Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Completed

crackerjazz

Sr Member
Haven't got the balls yet (the materials, I mean) but I'm planning on building
the Cetacean submarine built by Gene Warren (?) for The Man from Atlantis.
I don't know if a lot of you will be able to relate but one of my biggest dreams as a little kid was to be able to swim dolphin-style like the Man from Atlantis and look at the imaginary webbing between my fingers. That - and to own a toy of that submarine. I didn't even know what it was called. I don't recall hearing it mentioned in the show or maybe I just wasn't listening. Visuals affected me more than dialogue back then.

A local store has these big Christmas balls on their display racks and I can visualize the submarine on my workbench. But before I purchase the balls I wanted to ask for some advice. The only few sources on the web mention the length of the studio-scale ship being 38 inches. If I were to use 8-inch balls and 2-inch passageways, that makes it 38" excluding the propeller housing. But the passageways look longer so that the balls should be smaller.

In the photo below the balls look no less than 10 inches tall. Then the 4 balls alone make 40 inches. And with the passageways the submarine length is an easy 48". I tried my best to estimate the size - and with Gene's hand (is that Gene Warren himself?) at 4" wide approximately, that second ball he's working on seems more than 3 hands wide - more than 12" inches tall. So I'm really confused as it's mentioned it's the only model built for the show which means -- that auctioned prop was it. I would be really happy if anyone can share any other info on the Cetacean. Maybe someone here actually worked on the show (wow!!!) ? Or if the collector who won that prop can share photos and dimensions that would make me truly grateful.




I read they filmed the prop dry in a smoke-filled room to simulate the deep-water environment but someone mentioned the pilot episode was filmed wet which makes it a real RC sub (cool!) - it did look like it was moving underwater under it's own power in the show.

Submarine miniature from The Man from Atlantis










FSM Board: MAN FROM ATLANTIS Submarine Found

Patrick Duffy - Man From Atlantis Pilot - Part 4 of 7 - YouTube
 
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ewokus

Well-Known Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

That ship is way bigger than 38" - I'd estimate the ball diameter to be 12" -14", making it a 6 foot+ long ship easily - hard to know for sure, if the model maker is a little guy, or average, or 6' 4" will make a difference on scaling the ship... There's great shots there, and a really accurate replica could be made in any scale you want. Hope you get your dream model made - good luck!
 

DaddyfromNaboo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

We need to identify the watch that guy is wearing, and then go from the there...

j/k, but I think that ewokus is right, the spheres are much larger than 10". They are twice the size of the guy´s head, so that´s at least a 50cm height there since an average head is about 26cm high.
 

JMChladek

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

One possible scale reference might be the white bulb used in the front light housing (and maybe the two side ones). It looks like it might be a flashlight or a car headlamp bulb (it seems to be spherical, not conical). I'll bet it was something off the shelf anyway.
 

seven

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

I would guess that the spheres are around 1'-6" (18") ea. If that cartoon cross section is drawn to scale then I would put it's length around 8'-4". Again using the cross section as reference, if the miniature was 3' long, then the spheres would be around 6.5" dia.
 
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crackerjazz

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Thanks guys you may all be right. He seems to be working on that orange "sensor" (?) on the second sphere so it does look like the sphere's a foot or slightly more than a foot in size. This thing's huge then and not 39" inches as the auctioneer note says - I'll have to think twice about building it in original scale - which might come close to 5 feet long.

 
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sapper36

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Are we sure we're not looking at two different models? Look at the front windows - On the auction pics they look parallel to the equator of the forward sphere. On the Behind the scenes shot the windows conform more to the surface of the sphere & slant down along an equataorial line.

Two different models would also account for the size discrepancy in the auction.
 

crackerjazz

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Thanks, sapper36. I was thinking more like the shooting angle would explain the windows but looking closer I see what you mean. So it seems to have been a case of having 2 models for the show - a 3-footer and a 5-footer, the first one for RC and the bigger model for beauty shots. I was led astray by the auction's caption saying "This was the only submarine of its scale created for the show and was used throughout the series". Man, the identical paintjob could fool you right off the bat. Teaches me to pay good attention to all the details.

I guess I could list the differences of the 5-footer as (1) front windows arc downwards (2) shape of part on top of conning tower slimmer (3) Holes in spheres (which I thought were just patched up because those orange "smoking-pipe"-like things broke off) (4) shape of parts underneath spheres slimmer (5) cap over the front headlight. (6) Size of side headlamps smaller.

When I first saw behind-the-scenes photo I thought those G-clamps in the back were extra detailing. Funny how anything could be made to look like anything in sci-fi. They could have used it in the show and still I would have said Wow!


 
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sapper36

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

I actually built this sucker at about 3' long when I was a kid. Used balsa & styrofoam spheres working from that cutaway diagram you have that was printed in starlog. Fun times. This would be fun to build about 2 - 3 ft long - fill up the shoppong cart at plastruct & you could almost be done!
 

8 perf

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Just threw the cut-a-way drawing in Sketchup. Assuming you wanted to build a 38" model from the front to the back of the prop guard, the spheres come out to be 6.877 inches in diameter. If you did not include the prop guard in your measurements, then figure on 7.2 inches. Hope this helps.

If you had spheres at 1 foot and 18 inches respectively, that puts the model without prop guard at 63.3 inches and 95 inches. 60 inches is 5 feet and 96 inches is 8 feet! Big model! :)
 

ewokus

Well-Known Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

I'd find either 6" or 7" dia. spheres and do a nice 3+ footer of it - plenty of space to add lights to it as well. If I had the time I'd probably make one just for the heck of it - I've done an 11 foot Speeder Bike, so this is small stuff for me. : )
 

crackerjazz

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Thanks for the measurements, 8 perf :)

I'd find either 6" or 7" dia. spheres and do a nice 3+ footer of it - plenty of space to add lights to it as well. If I had the time I'd probably make one just for the heck of it - I've done an 11 foot Speeder Bike, so this is small stuff for me. : )
Hi Ewokus, an 11-foot Speederbike, wow! Do post your Cetacean here when get around to building it. There are a lot of gray areas on this ship (hmmmm....it's all gray :)) that I want to find out more about.

I finally got these to start building the 38-inch. I debated about the 5-footer. Nothing like a really big model in your living room but then it would be as long as the couch. Someday, perhaps. I'll try to learn from this build first. This is what my wife saw this evening as she exclaimed "Are you serious? You're not going to hang those big balls on the tree, are you?" I still haven't told her what they are for - she'll think I'm wacko, although she probably does already - preparing for Christmas this early.



 
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joez2391

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

cool idea using the christmas balls! this is gonna be a really cool build
 

Joseph C. Brown

Active Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Great build so far! :thumbsup

The pics of my scratchbuild used to be up on the Subcommittee site, long ago... a quick troll of my computer's archives gave me these; I've got more pics - including my Cetacean's current battered condition - but, I did mine when there were only bootleg VHS copies of the show for references, and the Starlog pics:
 

crackerjazz

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Hi Joe, so that famous photo of a scratchbuilt Cetacean was yours! Can you post all of the photos you have? I'm getting as much inspiration from scratchbuilds as the real props. The design was so simple but easily recognizable and the detailing so sparse I'm sure it prompted a lot of scratchbuilds. I know it captured my imagination as a young kid back then - I thought it was a real ship.
 

Joseph C. Brown

Active Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Thanks for the kind words! I love what you are doing, as it is making me think of an updated build for my self :cool

It will take a day or two to dig thru boxes of old model pics, but I will scan and post what I find, along with that model's current bashed-up appearance.
 

crackerjazz

Sr Member
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Averaged the entrance and exit point diameters of the passageways and measured in relation to the ball. Got tube diameter as Ball diameter x 0.43. Wish I knew a better way to measure using the angled shots of the prop; I hope this is close.





Two down. I wonder if I could attach those foam core sanding blocks to the electric sander.
 

Alan Castillo

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Cetacean - The Man From Atlantis submarine - Help

Good luck with this project ! Love the idea :) :thumbsup


......
I don't know if a lot of you will be able to relate but one of my biggest dreams as a little kid was to be able to swim dolphin-style like the Man from Atlantis and look at the imaginary webbing between my fingers......

Oh the amount of rubber gloves I tore up trying to imitate that.

That, and the amount of times I almost drowned trying to 'swim' like him :lol
 
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