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seaQuest DSV Costuming


Costuming is one of my passions and I have a special interest in the costume uniforms worn by the crew of the seaQuest in the first season. They are exactly what I would expect to see being worn by the crew of a high tech military/research submarine. Following is a section for those interested in seaQuest DSV costuming and prop replicas.

Some of the information included here are descriptions of the separate costume elements which make up the standard seaQuest uniform as well as reference materials for the costumes.

I describe the items needed to make a complete basic uniform and where the items can be obtained and their average cost. For items which are either difficult or impossible to buy pre-made, in the section called "How I Made Mine", I describe how I made those items for my own uniform, what materials I used and the methods I used to create the items.

Also covered, in the section called "My seaQuest DSV Prop Replicas", are special "detail accessories" (props) which I have made for my uniform outfit and again include references, descriptions of the actual "show used" props and how I made mine and what materials were used in their construction. I used no special or expensive tools in making my own props and items, just readily available tools and materials and a lot of time and elbow grease!

I also have a section, called "My seaQuest Personae", describing my seaQuest DSV costuming "Personae", or character, which I have developed for when I am in costume. Having a "personae" adds further to the feeling of realism and is done often in other costuming genres such as Rennaissance Faire, Star Trek and Star Wars. 

Finally, in making my props, I used a lot of skills I have picked up over the years I have been doing costuming. I realize that not all of us have all the requisite skills necessary to make some items. If you are interested in obtaining some of these props and costume items for yourself, but you either don't want to build them yourself or simply don't have the skills or tools, contact me and we can discuss my building or providing you with those items and what they will cost. Major props , such as the V-Pal and others, take an enormous amount of time and energy to make and they will not be cheap, but I am always open to commissions to build the item(s) you need for your outfit.


In my seaQuest DSV costume with my V-Pal and Bridge Headset replicas which I made. I describe how I made this outfit below, including the replica props.

I hope you will get some inspiration from this section to make or assemble your own seaQuest DSV uniform costume.

Last Updated 2/16/10

seaQuest Costume Info

Following is a list of the elements of the standard seaQuest DSV Bridge Officers and Crew uniform.


Standard Outfit Elements

- Black Flight Suit

- UEO Insignia Patch

- seaQuest DSV 4600 Insignia Patch

- Shoulder Rank Insignia Patch

- Collar Rank Insignia Patches (If Officer)

- Black "seaQuest DSV 4600" Ball Cap

- Red or White (Tight Knit) Long Sleeve, Turtleneck Shirt

- Black Fabric Embroidered Name Tag

-Black Leather Mid-Top Shoes or Boots

- Black Fabric "Duty Belt" (Optional for carrying equipment at  
  waist)



Item descriptions and Where to obtain them

Items marked with * indicate items which are either difficult or impossible to buy and so must be made and are covered in the section "How I Made Mine".

 

- Black Flight Suit: I recommend a coverall made by Fox Outdoor Products. The suit is called a "G.I. Style Air Force Zipped Coverall". It is made of 65% Polyester, 35% Cotton. It is well made and well fitting (unlike some flight suits I have seen in the past). It has adjustable Velcro waist tabs for a custom tailored look as well as Velcro tabs for the cuffs. It is lighter weight than some flight suits so it is more comfortable for long wear and in warmer environments. It is a "true black" color, as opposed to some suits which can look more dark gray. The Fox flight suit runs about $30 retail.
 

- Suit Patches: seaQuest DSV patches seem to be getting more and more rare. Possible sources are, of course, eBay, but more specifically on the internet, Intergalactic Trading Company or Starwares are places to look. I was very fortunate to have found 2 UEO and 2 seaQuest DSV 4600 patches, as well as the vendors only remaining shoulder rank patch (Commander). *The collar tab rank patches are rare and I have only ever seen them available for retail in an unusual style of Commander rank. My answer to this was to make my own, hand embroidering them myself. Of course, another means is to pay to have them professionally machine embroidered. This of course could be very expensive unless you have your own equipment for the task.
*Update 12/2007!- It has recently come to my attention that Starbase Atlanta and Intergalactic Trading Company has listed several seaQuest patches on eBay, including sets of rank patches, including the collar patches! They have the rank patches for sale (Commander rank only) in both Red (Support) and Blue (Command). Some people may have an issue regarding the small UEO symbol on the collar patches, although personally it doesn't bother me. They also carry the seaQuest DSV chest patches and the UEO patches. Who knows how long they will last!

I have recently replaced my hand embroidered collar rank patches on my costume with these same patches I mention above, although I got my sets through a collector friend. A photo of the patch sets follows.


Blue Commander Rank Patch Set


Red Commander Rank Patch Set


Screen Worn seaQuest DSV Chest Patch
(from my personal collection)


Replica seaQuest DSV Chest Patch


UEO Patch (Left Arm)




- UEO Officers Uniform Insignia Badge 

The gold UEO Officers Uniform Insignia Badge was worn mainly by commissioned officers on their Dress Uniforms. This badge can be seen being worn on the right and left chest, as well as on some uniform "Visor Caps". 

I acquired this particular badge, which is an excellent quality, solid metal, military uniform grade replica of the screen used originals, from a dealer in Canada who sometimes lists them for sale on eBay.  



- Black Duty Belt:
Depending on the situation at any given time in the series a wide belt was sometimes worn at the waist of the jumpsuit. This was especially true when equipment such as a V-Pal Communicator or Disruptor (Stun Gun) were carried in holsters on the belt. In particular, Chief Crocker and his security team nearly always wore a belt for the carrying of equipment.

For my outfit I chose a sturdy, police style "Duty Belt". The Duty Belt is made for carrying equipment on. I found a great looking and functional Duty Belt made by the same company which manufactured my flight suit (Coverall), Fox Outdoor Products, under their "Metro Gear" line of products. Fox calls the belt their "Tactical Duty Belt". It is constructed of extra-heavy duty black polypropylene webbing which is 2 inches in width. The belt has a somewhat futuristic, but sturdy black plastic locking buckle. The belt has a Velcro strip sewn into the inside face of the belt which runs almost the entire length of the belt. This Velcro strip is useful in keeping holsters and other equipment attached to the belt from shifting position. I highly recommend this belt from Fox. It runs about $15.00 retail.


-* Name Tag:
This is an item which has to be custom made. I, of course, hand embroidered my own name tag using for reference a photo print out of one of the actual name tags used on the series which I printed at actual dimensions.

Commander Ford's Chest Name Tag (Lower Right).
 

Total cost to make my own was about $5.00. See "How I Made Mine" for a list of materials I used and instructions.

- seaQuest DSV Ballcap:
I was extremely fortunate to have had a college friend who worked as a set designer on the seaQuest DSV series. I was also lucky enough to get a personally guided tour of the Universal seaQuest sets by my friend. At the start of our tour, my friend presented me with an "Official Issue" seaQuest ball cap, which instead of simply having a seaQuest patch stuck on it, was actually machine embroidered directly on the cap, as all show used caps were. I have never seen these available to the general public and all I have seen is the kind with the patch, which is usually on a lesser quality cap (with plastic mesh on the back portion). I have seen these kind available online at Intergalactic Trading Company, eBay and Starwares. On my own cap I ironed-on some proper "scrambled eggs" (signify Command ranks) onto the bill in accordance with my seaQuest personae's rank as Commander.

*Update 12/2007!- I have recently acquired a seaQuest DSV screen used ballcap which was used on the actors. This is not the filming crew version (Green under bill) or the VIP Visitor version (White under bill). This is the screen used version the actors wore which had a slightly shorter bill and is all black under the bill. It also has the more angular and fatter font used for the "4600" embroidered under the "DSV" in the symbol.

Below I have some photos of my " filming crew" version and my "actor/screen used" version that I just acquired side by side to show the differences.


Seen here are my "filming crew" version ballcap on the left and my "actor/screen used" version ballcap on the right. Note that the bill of the "actor/screen used" cap on the right is slightly shorter and more rounded. This is very noticeable in the series.


Note here the difference in the fonts used in the embroidered "4600". Only the ballcaps used by the actors on screen used this font. The color of thread used for "seaQuest" is also more yellow than the goldish color used on the "filming crew" and "VIP visitors" versions of the caps. 


Here are the undersides of the bills of my two ballcaps. The green underside was used on the caps given out to the filming crew and others and some were distributed to the public. The black underside was only used on the caps worn by the actors onscreen which were not distributed to the public. There was also a version with a white underside of the bill which were given out to VIP Visitors to the set as well as Robert Ballard for his "science fact" snippets at the end of each first season episode, which I don't own yet.


- Red or White (Tight Knit) Turtleneck Long Sleeve Shirt:
This one is pretty self explanatory and looking at the episodes for reference should give you an idea. The shirt should, however, be long sleeved, and be a "true" turtleneck as opposed to a "mock" turtleneck. By "tight knit" I mean that there aren't huge gaps in the weave of the fabric as with a sweater. The color is somewhat important as well, as the color of the shirt denotes the wearers function on seaQuest, Red indicating support and specialists and White indicating command personnel. This does not mean that "Red Shirts" cannot take command authority (I.E.- Lt. Commander Hitchcock, a "Red Shirt" who's function is as Chief Engineer and Mission Specialist but frequently takes command of seaQuest in the absence of Bridger and Ford) but simply indicates the general function of the wearer. The color of the shirt also correlates with the background color of the rank insignia worn. The shirt color shade should come as close as possible to that of the rank insignia background color. If possible, the turtleneck part should also be knitted.


- Black Leather Mid-Top Shoes:
These appear to be similar in appearance to the black leather mid-top boots made by Wolverine but another similar appearing boot/shoe would work just as well.


- Optional "Detail" Accessories:

-Dog Tags

-Command Key

-Wrist Watch

-Dog Tags: I had my own steel Dog Tags made at a local surplus store.



I had my seaQuest personae's rank, name (last name, first initial), U.E.O., UEO Service Number and seaQuest DSV 4600 included in that order (top to bottom) on my tags. They cost me around $10.00 for a set with chain.


-Command Key (a.k.a. Missile Key):
          
Captain Bridger "Command Key" from seaQuest DSV: Season One

I made my own Command Key (as seen in the first season episodes "Games" and "Higher Power") from scratch.
See "My seaQuest DSV Replica Props" for how I made this item for my own outfit.


-Wrist Watch:
There were several models of wrist watch worn by the crew throughout the series. During the first season a model of "G-Shock" watch was worn by several of the crew.

During the second season a model of the sleek looking "Avocet Vertech" watch was worn by many of the crew.
       
The Avocet Vertech Wrist Watch worn by some seaQuest DSV crew during Season Two 


The watch worn most of the time by Captain Bridger is one of the few watches worn by any of the crew with a traditional chronograph face (with hands). The wrist watch worn by the crew seems to be a matter of personal preference.


For my own costume I found a great looking Timex "Ironman" watch which I fell in love with as soon as I saw it.

It has the look of a watch a submariner would wear while also being water resistant for diving and being slightly futuristic looking. It has an interesting "dark" face and yellow numbers with a yellow Indiglo lighted face. This watch brand new ran me $60.00 on sale, retail, but I wear it frequently day to day and it looks awesome with the outfit.






"How I Made Mine"

In this section, I cover some of the "soft" elements (i.e.-patches and name tags) of the seaQuest uniform costume which, by necessity, I had to make myself. I list the materials which I used and give a description of the steps in the construction of the items.

I cover the following costume items:

-Collar Rank Tab Patches 
-Chest Name Tag



-Collar Rank Tab Patches

Materials I used:

-Red Canvas (Less than 12 square inches)

-(1) pack of Yellow/Gold Embroidery Floss. I recommend DMC 3852 Floss. It is an excellent shade to match that of the rank patches.

-(1) pack of White Embroidery Floss. I recommend DMC 3865. A good white.

-(1) #5 DMC Embroidery Needle

 

I taught myself to embroider several years ago when I had a project to make a spear banner for my medieval style armor costume. I found that embroidery was not difficult, but hard on the hands. As long as you are careful and take your time, embroidering letters and small shapes is pretty easy.

For the Collar Rank Tabs I started by determining the size of the small patches, which are about 2" wide and 1" high, the right and left sides of the patch being about 1 5/8" long. Depending on the rank to be made, the number of stars and stripes must be determined (see my note on seaQuest/Navy rank structure). In my case I was making rank tabs for "Commander" which has two stars and two stripes. The background color, either red or light blue, determines the general function of the wearer. Blue indicating a "Command" function and red indicating a specialist or support role. (see my note on seaQuest/Navy rank structure). In my case, I chose a red background since my seaQuest personae is primarily a Technical Specialist and Engineer and only assumes command in the absence of the Commanding Officer (Captain) and the Executive Officer (Commander). The outside edges of the patches are reinforced, like most patches are, with a straight embroidered edge, about 1/16" thick, in from the edge.

I started with a couple of photos of the actual patches used in the shows and using my photo utility I combined the two photos together to make the layout of the stars and stripes proper for my rank. I then resized the photo so that the patch picture was the actual dimensions needed. I then printed this out on plain paper and reinforced the back of the paper with masking tape. I then carefully cut the stars and stripes out with an Exacto knife to make a stencil.

I used some sturdy red canvas for my background material and cut two patches from this using the printed stencil as a guide. Taking the stencil, I overlaid it on the canvas patches and using a white colored pencil I marked the stars and stripes onto the patches. Next, I carefully and slowly embroidered the stars and stripes on the patches and then embroidered the edges of the patches.

This project wasn't too difficult, just very hard on the hands. Prepare for cramps! Finally, I sewed the rank tab patches in their proper positions on the collar of my uniform. The pair of patches cost me about $3 total to make.




-Chest Name Tag


Materials I used:

-(1) pack of Black (Iron-on ready) patch material made by Wright's under the "Bondex" name. This material is pre-coated on its back side for ironing-on and this coating also helps in embroidering the material.

-(1) pack of White Embroidery Floss. I recommend DMC 3865. A good white.

-(1) #5 DMC Embroidery Needle

 

This was a fairly easy project to do and I highly recommend the Bondex patch material made by Wright's. It is easy to work with and is nice and stiff which helps when embroidering.

First, I used and photo of an actual name tag used in the shows. This I modified in my computer photo utility to replace the name on the original with my name. The font used for the rank and name on the tag is Microsoft Sans Serif. I then printed this at actual size, which is 4" wide x 2" tall. I then reinforced the back of the paper with masking tape and carefully cut out the letters with an Exacto knife.

I overlaid this stencil on the tag material and used a white pencil to stencil the letters on. Next, I embroidered the letters with white floss. Finally, I ironed-on the tag to a 4" x 2" piece of Velcro (Hook side). This attaches directly to the "Loop" side of Velcro already sewn to the uniform.

This project was easy but requires patience. It can't be rushed and still look good. Total cost for the name tag was about $5. I made two slightly different versions of name tag this way using the material I bought.



  *A Note on seaQuest/Navy Rank Structure

In 2018 the U.S. Navy still exists and so does it's traditional rank structure, all the way through Seaman to Admiral. The rank "Titles" have remained the same for the U.S. Navy, although the U.E.O. has modified the Naval Rank structure and adopted their own Rank Insignia style. Instead of the Navy's Slashes, Bars and Birds, we have horizontal stripes and stars. 

Some of the modifications  made by the U.E.O. are the elimination of the enlisted "Master Chief Petty Officer" grade, ending with the highest enlisted grade as Senior Chief. Also, the U.E.O. only designates two grades (Levels) of Admiral, 1 Star and 2 Star. These "Star" designations for Admirals are not those used by the U.S. Navy, which would equate to Commodore (Admiral) and Rear Admiral, respectively. Instead the stars for Admirals in the U.E.O. are: 1 Star=Vice Admiral, and 2 Star= Admiral (Full). Admiral Noyce is a 2 Star Admiral.


Each rank insignia also has a color coded background which indicates the basic function of the wearer. I am only interested here in Naval ranks, although the U.E.O. has Marines and a land-based Army (Their color is Grey) but I only cover Naval ranks here.

For Command personnel, the background is Light Blue. For Support Personnel and Specialists, the color is Red. For Medical Personnel, the color is White. For Staff Personnel, the color is Yellow.

All U.E.O. Naval insignia Stars and Stripes are gold (Yellow).

Finally, a note on Captain's and Admiral's insignia. Some Captain's, including Bridger, choose to wear an optional alternate insignia on their collars. These insignia consist of a trident surrounded by a gold wreath on a black circle. Admiral's have a collar insignia similar to a Captain's, except the trident is replaced by the letters UEO. Admiral's may instead choose to wear traditional silver stars on their collars in lieu of the emroidered insignia.

Below is a graphic chart which shows the rank and its affiliated insignia from Third Class Petty Officer to 2 Star Admiral. Note, that I use the Red background color for all ranks, except Captain and Admiral. The color designations mentioned (Red, Blue, Yellow and White) can be applied to all ranks through Commander. Captain, being strictly a Command rank, can only have a Blue or Yellow background. Admiral is always a Yellow background. Also note that only Officers wear collar insignia.
 
If you would like to use the below Rank Insignia Graphic on your own website, please obtain my permission first by email and give the proper credit.  For permission, write to me at: bandontownman@gmail.com
Thank you.







"My seaQuest DSV Prop Replicas"

In this section I describe some of the seaQuest prop replicas which I have built for my own use in my seaQuest costuming. I also give a comprehensive list of raw materials that I used to build the V-Pal Prop, in particular.

I do give some tips on references I used in planning and construction, such as photos and DVD freeze frames from the 1st season DVD set. I also include some scans of rough pre-production drawings I made to nail shapes and dimensions of the props. Some of these were drawn "piece-meal" since many different freeze frames were consulted for different views and angles.

I cover some of the methods I used to build the props, although a step by step instruction list would not be feasible because so much of the construction was done with simple hand tools and methods of shaping plastic which is an acquired skill and is impossible to write in instructions. Honestly, if you have any skill with hand tools such as Exacto knives, files and Emery cloth and small power tools such as Dremel or Ryobi Rotary tools and a power drill, you can make these props yourself using some of my construction methods and raw material suggestions. The biggest thing to remember is that building these props requires lots of time and great amounts of muscle power. It's a little like a sculptor creating a figure out of a hunk of granite, he will have sore hands and arms before he is finished.

I show photos of each prop replica in their raw forms, unfinished (unpainted) so some of their construction can be discerned. I then, of course, show each prop after finishing (painted) in their final form.


Building the seaQuest Prop Replicas

The seaQuest prop replicas I have built covered here include:

- V-Pal Personal Audio Link (Communicator)
- V-Pal Holster
- Missile Launch Key
- Bridge Headset
- Disruptor Pistol (Stun Gun)
- Disruptor Holster 


- V-Pal Personal Audio Link Replica

Raw Materials:

-(1) 7x12 Sheet - Sheet Styrene .100" (2.5mm) Thick (Plastruct 91107)

-(1) 7x12 Sheet - Sheet Styrene .060" (1.5mm) Thick (Plastruct 91105)

-(1) Package (3 Strips) - Strip Styrene .250 x .250" (6.3mm x 6.3mm) - 12" Long

(Evergreen 199)

-(1) Package (8 Strips/Use 2) - Strip Styrene .080 x .188" (2.0mm x 4.8mm) - 14" Long

(Evergreen 168)

-(1) Package (10 Strips/Use 1) - Strip Styrene .020 x .156" (0.5mm x 4.0mm) - 14" Long

(Evergreen 127)

-(1) 1 oz. Bottle Cyanoacrylate Glue (CA) (5-15 Second Drying)

-(1) Momentary Pushbutton Switch (Black Button) (SPST-Mini) N.O. Contacts Rated @ 0.3 A @ 50VDC (Radio Shack)

-(1) 2-56 x 3/4" Socket Head Screw (Hex Wrench Head) (Great Planes Model Parts and Accessories)

-(1) 2-56 Blind Nut (Du-Bro Hobby)

-(3) Screw Posts (Ace)

-(3) 1" Long Socket Head Machine Screws (Ace)

-(1) 3/16 x 12" Aluminum Rod Stock (Solid) (K&S Engineering)

-(2) 3mm Low Intensity - T-1 Size - Red LED (3 Volt-15mA-2.5mcd) (Radio Shack)

-(1) 7.6 x 12.6" Sheet Clear Polyester .080" (2.0mm) Thick

(Raboesch Supersheets)

-(1) 7.6 x 12.6" Sheet Clear Red PVC .010" Thick

(Raboesch Supersheets)

-(1) Spool Small Gauge Braided Electrical Hook-Up Wire (Model Train Type)

-(1) "N" Battery Wired Holder (Radio Shack)

-(1) Duracell 4LR44/A544/PX28AB 6 Volt Battery or Equivalent (Radio Shack)

-(2) 1 x 1" Squares of Milk Carton Plastic (Semi-Transparent Type)

-(1) 5mm 2.1 Volt Yellow LED (20mA-1900mcd) (Radio Shack)

-(1) 1 x 1" Square Yellow Plastic Sheet

-(1) 1 x 2" Rectangle of Viva Paper Towel - Folded in half to 1 x 1" Square


Unique Materials

-(3) 27/32" 1/48th Scale Do-335 Model Aircraft Tire Halves

-(3) 15/32" Screw Covers (Plastic) (Use top half cap only) (Ace)

 

V-Pal Prop Introduction

As far as costume related props are concerned, the V-Pal Personal Audio Link prop is one of the most frequently used and seen props in the shows, after the Bridge Headsets worn by the bridge crew. The V-Pal prop is seen in use by virtually every main character at some point and seemed to be a particular favorite of Commander Jonathan Ford and was often used by Chief Crocker. Through the series' seasons there were several versions of this prop with differing details. I will discuss the version seen in the 1st season, which is the version I built.

              
Chief Crocker utilizing a V-PAL Personal Audio Link, Communicator

The V-Pal prop was approximately 6" long and 2" wide and was of an ergonomic shape. It was colored with an "International Orange" main body and detail areas in a dark silver. The prop had a small screen, approximately 1" wide on one side of the prop. This screen would illuminate bright yellow when the unit was activated. No information or pictures were ever shown on the screen so it's supposed function isn't clear, other than as a light source. The illuminated screen did serve to light the actors faces when it was held close to them in darker scenes. Next to the screen were two LED's which were red or yellow and sometimes blinked in sequence. A small two part antenna protruded at an angle from one side of the unit.

The V-Pal was often carried on a waist belt in a small black plastic holster which fit the shape of the V-Pal's hand grip.

The origins of this prop are unclear, although it almost looks as if the basis was from a real handheld radio. I haven't been able to locate any information regarding a company which may have manufactured the original article, if any. It is possible that this prop was designed and built by the props/art department of the seaQuest DSV production team as an original article. Still photos of the V-Pal props are extremely rare.


Building the V-Pal Prop Replica

The V-Pal was one of the more difficult prop replicas I have ever made. One of the problems was that I made it "functional", as they say in the prop making industry. No, it doesn't have a radio function (any more than the real t.v. props did) but, like the t.v. props mine has working lights and a light-up screen. That meant that for the prop I had to consider how to accommodate the LED's (Light Emitting Diodes), Wiring, Connectors, Battery Holder and Battery inside the prop and a "momentary" push switch through the side of the prop. I also had to figure out how to construct the prop so that I could access the electronics inside when an LED. or the Battery needs to be replaced but still make the prop look right. This was well facilitated by using the "tuning knobs" on the front face of the prop which actually secure the front face cover to the rest of the body.

One nice thing is that these days very small but high voltage batteries are readily available. This means that you can run lights (LED's) in a prop without having to exaggerate the actual dimensions of the props just to accommodate a high enough voltage battery. They can be made completely self-contained without any need for an outside power source.

When I started to plan the construction of my V-Pal I first spent a great deal of time watching the 1st season DVD episodes very carefully for good shots of the V-Pal. It is used quite extensively throughout the series so there were many good shots of the prop. I had first made a detailed drawing of the V-Pal from watching the episodes. This drawing was done piece-meal since I had to compile the information as I went along and saw different angles of the V-Pal, from one episode to the next. Of course, each of the V-Pal's sides is completely different looking and has totally different details. This took quite a while to work out the details for each side of the prop. When it was done, this drawing was surprisingly accurate, but not exactly accurate. It was helpful in working out the basic layout of the prop, though.

After I had already done the drawing of the V-Pal, I discovered a few great photos of one of the actual "functional" show-used V-Pal props which showed the front and back faces and a close-up of the light-up screen on the V-Pal. These were indispensable!

I took the photos of the show-used V-Pal and referring back to the DVD episodes, I compared the V-Pal to other objects seen in the shots (and the average size of a male and female hand) to work out the dimensions of the prop. Once that was done I resized the photos of the front and back faces of the prop to "life-size" to conform with my dimensional results and then printed them on plain white paper. I made several copies so that I could use the actual photos as templates when cutting the raw sheet-styrene (plastic). I found that this worked great and kept the dimensions all correct. I used a new photo printout for each layer of detail.

Once I had a layer of detail done I would work on that layer until it was to the proper shape. Then I would make the next layer of detail, glue it to the top of the one below and shape and polish that layer, and so on.

 
V-Pal Replica Front Before Finishing      V-Pal Replica Back Before Finishing

Finally, when all the layers were completed I polished the whole thing to make it look like it was one solid piece and from layers of flat material emerged a detailed three dimensional object.

V-Pal Replica Right Side Before Finishing


V-Pal Replica Left Side Before Finishing

All is used were Exacto knives, a Dremel tool, files, Emery cloth, a drill, Cyanoacrylate (CA) glue and lots and lots of time and muscle work.

My Completed V-Pal Prop Replica

I am very pleased with the end result and I think it looks amazing with my costume. It adds so much realism to the whole outfit! I also am pleased to have a "functional" V-Pal for such a small cost. During the Universal seaQuest Auction back in the 90's, a show-used V-Pal was sold for nearly $800! My V-Pal cost a total of less than $50 and some time and elbow grease to make and that was for a functional model with lights. A non-functional model would cost even less to make. Like I said, the main thing here is time and elbow grease!

Below are photos of my completed V-Pal, after painting and final assembly. I used the awesome Tamiya brand spray paints. The colors were Orange and Light Gunmetal. I highly recommend the Tamiya paints!


My Completed V-Pal Replica after finishing and final assembly. (Front Side)



V-Pal Replica back side after finishing.


  
V-Pal Replica Front Side                                 V-Pal Replica Back Side
The red sections on the lower right of the front side are a sheet of clear red plastic under an orange "grate". This detail is seen on the original prop but it doesn't light up, so neither does mine. The "tuning knobs" hold the front face on which is detachable for internal access. The knobs have screws in their bases and these engage threaded female chicago screw receptacles inside.   



Here I press the momentary pushbutton switch on the side of my V-Pal Replica. This activates the two red LED's on the left and the yellow LED for the screen. This switch works well and means that the light display isn't using up battery power when not in use. I really like the fact that my replica is functional in this way. It adds a touch of reality to the prop. The LED's are easily replaced if need be. They are held in with terminal screws and easily accessed by removing the front face.



- V-Pal Holster Replica

The Holster for the V-Pal is fairly simple to make, although it must be exactly the right shape or you won't be able to get the V-Pal in and out of the holster.

The Holster is of hard plastic and accommodates the V-Pal in a vertical position when it is mounted on the waist belt. Chief Crocker and his security team usually mount their V-Pal holsters on their right waist, just above their Disruptor pistol holsters. Sometimes we see the V-Pal holster mounted at the front left waist area. Commander Ford carries his in this location. 


Here we see the V-PAL in it's Holster
and it's usual placement on the "Duty Belt".


I built my Holster much like I did the V-Pal itself using the same materials and methods and the V-Pal itself as a guide to the holsters shape. I cut the front and back sides of the holster, and using a file I made sure the edges were absolutely flat, for a good gluing surface. I then took a piece of thinner sheet-styrene cut to approximate length and using the V-Pal itself as a template I bent and shaped the sheet around the curves of the V-Pal gluing it to the side pieces of the holster as I went. After it was dry I cleaned up the edges and rough shaped the holster.

  
  V-Pal Holster Side Before Finishing           V-Pal Holster Front Before Finishing
                                                                     (A small guide can be seen inside) 

The holster had to be "thicker" inside than the actual thickness of the V-Pal prop to accommodate the "tuning knobs" which protrude from it's front face. This means that a guide has to be made for the top of the holster where the V-Pal is inserted so that it gives the V-Pal some support but still allows the V-Pal to be inserted into the holster. A cutout on the top and front facing edge had to be carefully made so that the V-Pal could be inserted into the holster but not be loose enough to jiggle around in it.

One modification I made to the V-Pal was to take a small flat metal waist band hook and attach it to the side of the V-Pal. This hook is not obtrusive and actually secures the V-Pal in the holster by engaging the rear facing top edge, otherwise the V-Pal would flop forward and fly out of the holster. This is easy to engage and disengage when inserting and extracting the V-Pal from the holster.

The Holster itself was then glued to a backing with a slot in it for a strip of Velcro which I attached to the holster with rivets. This Velcro strip runs vertically and is used to actually attach the holster to the "duty belt". It is very strong and secure using this method of attachment.

The finished holster is seen in photos below with the V-Pal inserted.


 My Completed V-Pal Holster Replica

Below is a photo of my completed V-Pal Holster with my V-Pal replica inserted in place. The replica is painted overall Gloss Black.
 

Completed V-Pal Holster with V-Pal inserted. The Velcro strip ends secure the unit on my "duty belt" by wrapping around the belt and engaging a loop side strip which runs the length of the belts reverse side. This gives a very secure attachment.



Here I show the alternate placement of my V-Pal/Holster Replica on my duty belt where some seaQuest officers, including Commander Ford, carry it. Here, I am also wearing my Bridge Headset replica I built for the costume.


 


- Command Key Replica
(a.k.a. Missile Key)

For this prop, which was the simplest to build, I used layers of sheet styrene cut to shape, using photos of an original article as a template and then glued the layers together. I then glued a "grip" piece molded from an original prop onto the key replica.

Original Missile Key Model

The prop is approximately 2 1/4" Long, 1" wide and 1/4" thick. On one side of the key prop is a black and white photo of the wearer, below which are a barcode, below that the name of the wearer, below that the letters ADC, the rank abbreviation of the wearer, DSV 4600, and below that the service number of the wearer. One the opposite side from the picture is a raised "grip" as on a house key with a plastic grip. The top of the grip has a hole through it for attaching to a "dog tag" style chain.

Using the DVD's as reference, I determined the position of each of the elements printed on the picture side of the key.




Captain Bridger's Command Key (Games)
 

Commander Ford's Command Key (Games)

Then I used my computer photo utility to modify, resize and convert to black and white a photo of me in my seaQuest costume. I then added the barcodes and other text info and printed it on medium weight photo paper. 

  
       Command Key Front Identification Detail        

After cutting the photo to a rough outline of the key. Then I carefully glued (CA Glue) the photo to one side (flat side) of the key forming the photo paper around the curves of the key. Once dry, I cut the excess paper off and very carefully sanded and polished the edges of the key to make the mating between the key plastic and the photo paper seamless. I then painted the white portions of the edges and non-picture side of the key silver and the raised grip section black. Lastly I hung it from a "dog tag" chain.

I am very pleased with the result and it was pretty easy to make. The layout of the photo and text info was the most time consuming part. This is a detail prop for serious detail people, like me.


Finished Command Key (a.k.a. Missile Key) Replica

  
Finished Command Key Replica
Front                                                     Back
 

I usually have this attached to a long dogtag chain and wear it outside of my costume so it can be seen.




- Bridge Headset Replica

Commander Ford wearing a Bridge Headset

This replica prop is one which sprang from sheer dumb luck. I happened to be looking for a new pen at CompUSA when I noticed a set of headphones which had a similar shape, though certainly not exact, of the headset used by the bridge crew of the seaQuest. The basic outline was good though. The headphones are an older model (about 2004) by Jensen they call an "Overhead Headphone" Model JM7. They cost me $11.00.

I can't really describe exactly how I modified and built these headphones into my Bridge Headset replica because I was really flying by the seat of my pants on this one and I only really did a little planning which included one full layout drawing, one drawing of the microphone boom itself and a full size outline drawing of the mating between the right headphone and the mic boom to work out the angle of the boom. Since I have never found any bona fide still photos of the actual headset props used in the show (some claim to be, but aren't the right ones!) I once again carefully examined the DVD episodes for shots of these headphones for reference. The thing to keep in mind about this prop is that upon close examination each of the Bridge Headset props seen seem to have variations in their appearance. Some have highlighted bits that others don't and the shape of the silver oval on the earpiece varies in it's exact shape and position from prop to prop. My replica Headset reflects a happy medium between the versions seen in the show. 


Lt. Commander Hitchcock wearing a Bridge Headset.
Note here the Mic Boom detail.


There were two models of the Bridge Headset used, single earphone and dual earphone models. The dual earphone models were used by technicians at their bridge stations and the single earphone model was used by the command personnel so that, if need be, they could hear clearly those who weren't wearing a headset. I built mine as the single earphone type. The headband ends on the left side of the head with an above ear rest.



I first cut the left, excess earphone off just above the ear. I then made a earphone "case" of layers of shaped sheet styrene into which the original earphone would fit.
I then made a cutout into which the mic boom would slide.

Bridge Headset Replica Unfinished

Next I finely shaped, using files and Emery cloth, the earphone case to conform with the headphone headband.

Bridge Headset Replica Earphone Case
(Note the red LED location)


I then built the microphone boom by first cutting a piece of thin sheet brass to shape. This would be the core of the boom and help to hold the curvature the boom is bent into. The boom wraps gently around the side of the face. I then encased the brass in layers of sheet styrene and shaped this to the correct appearance.

Bridge Headset Replica Microphone Boom and Mic Pickup

I added the details of the mic pickup. I made an above ear rest of layers of sheet styrene and attached it to the left side of the headband. Finally, I inserted the boom into the earphone case and screwed it into place. I then bent the boom to shape around my face.

On the right earphone, there was a small red LED in the upper right corner of the earphone surface. I included this detail on my replica and the red LED actually lights. The LED is powered by a small battery and is activated by a small slide type switch which is concealed under the earphone pad. The electronics are all contained in the earphone itself.

Bridge Headset Replica Earpad

The final step was to paint the headset body and boom black and paint an oval detail of the earphone silver. Light gray was painted into some inset details on the boom and a piece of thin sheet aluminum was added as a detail to the mic pickup.

I love this prop! I was so lucky to find the Jensen headphones which were perfect as a basis for the Bridge Headset. I have never seen any still photos of the actual props used, although I have seen some photos which claim they are the "Bridge Headset" but are in fact not the ones used on the bridge but elsewhere in the series.

My Completed Bridge Headset Replica

Below are some photos of my completed Bridge Headset replica. I am pleased with the way this replica came out. As I mentioned earlier, there are many variations in the details and coloring of the show used props which vary, prop to prop. I tried to find a happy medium between all the versions I have seen in the show. I was superlatively lucky to have found the Jensen headphones which I used as a basis for this replica. All in all this replica cost about $25.00 total to build!


My Bridge Headset Replica completed.



Closer view of my Bridge Headset Replica. Note the lit red LED on the earpiece. This is controlled with a micro switch mounted in a recess under the earpiece pad. The small battery is located in the rounded triangular section, which is removable for access. 



A closeup of my Bridge Headset Replica's Mic Boom showing the detail of this section.




- Disruptor Pistol Replica

An "Official" photo of an original Disruptor Pistol Prop

The Disruptor Pistol prop, also referred to as a "Sonic Stun Gun" in the series, was the main weapon of the seaQuest crew during the first season of the show. It was carried by all members of the Security team, and most notably can almost always be seen in a thigh holster worn by Chief Crocker. It was also used by personnel during "away" missions.


Chief Crocker covers Dr. Zeller with his Disruptor Pistol.
Note that until midway through the 1st season, the Disruptor Pistols were entirely black.

The idea behind this weapon is that instead of using traditional projectiles or bullets, it uses an ultrahigh sonic blast which disrupts the human inner ear, so temporarily disabling an enemy. There is also some indication that this weapon was also capable of killing an enemy by utilizing high powered electrically charged darts fired at high velocity. So, this weapon sort of ends up serving the same purpose as a Star Trek Phaser and gives the user the choice of a "Stun" or "Kill" setting.

 
Security Team member, Mars, "charges" his Disruptor Pistol.

From a short scene in the episode "The Regulator", the Security team member Mars appears to rotate the cylinder at the back of the pistol to "charge" it. That is the only artistic license I took on my replica. Where the smaller cylinder emerges from the larger cylinder at the very back of the pistol, I made that cylinder out of a small, self contained LED button. The cylinder contains two small watch batteries, which can be replaced, and two tiny rapidly flashing LED's, one red and one green. This gives the prop a bit of life and looks as if when it is turned that the flashing indicates it is ready to fire. We don't actually see anything like this in the episodes, but it doesn't change the outward appearance of the prop and when it is turned on, it adds a cool looking detail.


Another shot of Chief Crocker with a Disruptor Pistol.

I believe that the idea of the additional "Kill" capability of the Disruptor Pistol is probably accurate, although to my knowledge, we never see the "Kill" setting of this weapon demonstrated in the series. From some of the comments made by some of the characters in the show, however, it is possible to come to this conclusion. The "Regulator" character in the episode "The Regulator" states that the weapon has 'a lot of bulk for a Stun Gun' after his Orangutan steals Chief Crocker's. It sounds like he is saying that the weapon must have other capabilities other than just "Stun".

Also, some of the situations in which the crew carry only these weapons with them would be very dangerous if they only had a "Stun" capability. Most convincing are the scenes in the episodes "Games" and "Hide and Seek". In "Games", Kristin Westphalen holds a Disruptor Pistol against Doctor Zeller, and everyone, including Bridger and Ford are worried she might "kill him". In "Hide and Seek", William Shatner's character Tezlof holds Ford and Bridger at bay with a Disruptor Pistol and Bridger and Ford seem to think that they could be killed. I mean, if it was just a Stun Gun, why not rush him, if it went off everyone in the room, including Tezlof, would be unconscious and so disabled.


A very miffed Dr. Westphalen holds a Disruptor Pistol at Dr. Zeller.

More than likely, the producers decided that this show was a "family show" and that young people would also be watching and they didn't want to show people getting holes shot in them or show people being electrocuted by "Kill" darts, either. (Wow, back when the TV broadcasters actually cared about questionable content in TV shows!) I mean, at least through the first season I can't remember anyone being shown actually being shot. We see bullets fired and pots and glass being broken but never is a person hit by a bullet.

In the seaQuest novels, the weapon of choice also seems to be some form of weapon which fire electrified darts. Some are in the form of pistols and rifles and even baton like weapons, but in the novels these weapons have the decided ability to kill, but also stun.

         
These two shots show the Disruptor Pistol in slightly different lighting.

As far as seaQuest props are concerned, there seems to be very little information available about the Disruptor Pistol. I have only ever seen the one "official" photo of the prop (as shown), although the photo is remarkably good.

The Disruptor Pistol props earlier in the first season of the series are colored, all black. About halfway through the first season in the episode "The Regulator", we see the prop colored silver and black which really improves it's appearance and shows it's details.


The mid-1st season change to a silver and black color scheme for the Disruptor.
Note also the "hood" over the front lens of the scope. This particular prop appears almost
exactly like the Disruptor prop shown in the "official" photo, with the exception of the
"hood" over the scope seen here which is not evident on the "official" photo prop.

The "official" photo of the Disruptor Pistol also shows the small scope on top being just a basic cylinder. While close inspection of the episodes show that the scope actually has a sort of rounded hood which extends over the top of the front lens of the scope. I incorporated this feature into my replica. This scope seems to be more of the type of a "Red Dot" scope, as are used by U.S. Special Forces troops on their rifles, these days, as opposed to an optical magnifying scope.


Disruptor Pistol Replica Right Side Before Finishing

In my opinion, this weapon didn't get enough screen time. It is actually a very detailed prop and is certainly an original design.

Disruptor Pistol Replica Front Right 3/4 View Before Finishing

The best reference for this prop was certainly the series episode DVD's. There is a great medium duration, close-up shot of this weapon in the episode "The Regulator" when he is trapped in his lair and threatens to fire it at Bridger and his Security team. Another good series of shots of this prop are in the episode "Games", when Dr. Westphalen holds one against Dr. Zeller when she confronts him in the missile control room.




The "official" photo shown here is the only static shot of the prop I am aware of, but is of pretty high quality and is pretty accurate to the props seen in the series, with the scope anomaly I mentioned earlier being the exception.

Disruptor Pistol Replica Rear Right 3/4 View Before Finishing

As with the other props I have built I used predominantly sheet styrene in the construction of this prop.
I worked out the size of the pistol and then I resized the "official" photo of an actual Disruptor prop used in the show. As with the others, I used the photo as a template for cutting the sheet styrene to shape. Both sides of the prop are nearly identical, so this worked well.

Disruptor Pistol Replica "In-Hand" Before Finishing

This was not the most difficult prop I have ever replicated, by far, but it wasn't exactly easy either! It actually has quite a bit of detail and lots of compound curves to shape out. I went mostly from the "official" photo of the prop and the DVD screen captures I made. I made only some rough sketches of some of the details as they popped out at me. All in all, I am very pleased with how my prop replica came out.



Completed Disruptor Pistol Replica Right Side. I used the wonderful Tamiya Spray Paints on this replica. The lighter silver is "Mica Silver" and the darker silver is "Light Gun Metal".


Completed Disruptor Pistol Replica Left Side.


Completed Disruptor Pistol Replica Rear. The "Charging Knob" has a knurled grip. The button on the end has micro LED's which flash green and red when turned. This detail is strictly artistic license but I like the added detail.


Completed Disruptor Pistol Replica Front. The "barrel" is of machined stainless steel and is highly polished. The barrel has a shroud which arches over its top and extends just forward of the barrel.


Completed Disruptor Pistol Replica in hand. The scope on the pistols top rail has clear polyester lenses and can be seen through like a "red dot" scope as used by many tactical military forces on their weapons today. This is a very comfortable prop to hold with good ergonomics. All in all, this prop cost about $25 to make, not including the machined barrel. Mostly just an investment of time and elbow grease were needed to complete this prop.

 

 - Disruptor Pistol Holster Replica

When not in use, the Disruptor Pistol is housed in a very simple black box shaped hard holster which has a rest for the pistol's "hand guard" to sit on when it is in the holster. This rest extends about 2 inches from the bottom rear of the holster at a slight inclined angle.

Here we see the Disruptor's Holster and its inclined
handguard rest from the rear.

The holster is hung from the waist "duty belt" by a long 2" wide length of nylon webbing strap and is held secure at the thigh, just above the knee, by a 1" nylon leg strap. Both the main and leg straps have plastic "quick disconnect" buckles.


This shot shows the placement of the Disruptor Pistol in it's 
Holster on the "Duty Belt".



Me in my seaQuest costume wielding my Disruptor pistol replica (also called a Stun pistol), I made for the costume. Note the "normal" placement of my V-Pal/Holster Replica on my right hip as seen on Chief Crocker and his security team.

Below are photos of the finished Disruptor Pistol Holster and the Pistol.


The finished Disruptor Pistol Holster. It looks simple, but this one took a bit of engineering to make it hold the Pistol securely, I can tell you! There is a rubber post in the base which inserts into the "barrel" of the pistol and this holds the pistol in place securely without damaging the pistol itself.


A view of the base and handguard rest of the Disruptor Pistol Holster. The Handguard rest has a groove in it's top edge which allows the hanguard to seat into it helping to hold the pistol secure in the holster.
 

Finally, a view of the finished Disruptor Pistol in its finished Holster. I am quite happy with how this came out, despite the amount of off the cuff engineering it took to make it work in a real world environment. Hats off to the original prop designers who made them for the series!






- "Plasma Pistol" Prop


The second season of seaQuest DSV saw the introduction of a new pistol style weapon prop. I refer to this as the "Plasma Pistol" as I have never heard it specifically named in the series or in references elsewhere. It seems to have a plasma (green/blue) energy effect in the series, hence my moniker for the prop. The Plasma Pistol was the main weapon of the seaQuest crew during the second season of the show. It was seen being carried by many members of the crew as well as the ships Security team. It was also used by personnel during "away" missions.

Unlike the "Disruptor Pistol's" used in the first season, which were meant as a non-lethal defensive weapon, the Plasma Pistol was capable of killing and was seen used in offensive combat, rather than only in defensive use. Like the "Zat" weapons of Stargate SG-1, the Plasma Pistol was lethal only after a certain number of shots were fired from it. One direct blast would disable most opponents, while a second blast seemed to render most targets unconscious. Three or more blasts seemed to be the level at which the weapon?s fire became lethal. This did not always hold true, especially for aliens.

The Plasma Pistol prop was of a very ergonomic design, which was a slight departure from the general bulkiness of most previous props made for the series. Like the earlier Disruptor Pistol, the Plasma Pistol had a built in hand guard. On the upper left hand side of the prop (as seen held in the hand) was a series of rectangular flashing lights which were sequenced to flash in a pulsating, "back and forth" manner. This gave the weapon a bit more visual impact and threatening feel than the Disruptor Pistol which had no external lights to show that it was "activated".

Unlike the Disruptor Pistol of the previous season, which was carried in a hard holster, the Plasma Pistol was carried in a low profile padded nylon holster which was usually located on the hip of the wearer rather than on the leg, as with the Disruptor Pistol. The outer shape of the holster followed the shape of the prop and covered about the entire front half of the pistol when it was inserted into the holster.

The Plasma Pistol prop had a main activation switch of the SPST type at the upper rear of the prop. This would activate the flashing LED's on the left side of the prop and can be seen being activated by actors in the series. A second switch, of the momentary type, located at the trigger position activated a bright light at the front emitter end of the prop which had an oval blue ?window?. A Green/Blue flash was added in later in postproduction. A small detail on the prop was "DSV 4600" which was stamped into the left side body of the props. This is almost impossible to see in the series or even in still photos of the props.


My "Plasma Pistol" Prop

My "Plasma Pistol" prop can't really be called a "Replica" since it was cast directly from a mold of a screen used "Plasma Pistol" prop. However, I did modify it slightly to add working lights, switches and internal electronics and batteries. My LED's are a bit smaller than the ones used on the original props, but they still create the right effect and look spectacular when activated.


The LED's are sequenced to flash in a "back and forth" movement and are activated by the same type and size SPST switch as used on the original props and is in the same position on the prop.


The front "emitter" end of the prop has an oval blue window and a bright green LED behind it for the flash effect. The trigger has a moment switch imbedded in it to activate the bright green LED for the muzzle flash effect.


The flashing LED's are run by a circuit board inside the prop, just behind the LED bar (See Photos). Power is provided by a 9 volt battery which is inside a compartment cut out of the hand grip. The compartment is closed with a cover I made which conforms to the curvature of the hand grip.







- "Plasma" Pistol Holster Replica

The Holster for the Plasma Pistol from the second season of seaQuest DSV was a fairly simple affair. It was a "soft" style holster, as opposed to the "hard" holster used for the Sonic Disruptor Pistol used in the first season. The Plasma Pistol Holster was of a black cloth material, probably ballistic nylon and was to some extent form fitted around the shape of the pistol. Unlike the Sonic Disruptor Pistol Holster, which hung from the duty belt and attached to the thigh, the Plasma Pistol Holster was placed at the hip attached to the duty belt. This makes for a much more comfortable arrangement when being worn on a costume! Below are photos of my handmade Plasma Pistol Holster replica.     

  










 Updated Photos of me in my seaQuest Costumes and Props

April 2009
Starfest 2009-Denver, Colorado

Me in my seaQuest DSV blue "Battle Suit" Costume. Here I am wearing my screen worn ballcap. I decided to go with the blue command rank insignia for this costume.


Another one of me in my "Battle Suit" Costume. In future I will also wear my Season 2 "Plasma Pistol" prop with this costume.


April 2007
Starfest 2007-Denver, Colorado

Me in my seaQuest DSV Season 1 Bridge Officer's Costume in front of SG-14's Stargate replica. Here I am without ballcap , but with the Bridge Headset.



Me in my costume with the ravishing and talented actress Rachel Luttrell who portrays Teyla Emmagan on the series Stargate: Atlantis at Starfest 2007 in Denver, Colorado. 





 "My seaQuest Personae"
 
For me, costuming isn't complete without creating a "Personae", or character, for myself in whatever world, time or universe I am doing costuming in.

Creating a personae adds the final dimension of reality to the costuming experience. I have created costuming personae's for other genres in which I am involved such as a Jedi Knight and a Rohirrim Horse Lord for Lord of the Rings costuming.

Once you create a costuming personae you can assume that persons personality, mannerisms and role. This is not only fun for the costumer but also for those who encounter you at Sci-Fi Gatherings/Cons.

You can create an entire history and background for your personae and work out his or her personality traits, mannerisms, appearance and even their accent, if desired. Your personae may be quite different from yourself. You might be an easy going type in real life, but your personae might be a serious, hard nosed type, etc...
 
Following is a biographical dossier of my personal seaQuest Personae, Commander Christopher Eric Cline.



Biographical Dossier of
Commander Christopher Eric Cline
  


Christopher Eric Cline was born on October 29, 1970 in the landlocked city if Denver, Colorado. From a very early age, Chris had a strong fascination and connection to the sea. His first visit to the ocean came when he was 8 years old and his family vacationed in California. After his first experience of the sea, Chris' interest and love of the ocean became even greater. When Chris was 14 he and his family moved from Colorado to Oregon and eventually settled on the states Pacific coast in the town of Coos Bay.

In High School, Chris had a special affinity and interest in the sciences, developing a special interest in Oceanography, in which he excelled. Chris also had a lifelong interest in the military and just after his graduation from Marshfield High School in 1989 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy.

Chris' naval career began in aviation and he was attached to a helicopter anti-submarine warfare squadron in which he was qualified and employed as first an aircraft mechanic and later as an ASW Aircrewman. During his time as an ASW Aircrewman, Chris became involved in the improvement of the Mk 50 Advanced Lightweight series of torpedoes and was involved in the testing of these new advanced torpedoes with aircraft test drops, live fire tests and retrieval and analysis of data gathered during the tests carried out off Andros Island at the General Electric/U.S. Navy Underwater Test and Evaluation Center in the Bahamas.

Chris served in all three main operations in the 1991 Persian Gulf War- Desert Shield, Desert Storm and Provide Comfort. During the war, his squadrons traditional mission of Anti-Submarine Warfare was adjusted to the missions of Search and Rescue, Strike Rescue and Special Warfare insertion, extraction and fire support. During this period Chris became directly involved with the Naval Special Warfare Teams, the Navy S.E.A.L.'s and saw combat as a Door Gunner as well as supporting anti-sea mine and anti-ship missile platform operations in the Persian Gulf. His squadron was successful in the boarding and taking of 5 sea born oil platforms which had been modified as anti-ship missile platforms along with the taking of 31 prisoners of war, the destruction of 21 sea mines and the rescue of 9 pilots from 7 aircraft which went down behind enemy lines.

After the war, Chris continued in the capacity of ASW Aircrewman and was involved in further testing of torpedo and submarine detection technology.

At the end of Chris' 4 year enlisted stint in 1993 he decided to attend college and was awarded a full scholarship to M.I.T. where he studied Ocean Engineering, specializing in Fluid Dynamics. Graduating with honors in 1999, Chris earned his Master's Degree in Ocean Engineering.

Still, Chris continued to feel the call of the sea and wished to return to it. While in college, Chris also continued to follow closely the new developments in submarine and anti-submarine warfare technology. The natural course for him to take seemed to be to return to the Navy, this time as a commissioned officer.

In late 1999, Chris began proceedings geared towards beginning Naval Officer Candidate School. But only two months before his scheduled re-entry into the military, Chris received a call from an old college friend suggesting he consider joining the National Deep-Submergence Facility at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. The offer was of immediate interest to him and after a short "visit" to the institute, Chris accepted the position at Woods Hole and moved to Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

Chris quickly became a valued and integral member of the Woods Hole team. In addition to development and testing of new DSV technology, Chris was involved in the design and testing of a small, autonomous second generation deep-sea robotic probe. The probe, called the "Autonomous Benthic Explorer II" (ABE II) but christened "NCC-1701-D" was the progenitor of the WSKR's probes eventually deployed by the seaQuest herself.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Chris felt a strong pull to return to the business of the defense of the U.S. Taking his leave of his Woods Hole team, Chris entered the Naval Officers Candidate School in November of 2001.

After being commissioned as an officer, Chris was sent to the New London Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut where he attended the U.S. Naval Submarine School. Upon graduation of the Submarine Officer Course, Chris was awarded the L.Y. Spear Award for Overall Superior Academic Performance as well as the Andrew I. McKee Award for Demonstration of Superior Performance in the areas of Submarine Design and Safety.

Chris' first assignment was in the Navy's newest Seawolf-Class nuclear powered attack submarine U.S.S. Connecticut (SSN 22), of Submarine Squadron Four, homeported at New London, Connecticut. Between mid 2002 and early 2003, Chris was quickly promoted to Lieutenant.

Chris served with distinction aboard the U.S.S. Connecticut for 2 years, during which time he completed Deep Submergence Officer training and received his DSO badge and in late 2004 he was given orders to report to Submarine Group Two and join the crew of the Navy's nuclear powered research submarine, NR-1. This posting was by special request of it's Captain due to Chris' education and experience in DSV technology. Chris would be reunited several times with his former teammates from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute during his time with NR-1.

Upon the completion of his two year tour aboard NR-1, Chris was sent back to the U.S. Navy Submarine School where he completed the Submarine Officer Advanced Course. Upon graduation, Chris was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and in early 2006 he was reassigned to the U.S.S. Virginia (SSN-774) at General Electric's "Electric Boat Shipyard" where he was involved in the improvement and testing of the new AN/BVS-1 Photonics Mast System which replaced the traditional optical periscope on the U.S.S. Virginia. Chris was integral to improvements in the systems operational integration. These improvements were adopted by General Dynamics and incorporated into all future Photonic Mast systems.

Upon completion of system improvements and upgrades, Chris sailed aboard U.S.S. Virginia as Chief Engineering Officer on operational sea deployment. During the next two years aboard Virginia, Chris continued to help improve the new systems aboard the submarine and in-port modifications were consequently affected.

Just before the outbreak of World War III, Chris was reassigned to the U.S.S. Hawaii (SSN-775) as it's Chief Engineering Officer. Chris saw combat aboard the Hawaii during the war in the ships actions in the sinking of 7 enemy submarines.

At the end of World War III in late 2010, Chris was tapped by the United States Naval Research Lab to perform Systems Integration during construction of the Navy's new nuclear powered research submarine, NR-2. Chris completed his initial assignment and applied to stay on to join the Sub's inaugural crew. Chris' application was approved and shortly after was present at NR-2's christening where she was named U.S.S. Nikola Tesla.

Over the next two years, Chris served as NR-2's Chief Engineering Officer and was responsible for the development of many new Deep Submergence technologies. Most notably, Chris was made the team leader of the NR-2' "Roving Periscope" Development and Test and Evaluation Team. The "Roving Periscope" Program was the direct progenitor of the "WSKR's" (Wireless Sea Knowledge Retrieval Satellites) deep-sea autonomous probe system.

Due to his work on the "Roving Periscope" system aboard NR-2 and other DSV developments, in mid 2012, Chris was invited to join the Navy's Deep Submersible Vehicle Project. He quickly reported to San Francisco to assume his new position as head of the project's System Integration Team aboard the nearly completed DSV Project vehicle. Chris was directly responsible for the installation and integration of all main and subsidiary systems involving the new "WSKR's" system.

In 2013 the DSV Project was designated SSBN 4600 and was christened "U.S.S. seaQuest". Three days prior to U.S.S. seaQuest's deployment for sea trials, Chris was promoted to full Commander and was named as Mission Specialist and Head of the DSV Probe and Sensing Department aboard seaQuest.

The sea trials of seaQuest went well, but many improvements were needed and Chris became involved in the total reworking of the MK 69 HTORP torpedo system aboard seaQuest. With many of the bugs worked out, Chris fine tuned the WSKR's and MK 69 HTORP systems during seaQuest's "Shakedown" cruise. Upon seaQuest's return to port, Chris was named to a permanent position as part of the seaQuest's crew when it was declared operational and active in 2015.

In 2017, the U.S.S. seaQuest became the central player in the Livingston Trench Incident when the Captain of seaQuest, Marilyn Stark, attempted an unauthorized weapons release and was relieved of command by her Executive Officer, Commander Jonathan Ford. During the short period after Commander Ford had taken command of seaQuest, Chris was appointed Acting Executive Officer by Ford and would hold that position throughout seaQuest's return to Pearl Harbor, her refit and short duration "Shakedown" and "Workup" cruises. During those 13 months Chris also continued to perform his duties as Head of seaQuest's Probe and Sensing Department.


Captain Nathan Bridger, Commander Christopher Cline, Commander Jonathan Ford and the primary bridge and science crew of seaQuest DSV 4600. (July 2018)

When after the U.E.O. took charge of seaQuest DSV, Nathan Hale Bridger assumed the Captaincy of seaQuest in 2018, Jonathan Ford reverted back to his position as Executive Officer to Bridger and so Chris was released from his Acting Executive Officer post and returned full time to head the Probe and Sensing Department.
Although asked by both Woods Hole and the Navy Special Projects Office to return to work for those organizations, Chris decided to remain aboard seaQuest and continue his work improving and advancing the methods and tools of deep-sea sensing and deep-submergence vehicle capability.

As of this writing, June 2019, Commander Chris Cline continues as a valuable and productive officer aboard the U.E.O.'s flagship, seaQuest DSV 4600.


Commander Cline and Captain Nathan Hale Bridger on seaQuest's bridge (May 2018)


Thanks for visiting my site! I hope it was helpful and informative and will help you to build your own seaQuest Costume and accessories.

If you wish to make a comment or ask a question, please feel free to email me at:

bandontownman@gmail.com 

Long live seaQuest DSV!


Links of Possible Interest:

www.newcapequest.com 
This website is awesome and is certainly one of the best seaQuest sites around! They have one of the largest memberships of seaQuest fans on the web and the site has much of interest to the seaQuest fan! Check them out.

www.jedigearandgadgets.builtfree.org 
This is my Jedi and Star Wars Costuming website. There you will find my Jedi costumes and custom made props which were designed and constructed by yours truly.   


www.silverglassstudios.builtfree.org 
This is my Studio website where you will find Lord of the Rings props I have built, some of which are for sale, including Hadhafang Scabbards and also Custom Designed Scabbards, Palantir, Staffs, and more. Accepting commissions for making Hadhafang scabbards and Custom Designed scabbards and other objects from Middle Earth for you.



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