Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
The Seaview Restoration Begins

 Stripping the hull...
       Now that most of our replacement or upgrade parts are in hand we can begin the restoration of the Seaview.  We will start by stripping the hull of any damaged features, old paint and the control room window.  Once we have a reasonably clean hull we can start filling in any imperfections and replacing the two rear fins.  Once the hull is intact, we will divide our project into several segements such as the control room, mast, flying sub bay, stern section and upper hull.  The good news is that the hull is structurally sound and there is no evidence of warping.  Let the tear down begin...
 
 
     
  The fins...
       Removing the tail fins was pretty simple given the fact that they were secured to the hull with one nut and lots of epoxy.  We were able to snap off each fin once the nuts had been removed.  Using a Dremel Stylus, we sanded down the old epoxy in order to restore the surface of the hull for installation of the new fins.
 
 
     
  The Sail...
       The sail on the submarine is is the vertical structure on the topside or dorsal surface of the submarine.  Up until 1957, the sail housed the conning tower which was where the periscope and control functions of the submarine were housed.  When the sub is submerged, the sail acts as a vertical stabbilizer and when the sub has surfaced it serves the function of observation tower.  The two dive planes are located on each side of the sail.  Our sail was in pretty bad shape with broken dive planes, missing radar and radio masts along with the periscope.  The side doors are somewhat lacking in detail and it's not certain whether the running lights are working on the port and starboard sides of the sail.  We began our restoration by sanding the hideous primer coat and filling in some of the imperfections on the surface of the sail.
 

 
 
     
  The Dive Planes...
       The  dive planes on the sub were originally rigged for R/C operation so the old linkage was removed and replaced with a 5/32 piece of brass tubing.  The mounting holes were broken and must be repaired before permanently securing the dive planes to the sail.  Both dive planes must be carefully fitted to make sure that are mounted evenly.  I  used a combination of Aves Apoxie Sculpt and Evercoat body filler to repair the damage and mount the brass tube connecting both dive planes. Pictured below I have applied the first rough layer of Aves.

 
 
     
  Down Periscope!...
       The  original Seaview kit came with a radio, sonar and periscope mast made from brass rod and lacked a whole lot of detail.  All of these items had broken off of the sail and will be replaced.  David Merriman provided us with replacement parts which are a huge upgrade over the originals.  We had to repair the floor of the radar compartment before trial fitting the radar.  We used silly putty and super glue to reattach the compartment floor from the inside of the sail.  We mounted the white metal parts to brass tubing in several different sizes.

 
 
     
  More details...
       There are four doors on the original sail which were molded into the fiberglass hull.  David once again provided us with a set of resin upgrades which are a noticeable improvement over the originals.  We used a sanding disk on our Dremel to grind down the old doors and replace them with the new ones.  We removed the resin flash and filled any air bubbles before securing the doors to the sail. We cleaned out both of the sail compartments and then poured a 1/8 layer of fiberglass resin into the radio antenna dish compartment to smooth out the cracks from our previous repair.

 
 
     
  Makeover complete!...
       Once the resin doors were secured to the sail, we sanded the sail and the dive planes one more time.  We test fit the mast details- periscope, radio antenna and dive planes prior to applying several coats of primer.  Already, the sail looks ten times better with no more cracks, a smooth finish and some impressive antenna and periscope upgrades.  Cool. 

 
 
     
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