The compass tower in the 1/350 model, though usable, is poorly scaled and looks `clunky'. It's better to make a new one either by scratch building with sheet plastic and pulled sprue or with Gold Medal Models and Tom's Modelworks brass photoetched tower legs and sheet plastic.

If you are using pulled sprue make sure to use two different diameter rods, the thicker being for the main legs, and the thinner for the X shaped cross members. You can use the model kit's supplied tower legs as a basic template to construct the newer and thinner pulled sprue set. When you have all four sides made or are using the GMM brass legs then use the following procedure:


Step 1 (legs).

Dry fit the panels together on the model to make sure that they are:

1) the right height
2) the right tapered width

When you are satisfied that they line up and fit together properly.

Step 2 (painting the legs).

Paint all the leg panels white and allow to dry.

Step 3 (glue into position).

When dry, glue them to the deck in their final position but make sure that you have painted the raised stair platform on the raised roof white FIRST or you will have extreme difficulty painting this platform where it meets the deck afterward.

Step 4 (floor).

To make the floor of the compass tower..

When the sprue or GMM legs are in place they will forms a square at the top of the legs. Use a ruler measure the square's perimeter then trace these measurements onto a square of sheet plastic with a plank pattern on one side. Cut the square out and dryfit onto the legs to insure that it doesn't fall through. If it does then make another one.

When satisfied, paint the planked side with a wood color and allow to dry.

Step 5 (sides).

The compass tower was made from wooden slats as can be seen in the picture of the Titanic on page 42 of Illustrated History. The slats can be simulated using planked sided sheet plastic with the planks facing outwards.

Cut two pieces to the exact width of the plastic floor panel. These became the bow and stern ends. Glue the bow end with planked side facing out at right angles to the floor piece and onto the side of the floor section so that the edge cannot be seen.

The stern end had an open doorway for the access stairs so mark the panel with a pencil and cut the doorway out. Glue these two mini sections to the stern end corners flush to the floor panel, plank side out.

Step 6 (sides).

Now measure and cut the two side panels.

These are longer than the length of the floor panel to allow for the thickness of bow and stern panels. Measure the length from the outside edge of the bow wall panel to the outside edge of the stern panel using the same height.

When finished, glue these two flush on the outside edges of the floor with the planked side facing out.

Step 7 (poles & weather cover).

The compass tower also had 4 upright poles, one in each corner, that provided a frame for a canvas cover.

Make these from pulled sprue or small pieces of rail from spare GMM rail kits. Make these as high as the compass tower's side are deep. Glue a pole in each corner.

Around these poles and along the top of the housing sat the canvas cover. This can be seen collapsed when not in use on page 120 of Anatomy Of The Titanic (Olympic) or raised when in use, see page 42 of Illustrated History (Titanic).

This cover can be made from a saran type wrap, or tinfoil, etc. Paint a whitish color to simulate canvas.

Step 8.

To build the compass use the same technique that you used for the binnacle in step 11 of the BRIDGE section.

When this assembly was dry, apply superglue to the tops of the tower's legs and mount the compass structure to the deck. Ensure that the stair opening faces towards the stern.

Step 9.

Place a sign on the stern side of the tower on the starboard side of the door opening.

Step 10.

Add a small rib around the base of the compass tower's cab just above where it attaches to the legs of the tower. This can be seen on page 42 The Illustrated History.

Manufacture this from pulled sprue shaped with pliers to fit the perimeter of the compass' cab and then glue into place.

Step 11.

When dry, glue the stairs into their final position (the GMM stairs are recommended).

Step 12.

Gluing crew members (GMM passenger kit) in or around the tower is optional.


This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000