Monogram Kits



“What’s so special about a Monogram Hobby Kit?

Its lots of things – little things to look for but big things to find.

It starts with the careful selection of the model itself, the development of faithful and true design.  Always in scale, always with a wealth of fine detail.

to ensure this fine quality – to guard it – at every point in its development, manufacturing and packaging, the most rigid standards, inspection and control is maintained.

Quality is the most important element in a Monogram kit.  For Monogram quality guarantees the enjoyment and satisfaction the hobbyist expects when he buys it…” 

 – Monogram Catalogue, 1994


Click on the logo above for a PDF of 1994 and 50th Anniversary catalogues featuring seaQuest


  Brand: Monogram
Title: seaQuest DSV
Number: 3600
Scale: 1:600
Type: Full kit
Released: 1994 (New tool)

Instructions (Download)


The Monogram 3600 (shouldn’t that be 4600? promo buildup featured a smooth exterior and an airbrushed finish


Review By Martin Lakin

Monogram’s 1:600 scale model kit from the hit TV series of the same name may be an impressive catch, but turns out to be somewhat of a strange fish.  At first glance this kit would seem to be a wholly accurate rendition in three dimensions of seaQuest artist James Lima’s innovative squid-based design, however most of the reference material gathered on the sub in subsequent decades (some directly from Amblin Imaging) suggest this tooling was uniquely crafted for this 1994 release.

Of course, one has to consider that the seaQuest in the first instance was generated entirely by CGI and, apart from one half of a hand-sculpted maquette, never existed a fully-fledged physical scale model.  While this would allow some latitude for interpretation, its still interesting to compare and note the differences between the pixel and polystyrene versions.

The overall proportions of the model, for example, are much more ‘muscular’ than in the show – especially from the plan view where the ‘shoulders’ below the head are much broader and maintain their width throughout the length of the hull.  The contours of the head also differ and are less elongated (with the tip of the bow flat & straight as opposed to curving into a distinct downward point as shown in the Amblin renders).

Some of the finer details are also curious, such as the absence of the inverted triangle windows on the kit seen throughout the hull in the CG version and a paint guide illustrating coloured exterior lights (including Nav lights) never seen on screen.  Despite this there are welcome additions, including a faithful recreation of the exterior ‘Bio-Skin’ texture and an interior platform for the support vehicles offering a rare glimpse inside the EVA Docking Ball.

Standing at a whopping 19″ from Bow to Stern and assembled from approx. 13 pieces the build itself could hardly be simpler.  The parts fit together nicely and the seams are cleverly disguised for the most part, affording an appropriately organic appearance.  For those wishing to display the sub with closed fins at the stern however, more caution than ‘requires some modification to plastic’ as noted in the instructions is warranted, as best results come from the turbine being glued deeper into the hull to allow them to close.  The option of the open bay door is also recommended as adding the Deep Sea Pickup lends an impressive sense of scale.  The supplied nameplate is adequate (if not problematic to paint cleanly) but its the base that seems most like an afterthought.  The uninspired rock formations on the sea bed are no substitute for a potential scale manned settlement as seen on the show (or even minimalist plinth to maintain focus to the Sub.)

The ambiguity surrounding the finish of the DSV lends itself to all kinds of interpretations – what colour is the seaQuest anyway?  This was certainly not evident for Season 1 where it was permanently submerged, and even when surfaced in Season 2 the palette was hardly definitive.  As a result, many buildups of this kit have benefitted from the builder’s imagination, with no two ever looking the same.  Many sources have since stated the best technique for replicating the Bio-Skin is to paint the base colour, then drybrush the veins of the skin and wiping away the excess.

Even to this day, the Monogram seaQuest is both a visually stunning kit and a great testament to ’90’s science fiction.  It remains a fixture at model shows and is often used as the basis for other sci-fi customs.  Issued only once and long out of print, boxed and sealed this kit is finally getting the recognition and commanding the kind of prices it richly deserves.  Though it may not be the 100% accurate version available as a print file now, as of this writing it is the only licensed release featuring the Bio-Skin texture – not even the unreleased Playmates toy could lay claim to that…


Review By Bill Craft – Modeler’s Resource (click for larger)




Brand: Monogram
Title: seaQuest DSV – Stinger
Number: 3602
Scale: 1:20
Type: Full kit
Released: 1994 (New tool)
Barcode: 076513036027 (EAN: 0076513036027)

Instructions (Download)


The Promo paint-up for The Stinger in metallic blue – the full-size prop would finally appear in the show painted white with blue highlights…


Review By Martin Lakin

“Launch Stingers!” declares the instruction sheet for Monogram’s 1:20 scale Stinger Pursuit Submarine.  Unfortunately, the command was never given in the show, (the closest we got was a standby) and anybody who had invested in this kit and read the description of seaQuest’s rapidly deployed ‘Cavalry Pony’ must have wondered what was going on and if it was ever going to make an appearance at all.

Thankfully, after a completely rewritten script, The Stinger got no less than its own episode midway through the first season, but alas, the original concept as outlined had been abandoned entirely.  Perhaps the thinking was that one-man subs were too similar to the Colonial Vipers of Battlestar Galactica, where small fighters were deployed from the mothership (featuring repeated launch sequences cannily recycling VFX) to engage enemy in whatever form.  Ultimately The Stinger as written would become a vanity project for kid-genius Lucas Wolenczak, competing for the contract to produce the first one-man craft propelled by lateral flow.  It made for a mediocre episode but nonetheless sweet story, however, the original script was better and the prospect of a Stinger squadron departing the seaQuest like a shoal of fish would’ve been quite the spectacle.

To the kit then, and if anybody should’ve been disappointed with how their work was utilised, it was Art Director James Lima, responsible for all the innovative ‘Nautical Nouveau’ of the vehicles.  Though his sleek design for the Stinger went unchanged, the final prop was diluted and made non-militaristic for the show.  If nothing else, it gave the builder two viable options for the finish of the kit.  Do you go original concept paint-job or the family-friendly Lucas Race Car?  In all the buildup examples seen to date, both translate splendidly thanks to the superb lines.

Assembly is straightforward, with both halves of the main fuselage matching together without fuss.  Those wishing to make is screen-accurate may wish to fill the centre seam but as its most visible on the underside, its not a necessity.  While the exterior build is routine, there is much fun to be had with the interior.  Monogram did a great job of the Stinger’s futuristic cockpit and again, with no genuine reference to work from, the finish is free to interpretation (though the painting guide provided is a solid place to start).

The inclusion of a pilot for the vehicle is a welcome addition but don’t feel any obligation to include it as the kit looks awesome with or without – my recommendation is to use flat black for the uniform – lest it be shiny like the Playmates figures.  The sculpt for the pilot is generic and while the face details are soft, the figure really comes alive with the accurate decals provided to give the uniform authenticity.

Due to it’s eye-catching design and ease of construction this should be a five-star kit, but a couple of  poor attributes result in losing a star.  Firstly, the clear canopy seems to go irreversibly opaque with the application of the decals and second, the base (just like the DSV) is an ugly afterthought.  Both these obstacles could surely be overcome for customisers and experienced builders, but overall the finished kit built to spec lacks the dynamic that the design deserves.

And what a design – and what a futurist James Lima was/is also.  Few could’ve predicted how his concept for an underwater jetski would be adapted into a real-world recreational craft named the ‘Seabreacher’ in use today…


Review By Fred DeRuvo – Modeler’s Resource (Click for larger)


Brand: Monogram
Title: seaQuest DSV Deep Ocean Transport
Number: 3601
Scale: 1:32
Type: Full kit
Released: 1994 (New tool)
Barcode: 076513036010 (EAN: 0076513036010)

Instructions (Download)

Review By Martin Lakin

With such a diverse fleet of futuristic vehicles from which to plunder, the trusty workhorse (Or Deep Submergence Pick Up) seems rather a pedestrian choice.  Indeed, surely the Delta-4 Sub would have provided the seaQuest model with as worthy an adversary in kit form as it did in the show? Maybe the EVA Shuttle would have been a better build? Even the SeaCrab or VR Probe deserved a second look but as missed opportunities go, the James Lima-designed Speeder was undoubtedly worthy of model treatment.

That being said, the ‘Conostoga Wagon’ arguably has more screentime than all the above subs put together, making its debut in the action-packed scenes of the pilot episode To Be Or Not To Be and appearing throughout the series, with one even being stolen by The Regulator himself to comfortably accommodate a consignment of bananas.  It also had enough appeal for the cover of the Monogram catalogue (above) and for Playmates to consider producing it as an electronic toy (action figure not included) before suffering the same fate as the rest of the vehicle line.

So does the DSP make for a good kit?  Well mostly thanks to its robust 1:32 scale, yes – and despite suffering by comparison to the flashier vehicles, this is arguably the most seaworthy-looking and realistic as a working contemporary submarine.  With its bug-eye cockpit and large thrusters mounted on both sides of the cargo bed the sub is bestowed with lots of great little functional details – including a tool box and an instrument panel seen through the canopy glass.

This is the most complicated of the seaQuest kits due to all the external parts and building can be somewhat fiddly so patience is required.  Its functionality means that no seam-filling is necessary, and due to the DSP’s adaptability in the context of the series, it can be finished in the SQ/UEO livery as pictured or weathered appropriately as an undersea colony pick-up truck.  The finished product, mounted proudly on its skids (so not requiring a stand) is indeed impressive, and counts among its contemporaries as some of the most visually fascinating kits (sci-fi or otherwise) that Monogram ever produced.


Proof of the series global appeal – the seaQuest Kits were also released in Korea and other territories…




Brand: Monogram
Title: Ensign Darwin, seaQuest DSV
Number: 3603
Scale: 1:12
Type: Full kit
Released: 1994 (New tool)

Instructions (Download)


Review By Martin Lakin

For those who remember the classic Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea you may consider (along with Exec. Producer Steven Spielberg) seaQuest DSV its modern equivalent.  Turn’s out there’s another cult show from the era with a connection to seaQuest few were aware of – namely Flipper – from whom apparently Ensign Darwin of the UEO is a direct descendant.

The proof can be found in the 1965 Revell model kit Flipper And Pal Sandy, featuring a cute diorama of the porpoise leaping from the surface with his trusty companion hanging for dear life from his Dorsal fin.  The popularity of the two Flipper movies and the subsequent TV show made this a very sought-after collectable for kids at the time, and a rarity in later years.

By 1986, Revell had merged with Monogram and by 1993, a new TV show featuring a talking Dolphin was about to hit the airwaves.  Rather than create an all-new tooling, some bright spark from the Revell days must have remembered the Flipper kit and ordered a ‘repop’ of the molds with the updated addition of Darwin’s rebreather.  Sandy may have been consigned to history, but Ensign Darwin would carry on the Flipper legacy (in plastic at least).

So does the kit span the generation gap?  The futuristic upgrades work well (the clear lens on the rebreather is a nice touch) but the Flipper buck is somewhat cutesy and would have benefited from a modern interpretation (taking inspiration from the original box to include a Lucas figure maybe?).  Historical quirks aside though, it does work in the context of the rest of the seaQuest kits and was very popular with fans of the show.

As you’d expect from a kit originating in the ’60’s its a basic build, and even the new addition of the rebreather unit doesn’t complicate matters too much.  The filling and sanding of seam lines is strongly advised here to make Darwin appear organic, and while both halves match up adequately along the body, you’ll most likely find its most uneven inside the mouth area and the fins top & bottom, all of which require careful attention.  The base also has an ugly seam also best filled as both layers of the seaspray sculpt don’t match up at all – meaning more time will potentially be spent making the base appear as one unit than on the model itself.

Once the hard work is done – a clear gloss works well to maintain a ‘wet’ look but for Darwin to look truly screen accurate please note there is distinct pattern of dark-grey lines on his forehead.  This is not evident from the buildup on the box so finding a still from the show is recommended to replicate faithfully.  The decals provided for the harness suffice but seem somewhat of a cop-out as it would have been better as a physical part of the rebreather unit.  While the decision to render it from decals seems to be a scale consideration, the two large pieces can problematic to match up.  None of this, however, detracts from Flipper’s grandson being arguably the most fun kit to build from the range.



The box and finished kit from the original 1965 Revell release – the Sandy figure hooked onto Flipper’s Dorsal fin with no need for glue…


An unopened Monogram shipping case of Darwin Kits reveal they travelled in pods of 12…