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TI Nautilus review - First impressions of the kit

Nautilus, Seaview, and more

Postby Bob the Builder » Wed Apr 02, 2003 1:30 pm

Nautilus fans....

I just thought I'd post my first impressions of my new TI Nautilus kit here for anyone interested.

First off, let me say that I was a little dissapointed in the delivery time. My kit was ordered way back in December, and just hit my doorstep April 1st. That's about a three and a half month wait. I kept in touch with Lee throughout the course of the 3 months, and after numerous push-backs on delivery date, finally got confirmation of shipment last Saturday.

That said, I'll get onto the kit.

The model arrived very well packaged in a sturdy cardboard shipping box, held firmly in place by form-fitting foam packaging material. All of the parts fit nicely inside the hull halves, which were banded tightly together by elastic bands to help avoid warpage.

The kit is done in white resin, and the hull halves and wheelhouse are primed in grey spraypaint. There are a few air bubbles, easily taken care of with a little filler. Some rivets exibited air bubbles at the tops, but primer and paint should camoflouge them easily. There appears to be slight warpage of the wheelhouse that heating and spreading will need to fix.

Detail pieces are all resin, which would be far nicer in white metal, but should still be allright. The wheelhouse is fully detailed with interior walls, ships wheel, dive levers, etc...

The deck is done in a separate piece that must be cut out and individually fit to the hull. There are details cast into the upper hull that would show up if you cut out the grating on the deck and replaced it with stainless screen or equivalent (which I am planning to do).

Lee has done the hull plating in a very creative way, overlapping the plates as they would have in the 1800's. This makes for an interesting "scaled" appearance for the sub. He has intentionally modelled in popped rivets and dented plates, again as how late 1800 construction would look.

All in all, I'm very happy with the kit. I have plans to convert it to full RC operation after my 1/32 Nautilus is in the water. I have also owned the Sci-Fi Matters Nautilus, and I personally like the character that the TI Nautilus offers better than the stark "just off the assembly line" look of the Sci-Fi kit.

As Lee is home-based and does each kit one-off, the quality is not perfect, but is easily cleaned up. For the price, I think the kit is worth the dollars. Add to that his exceptional 4 page blueprint set, and you get a very nice package for your dollar.

If anyone has any questions, just e-mail me and I'll be happy to talk to you about it.
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Postby modelmaker » Thu Apr 03, 2003 2:00 am


You realize of course that the TI kit is basically a rip-off of Scott Brodeen's kit that Sci-Fi Matters is offering, assembly line or not. And that Sci-Fi has a much better delivery rate ( less than 6 weeks ).

Lee made a "few scant" revisions, but the accolades really belong to Scott.

Just thought you ought to know.

Would love to have Lee prove that he has actually done anything to create this kit from scratch. Oh, the pictures are derived from Tom Scherman's work as well.

How original.

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Postby Bob the Builder » Thu Apr 03, 2003 10:24 am


I actually found that out from Will about three or four weeks ago, long after I ordered the kit.

I"m glad that you brought it up. Anyone looking to buy the kit should take that into consideration as well. My intention was simply to review the kit that I got, not make a statement as to its creative origins.

Reworked kit or not, I think it looks good and I'm pleased with the changes that Lee did to the other kit (if that's what happened). The collection of blueprints and pictures is something that I didn't have access to in the course of my research on the Nautilus, and I'm pleased to have added them to my collection.

If anyone is interested in the kit and you want to assess the true origins, be sure to talk to people like Jim or Will, but also talk to Lee. Try to make an informed decision. Mine was based soley on Lee's website and the pics that he sent me. Maybe that's my bad, but I guess it's a little too late now...

Edited By Bob the Builder on 1049385881
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Postby Work Man » Sun May 25, 2003 9:53 am

Looks like they have a finished version of this on "E" BAY again. I have built the older version of
the TI kit and Scotts boat from SCi-Fimatters. At the time I built these both models had some
things I would have liked to see improvements on. Both kits need to improve the approach to all
wheel house and salon light globes. I agree with the white metal in the wheel house, these parts
were alot better in Scott's boat. I do like like the gills being open to the stair case on the new TI
boat, all these kits should have both configurations in their kits as you could swap them out for
a different look. This would look good on Jim Keys 66" boat also.
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Postby TK-7642 » Tue Jun 17, 2003 9:42 am

Very interesting info. So the one with the holes and rivets in the stand is Scott B's?
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Postby Bob the Builder » Tue Jun 17, 2003 12:31 pm

Scott's Nautilus has flush mounted hull plating, smaller rivets, and an I-beam style display stand.

The TI kit has overlapping hull plates, and the display stand is sold separately and is composed of two Nautili crustaceans back to back.

There are a lot of similarities between the two models, and there are some who would argue that they originated as the same model. I won't get into that at all, and I'll just let you make up your own mind...
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