Cassiopée's Nautilus battleship

By Alex Dumas © 2012

The Nautilus battleship was seen in the French series Il était une fois l'espace in the 1980's and it is to my opinion among the best designs from my childhood. This huge vessel is the flagship of the villain's fleet from Cassiopée home world. The Nautilus along with most of the ships from the series were designed by the renown artist Manchu. To my knowledge, there are no technical data about this warship other than the facts that it is big, armed to the teeth and clearly made to intimidate its enemies!

Fierce design by Manchu (1980).

The story behind the kit

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine was able to get his hands on two very limited resin kit of the Nautilus made by a French, modeller which I can't remember is name unfortunately, sorry about that. His model was somewhat crud and lacks in details and accuracy but since it was the only game in town I was happy to add it to my collection. Here's some rare pictures of the finished model as made by the author; Side view, front view.

The original Nautilus kit (somewhat inaccurate and poorly detailed).

A few years later, my friend decided to start assembling his Nautilus but not without making extensive modifications to bring it closer to the anime. He ended up sending me his work a few months later so I could benefit from the enhancements he did and add my own touch the whole project.

A complete makeover

My friend did some great enhancements to the kit but I though there was still some work that need to be done. I started by reworking the surfaces and some reshaping to make the parts more symmetrical with more defined edges (most were just too soft to my taste). I removed most of the details during that process, which will be added back later on.

My friend's reworked prow on the right. Mine on the left in rework.

No parts were left untouched. Below is a test fit of the main three sections in order to rework the whole alignment of the ship. Quite a pain staking step actually.

Front section in the detailing process. A few more details will be added along with scribed lines. Notice the photo-etched grill that has been added to the rear (closer view).

Same goes for detailing underneath the mid-section. A thin coat of primer is regularly applied to help see the remaining defects. Most added details were taken from other kits. Much reworking of the surfaces is still needed. Rear section of the ship.

The ship rebuilding is pretty much complete at this stage. Below is only a test-fit of all sections (closer view) (rear view).

One of the unique signature of this ship is all the manoeuvring thrusters (RCS). Specially those on each side behind the front section with three thrusters nozzles.

Speaking of the RCS thrusters, here are some the smaller remade parts on left compared to the original ones on right (closer view).

More comparison shots between the main ship sections. Rebuilt section on the right (closer view) (front view) (Bottom view).

Rebuilt section on left (closer view) (front view) (rear view).

My remade front section on right compared to my friend's uncompleted rebuild (closer view).

To be continued...

Interested in this project? Contact me

Alex Dumas