Building the Seaview: the Observation Nose
Like most Seaview fans, I was excited by the recent release of a kit of the TV version of the Seaview by Monsters-in-Motion. So, I took a break from my never-ending Lunar Model’s Seaview project to build this kit (someday I hope to build models of something other than the Seaview!). Since there is a recent and thorough review of the kit on CultTVMan’s site, I won’t repeat it here except to say that it is a quality product and a joy for any Seaview enthusiast to build. The following is a description of my approach at constructing the observation nose.
There are only a few flaws with the kit – most of them in the observation nose. An example of elaborate techniques for casting resin, the interior of this part of the Seaview was molded into the single-piece solid resin hull. The only additional piece is the deck/crash-doors, which fits into the lower hull, forward of the flying-sub bay, separating the observation room from the flying-sub bay.
I think this approach is unfortunate, since it poses a couple of problems and detracts from the quality of the finished model. The interior struts – those arched beams that were supposed to reinforce the Seaview’s large observation windows – leave almost no place to attach the windows, and there were defects in a couple of places on the struts that were visible through the windows. I would prefer to have had separate parts for the struts, so I decided to build my own.
Being a readily visible part of the interior of the Seaview, the support struts contribute a great deal to the character of the Seaview. However, there were variations in their look in each studio model and actual set used for the observation room. I wanted my struts to look more like those used in the 8ft. studio model. These were wide and flared out at their base, where they attached to the deck. These were made from stock plastic and painted with Testor’s Acryl Steel. Drilling the holes in the struts made me realize how much I need a good drill press for this type of work.
I removed the two outer struts and smoothed the inside surface around the windows so that it provided a good place on which to attach the windows, as well as my scratch-built replacement struts. For both accuracy and effect, I also added struts to the outer sides of the two outer windows. In addition to improving the look of the model (in my opinion), these also helped secure the windows to the frame. I chose not to replace the center strut, because it is thicker than the others, and doing so would have required moving the flying-sub hatch on the interior piece. Maybe next time.
The drawback to my approach is that the interior piece will no longer fit without modifications. This piece functions as the observation nose interior (including closed crash-doors, a control console, the chart table and the hatch to the flying-sub), outer hull (between the nose light and the flying-sub bay) and the interior for the forward bulkhead of the flying-sub bay. Straight from the box, the interior piece needs some reshaping to fit properly. However, I also needed to remove the control console and chart desk in order for it to work with my struts. I rebuilt these from scratch, making them a little smaller than the originals.
I used primarily light colored paint on these parts – tan and light gray. Dry-brushing with Testor’s Acryl Silver and Aluminum added highlights and utilized the limited interior ambient light to reflect some detail. Testor’s Acryl Dark Ghost Gray is used for the exterior hull (upper portion).
Once everything was put together, the new struts dominate the view of the interior. But this is fine with me because so much of the interior is barely visible anyway, and the struts add a feeling of depth and interest to the areas that can be seen.