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Models are not just a great way to visualize a piece of  history but they are very helpful step in the design and construction process.  On this page there different models of the Argonaut Jr., all with a different purpose in mind.

The Royal Navy Submarine Museum at Gosport England has a 1/2 scale replica to educate visitors.  Before building the actual Argonaut Jr 2010, we constructed two 1/4 scale models. The first was a Crush Test Model to get a rough idea of the structural limits of the design and to verify the freeboard and ballast weight calculations.  The second model was a Display Model for educational display but also to determine the best location and routing for pipes and hoses that would controls the submarines ballast tanks and pressurization system.  The third Argonaut Jr. model is demonstration purposes.  Tim Smalley is building a 1/4 scale Working Model (below) of the original Argonaut Jr. that will dive and surface.


Argonaut Jr. - Display Model

TurboCAD Design


Display Model - In Progress

..and completed.

Air tanks and supply manifold.

Stern, showing an anchor.

Download 36 x 60 in Plans

We have built a second 1/4 scale display model. This model will be used be show the workings of the Argonaut Jr 2010. 

Designing with three dimensional models with CAD is a great way to figure out where things need to go but it is easy to miss details and you can not really get a feel for the order in which the parts should be assembled.  So once there is a good CAD drawing it is still helpful to build a model.

Not only is it a model a great display, but building a model lets you check that everything will fit and find the best places to put items such as valves, hoses, and air tanks.

Want to Build Your Own Model?

We will help you with anything you need, please ask. For a start can download the 2D CAD drawings for a 1/4 scale model of the hull here: ArgonautJr_Quarter_Scale_Model.dwg  or DFX format.

No CAD? No problem.  Download this 36 x 60 inch JPG file, take it to your local print shop, trace the 1/4 scale parts onto your 5mm plywood for cutting.





Other Argonaut Jr Models

Tim Smalley in the prop use for
the TNT movie "The Hunley".

Computer animation has come a long way, but working, or at least partially functioning models including full scale models still play a valuable role in research but also in movie making. 

Tim Smalley of St. Paul, Minnesota has been an avid historian and submarine modeler for years. One of his recent models was of the prototype of the USS Alligator, sometimes called the "Alligator Junior." The Alligator
Junior was built by the Union during the Civil War but lost at sea during a hurricane. Tim's model is one of the models used in the making of the documentary "Hunt for the Alligator".



See clips featuring the models from the Science Channel's documentary  "Hunt for the Alligator".










(1) Ply frame cut from pattern.

(2) Top and bottom frames.

(3) Assembled hull frame.
...more to come.

Tim Smalley

Tim is now building a working model of the Argonaut Jr. 

(1-3) He started with a CNC cut pattern from CAD drawings of the Argonaut Jr. and constructed a plywood frame that will support the outer hull and the radio controlled components inside the model to make the ascend and descend on command.









Fred Huijgen of the Netherlands has constructed a display model of
the Argonaut Jr. and is working on a working model of the
Argonaut I.  Fred's model is even on an official Netherland's postage
stamp!   His web site is: www.dutchsubmarines.nl

Thanks Fred.

Fred Huijgen










Model of Argonaut Jr by Jose Berrios


Jose Berrios

This model of Argonaut Jr by Jose Berrios who also builds his own submarines that you can see here:  The Submarines of Jose Berrios




Argonaut Jr. 2010 - Crush Test Model

A 1/4 scale model will let us test the ballast weights as well as get a rough idea of her crush depth. The plywood for the model is 5mm (about 3/16 inch) thick.  Four layers of it would be about 3/4" thick.

We cut the plywood for the model on our CNC router table.  The process starts with the computer designs or CAD.  Those drawings are loaded into another program that creates a list of instructions called g-code which list how the router should be moved in the x, y and z axis.  Finally the g-code is opened in Mach3 software on a computer that is connected to the motor control box on the CNC router table.  The Mach3 software reads the g-code and controls the motors on the CNC table to move the router.  For more about CNC checkout: Our CNC Table



(1) Thin boards are cut to scale
1x4's then laminated together
with epoxy and bent to the
shape of the hull.

Then we used construction
adhesive to glue the plywood
to the curved beams and glue
together the conning tower.


(2) Gluing the rest plywood to
the laminated beams.

(3) Divers trunk

The sides of the divers trunk are
also part of the ballast tanks.


(4) Ballast tanks

(5) Ballast tank top

(6) Hull ends

(7) Top and beams.  And that
Monkey is 1/4 scale of a human.

(8) Shaping the beams to the
curvature of the hull.

(9) Gluing on one side

(10) Epoxying the inside

(11) Cutting the lead weights

(12) Inside weights.  Maximum
70 pounds for each end.

(13) External weighs. 32 pounds
for each end.

(14) Sheeting the rest of the hull.






























Testing the displacement, freeboard, and ballast weight calculations.









Royal Navy Submarine Museum
Argonaut Jr Display

The big thanks goes to Chuck Veit - president of the Navy and Marine Living History Association, who asked Andrew, one of his members who lives near the museum in England, to take some shots for us. Thanks Chuck and Andy

Strange isn't it that the best display of Simon Lake's Argonaut is at Gosport England in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum?  We are certainly obliged to them and for everybody who went through the efforts to get us these photos.

A notice on the replica states that the Argonaut Jr. was 14 ft long by 5ft wide. The model is 8ft, overall, 7ft. 3in along the top deck, with an approx 4.5in projection low down at each end. At the right end the black bodywork is 2ft 6in high, topped by 9.25in of  white superstructure width across the end is 8.75in.

At the left end the black bodywork is 2ft 4in high with 9in high superstructure  Width is 9in. The large wheels are 1ft 8in, small wheels 10in diameter The 'deck house' is 9in tall, and the white 'finials' rise 12.25in from the sides