Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea


U.S.S. Seaview


Model by Ron E.


Box Stock (Accurized)

Polar Lights kit 5099

 Model Specifications:
Scale = 1/350
Length = 34.5 cm
Width = 6.6 cm
Height = 5.4 cm


Having enjoyed "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" as a kid, I even went so far at the time to build my own USS Seaview using an empty paper towel roll and pieces of cardboard for the fins and sail. I couldn't wait to get this model when I heard it was to be re-released. After some research on the internet, I found a general consensus among modelers about this kit:

   - Although not given, the scale appears to be 1/350.
   - The model is actually too short, requiring lengthening by inserting a 3/4 inch piece of styrene immediately forward of the sail.

 This was accomplished by cutting the entire model in half forward of the sail, inserting the 3/4 inch piece of styrene, and then rebuilding the sub around the new joint.

In addition to lengthening the model as described, some of the other obvious modifications that I did to this model include:

   - The clear forward observation lounge windows do not fit flush with the hull. I attempted to compensate for this by cutting and fitting a very thin piece of styrene to the front of those windows, and then filling in the gaps to make it look like a flush fit with the hull. This was probably the most difficult part of this model to work on, and unfortunately, despite my best attempt, I wasn't entirely happy with the finished results.
   - Drilled out the various vents alongside the hull.
- Sanded off the missile hatches and doors on the sail and replaced them with scratch-built styrene pieces. I also added the forward hatch on the missile deck that Cmdr. Crane exited in SCUBA gear in the movie.
   - I didn't like the radar the came with the kit, so I took one from an old 1/720 battleship model that I had and used it. I took the kit radar, trimmed it down, but left just enough to make it look like another extendable piece of hardware (second periscope, snorkel, etc.)

Some other modifications to the model that are not as apparent:

   - Built missile tubes out of drinking straws that are partially visible inside the hull through those vents.
   - Added props by using the turbofan blades from a jet plane kit.
   - Built a basic interior for the forward observation lounge that encompasses the large bow windows, and added thin styrene to those windows in order that they would be flush with the hull.
   - Added underside hatches for the mini-sub seen in the movie and the flying sub seen in the TV series.

The color of the Seaview seems to be as heavily debated as the hull color Star Trek's original USS Enterprise NCC-1701. While it is agreed by modelers that the submarine is a two-toned color, it is the actual colors that are debated.

I painted this model Dark Ghost Gray for the top and Light Ghost Gray for the underside of the sub respectively.

Most of the submarines built in the 1950s and 1960s had a removable sections along the length of the hull where the various vents are, which allowed naval dockyards to access the various valves, etc. that allowed the sub to dive and surface. I wanted to somehow show these removable sections on the model, so after I completed building and painting the model, I double checked on some of the website references that I had used earlier, to see what I could add for detailing, specifically for removable hull sections. However, upon my checks, one of the things that I found out was that additional information had been posted to one of the websites since my last look, which showed the "correct" size and location of the underside sub hatches, as shown with these views of A Deck and B and C Decks. This of course, made my modifications wrong, but as the model was completed, it was too!

Photos by Stephen L.