Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea

Master Modeler
Paul Lubliner
Lucky Dog!  Paul Lubliner is almost always surrounded by beautiful models.
Paul Lubliner


      Thanks to Paul Lubliner for his recent contribution of the corrected DVD box art for the Voyage Season One, Vol. 1 release.  He has supplied a preliminary version of corrected box art for Vol. 2 (see left), but must wait for a high-resolution copy of the artwork to create a rendering appropriate for printing. Patience....

     How did he go about making the changes? In a nutshell, Paul Says, “I used photo shop elements, especially the "cloning tool" to move the textures and colors to create the (revised) images.  It's all done, "by eye." It was possibly Paul's re-imaging of the Vol 1 box art that moved Fox to revise Vol 2.

      Paul Lubliner is a serious master model maker and Seaview fan whose passion goes back more than 40 years to 1966, when Aurora released the movie/tv season-one version of our favorite submarine.  There’s a story behind that, which we’ll get to.

Some 15 years ago, Paul restored the original 4 foot wood, steel tube and plaster master pattern as seen in the observation nose behind Walter Pidgeon (right) in the feature and in the observation nose during the first of the series.  

     At that time, he made epoxy/fiberglass molds so duplicates may be produced. (now there’s an exciting thought.) Paul has been in possession of a full set of the Fox studio blue prints for some time. As a result, he is most intimate with it's contours and proportions.

      With the exception of some minor editing, we’ll now hear from Paul Lubliner himself....

       “When the original Aurora Seaview was released 40 years ago, (when I was 12--O.M.G!!!) I bought one on it's first day of sale. I was extremely disappointed to say the least. It was much too small to suit me, didn't have individual windows, was too wide, and wasn't even a blue-gray etc., etc.

     “In the years after college, I learned the art of tool making for injection molded plastic via the "Old School" (hand made patterns and pantograph milling machines, I own two such devices.)

       I revisited the subject with the release of Polar Lights’ copy of the Aurora version, which oddly enough wasn't even as good a representation as the forty year old Aurora replica, (taken from the
studio 4 footer pictured left.)

“Below is an evaluation of the Aurora/Polar Lights Seaview Kits:

     “In studying the new Polar Lights (hence-forth referred to as P.L.) release, it dawned on me as to what and where and perhaps even why the Aurora (and the less accurate still P.L.) versions went wrong." I can say with very real confidence, the original Aurora "test shot" product, (mold "proofs" if you will, which no one outside of that firm, at that time has since seen) was a very good 1/4 sized model of the 4 foot, 8 window Seaview. I believe this because I have back dated a P.L. to those as originally molded dimensions. The results are an exceedingly accurate and elegant representation of our beloved fantasy submersible craft.

      “Originally intended for Cinemascope's 2.33:1 screen aspect ratio, the Seaview is most slender for it's length. When holding the 12+ inch long, almost delicate newly revised P.L. model, it becomes apparent the Aurora executives probably felt their new product was lacking in "heft." I am of the opinion the tool maker was ordered to "go back in" and cut the hull molds deeper while leaving the decking sides untouched, on both hull halves to "beef-up" the finished product. I offer the observations below as proof of this conclusion:

     “In profile (side view) the Aurora kit is virtually "dead-on" accurate to the studio blue prints. Evidence of all of the other originally tooled dimensions are clearly visible in the original kit. The observation nose widow "glass" was not changed from that of the first original as it was a separate mold and as many who have built the old Aurora may have noticed, the "glass" was too narrow in width and had a sharper radius than the hull front when viewed from directly above. This makes it difficult to fit as there is a resulting gap on each side where it is mated to the hull halves This would clearly indicate that the original hull molding "proof" was narrower than it was upon final release.

     As further evidence, the decking sides were recessed into the hull, the bulging hull sides protruding beyond the decking's lower edge. Photos and the original blue prints (which Aurora most
obviously had in their possession during development of their product) indicate the Seaview's decking sides overhang the hull sides. These were "recessed in" on the Aurora and now P.L. kits. Most importantly, the Seaview's hull is a true cylinder in cross-section as on real submarines, other than at the nose. The tail cone was as on a real nuclear submarine such as the S.S.N. Skipjack (S.S.R.N. "Polidor:" to Voyage fans!  See right. )  

     “For the "correct" length (that is 1/4 the size of the original 51 1/2" long "four Footer") as used as the prototype by Aurora and P.L., the hull diameter should scale out to 1.000 inches exactly. The Aurora hull width is 1.210 inches with the P.L. worse still at 1.250 inches.

      “So, what is one to do? Narrow the hull of a now readily available P.L. Seaview by 1/8 inch per side, while simultaneously separating and then reapplying the deck. As the ultimate "proof" of this theory, the hull after this modification is now at precisely 1.000" in width and is almost perfectly round in cross section, for a true 1.000 inch diameter! A quick re-contouring of the sail (conning tower) with a slight shortening of the engine tubes (nacelles) and lengthening of the forward "Manta Fins" and there you have it, an almost perfect rendering of the original 8 window 4 footer! (see attached pix)

     “So WHY did I describe ALL of the above you may ask???? BEEcause, it was that revised P.L. Seaview I used as a guide to re-draw the volumes 1 & 2 DVD box art, that's why!!!!

      Wanna post all of this?"

——Paul Lubliner

(In answer to the above question, well, yep, I guess I did want to post it all.)

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