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Rebellion's Seaview Conversion Kit

By Jim James - images & text © 2002

Scale: Roughly 1:350 - the stock kit is 13"/ 33cm long when assembled
Parts: 3 Resin
Instructions: 2 pages of mainly ads. Poor assembly instructions.
Decals: None
Molding Quality: 2 - Lots of flash, voids and bubbles
Detail: 2 - Detail is soft. Windows are not sharp, Flying Sub devoid of detail, engraved lines on FS hangar door uneven and rough
Accuracy: 4 - Bow part is pretty accurate. Flying Sub is not very accurate.
Fit: 3
Ease: 3 - It's not easy.
MSRP: $14.95 USD (~ $23.18 CAN/ 14.55 EUR) available from Rebellion Creations
Overall Rating: 3 - Nice to have but a lot of work. Fairly priced.

[Parts, converted]

I bought this conversion kit mainly for the Flying Sub but decided to go ahead and do the full conversion. This may not have been a good decision since I would have long ago had a finished movie Seaview instead of spending weeks on a TV version.

The Polar Lights Seaview Model Kit

This is a nice kit and good value for the money.

[Click to enlarge]

^ Side View

[Click to enlarge]

^ Top view

[Click to enlarge]

^ Flying sub with its trail of glass beads
There are some seams and gaps to fill but basically this kit builds nicely straight out of the box. Ignore the kit painting instructions, by the way.

Where were the instructions?

The first complaint about the resin parts is the instructions. Rebellion's instructions include basic resin prep instructions and little else. It's critical that the modeler knows where to cut the kit bow to ensure proper mating of the kit and the resin part. Rebellion offers a small, angled hand drawing with a dotted line across it. All you can do is hope you're in the ballpark because if you cut short, you're sunk.

I got pretty close with my cut using the vents as a guide but either I was off by a millimeter or so or the resin piece didn't fit. Some surfaces were flush, others weren't and I was off on an adventure of putty and sand, putty and sand. The trouble was that the closer I got to a smooth surface, the softer the vent detail became.

Other minor construction notes:

  • To avoid having to fill and sand the seam inside the bridge, I glued a piece of sheet styrene in as the floor and detailed it with more sheet styrene.
  • I masked the two lights on the leading edge of the sail with Baremetal Foil.
  • I filled the stand hole and replaced it with a sleeve of square brass metal tube. I did not plan on using the PL stand.

Painting and Detail

Painting the Seaview is simple. Spray the underneath Light Gray or Camouflage Gray. Mask around the fin. Turn it right side up and spray the top with a mid gray. The only area of concern where you need that sharp line is on the fin.

All that sanding around the bow pretty much eliminated most of the vents around the joint so I painted some black decal sheet with a mix of Euro Gray and Flat Black (to make a dark gray). I then cut vent-sized rectangles and decaled the vents. The sharp edges to the decals helped disguise the fact that about 20% of the vents weren't recessed.

I also gave up on the front view ports. They were poorly molded and I figured that they should be flush with the hull anyway, so I just filled and sanded and replaced them with yellow decals.

The Flying Sub (FS-1)

Rebellion's Flying Sub is basically a flying sub-shaped piece of resin. There is little detail and what's there is inaccurate and soft.

I sanded the fins to a more accurate shape and cut small pieces from thin sheet styrene and old undercarriage legs. These parts were added to create the windows, searchlights and intake vents on the front, the hatch covers in the dents on the top and bottom and the hatch at the back. I drilled holes for the exhaust vents on the back since I was planning on using this to mount the FS-1 in 'flight.'

I painted the FS-1 bright yellow with dark blue tops to the fins (upper and lower). The upper hatch area and front were also painted dark blue. The windows were painted black. Searchlight, intake vents, upper and lower hatch wheels and rear hatch were painted silver.

Display

I chose to display the Seaview on a stained wooden plaque using a square brass rod.

To mount the FS-1, I used a piece of thin, stiff wire painted white and covered with a mix of white glue and small glass marbles (Michael's, $1.99) to give the appearance of bubbles.

I cut a small notch in the brass support for the Seaview and glued the support wire for the FS-1 into it.

Overall

This was more of a challenge than it should have been. It wasn't a huge investment (about $30 for the kit and resin parts) but I wish I'd just built the PL kit out of the box. And in spite of all the work, I'm not very pleased with how it looks.

Editor's Note: The kit Jim used was a first release of the product from Rebellion Creations. The kit has since been refined to better reflect the look of the TV Sub, especially around the windows.

The newer versions of the kit also feature a refined Flying Sub and a new replacement "sail".

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the reviewer.
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This page copyright © 2002 Starship Modeler™. Last updated on 23 December 2002.