GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THIS SITE

This tutorial is based on the 1:350 scale Academy/Minicraft Titanic model prior to the its re release in July 1999. All references are to this model, it's parts and instructions. This web site will be updated to include the newer model over the coming months. Most of the details can be also be used for scratch building and can also be applied to the Academy 1:400 and Revell 1:570 but the smaller you go the harder it gets.

Some of the fixes are not to scale and it is your choice whether to add them or not.

A lot of the changes mentioned in this tutorial assume that you have bought all of the GMM sets available for 1:350 model. We highly recommend that you purchase these sets as they give the model an incredible appearance (See SUPPORT PRODUCTS for information). Even if you do not purchase these sets we have offered some alternative methods for the modifications or just let your imagination run wild finding a method of your own.

The web version of the tutorial has been edited from the original to be more instructional. However, the methods and the historical information is exactly the same.

A WORD FROM THE AUTHORS

Before we begin, the authors would like to express a few points of interest as to how and why we ended up building the model, then collectively merging our ideas to create this Tutorial.

 

Brett Anthony - United States

I first decided I wanted to build a model of Titanic in 1957. I had received a copy of "A Night to Remember" the previous Christmas from my father, who had no doubt noticed the assortment of plastic ship models which was beginning to clutter my room. Unfortunately, inquiries about available Titanic kits at my favorite hobby shop only drew a dark stare and a muttered remark about "ghoulish kids." I went to the library and bookstore to see if I could get more information about the legendary ship, but I had no luck, and asking questions only yielded the same sort of chilly response. On a visit to a maiden aunt I discovered an Encyclopedia Britannica from the 1920's in her library, but although it had lengthy articles, heavily illustrated, about ocean liners and shipbuilding, mention of Titanic was very brief. And there were no pictures.

One day my mother took me downtown (New York City) to tour the steamship offices there, as she had read that the lobbies of the various firms were decorated with ship models. Were they ever! I particularly remember the Cunard Line office, a classic, vast corporate lobby full of marble, walnut, silence, - and ship models. Enormous ones. It has been a very long time, and I was only 12 or so, but I would say they were 1:144 and larger. The centerpiece, the Queen Mary, had to be at least 12 feet long. They also had older ships, Aquitania, Mauritania and the like. Knowing that Cunard had adsorbed White Star, and noting they had indeed a couple of models of "-ic" ships, (and being a preadolescent male smartass) I asked the man at the desk did they have a model of Titanic. That was very much the wrong sort of question. Icy, wordless glare time, folks. Clearly, unless you were Walter Lord, the subject of Titanic was then taboo.

Well, times change. With the popularity of The Movie and all, I thought there might now be a model of Titanic that I could build.

Such an innocent thought! A quick search brought me to Sean's page, and to the realization that not only had such a model been available for 20 odd years, but that a community of fanatic rivet-counters had deemed it worthy of improvement to an astonishing degree. At first I thought: "Well, perhaps some brass railings..." Hah! How sweetly we are beguiled into this madness. Unfortunately, my plastic modeling skills are ancient, nay, nonexistent compared to what is needed. Enter this tutorial, and a Godsend it is to those of us who have joined the Quest.

But there is more to this than technical modeling skill. There is archaeology. Titanic, for all her profound affect on the 20th century frame of mind, left very little real record. Olympic, like all firstborns, got the biggest photo album, and Titanic was in fact still a work in progress at Southampton. The ship existed in her final form for less than a week!

Way back when, in the Cunard lobby, after I had asked my impertinent question, the doorman took me aside and quietly pointed out a model which he said was Olympic. "Almost exactly like the ship you are interested in." he said. Interesting that he would not actually say the name. But I was not interested in a ship "like" Titanic. Only the real thing would do. Fortunately for all of us, there is a dedicated cadre of scholars here for whom only the real Titanic will do.

Dan Cherry - United States

Modifications for the Minicraft 1/350 Titanic model by Daniel Cherry 1998-99

In creating a high-detailed, showpiece model of the Titanic, I opted for the Minicraft version of the ship. Through the years I have always purchased Revell Titanics, as the Minicrafts were not available readily in my area.

Only after the movie Titanic was released did the Minicraft model enter my area stores, and only for a short time. I picked one up and was determined from the start that this was to be my ultimate showpiece.

Call me a perfectionist, but when I saw how much detail was missing from my Minicraft Titanic model, I started a long process of making this model as real-looking as the original Big T.

Not satisfied with the detail prefabricated on the model, I purchased all available GMM sets for the 1/350 Titanic. Plus, for my
model I wanted every nook and cranny you can see into the model detailed. No dead space or hollow areas for me. My finished Titanic is going to be placed in a spot where the sun can bring the beauty of the ship to a higher measure of realism.

I have especially paid attention to the interior rooms, particularly those which can be seen into from looking at the model. Some of what I have done so far is to test fit the detailed sections of the model to be finally put together when all is done. Some of it is yet to be carried out, but are currently my intentions. Hopefully they will inspire you.

David Cotgreave - Australia

The Titanic has held a fascination for me since I saw "A Night to Remember" when I was about eight years old.

Why am I interested in the Titanic and the tragedy that surrounded her maiden voyage? Titanic was the largest man made object of its time, built long before the instruments that we take so much for granted were created e.g. RADAR, sonar, radio, etc. An object weighing 66 000 tons carrying 2500 passengers that relied on two sets of eyes (sans binoculars) and series of electronic sparks to communicate with the outside world. It just blows me away every time I think of it!

My interest in the Titanic has waxed and waned over the years until I decided to write a play about her at which point my family started to refuel my interest with a string of Titanic Christmas and birthday presents. One such present was a Revell 1:570 model kit which took me about a month to build (I've still got it). Just about the same time I saw the Academy/Minicraft model and knew that one-day I would build it. Little did I know where that thought would lead me!

My wife bought me the Minicraft 1:350 model for Christmas 1997 but because of work I didn't even look at it until April '98. April was also the month that I was hooked up to the Internet for the first time and discovered Sean's Titanic Model site. (At that stage I was visitor 2000 or so). This led me to Loren's site and all of his brass etched goodies and Roy's site that inspired me to achieve greater things. Sean's message board took this even further into a search that would convert my Titanic from a conventional out of the box model to historical replica.

I am grateful to Mike for inviting me along for the ride and hope that you will find my section of the tutorial of assistance.

Mike and Steve Pell - Canada

Building The Academy/Minicraft 1/350 And The Resulting Tutorial
by Michael and Stephen Pell 1998-99

We have always been interested in the Titanic and its brief but fascinating history. Steve undertook the building of Revell's 1/570
model several years ago when he was young and had collected a couple of books on the ship.

Then the blockbuster James Cameron movie came out and like so many others we know, we got caught up in the wave of all things Titanic. This led us to the idea of building new models of the ship but this time more detailed than what came on the Revell 1/570.

Steve and I knew that there were 1/570s available and had planned to buy two but he said that he recalled a few years ago when he was buying his first one that there was a much larger version then available. We wondered if this larger model was still around, so we started web surfing. This was March of 1998. We then came across a Geocities site in its infancy operated by Sean Winterberg.

There it was, actual photos of "the BIG T" in progress. We viewed the pictures carefully making note of the wealth of detail it had in comparison to the "the li'l T". We went through each page Sean had at the time digesting anything he had on it, and not only that, but we came across a message area! As a result of his site we got the name of the model manufacturer (Academy/Minicraft at that time) and then did some more surfing.

By the 3rd week of April Sean's site was picking up speed in both contributions and messages and we couldn't wait to join in the fun. We got out every Titanic book we could find from the Library, hit every site we could that had pictures of the Real T and/or any model.

After the models arrived and reference material digested we began to realize the numerous errors found in the molds, or parts just left out altogether. We decided rather than just build an "out of the box model" we would add as much detail as possible. It was then we came across Roy Mengot's Modeling Guide. It was not as large as it is seen today, but it still had dozens of "fixes" for some of the ship's more glaring errors. After implementing the material presented in his guide we started noticing other things not mentioned -anywhere-. So began the painstaking scanning of photos and paintings to look for as many details as possible with just the reference materials available through libraries and local bookstores, and among the participants on the Official Titanic Scale Model web page.

The hunt was on.

During this time we have met many fine folk via Sean Winterberg's web site. Too many to thank them all here, but they know who they are. We have traded info, pictures and even products around the world. We have been very grateful for the generosity shown towards us so in return we decided to make a guide on building the model that covers as many items as possible to be Sean's OFFICIAL TUTORIAL for his site as a thank you for everything he and others have done for us.

We joined forces with David Cotgreave in Australia, Dan Cherry and Brett Anthony in the United States, so with Steve and I in Canada we wished to make this a truly international effort. Many hours of research and preparation went into this work and it is presented here NOT as the final word on the matter but rather as an ongoing project for others to contribute to in the search for new facts and clues to add to its database.

It is our hope that novice to expert alike can benefit from this Tutorial both as a modeler and someone just interested in the historical facts of the ship.

Should you wish to add anything NOT covered in this project or correct material that already exists please send any or all contributions to us at the following e-mail address;

Rivet Counter

 

 
 
This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000