to the Bottom of the Sea
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.
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
“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
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
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
“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,
Wanna post all of this?"
(In answer to the above question, well, yep, I guess I did want
to post it all.)