Tom was the premier NAUTILUS modeler and one of the movie’s greatest fans.  As the story goes, he was “the kid hanging around Disneyland’s LEAGUES exhibit”, who got recognized for his passionate dedication to the movie and his amazing skill as a craftsman.  That initial recognition led to a lifelong career that ultimately took Disney’s 20,000 Leagues into areas the movie’s producers never imagined.




Here’s one of Tom’s NAUTILUS replicas.   He made quite a few during his life, and most are in the private collections of people who treasure them as the priceless relics they are.






Tom with his display at a Sci Fi Convention.






One of Tom’s favorite pieces was this replica of Harper Goff’s original NAUTILUS concept model.  People who knew both gentlemen tell me Harper looked on Tom as “the son he never had”.  Above, Harper examines Tom’s replica of the NAUTILUS prototype.






Now THIS is what I call being a dedicated Leaguer!  Here’s a look into Tom Scherman’s apartment, which was decorated like the inside of the NAUTILUS, and no doubt contained many artifacts and souvenirs.







Here’s Tom’s cutaway model of the NAUTILUS, on display at the IMAGINEERING offices in California. 






Tom put this model on display at an EQUICON show in San Diego.  The scene shows the NAUTILUS navigating the underwater channel into Vulcania.







But Tom didn’t stop with small-scale replicas of the submarine; here’s his full-sized replica of the Crew Diver Suit, presently on display at the LIVING SEAS EXHIBIT in Florida.







Tom Scherman was directly involved with making this giant scale waterline version of the NAUTILUS, and the Mysteries Du Nautilus exhibit, presently on display at EURODISNEY in France.







Courtesy of Harry Hathorne, here’s a whimsical cartoon Tom did for a friend, regarding the EDL project. 





Tom was a great one for sketching ideas on napkins, most of which he gave away to friends.  Here’s one Tom did of the MYSTERIOUS ISLAND attraction in Japan, approximately ten years before it came to be.  This image was provided by Tom’s brother, Rowland Scherman.  Thank you!  ;-)





This is a very famous picture of Tom intently studying the submarine he loved so well.  It was his uncompromising attention to detail and devotion to the subject that earned him the well-deserved title, “Mister Nautilus”.  Oh, BTW: I meant to add a P.S. to this photo a while ago, but forgot.  As Wayne Orlicki pointed out: take a good look at the pipe in Tom’s hand: it is a replica of a Nautilus Crew Diver helmet.  No doubt a one-of-a-kind item.  Tom really lived it, didn’t he?  Thanks for pointing this out, Wayne.





Tom’s brother Rowland sent these pictures along.  Above is Tom in 1957 with his first scratch-built NAUTILUS model; and below is Tom in Paris with his final creation: the giant scale replica in the Mysteries Du Nautilus exhibit at EURODISNEY in France.  These two projects represent the “alpha and omega” of Tom’s career: his initial and ultimate artistic renderings of the NAUTILUS.





The journey of a lifetime.  You start with something you can hold in your hand, and finish with one you can stand on.  One can only try to imagine what it must have felt like to see the dreams of his youth realized to that extent.  It took devotion, determination, perseverance, hard work, and extreme good fortune to achieve what he did.  It’s almost as if Tom knew what his destiny would be, and made it happen.  That’s very, very rare.





Here’s a pic of Tom on the job.





And two more of Tom Scherman in France, aboard his ultimate NAUTILUS replica…





…and inside the wheelhouse.



DAVID SCHERMAN has his own Memorial Website for his brother Tom.  There, you will see a great photo of Tom at work on one of his NAUTILUS models, as well as several more of the unique NAPKIN DRAWINGS the late Mr. Scherman was famous for.  Please access David’s website via our LINKS page.





Of this picture, Ned Land might say, “Well, he really got his monster, didn’t he?”





NEW!  (I replaced the picture of Tom and Dan Kachur with the Nemo helmet that we used to carry above with this one because the other picture is seen in two other places on this Website.)  This is a picture of Tom Scherman and Dan Kachur’s lovely wife Bertha at Tom’s Hollywood apartment with the original Nemo helmet that was used in the underwater sequences of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: truly a significant artifact from the movie.  This photo was taken by Dan on July 02,1993.  This and the following six photos are all from the personal collection of Dan and Bertha Kachur, are protected by copyright, and are exclusive to the VulcaniaSubmarine.Com Website.  The author has asked me to convey his request that you do not copy or distribute these images in any form whatsoever.  Please respect his wishes.  Thank you.





NEW!  Dan took this picture of Tom Scherman with a Disney Diver helmet.  Dan tells me Tom kept this piece wrapped up in a blanket and stashed in his bedroom for safe keeping.  Tom said this was an actual helmet used in the movie.  It looks very similar to the one on display at the LIVING SEAS EXHIBIT in Florida.  Studying this photo, I couldn’t help but relate.  The only other guy I know who has things that look like this laying around his pad is, well…  J





NEW!  Also from the Kachur collection, and taken in 1993: this is Tom’s model of the NAUTILUS TWO submarine: the projected next vessel in Captain Nemo’s fleet.  What words does one use to describe something like this?  It is highly imaginative and unlike anything seen before.  But then, that was Tom Scherman.  He did much more than make models of the Goff NAUTILUS. 





NEW!  Here’s a quartering view of the NAUTILUS TWO from astern.  Obviously, Tom enjoyed designs that held sufficient detail to keep the eye busy and the mind occupied.  The small figures right of center are “sea horse minisubs”.  Amazing!





NEW!  Dan caught this view of a larger model of one of the Seahorse Minisubs just aft of the NAUTILUS TWO.  Truly unique.  And more amazing, from the standpoint of someone who designs and builds working subs, I believe this design would not be difficult at all to produce in the form of a functional manned submersible.  Certainly, a one-man version adapted like a 1-ATM Hardsuit (sort of a fantasy NEWTSUIT) could be achieved without too much difficulty.





NEW!  Dan snapped this picture of Tom’s replica version of the original HARPER GOFF NAUTILUS CONCEPT model, on display in Tom’s Hollywood apartment back in 1995.  Obviously, the man’s digs were a tribute to 20,000 Leagues.





NEW!  And last (for now) but not least: here’s a Tom Scherman NAUTILUS replica belonging to Dan Kachur.  You can see more of this model, and also more of the amazing scale model work of Dan Kachur, on Dan’s page here at VSC in the NAUTILUS MODELS section.


Dan wanted his pictures displayed here because, in his words, “Vulcania Submarine is the best.”  We certainly appreciate that sentiment, and hope you will all enjoy and respect his contributions to our Website as much as we do.  

Thanks Dan!


NEW! Images © Copyright 1993 – 2005 Dan Kachur, “All Rights Reserved.”