Sunday, 7/3/11 --
Happy Fourth, everyone!
Spent the afternoon with Steve Neill. Went there intent on delivering my radio, receiver, one-piece plastic windows, completed sound FX boards from Neil Schmidt, and my own "finished" Observation Room. This all in preparation for Steve's WTC wiring work and eventual trim testing this week. Wound up trying to stay out of Steve's way while he chased bugs out of a suddenly finicky lighting system during much of the afternoon. We discussed plans for fitting out the boat's interior (it now looks like the battery and sealed lighting board will have to reside in the wet area—we're out of interior space and access) and in general caught each other up on the process. It was good to see my baby close up and in person again, now with a terrific Steve Neill paint job! Steve's really got his work cut out for him this week if we're to make my self-induced travel deadline next
week. But a good start was made when he figured out that we could still use my (thought to be too large) original Futaba receiver by shoehorning it in without its outer shell, rather than having to resort to ordering a preferred smaller unit and losing precious time. Good luck, Steve. I hear the "Mission: Impossible" theme playing in the background already.
Meanwhile, I'm overdue to post my own recent Seaview
work on this thread. I've been working on the Observation Room over the last couple of weeks almost to the exclusion of all else—or rather, it's been working on me. I finished it this morning (with explanation—see below). Here is a progression of related pics...
First step at Milliput-building up some of Merriman's upgrade kit's white metal straight-back chairs into the colorful Observation Room bucket seats we see up front near the windows in the first TV season.
Now filed and sanded.
More buildup for buckets and arms.
Beginning to alter the HO scale railroad (1/87 as opposed to 1/96) ready-made "policeman's desk" into the size and shape of the Seaview
's Observation Room Control Desk.
Drilling holes for the legs of Merriman's credenza that holds the tiny version of the builder's Seaview
model displayed on the Observation Room set.
Assorted ready-made white metal parts: Merriman's "kitchen table" chairs for the conference table; a ready-made HO scale white metal credenza for near the conference table.
Adding thin brass rod legs to Merriman's credenza.
The finished and painted model-holding credenza.
Putting the legs on the HO scale railroad credenza. This one does not actually look much like the one on the set. Nelson must've been going through his temporary "Early American" period when furnishing the room for this patrol...
Building the side walls for the room.
Digicam-captured DVD freeze-frame image of the Giant Seaweed Monster from "The Condemned" episode of the first TV season—a favorite. This image will be reduced and printed to go inside the TV monitor in my miniature Observation Room—ostensibly the view brought in by the "nose camera." Our boys will apparently be battling this awesome fiend on every patrol!
First step to making a decent battle lantern: "turning" thin square acrylic rod into a round rod with a hemispherical end using my cordless Makita drill as a makeshift lathe.
Added silver paint for the "wall socket" and transparent Tamiya red for the bulb and I had my battle lantern.
Assorted tiny parts painted and now ready for installation: some bought and used as ready-made, some bought and highly modified, some built from scratch.
Finished crew figures and bucket chairs. "Crane" and "Kowalski" were Floating Drydock white metal 1/96 sailors painted up as officer and enlisted. "Adm. Nelson" (seated) was a figure included with an HO railroad scale assortment. Of course, I had to paint him in khaki colors, adding "long sleeves" to his bare arms.
Figures and chairs being dull-coated.
Assorted views of the finished Control Desk. Many details added: coffee cup from HO set; scratchbuilt white telephone console; black phone cord (trailing up in these shots, but will be brought down and attached to the receiver later); scratchbuilt twin hanging mics; a clipboard from Merriman's white metal set, etc. Of special significance is the control panel itself. It is the actual
one from the filming set, PhotoShopped out of a clean DVD screen grab and cleared of cast members' view-blocking hands and arms by SC buddy Tom Kisler. I then reduced it to print at scale size. Amazing. Looks good, don't it? Thanks again, Tom—great job!
First views of completed room. Some scale issues show up in these shots: Forward chairs a little too small. Background credenza too large at HO scale. Aft wall too far back. Watertight door probably too big. Etc. But overall, I'm still quite pleased. Just love
Mr. Merriman's tiny sculpted Seaview
model. Also very happy with my own scratchbuilt fire extinguisher (it took three full attempts!) and hanging white wall phone. Can you find 'em in these or later shots? Just for fun, I added one of Merriman's white metal reel-to-reel computer consoles to double as an audio tape deck. Apparently, Nelson has been doing research on whale songs for the upcoming giant sperm whale (Moby Dick
knockoff) episode, having the passive feed piped in from the Sonar shack. Obviously, he needs a clipboard and triangle for this. Big ashtrays everywhere too, of course. Poor guy never rests.
Look for the battle lantern in the next two shots. I'm pleased with it.
In this shot, Capt. Crane is clearly once again in solemn conference with Kowalski over the boat's dire predicament. Behind him is the set's familiar World wall map. Again, this is the actual
map, not some model company's approximation, because Kisler PhotoShopped it out of a clean DVD screen grab, removed stuff blocking a clear view, and I reduced it to print at scale size. BZ again, Tom! To its left is the boat's Builder's Commissioning Plaque. Actually, in type too small to read except perhaps by microscope, this tiny printout lists all the providers of work or parts or know-how to this collaborative Seaview
effort—from Rick Teskey and Steve Neill to Merriman and me and several others. Thanks to one and all.
Now the one-piece girder network, its build detailed earlier, gets added to the mix...
In the following three shots, you can sorta view the scratch recreation I made of the Builder's Plan Profile occasionally seen mounted to the filming set's port wall. It's sometimes seen in Nelson's cabin and elsewhere around boat as well, as is also that Seaview
model. I'm sure there was just one of each of these things and the set decorator moved them around from shot to shot. Budget, y'know.
Finally, my experimental waterproofing method is attempted: shrink-wrapping! The jury's still out on this, and I could only successfully get it applied in a one-layer thickness. But it seems like it'll work okay—at least at shallow depths. Immersion testing proved successful anyway, so we're going ahead with a "dry" Observation Room when Steve gets to his trim testing later this week. It was such a simple idea, I couldn't help but try it. Could turn out to be "Porteous's Folly" though, as opposed to Nelson's—which means I may not be as "finished" with this room's build as I think I am!
Thanks for following along with all this. See you at the pond sometime with my new NIMR grad/dreamboat. But first, more from Steve below, I hope, as Seaview
goes together in final form, gets masts and last details and touch-ups, and of course, heads out to the pool for trimming and testing.
Sure writing is easy: just sit staring at a blank page until the drops of blood start forming on your forehead.