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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I tried to find out the hard way, by doing a Seaview search on this board. Although there was a lot of interesting stuff, nobody actually mentioned what the friggin' scale of the Aurora/Polar Lights model is. For once, all the references I have (Classic Plastic, Aurora History & Price Guide, and Greenberg's Guide to Aurora Model Kits) are in agreement on the subject and give the Seaview's scale as 1/316.

However, the set of Aurora Seaview plans that were posted on this Board (I've forgotten who shared them - can somebody help give credit here?) show the model's overall length as 13". If you multiply that by 316 you get 4108. Divide that by 12 and we arrive at a 342' boat. It was stated on another Seaview thread that on the series she was said to be 404' long. That would make the 13" model 1/373 scale (I rounded off a bit). Does this sound right, or has anyone something more accurate to offer?

Thanks.
 

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Starship Class
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Hopefully, ChuckPR will respond to this question. He's very exacting and good at the calculations and all possible variables involved. :thumbsup:

It should be taken into account that the Aurora/PL kit is undertstood to be too short proportionally. Once it's lengthened by about an inch, that could affect most calculations used to determine the scale.
 

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Cautiously Optimistic
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A wealth of interesting Aurora Seaview data can be found here...

http://vttbots.com/lubliner_report1.html

And especially here...

http://www.vttbots.com/seaview.html

Re: the boat's length...

"Seaview's intended on-screen length has been bandied about over the years, and certainly the principals involved in her creation cannot agree. Jack Martin Smith recalled in a 1980 interview that Seaview was supposed to be around 300 feet long (highly improbable.) L.B. Abbott recorded, in his book, Special Effects, Wire, Tape and Rubber Band Style, that Seaview was "presumably 350 feet long, utterly unique in design, and visually exciting (regards the length, equally improbable.) The actual blueprints generated by 20th Century Fox's design department and dated 1960 boldly measure Seaview's length as 400 feet exactly, yet publicity for the film upon release, site Seaview as longer than two football fields placed end to end—around 620 feet. This last figure is certainly the most likely given the expanse of the submarine's interior. It is also the figure sited in the July, 1966 issue of American Cinematographer in an article detailing Voyage's deserved Emmy win for special effects. Again, it is the figure sited in Fox's huge press package put together in 1968 for Voyage's entry into the syndication market. In addition, the figure fits nicely with the length of the Soviet Akula class submarine, which Tom Clancy refers to as "The world's biggest submarine, pure and simple." at 560.9 feet long. We can only assume Clancy's research hadn't uncovered Seaview's top-secret existence."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What th - ?

I shoulda known better than to ask. Okay, so far we've established that our 400' Seaview has been represented as a 1/373 scale model by Aurora/Polar Lights. But this is a science-fictionary vessel we're talking about. So if the publicity boys at 20th Century-Fox and the folks at American Cinematographer want to make her 620', then who are we to say them nay?

The longer sub comes in, I figure, at 1/572 scale. That would be close enough to the AMT 18" Starship Enterprise to make for one really wild diorama, eh?
 

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I'm not a Seaview expert, though I've love the series and read a bit about it.

I seem to recall John P. saying that the Seaview Aurora model ended up being truncated and is out of scale with the television model lengthwise. I don't know why, but it has been said by a few people who claim to have been involved with Aurora that at some point during production the kit ended up being made shorter - forward to aft.

I don't know why. Packaging perhaps?

I also don't know if it is true, it's just a widely circulated story that makes sense in that it explains why the kit ended up being too short lengthwise, but is probably impossible to verify one way or the other.

However, let me say I don't remember John P. repeating that story, just that I believe I recall him saying the Aurora model is definitely out of proportion and too short lengthwise, something that is verifiable, even through close study of photos on websites like Phil Broad's cloudster.com.

So at the very least the Aurora kit ended up being too short proportionally.
So even if the story of a slice of the Seaview being taken out lengthwise isn't true or is never verified we DO know she's too short proportionally.

It is very unlikely that those who were involved with the kit's design ever intended the kit to inaccurate when they started the project - even though the kit ended up that way.

Perhaps the text giving the scale of the ship was written early in the production phase. A point when I'm sure it was assumed the kit would be proportionally the same as the main filming miniature. The kit may have been cut down for whatever reason(packaging maybe?) at some point after that.

I have a Japanese kit that is a little over 15" I believe. Perhaps the Aurora kit was originally similarly sized but had to be reduced for whatever reason.

Reduced or not, it's not proportionally equivalent/correct to the filming miniature.

Something the original designers of the kit probably never planned on happening.

That would both answer the question as to why it is listed as larger then it turns out to be proportionally (coming out to be 373 instead of 316 scale).

But again, both John P. and Phil Broad(of cloudster.com) would be better guys to ask about this.
 

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Mark McGovern said:
I shoulda known better than to ask. Okay, so far we've established that our 400' Seaview has been represented as a 1/373 scale model by Aurora/Polar Lights. But this is a science-fictionary vessel we're talking about. So if the publicity boys at 20th Century-Fox and the folks at American Cinematographer want to make her 620', then who are we to say them nay?

The longer sub comes in, I figure, at 1/572 scale. That would be close enough to the AMT 18" Starship Enterprise to make for one really wild diorama, eh?
That it would!

Maybe a diorama of the Seaview flying out of the sea, maybe crashing into the side of one an AMT Enterprise or other Constitution class ship hovering a bit too low over the water? :)
 

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Oxidation Genius
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Chuck, I think I was only repeating what I heard about it being truncated. Someone told me (Orne Montomery?) the it needed a 1" extension forward of the sail to be in proper proportion.

400 feet is the length I keep reading, but not from any official source. Monsters in Motion's resin kit is 24" long and said to be 1/200 scale.

Add an inch to the Aurora model and a 400-foot sub (at 14") comes in at 1/342 - nice and close to standard 1/35 ship scale!
 

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Starship Class
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John P said:
Add an inch to the Aurora model and a 400-foot sub (at 14") comes in at 1/342 - nice and close to standard 1/35 ship scale!
Oooh! In that case, the Seaview would be in scale with the AMT shuttlecraft model kit! Cool! :thumbsup:
 

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A 1/35 Seaview would also be in standard armor and military figure scale. Just think of those diorama possibilities!

From all available information, it seems the Aurora/PL Seaview is both too fat and too short. Looking at the model from the side and the top, the bow section is considerably "squashed" front-to-back when compared to the filming miniatures. Why? I don't think it had anything to do with packaging, since the Seaview's hull halves are about 12-3/4" long and the box length is 16"! And various sources say that, at that length, the hull cross section should be a 1" diameter circle, which is probably how the kit was originally planned. At some point, however, someone at Aurora thought the model looked too skinny and had the hull widened to an oval cross-section about 1.2" wide. So, it's an inaccurate kit, but it presents lots of interesting challenges. And it's still fun to build.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
scotpens said:
...So, it's an inaccurate kit, but it presents lots of interesting challenges. And it's still fun to build.
My view (no pun intended - well, maybe a little...) exactly, Mr. scot. Although thisversion of the Seaview and the AMT TOS Enterprise don't match the studio miniatures rivet for rivet, the models still build into recognizable representations of their TV counterparts. Admittedly there are plenty inaccuracies in these two examples, and those bug the purists. Well, more power to 'em - without the purists Polar Light's Star Trek kits wouldn't have been nearly as nice (and a flip of the Communicator to mr. Sasser, et al). But the kits' idiosyncrasies don't bother me too much, especially since it is understood that there were so many variations between the different miniatures used for filming Star Trek and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

I was interested in the scale of the Aurora/Polar Lights Seaview only so I would have the information for entering mine in model contests. I plan convert it to the TV version by scratchbuilding, since the resin conversion kits all seem to be out of production - gnarrr. And I'm going to mount it in a unique way, which you'll see when I post photos of the finished piece. Otherwise I'll be happy to settle for the model as it comes out of the box.

Thanks for all your input, gang!
 

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Tho I can't find it downstairs in the model room wreckage, I'm pretty sure that the original Aurora Seaview release was in a shorter box, making the "box scale" theory likely. Aurora did re-issue Seaview with a different base and a different colored plastic for its second round. Possibly a different box.
As for scale, Seaview was 404' long with a hull radius of 16' in the original Fox blueprints.
The biggest problem with making Seaview 600 feet long is that its viewports become 20' high.
As with all Irwin Allen productions, nothing about the minatures make sense compared with the ships' interiors. On Voyage, cargo is being shown delivered by overhead crane to the missile room floor. Where are the overhead doors? The bell and minisub are launched from a space behind the missile tubes but the hatch for them is under the missile tubes. If you all a 1 1/2 to 2 diameter length to the Seaview behind the missile tubes, Seaview still looks really good and, for the diorama I'll never get finished despite how many years it sits there mocking me, you can add open cargo bay doors and show off the missile room interior.
Revell's re-release of the Ethan Allen or George Washington or whatever it was a couple years ago would make a great starting point for a superdetailed conversion into a Seaview. It's diameter and tail taper are almost exactly perfect for a 1/200 scale Seaview and it has a "complete" interior.
 
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