The docking bridge on the model is in need of a few alterations and additions to make it historically accurate.

We will discuss the alterations to existing features in the first section and then the additions needed to update what is missing in the second section.


Step 1 (rebuilding the outboard support posts).

The outboard support posts for the docking bridge on the model are incorrect. The model has circular supports where the Titanic had rectangular supports. You will need to change these either using square plastic stock, sheet plastic or rectangular brass tubing. We opted for the sheet plastic on our models.

If you choose likewise you will then need to cut 4 pieces for EACH pillar (8 in total for the pair). Cut 4 pieces of sheet plastic at 4mm wide x 6mm tall. These became the port and starboard sides of the new rectangular poles. After we cut the 4 pieces we set them aside and made 4 more measured at 5mm wide x 6mm tall.

Next place them in to two groups with EACH group consisting of 4 pieces of sheet plastic that measured as follows; 2 pieces of 4mm x 6mm and 2 pieces at 5mm x 6mm. Place a small bead of glue along the inside edge of one of the end pieces (5mm x 6mm) and place one of the 4mm x 6 mm pieces on to it so the 6mm lengths matched up. Repeat this step again so you end up with two right angled panels.

Then add glue to the inside edges of the unattached 5mm x 6mm sides and placed the two right angled sections together to form a rectangular column 6mm tall x 4mm long (port/starboard) x 5mm wide (bow/stern).

This whole procedure was repeated again for the other model column. When both of these had dried they were slid down each column on the poop deck for a dryfit test. With the inside diameter hugging tight to all four sides of the column and the height equal to that of the columns, small beads of glue were then added to the inside of the rectangle around the column and left to set.

In photos of the Titanic's sea trials, you can see dark openings on the stern side of these rectangular supports. Fashion these out of sheet plastic cut at 3.5mm long x 3mm wide. When complete glue these flush and centered to the top half of the columns where they attach to the docking bridge and then painted them dark gray. It is our belief that these were vents for the steering room below.

Paint the columns flat white.

Step 2 (rebuilding the crew's stairwell docking bridge support).

The model has a square/rectangular stairwell. In reality the stairwell was flat on 3 sides (bow, port and starboard) and sloped on the aft side (stern).

The back of the box protruded out and roughly followed the same angle as the stairs above. Page 25, 26-27 photos in Illustrated History show this. Ken Marschall does NOT show this in his cutaway painting in Illustrated History but he HAS SINCE made the change in his new cutout painting in Inside The Titanic.

To make the change add the sloped section to the existing stairwell on the model. Cut 3 pieces of sheet plastic, 2 sloped for the port and starboard sides and 1 rectangular one for the back where the stairs are.

Side view of docking bridge stairs and support: (looking starboard):

To make the new port and starboard sloped panels cut two sections of sheet plastic as follows:

These where then glued flush with the front of the existing pillar on the poop deck enclosing it so their straight edges faced the bow and the sloped ones to the stern.

2D side view (looking towards starboard at the port panel):

To make the stairway slope cut one rectangular section of sheet plastic as follows:  

Glue this rectangular section to the slopes on the port and starboard sections. The result is a new stairwell support that looks the same as below right.

There also was a door to be added to the port side of this stairwell as discussed in the DOORS section.


New sloped backed crew stairwell support (right isometric view):

Step 3 (painting the new stairwell and reshaped pillars).

Paint all reshaped docking bridge supports flat white, including the new port door.

Step 4 (shifting the staircase more to port).

The model has the staircase too far to starboard. Whether you use the A/M's stair kit, GMM's or Tom's Modelworks brass photoetched stairs the stairs will need to relocated the 5mm more to port. Once you have the new stairwell built, reposition the stairs to be just starboard of center ON THE SLOPED BACK OF THE STAIRWELL itself. Make sure you sand off the original gluing tab from the edge of the docking bridge's platform.

You may also find that the available stairs may not quite reach the deck. The best way to correct this is to use the slightly longer steps steps provided with Tom's misc set.

Paint the stairs brown with white rail trim BEFORE gluing them to the new stairwell sloped canopy support.

Step 5 (making new telegraphs).

Follow the procedure mentioned under the BRIDGE section for the fabrication of better looking telegraphs than what the model provides using the sequins, pulled sprue, and Duane Fowler's decals.

Paint the base of the telegraphs bronze. It appears in the picture of the Docking Bridge that the bases were not painted when she left Southampton. This would leave the pedestals their original bronze colour. This would not be unusual because the Titanic was not 100% complete when she left dock. See Page 106 of Triumph and Tragedy or the December 1985 National Geographic.

Thanks to Dan Cherry for the pedestal information.

Step 6 (replacing the model's outboard rail supports & rails).

We recommend that you do NOT use the kit's railings or the docking bridge outboard supports but instead buy the GMM brass photoetched GOLD kit or Tom's misc kit for the new outboard supports.

Or you could fashion new ones from pulled sprue but we prefer and recommend the GMM set.

Remember to adjust the railing placement (whether Tom's Modelworks, GMM or the model's) to reflect the new stair position opening that is required as a result of shifting the stairs 5mm more towards port!

Step 7 (adding the GMM wheel and steering column).

Use either GMM's or Tom's Modelworks wheel on the docking bridge.

The GMM set only comes with one wheel so we used the original kit docking bridge wheel in the bridge where it is less visible and used the better looking one made by Gold Medal Models on the docking bridge.

The wheel control column ran from the wheel through the docking bridge to the poop deck below. The kit provides the docking bridge section but not the section under the docking bridge.

First remove the existing steering column from part J10.

Then, once the telegraphs and the plastic runner they sit on are glued to the docking bridge, drill a small hole through the runner where the steering column should go and docking bridge platform itself.

Next, slide a section of microrod or pulled sprue through this hole. Place the platform on the model and push the rod down until it reached the poop deck planking and trim to a height of about 5.5mm ABOVE the platform. This takes care of both the new steering column above the platform and the one that was totally missing from the kit.

The new GMM wheel after being painted brown was then glued to the stern side of this new microrod steering column.

Step 8 (replacing the skylight/docking bridge supports).

The skylights molded foe the kit are not very satisfactory so we suggest that you build new ones from sheet plastic. Having built new skylights, discard the original ones along with the support poles that were attached to them. Use pulled sprue or microrod to fashion two new poles and glued them along the inboard sides of the new skylights up to about the halfway thickness point on the docking bridge platform (7mm).


Step 1 (making a new binnacle).

Check the procedure used in the BRIDGE section.

Step 2 (adding the phone box).

Fashion a phone box from pulled sprue and a scrap of plastic stock sanded into a small rectangular cube (2mm tall x 1mm thick x 1.5mm wide). The box was glued on to the top of the pole. A small hole was drilled at the center rear of the docking bridge (see diagram in Step 4). The phone box's pulled sprue pole was then glued in to this hole so the top of the phone box sat at a height of 5mm from the platform deck.

When dry it was painted in its entirety with Testors' brass.

Step 3 (adding the angled support pipe).

There is one pipe coming down from under the phone box to meet the wheel's steering column at deck level.

Look at any Olympic or Titanic poop deck photo that shows this area (hard to spot on the Titanic Fr.Browne photo).

Fashion this from pulled sprue to a length of 7mm and glued it on a 45 degree angle.

Step 4 (adding new supports).

Add 6 support rods (in addition to the two skylight supports) using thin pulled sprue as follows;

Docking bridge looking straight down:

As with the skylight replacements these supports were cut to lengths of 7mm each and glued from the edges of the docking bridge platform to meet the poop deck's planking.


Note that pole 4 was angled forward and not straight up and down.

Step 5 (adding the small flagpoles).

Starboard side of docking bridge looking aft:

There were two small flag poles on the docking bridge you can have these either stowed (ex Queenstown) or in use (ex Southampton) depending where you want the ship to be. These can be seen in their erect position on page 49 and 50 of Triumph and Tragedy.

Cut 2 x 14m lengths of evergreen rod.

Stowed they lay at the front of the docking bridge with their outboard end equal to the extended center line of the square support.

In their raised position they sat in each forward corner of the docking bridge over the outboard support frame.

Step 6 (railing details).

On the aft outboard corners of the railings small clips can be found as seen in the photo of the Titanic's docking bridge on page 716 of the National Geographic's December 1985 issue. Fashion these from small pips of plastic and glue them just under the docking bridge handrail with CA glue and then painted them flat white.

Just inboard of these clips were two small vertical poles with a slight bend at their tops. The top of these poles sat just above the hand rails. Use pulled sprue to manufacture these poles and glued them into position with CA glue against the docking bridge's railing assembly towards the post of the first railing panel from the outboard corners.

There was a sign on the railings on the port side of the stairs. See the SIGNAGE section for details.

The last item to be added to the railings is the life rings. Glue all 4 along the back railing on the bow side of these aft rail panels as seen above. Paint the rings flat white.

Step 7 (other details).

Add the conduits running down the outboard docking bridge support to the decking. See the CONDUITS section for details.

Add decklamps along the underside of the docking bridge. See the DECKLAMP section for details.

Step 8 (wooden board in front of binnicle).

As seen in the Cork examiner photo of the Poop Deck there was a wooden panel on the forward railing slightly to starboard. On this board was a "Y" shaped conduit (see opposite) possibly terminating in two switches.

Fashion the board from thin plastic sheeting and round off the top. It appears that the board on the Titanic was not painted white like on the Olympic. Without any colour reference available paint dark brown.

Use pulled sprue or fishing line to simulate the conduit and switches.

Looking aft

Looking Forward

Step 9 (adding the wooden mat).

Also seen in the Cork examiner photo is a wooden mat aft of the wheel for the crew member to stand on when operating the wheel.

Make this from one complete section of GMM or Tom's five rail pane (ie include both uprights) and paint brown.

Step 10 (raised margin plank).

There was a raised margin plank that ran all the way around the perimeter of the Docking Bridge, the railing was connected to it.

Simulate this by gluing k1 strip flat around the edge of the Docking Bridge floor. Remember to allow for a gap where the stairwell will eventually go.

Paint brown.


This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000