapezoidal. The launch is located at the center and a forward shining lantern at the aft end. See a complete image of this Nautilus and another on the surface in John's gallery (as dragonpyper) at DeviantArt.
I don't know who designed this somewhat whimsical Nautilus, exhibited as a working, steam-powered, surface-running, radio-controlled model at the Cabin Fever Expo in York, Pennsylvania in January 2010. The fishlike design features a spindle hull with fins galore. There is a small organic, possibly spiral ram at the bow. A small wheelhouse with two windows is set on the upper hull a good ways forward of the recessed deck. The deck features a beefy periscope (actually the model's smokestack), railings on each side, and a circular hatch. The tail fin terminates in the rudder, and there are two pairs of dive planes, one well forward of the circular salon window and the other pair well aft. A small prop is mounted on the trailing edge of the aft-most ventral fin. You can see several photos of the model at Vilseskogen's Cabin Fever Expo photo set on .
Mike Gonzales (AlphaRed6) posted his concept Nemo's second Nautilus at NautilusSubmarine.com. He thinks it would have been a research vessel rather than a war machine, for as "Nemo aged his temper cooled, his thirst for revenge was sated". Mike says the new Nautilus would be several times larger, but I've rendered his image at Verne's length. The design is clearly recognizable as Harper Goff's classic concept even with the significant changes. The ram is gone with a light mounted at the prow in its place. The characteristic arch and rakers are all gone. this Nautilus would suffer damage in a collision. the original alligator eyes atop the wheel house now comprise Verne's lantern. The barbed dorsal fin is gone from the longer deck, now adorned with railings. the submarine now has two anchors to handle the longer hull, and finally the salon is much larger, with two pairs of windows. Or perhaps the reformed Nemo has provided a lounge for his crew with the same outside view.
~ c. 2010 ~
Chuck Messer sent me photos of his Nautilus model "inspired by the Verne novel and the look of several 19th century submarines, including the Hunley and the USS Alligator". Chuck's design has a spindle hull with a long tapered ram strengthened by three ribs to form a triangular cross-section. There are large dive planes mounted a little forward of amidships, a circular salon window just aft, and long, narrow vertical and horizontal tail fins that end in a double rudder and additional planes. A large four-bladed propeller is set at the very end of the hull. The large wheelhouse has four small ports, the forward one between a double cutwater not unlike some of the early, inaccurate depictions of the Hunley. The lantern structure is smaller, with two forward facing lights on each side of a single, more accurately Hunley-like cutwater. The Hunley cutwaters were intended to prevent the hatch towers form hanging up on defensive cables. here they provide protection in a ram attack. The low deck between these structures has a launch set deep into the center.
Designer Tim Delaney of Walt Disney Imagineering created this updated version of Harper Goff's original Nautilus. It appears to be closer in length to Verne and otherwise moves the Nautilus technology into the next century. Tim has retained the spar and raker arches almost unchanged but added vents to the lower forward hull. The wheelhouse is much more streamlined and faired to a much larger dorsal fin giving a more organic appearance than the original. The aft hatch may still be there but if so its construction is very different. The lower diving hatch, if retained, is also very different. The salon window frame is elongated and the tail fins longer and more streamlined. The biggest change is in the propulsion technology. Tim has replaced the prop with a jet system, including a smaller version on the keel and there may be maneuvering fans in the keel and lower fin. See Delaney's full illustration on his web site. (Thanks to Wade Watson on NautilusSubmarine.com.)
Campbell based this Nautilus design on some early drawings and his
own ideas. He sees the pilothouse as an integral part of the deck,
sticking up just 4 or 5 feet above the actual deck level. He locates the
lantern and the boat on the deck as a single platform; the boat simply
launches from the structure while submerged. He places an additional
4-foot porthole in Nemo’s cabin. Jaime keeps much of the the look of Harper Goff's bow except
for the fore-mentioned changes and more barbing on the spar. The salon
window is closer to Verne's description, there is a single dive plane amidships,
and the hull is
longer, but otherwise retains a number of Goff's features.
Nemo had used steam power, Peter
Pohle's steam-powered Steampunk Submarine could have been the Nautilus.
The spindle hull, made of distinctly non-Vernian wood, is very like
Monturiol's Ictineo II. It is reinforced with a steel frame and has
a blunt but heavy-looking metal ram on the
forward end. There are dive planes located in the side frame a short distance aft of the prow and a second set is set in horizontal
fins at the stern. The large centerline nine-bladed propeller is protected
by these fins and a vertical set that supports a large rudder. In addition
to the a large salon window approximately amidships, there are small
observation domes near the bow and two rows of ports along the hull side. The forward
end of the deck is decorated with an ornate Hippocampus figurehead. A graceful raker arch, perhaps a nod to Harper
Goff, protects the figurehead and a small observation dome. The deck extends
to an elaborate conning tower that incorporates a ship's-bridge-like
wheelhouse at deck level and the steam plant
with three capped smoke stacks, tall enough that the submarine could run
submerged near the surface with operating boilers. The stacks would be
vulnerable in a full ram attack (as would be much of the superstructure) but
could perhaps be retracted into the hull. Peter's conception of the launch as a
mini-submarine set into the deck aft of the power plant is only a minor
extension of Verne's. Peter has realized it as a small explorer submarine
much reminds me of the excursion pods of 2001A Space Odyssey's Discovery. Like Nemo's
can be entered from within the main submarine via a hatch in its lower
hull. See more of this fascinating submarine on the Cornucopia3D
This design is available as a 3D model in both Vue and OBJ format (standard distribution) at Cornucopia-3D.
"Balsavor" (Aaron Godwin) posted this organic Nautilus at DeviantArt as a work-in-progress. I see superficial similarity to Christian Zaber's above, but at the next level it is very different. Rather than Goff's legacy sawtooth rakers, it has rows of small dorsal fins (although there may be rakers along the side), slightly reminiscent of the Michael Caine TV film version. At least two large windows are visible. The lower one surely is in the salon for underwater viewing. If the upper one is for surface running it would be dramatically near the waterline and would place the lethal ram far above it. The conical ribbon impeller screw, a little like Hansen's much larger versions, nicely complements the lines and interruptions of the design. Overall the impression is dangerous but graceful. See Godwin's full size image at DeviantArt.
This Nautilus by "Chrisz3D" is available as a 3D model at TurboSquid. Described as "the old book version of Jules Verne's Nautilus", the design is mostly true to the novel with a few embellishments for visual interest. The flat deck sits atop the hull amidships. A four-sided wheelhouse with a viewport on each side is set at a 45-degree angle at the forward end. The boat is set into the deck amidships with a circular hatch just aft. The lantern housing at the aft end of the deck is slightly larger than the wheelhouse and has a large lens facing forward. Large oval salon ports are placed slightly above the centerline just forward of rounded dive planes amidships. There appears to be a diving hatch on the hull bottom. The four-bladed prop is mounted at the afted end of the hull with the rudder affixed to a vertical ventral fin extending from the keel. The hull appears to be a modified spindle with constant cross-section in the middle section and tapering end sections. The cross-section is not circular, but has flattened sides. The pointed ram slightly larger than and affixed to the prow, looks strong enough for a ram attack. See some nice images of this Nautilus at TurboSquid.
Chuck Pfaff created a drawing of this true-to-the-novel Nautilus design. There is a sturdy ram at the bow of the spindle hull and a large four-bladed propeller at the stern. A double rudder is set in vertical tail fins. The dive plane amidships is somewhat smaller than most. A flat deck is centered atop the hull with a rectangular pilothouse with four large ports forward and a similar lantern structure aft. Both are retractable. The boat is set into the deck amidships. There's an odd feature on lower hull that may be a dive hatch. Chuck places two large oval windows in the forward hull. One is shown with protective shutters closed. See the original drawing on DeviantArt.
Video game concept artist and illustrator Roberto Robert posted this Nautilus on his Robots blog. It's a pleasingly sleek design. Some details such as propulsion or steering are unclear or perhaps missing, but only noticeable on analysis. There is no ram but the lower hull has a snaggle-tooth array of rakers. The archless wheelhouse is reminiscent of Goff's as is the salon window set high on the side. Another snaggled construction farther astern on the upper hull recall Goff's dorsal fin. The lower hull has an interesting large opening amidships, clearly associated with diving. See Roberto's original artwork here.
This Nautilus, called "The Streamliner" by UK modeler Alan Taylor ("unbuiltnautilus") is what I'd call a quick-&-dirty design, based on the hull of an Akula-class submarine. It has the classic Goff silhouette with a much cleaner - streamlined - appearance. There are no rakers on the arch or keel, and the side fins flare gracefully up to and away from the accurately positioned salon window. The deck is designed from the novel with an angle-sided pilothouse somewhat aft of the arch, the boat set in the deck about halfway aft to to the forward-looking lantern housing. There's a hatch just forward of the lantern. The oval cutout in the keel is a style element shared with other Taylor designs. The position of the dive control surfaces isn't obvious from the drawing, but because this was conceived as a working model, they would be functional. See a drawing of this Nautilus beside the original Akula in this post by Alan on the Model Boat Mayhem web site (1st post).
~ 2011 ~
Hess updated his original Nautilus (above)
to better conform
to the novel. There are some minor changes, but the only significant one
is the repositioning of the dive planes amidships. As before, the
wheelhouse and lantern retract for attack configuration as illustrated in the
by "JIHS" as a steampunk Nautilus, the design
is conceived as a giant squid, with the squid's tail to the
left forming the
bow, and the tentacles, eight tubes that appear to be part of the propulsion system, to the
right, so that it actually sails "backwards", as a squid does when
using its jet. The tip of the tail forms a massive ram. The tail
fins just aft on the body appear to be for show only as control is achieved by
several sets of fans set both horizontally in the body and and vertically as
visible in the illustration. There is a long, conning tower-like
pilothouse on the deck, and large circular ports in the hull side. This Nautilus
is not so true to Verne's text, but I think true to its spirit. You can download
JIHS's SketchUp model at Google
This Nautilus by Georgi Grigorov is available as a small resin model kit. The design is essentially the classic version. The hull is a modified spindle with cylindrical midsection. The four-sided wheelhouse is aligned so the ports face forward and back and to the sides. The shape is slightly more complex than the standard pyramidal form. The flat deck immediately aft of the wheelhouse has a rectangular hatchway followed by the boat. There are several unexplained features probably added for interest. The prism-shaped lantern is set in the hull just aft of the deck. The images I've seen don't show a propeller but it would be situated at the very end of the hull, aft of the double triangle rudder. The rudder is mounted at the end of a pair of vertical fins. Trapezoidal dive planes are mounted amidships and there is a small circular salon window. Grigorov has added a number of smaller portholes along the hull side. See more about the kit, including some images here.
Artist Walter Plitt Quintin has posted several very nice illustrations of Jules Verne's Nautilus on his Illustrated Man blog. Each of these is a little different so I've selected features from several for my graphic here. The hull is more or less spindle-shaped although one version is more of a cylinder with tapered ends. The elevated deck extends all the way to the bow and includes a set of rakers at the prow. There is no spur or ram but the bow looks beefy enough for ramming. Most versions include a cylindrical wheelhouse. Two versions have the salon window located amidships but two place it further forward. There is no sign of dive planes either amidships or forward, so they must be in the stern horizontal fins. Finally the propeller has four blades. None of the illustrations shows a clear rudder. You can view Quintin's original art here, here, here, and here. In 2012 he posted a new image showing side, top, and bottom views here. This, again slightly different, design has a spindle-shaped hull and shows the rudder in the vertical tail fins and dive planes in the horizontal fins.
can find several
images of Tomasz Niedzinski's classic Nautilus on DeviantArt.
The design, which is highly faithful to the novel, has a tapered spindle hull with a
narrow spar. There are large offset dive planes just forward of amidships and a gracefully
sculptured fishtail fin. The small spherical pilot house with three
circular windows is set into the hull at the forward end of a raised deck.
A small lantern is located on the deck just aft of the pilothouse. The boat
is in the center of the deck forward of amidships. The circular salon
window is located on the lower hull just a bit forward of the pilothouse and there is a
diving hatch in the keel about a third way aft of amidships. The
rudder, set in the tail aft of the five-bladed prop, resembles Goff's. See images of this Nautilus
on DeviantArt here,
Digital artist Zacharias Vaught began with the View-Master Nautilus above but his own design is very different. The hull shape is similar, but the raker configuration is very different. The sawtooth set atop the hull is interrupted by a deck as in the novel with a low wheelhouse forward, a lantern aft, and a boat and hatch between them. The rectangular, panel-covered salon window is accurately placed. Vaught has located diving hatches on the hull bottom between the exaggerated fins and hidden lights in the fins. I like this fishlike design better than the View-Master original. See the full-size drawing at DeviantArt.
Papercrafter "RocketmanTan" created this paper model version of the Nautilus. He based his design on the original Hetzel-edition illustrations and Verne's text. In his words, "the hull retains the 4:35 ratio as described, the ram is in the shape of an isosceles triangle, the salon window is towards the bow, the diving plane is amidships, and the pilothouse and light retract into the hull during ramming attacks. ... The hull proportions refer to the hull only" so that the ram and rudder are extra. The rudder assembly is from the French submarine Plongeur, often mentioned as Verne's inspiration. You can download the paper model at Deviant Art.
UK modeler Alan Taylor ("unbuiltnautilus") has been tinkering with a working model Nautilus he calls "The Beast". This is one version of that steampunky design. The basic spindle hull is richly adorned with functional and perhaps decorative elements. Starting with the narrow centerline ram we move aft to a nicely-conceived reversed raker arch linked to the keel. The keel is fitted with a row of large rakers. The bow structure has a double row that continues along the upper hull to the slant-sided bridge. It's not obvious from the drawing here, but the appearance of this Nautilus just awash on the surface would very much resemble the head of a monstrous crocodile - The Beast! Just aft of the bridge is a more standard raker arch, intended to protect the open deck platform atop the aft superstructure. Another arch protects the vertical tail. Armor plates along the side of the hull protect the large salon window and a row of lights along the hull. The three "tentacles" are exhaust pipes, the source of the spray streams described in the novel. There are dive planes forward and aft of the armor structure. Aft of the Taylor signature oval notch in the keel is a practical reversed lantern tower for under water viewing. See drawings of this and other Nautilus designs by Alan, and a photo of a prototype model, posted on the Model Boat Mayhem web site (posts 40 & 43 toward the bottom of the page).
modeled this somewhat
elongated spindle-hulled Nautilus in SketchUp. The ram
appears to be an integral part of the hull. A raised deck is located
forward of amidships, with a complex wheelhouse at the forward end and a tall
tower-mounted lantern at the aft end. Neither appears to be
retractable. There is a large rectangular hatch near the center, but no
sign of a boat. Large dive planes are set on the hull just aft of the
wheelhouse. The rudder is located below the stern, supported by a narrow
fin on the hull bottom. A four-bladed propeller is attached to the very
stern. There is a diving hatch on the bottom below the center of the
deck. The design includes angled, elaborately grilled rectangular windows,
shown in the detail at right. The detail also shows the round, layered
(possibly fresnel) glass ports and the paned window arrangement on the sides and
top. You can download stince's SketchUp model at Google
3D Warehouse. The model includes a partial interior.
Game designer and illustrator "Omega2064" created this spindle-shaped Nautilus based some old notes on the novel. The design follows the the text with a large oval salon window, diving plane amidships, and large four-bladed propeller. The wheelhouse and lantern are stationary, with the lantern tower tall enough to illuminate the area ahead of the submarine. The captain's boat is recessed into the hull between them. Omega264 used a Giger-like pattern to simulate a monster's skin. My graphic tones the skin pattern down; see the original artwork and read Omega2064's explanation on DeviantArt.
Alexander Sokornov (MsToft) has a very nice video of his Nautilus that you can view on here on . His spindle-shaped design is true to Verne's text, although he has added a few embellishments. The spar is similar to Humphries' or Dutton's and others but more graceful. The circular, slightly recessed salon window is correctly placed. There are large diving planes placed amidships and horizontal fins at the stern that appear to be control surfaces. They are mounted in an identical frame to that used for the double rudder. The large, four-bladed propeller is set at the very end of the hull. There is a large diving hatch on the hull bottom directly below the wheelhouse. Most of the embellishments are to the details of the centrally located deck. The deck arrangement is basically as described in the novel, with the wheelhouse forward, the boat in the center, and the lantern aft, with a rail running most of the length. Sokornov has constructed the lantern tower similarly to the wheelhouse, with view ports and placed the actual lantern atop the tower. A second, larger lantern is mounted atop the wheelhouse. A row of what might be ports or deadlights runs along each side of the hull along the edge of the deck. The boat has a very interesting construction, looking almost like a small submarine and consistent with Nemo's description of its use. MsToft has kindly allowed me to post some of his images here.
arts and animation student Daniel Rolph posted his Nautilus design on his
DR Designs blog. The bow of this Nautilus with its keel mounted ram
reminds me some of a Roman galley. There's not much of Jules Verne here
but hints of Goff in the raker arch, anchor, and large wheelhouse window that
resembles the 1956 salon window. There are large rectangular ports in the forward
hull that probably place the salon there. Otherwise the design draws on
more modern submarines. There are forward and aft dive planes, two
propellers low on the hull and tandem rudders at the stern. The midships
wheelhouse is more of a conning tower. It even appears to have a
periscope. Not visible in my graphic, the large deck has a hatch at its
aft end. The forward end extends under the arch and includes a hatch there
as well, another reference to Goff. See Daniel's original art on his blog.
~ 2012 ~
Miles Teves has created more than half a dozen interesting Nautilus designs. I especially like this one for its cross-references. The shape is very
much like Meinert Hansen's spiral screw designs (above)
but Teves has reversed the concept, making the screw a rotating ram. The
flying raker arch emulates Ray Harryhausen's Mysterious Island Nautilus
but with the wheelhouse integrated with the arch. The salon window on the
hull side is very large, but there is also a gondola on the hull bottom for
underwater viewing. The raker motif begins as a saw-tooth edge on the ram,
continues along the arch, runs along the top and sides of the aft hull, the
bottom of the gondola, and ends on the trailing edge of the extra large
The particular design pictured here is one of a closely related set of four. One of these has a clearly separate spiral ram, leading me to believe it is intended to rotate. It lacks the flying arch but has a graceful, almost filigreed framework on the hull. Another is sturdier looking than the first two and the spiral ram is obviously fixed to the hull. The flying arch is more subdued than that featured here and is partly mirrored by a barbed keel extension. There are two or even four propellers. The last of the four has reshaped the ram, integrating it more closely with the hull. The deck is located farther aft and may include a boat. The salon window of each is sized, positioned and configured differently. None show obvious dive planes. See Teves' original large drawing of this set and other Nautilus designs (and his other art) on his web site. I plan to feature more of these.
This is Jean-Paul Denis's design for the Nautilus that Nemo first built. After his escape he wished to live a peaceful, isolated life, exploring the sea. The spindle-hull design features a cutwater at the bow, to ease travel on the surface through ice or other impediments. There is a low wheelhouse at the forward end of the deck with the lantern mounted atop it just aft of the windows. There is a hatch aft of the wheelhouse with the boat in the deck approximately amidships. A large eight-bladed propeller is located at the stern. The rudder is mounted on the hull bottom just forward of the prop. The dive hatch is on the hull bottom about half way to amidships. Triangular dive planes located just aft of amidships are small, but there are much larger surfaces on each side of the stern. The large circular salon windows are protected by a light framework. There is a covered anchor port and cooling water intakes for the electric equipment forward of the window.
Jean-Paul Denis suggests that Nemo, now being hunted by the "hated nation", modified the Nautilus while making repairs for damage suffered in the Maelstrom. The basic functional design is unchanged, but he reinforced and armored the cutwater to make it a much more effective ram. Dorsal and ventral "barbs" were added to the hull to protect fittings and to cause more target damage during a ramming attack. The salon window guards are now heavy-duty and the stern has been significantly modified both to protect the propeller and to provide better stabilization. The result is a much more aggressive, warlike appearance.
Gerard Duffy (Taranis) more or less followed the novel, retaining a version of the arch and much of the wheelhouse from Harper Goff's classic design. As for so many of us, the Disney film was his introduction to Jules Verne. Duffy's Nautilus is near-cylindrical - the cross-section is a polygon, similar to Goff's - with tapered ends. Although an early version lacked one, the final sub has a cruciform spar. The vertical and horizontal fairings of Goff's design are retained, minus the rakers, and further modified. The horizontal fairing flairs out forward of the salon window to contain large dive planes. The window has external panels that slide together for protection, as described in the novel. A narrow fairing resumes after the window and then flairs out again near the stern to accommodate a second set of planes. The large four-bladed propeller is protected by a short cylindrical shroud with a large rudder astern. The notch in the keel fairing, like Goff's, contains the diving hatch. The forward arch is cantilevered over the wheelhouse, rather than attached, and Goff's alligator-eye lights are relocated to the deck well forward of the wheelhouse. The deck runs straight back from the main hatch just aft of the wheelhouse, but flairs out to a circular platform amidships, resuming its narrow shape along the stern and ending at what appears to be a small lantern located on the forward edge of the blunt vertical fin. The boat is set in the aft part of the flared-out deck. See some very nice renderings of Duffy's early Nautilus on his blog here and here, and the completed model here.
~ 2013 ~
Le Regard Sonore Productions designed this fish-like Nautilus for their app and eBook edition of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. The shark-like prow lacks a toothy mouth, but uses shark's teeth for a chainsaw line of rakers along the top of the bow. The salon window serves as the shark's eye and the dive planes are set forward as rather small ventral fins. The small portholes aft of the salon window call to mind a shark's gills. The fish imagery extends to the tailfin shape of the stern and rudder. There is a relatively small propeller located below the hull. The wheelhouse and lantern rise very little from the hull top and are likely depicted withdrawn. Watch a short video of this Nautilus on . (Thanks to MsToft for telling me about this design.)
Once more reworking his Nautilus, Frank Chase has added a 19th century look. He's returned the ram to the hull centerline and restored the small saw-tooth rakers of his original design, above. A small Goff-honoring arch protects the wheelhouse, enlarged from the previous design. Frank has moved the lantern forward of the boat. The boat itself is set inverted into the deck slightly to port, and mounted to a frame that rotates it to the water, similarly to the arrangement at the bottom of my Dinghy page. The deck hatches are next to the boat on the starboard side of the deck. Frank has completely reworked the stern, making it more graceful and fish-like. You can see details of the new deck on Frank's evolving Virtual Nautilus page using the "5-Sytem schematics and exterior views" link.
Imagining how Nemo might have changed the Nautilus if he and it had survived the destruction of his Vulcania base at the end of the 1954 movie, Tom Martin (vismus) came up with this variation on Harper Goff's iconic design. Tom has lowered the profile of the wheelhouse and continued the raker arch over its top. He's moved the "alligator eye" lights from the top of the wheelhouse to the deck aft of the forward hatch and just forward of the large ports. The dorsal just forward of the deck hatch is gone and a new set of deck rails, not unlike those in Goff's original concept model is added. He's replaced the bulb-nosed ram with a simple triangular cross-section spar as Verne described it in the novel. Tom also made a few less obvious changes such as adding dive lights to the lower hull. I think Harper would like it. Tommie has kindly allowed me to post some of his images here.
Do you know of a Nautilus design not featured here? Please e-mail me.
According to Jerry Pavano, Gustav Zédé constructed this interesting model "in collaboration with Jules Verne" in 1868. Maybe not, but if the date, a year before Verne wrote 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, is accurate, this model might have been a forerunner to the Nautilus. Although considerably smaller, it has the cigar shape, the central diving planes, longboat, wheelhouse, lantern, and deck platform of the Nautilus. The boat is at the aft end of the platform and the lantern is located on a tower just behind the wheelhouse, an arrangement I find especially interesting. The model also has two metal rings on the deck, apparently on the hatch. Aronnax and his companion castaways clung to just such a ring when the Nautilus deck when it got underway early in the novel. There are no side windows or ram and the keel is very large relative to the hull. Jerry has written an article about this model for the Subcommittee Report.
You can build a Nautilus or own a detailed plan
Deep Sea Designs
841 Leslie Drive
Victoria BC V8X 2Y3
Greg Sharpe's Deep Sea Designs sells very nice Nautilus plans for the two designs featured above. He's working on a third design that incorporates features from some of the other designs here.
Please note that the low-resolution graphics and models on this page don't do justice to the rich detail on the plans.
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Updated 14 May 13