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Flying Sub kit, model, first look, review, Cybermodeler, Cybermodeller, Online

Moebius Models 1/32 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' Flying Sub Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2009 Manufacturer Moebius Models
Subject Flying Sub Scale 1/32
Kit Number 817 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Beautiful detail Cons
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $74.98

First Look

Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub
Flying Sub

In 1961, a television movie aired called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea which was a science fiction based feature centered around a futuristic submarine called the 'Seaview'. The success of the movie led to a equally successful television series that ran four seasons before running out of steam (more than a season longer than the original Star Trek. The television series was part of the transitional period in TV technology, with the first season filmed in black and white, and the remaining seasons in color.

At the beginning of season two, Seaview received a new tool of exploration and story potential - the FS1. This was the now iconic Flying Sub which could move underwater or through the air with ease. Its nuclear engine allowed for water or air to be converted to thrust. Berthed in a ventral bay under the bow of the Seaview, the Flying Sub provided the crew with lots of new capabilities from undersea exploration to quick flights back to headquarters for urgent meetings without taking Seaview off station.

What was always fascinating was watching the Flying Sub leap out of the ocean and fly without the need for any acceleration across the surface and then dive back into the water without harming either the craft or the crew. Oh yes, this was science fiction...

The Flying Sub has always been a popular subject in kit form, with Aurora producing the first kit of this craft MANY decades ago in 1/60 scale. Monogram reissued this kit a few times over the years, but this kit was always a challenge to build. There have been a few limited run kits released of the Flying Sub in a variety of scales, but they generally involved vacuformed or resin hulls and lots of scratchbuilding.

Moebius Models has stepped up to the plate with this 1/32 scale rendition of the Flying Sub and they claim to have researched this subject in detail in order to render the first truly authentic replica of the studio model. From what you'll see here, it is clear that they've done just that.

The kit is molded in gray, yellow, and clear styrene. The yellow parts are (obviously) the upper and lower hull halves, the front and rear bulkheads, the instrument panel, and the rear exit corridor, all provided as individual parts. There are six sprues of gray parts (duplicate tree not shown) that lay out the very detailed interior.

One tree of clear parts provide the windscreen (bow windows), forward light lenses, reactor windows, and the main interior deck. Also included in this kit is absolutely the largest Aurora-styled clear stand I've ever seen that will give you the option of posing the completed model in flight.

According to Moebius, they had access to the molds used to create the studio models of the Flying Sub. Thanks to today's technologies of being able to digitally scan the mold in three dimensions, they've been able to capture the most accurate shape of the original for this kit. What's more, after pouring through plans and hours of video footage, they've also been able to recreate the intricate interior of this craft like nobody before.

Take the clear floor for example, three of the hexagon shapes in the floor were illuminated in the show. This provides one of many lighting opportunities for this model. Simply mask off the hexagons, paint the floor, then paint the hexagons with a translucent tan or clear and backlight them.

Take a look at the third and fourth images to the right. These are the outside and inside views of the lower hull. Look at the molded in doors at the nose, wings, and tail section. References were made in the TV series that the Flying Sub could land on a runway and had also landed on an aircraft carrier (though no film was produced of these sequences).

Moebius molded in the option for you to scratchbuild your own landing gear and even a tailhook for an arrested landing should you want to create that extra step. The doors are molded to be simply cut free with an X-Acto knife. You're on your own for the gear, gear wells, and tailhook.

The rear access hatch can be posed open as can the corresponding hatch door into the main compartment. The dorsal and ventral entry hatches are not designed to be posed open, but you could modify the kit accordingly.

The dorsal docking ring fairing is designed (as an option) to be made removable so you can see down inside the completed model. Nice touch!

No crew figures are provided in this kit, though in 1/32, there are quite a few 1/32 and 1/35 figures out there that can be modified to represent Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane.

The instructions in this kit show a progressive improvement in the illustrations to help you see the colors and placement of the subassemblies in the model.

This is by far the nicest kit Moebius Models has produced to date. That isn't to say that their previous kits are bad, quite the opposite, but you can see the progression in the company's engineering with each new release and you'll love this one!

The completed model will still only have a 14 inch wingspan so you are getting a load of nice detail and AMS potential in a relatively small package. With the option to simply lay the completed model on its ventral docking ring, pose it on the bionic Aurora display base, or even on its own landing gear (gear not included), you have a really interesting model to relive those TV undersea adventures.