The funnels on the model are satisfactory but can have a few things done to them to make them look more historically accurate.


  • Note: If you are going to move the trunk vent in front of funnel No 2 aft you will also have to move the funnel slightly aft. Do this before you glue the funnel to the deck house. See VENTS section (Vent 21) for details.

Step 1 (adding the vents at the bases of the funnels).

There were four rectangular vents at the base of the first three funnels, two forward and two aft. To add these use one of the following methods:

Method 1

The easiest solution for these grates is to use the grates provided in Tom's misc set.

Method 2

Use scrap GMM or Tom's brass five post railings (you can use the kit's but the brass railings give a better result). Cut twelve sections of five rail railing including a post either side.

Before you glue the vent in you need to do two things. First paint these panels dark gray. Then mark out a small rectangle (the same size as the vent) in each corner of the funnel's gray. base with a pencil and paint these rectangles flat black. The black square is set off against the gray. of the railing and this creates the illusion of a recessed depth below.

Glue the railing panels over top of each black rectangle. An alternative would to be to cut out the black rectangles but this would mean more work and we found the black paint works just as well.

Step 2 (puttying the seams).

After you have glued the two halves of the funnel's together putty around the top seams to make them look more uniform.

Step 3 (removing the flash between the funnel and pipes).

We are not sure if every model has this problem but ours did. The gap between the steam pipe and the funnel was plugged solid with flash. There is no easy way to get it out, we tried, but even with care we ended up cracking a pipe. Our solution was to cut off all the existing steam pipes and make new ones from pulled sprue or microrod. Most modelers leave the flash there but if you want to remove it (and you should) then making new ones is faster than trying to clean up the old ones.

Cut the sprue to the same lengths and make a flare at one end.

Step 4 (filling in the ladder mounts).

If you have purchased the GMM kit you may want to fill the indentations in the funnel where the ladder attach to the funnel and make a very small hole for the supports to glue into. We didn't bother but some modelers may wish to.

Use a very small amount of putty to fill each indentation and then sand smooth being careful not to remove the funnel plating marks.


Funnels 1 & 2

If you are using Tom's Modelworks ladders you will need to relocated the holes for the ladder supports slighty further down the funnel to ensure that the top of the cradle rail sits under the black area.

Step 5 (adding the handrails).

On the base of funnel #4 the modeler needs to glue on two handrails. One on each side of the funnel facing port and to starboard. Fashion these from pulled sprue about the diameter of 4 lb. test monofilament fishing line and cut to a length of around 12mm each. Glue these about 3mm up from the base of the funnel.

Another handrail should also be attached to the port side of the #2 funnel with the same specifications as above.

Step 6 (gluing the smaller piping on the funnels).

The alterations to the pipes for the four funnels are covered in the PIPES section.

We suggest, however, that you glue all pipes on to the funnels so that they are painted at the same time. The only exception is the large pipe groups on the aft of #3 funnel. Shape them to the right height and angles and then glued them to #3 funnel after the funnel's White Star Buff had been painted.

Step 7 (adding the small platform and bracket).

The platforms underneath the triple whistle assemblies on the face of each funnel are molded onto the funnels but they are not well defined. You can improve the kits be the following methods:

Method 1

Use the funnel ladders provided in Tom's Modelworks Misc set. These have the platform and railngs built into them.

Method 2

Making new brackets from sheet plastic or Evergreen strips and the platforms from scrap GMM railing panels.

The Ken Marschall painting on page 44 of Robert Ballard's `Exploring The Titanic' is a tremendous help in the positioning and construction of these catwalk platforms and brackets. Bruce Beveridge also shared a good photo with us.

Add the bracket BEFORE you add the ladders (GMM's or A/M's) and the catwalk platform AFTER.

Once the new brackets are added build the catwalk platforms.

Take a spare GMM railing panels and trim them as seen below. Cut four sections of five bar railing that are 3 rail panels wide. Now trim off all the rails from the outer panes except for the top rail.

Take a pair of tweezers or fine pliers and bend the two single bar rails on the flanking outside panels down and back to a 45 degree angle. These represent the catwalk platform's support legs. Now slide the V shaped notch over the funnel's center steam pipe and glue into position with the CA glue.


You wil also need to add two more brackets inboard next to the main steam pipe. These can be seen in any photo of the funnels.

To make the catwalk's railings use spare "single bar" railing panels from GMM or Tom's Modelworks. If you do not have any spare railings you can use the A/M railings but you will need to remove the interior rails.

Used a two panel group and then folded it to 90 degrees in the center with tweezers. You will need to make eight sections, 2 per funnel.

Once bent we glued these to the outside edges of the catwalk from the ladder out around the corner towards the funnel as seen in the FUNNEL diagram.

When we had them all completed, they were painted the White Star Buff to match the rest of the funnel section.

Step 8(additional catwalk supports).

On either side of the main steam pipe there was an additional support, see any photo of the funnels or Marshall painting. Use spare PE railing or pulled sprue. If you are using PE railing you will have to cut a section of horizontal rail just slightly longer than one panel in length.

Step 8 (preparing for the painter's lines).

If you are adding the painter's lines you will need to add the pulleys that the lines hung from BEFORE you paint the funnels.

If you look at the funnel tops as seen on several pages inside of Tom McCluskie's `Anatomy Of The Titanic' you will see the rigging pulleys for these painter lines.

There was a total of eleven pulleys per funnel, five down each side and one center aft of the funnel cap. During outfitting all of these pulleys would be in use, otherwise only 4 pulleys had lines continually attached to them.

Mark and glue small sheet plastic "pulleys" around the cap of the funnel.

Step 9 (painting the funnels).

It is important to obtain the smoothest finish as possible. Some modeler's might be fortunate to use an air brush but most will be doing it by hand. As White Star Buff is not a color that can be purchased right off of the shelf the modeler can buy a close facsimile or use the formula supplied in the Academy/Minicraft instruction manual.

We opted for the A/M do-it-yourself mix. For those who are reading this Tutorial who did not buy the 1/350 but may be using this for another scale or a scratchbuilt project the formula is included in the PAINT section. Mix enough of the White Star Buff formula to paint the funnels, pipes, and for touchups.

Use a wider than normal brush to paint each funnel. We used a flat brush around 10mm to 12mm wide rather than the standard modeler's brush.

You need to work quickly. First paint all the small areas and contact points of the ladder that the large brush will not reach. Then quickly paint the main funnel area with the larger brush before the paint becomes tacky the first paint application. You need to `feather' the two applications so the blend looks natural and no overlaying ridges are seen.

Applying both steps within seconds of each other ensures that the paint will blend in through an osmotic process and leave an overall smooth finish. The finer the hairs of the brush the more even the distribution of color over the funnel. Coarse bristles tend to furrow the paint or leave unevenness.

Do not use too much paint to invite runs and hide funnel plating detail, or too little in that the blotchiness is seen on the funnels when backlit by an external light source such as a lamp or the sun. To avoid that you may want to paint the entire inside of the funnel flat black.

Paint the inside of the funnels black before you add the inserts the model uses to hide its twisted thread rigging method (which we did not use). After painting inside of each funnel, paint the outside area flat black making sure that you 'cut' as straight an edge as possible where the cap meets the White Star Buff. The black section also cuts across the pipe assembly.

Do this before you add the GMM (or kit) ladders and the scratchbuilt triple whistle assembly.

When dry glue the funnels to the deckhouse roofs.

Add the ladders, whistles, internal funnel structures and rigging later. When applying the ladders make sure they are painted with both flat black and White Star Buff to match the 'cut' line on the model. Paint the horizontal steam pipe whistle assembly black as well. Do NOT paint the black too far or the White Star Buff too far up.

After all the rigging is added assemble the internal features of each funnel cap and paint all parts flat black. When dry you can simulate soot around the top of the first three funnels by applying a second coat of flat black mixed with a fine powder. The 4th funnel was a dummy for ventilation so would not have acquired the same degree of grime as the first three in Titanic's short life.

Step 10 (rigging the funnel's guy wires).

We did not use the supplied thread to rig the funnels we used monofilament fishing line, nor did we rig it in the manner suggested in the model's manual.

  • Note: The thread has been replaced with monofilament in the re-released Minicraft kit.

We rigged our funnels near the end of the project -AFTER- all deckhouse railings had been added and ALL deck detail completed. In fact the funnels were the last thing we rigged up except for the mast rigging and the Marconi wires. It makes working on the model a lot easier without all those threads or tag ends of monofilament hanging around. Deck work was easier as well without the funnel rigging in place. When it came time to rig the funnels we did it as follows.

Cut the right amount of rigging per funnel and only do one funnel at a time. Make sure you have a good length with a large tag end to work with. Dab a pool of CA glue on the glue block and then dip the end of a piece of pulled sprue into it and apply it to the deck hole provided for the base of the funnel's guy wire. Next set one of the threads (monofilament fishing line) into the hole and let set. This was repeated for the remainder of that funnel's wires. When all of the wires had set into the deck holes thread the each funnel wire through their appropriate holes in the cap of each funnel.

Don't worry about the slack lines yet.

Now cut several small pieces of masking tape so you have enough for each of the funnel's guy wires. Take a wire and pull it taut. Then pull the excess wire over the lip and and down the outside of the funnel taping it to the base of the black area. The tape will hold the line taut, Repeat this for each cable.

When they are all taut dab a bead of CA glue to both the inside and outside where each cable passes through the funnel's housing. When the CA sets the cables shouldn't slip. Then clip off all the tag ends with a nail clipper close to inside of the funnel. Repeat for each funnel.

When finished use a portable hair blower (or other hot air device) over the cables to tighten them even more. Do not get too close or have the setting on too high or you could melt parts!

It is important to do this BEFORE the painter lines are added as they were somewhat slacker than the main guy wires which had to be kept as tight as possible.

Step 11 (adding the painter's lines).

There were four lines per funnel (two lines on either side).

Dab a pool of CA glue onto your gluing block. Now dip the tip of the painter line into the glue and attach it to the proper pulley for that funnel.

  • Note: According to the research and information provided by Bruce Beveridge funnels 2, 3, 4 had the same pattern used, but funnel 1 was different as seen in the diagram below.


Basic Layout For Funnel Painter Lines (running forward to aft:

Based on an original drawing by Bruce Beveridge

When all cables are secured to pulleys then measure each line and cut it to roughly the length of the funnel's guy wires. Take each line and then twist it around the lower half of the guy wire using tweezers or small pliers.

After you have completed this, pass a hot air blower quickly over the assembly to tighten up the wrapping but leave a bit of slack, but not too much. The lines should be somewhat taut but not rigid. Secure with dabs of CA glue to lock the wrappings in place.

Paint all funnel rigging and painter's lines gray. If you want to highlight painter's lines paint them black. Although be wary as black tends to make cables look thicker than they actually are where the gray. keeps them more to the scale.

Step 12 (the internal funnel assemblies).

The model's caps are fine as is but we elected to doctor the interiors for a bit more realism.

With the rigging in place and the interior sections glued in, do the following:

Funnels 1, 2, 3

Glue the funnel top plate on to each funnel cap.

Now add the stabilizers, these sat between the funnels' interior structure and the outside plating. Glue six small sheet plastic squares around each top plate.

Locate these as follows:

If you were looking down onto the funnel and the bow of the funnel represents 6 o'clock and the stern end of the funnel 12 o'clock, glue a stabilizer plate at the 4, 6, and 8 o'clock position and the next three at the 10, 12, and 2 o'clock positions. The model's top plate grate represents the 9 and 3 o'clock positions.

Repeat this for each of the next two funnels. Paint everything flat black when the glue has set.

Funnel 4

You will notice that the top plate on #4 funnel is different to the first three. This funnel was a "dummy" funnel and was used for venting the galleys.

Forward of the funnel plate is a small circular ring held by two flanking support arms. This was a pipe opening. To make it look more three dimensional drill out the ring with a drill bit slightly smaller than the ring itself. Once done, dryfit the cap on to the funnel and measure the distance from the bottom side of this plate to the bottom of the funnel.

Next wake a plastic insert from a ball point pen (we used BIC) and cut a section from the ink cartridge using this measurement. Glue this to the bottom of the funnel cap, aligning it to the ring. This should now look like a pipe leading down the interior of the funnel. Once the glue had set paint the ink cartridge flat black. The cap was then dry fit and when you are satisfied that it is seated properly glue it to the funnel.

As with funnels 1, 2, and 3 we added the 6 sheet plastic stabilizer plates in the same locations and painted the entire assembly flat black. The top of the funnel should look like the photo at the bottom of page 72 in Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic".

There is an alternative version of the top of funnel No 4 suggested by Bob Read...

"It is my feeling that the Titanic's top of Funnel #4 looked like the later Olympic. It is my belief that the model represents the configuration shown of Olympic at the time of her fitting out. The more you study the "sisters" the more you find that Olympic "became" the Titanic after the disaster. One change that is evident is that for the post disaster Olympic that they vented the smokeroom flue into the funnel clear to the top. For these reasons if I were modeling the Titanic at this point I think the attached drawing (opposite) would probably more accurately reflect Titanic than the kit configuration. This is one debateable point among many..."

Modeler's choice.

Drawing by Bob Read.


Step 13 (Funnel ladder).

There was a deflection at the bottom of the funnel ladders.

Bend the ladder to 90 degrees verticle approx. 6mm from the bottom of the ladder.

Those using Tom's model works ladders will find that this is quite difficult due to the tight fit of the ladder against the steam pipe.

Thanks to Bob Read for this new find and use of the photo opposite.

Photo of the base of the Olympic's fourth funnel.


Though we're not 100% certain but there may have been cable clips roughly half way up the funnel. These can be seen on the Olympic. We assumed that they were on the Titanic so we placed them at the following points:

If the bow side of a funnel is 12 o'clock we have a connector at 1:30, 3:00, and 4:30 on either side of each funnel halfway up the its full height.

References on the Olympic for these clips are page 37 of Leo Marriott's "Titanic" and page 75 of Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic".

To make cross cut thinly pulled sprue and glue one to the locations seen in the photos. When the glue has dried paint them with the White Star Buff formula to match the surrounding area.


This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000