Though the hull is basically okay for most modelers and viewers there are several things that can be done to improve it from its out of the box version. We will walk down the ship from bow to stern making mention of items that you might wish to add or alter.

Sand off 'X' marks on coal loading doors

Refer to photographs of the finished model in the Photograhic Overview of the tutorial.

ITEMS TO ALTER (from Bow to Stern)

Item 1 (The Stem Plate).

The prow (part C24) supplied in the kit needs to be modified and relocated. It should sit right at the foremost part of the ship's bow. It also appears to be a bit too tall so shorten it by about 20%.

Though it shows up in Step 5 of the Academy/Minicraft manual, we recommend that you do not glue it in place until just before you are ready to paint the hull. This piece very delicate and this will avoid breaking it off while working on other projects.

When gluing it to the tip of the bow make sure that the seams are smooth by filling with putty or glue and filing flush. Add a small pip of plastic stock behind the stem to make it look like the one that appears on page 55 of Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic". You will need to add a mast stay to it as described in the MISCELLANEOUS segment. Paint this stem plate flat white.

Item 2 (bow hawse hole).

This is covered in the HAWSE section.

Item 3 (well deck bulkheads).

The 'cut outs' in the bulkheads are too round in both the front and back well decks.

Clean up the inside bends to make them more right angled with a sharper curve using your hobby knife or Dremel like tool.

There is also a problem with the depth of each 'cut out'. The bottom of the 'cut out' should be in line with the white section of the hull. You will run into problems with the gold stripe if you do not correct this because you will have to bend the line down where it should run straight across.

  • Note: You will do this fix before you paint the hull so when we refer to the 'white' section of the hull we mean where the white paint will eventually go.

To fix this run a piece of tape from the white section of the forecastle section to the white section of the hull. This will show you how much the hull is out. Cut a piece of sheet plastic to shape and glue onto the hull flush with the outside of the hull. You can either use a piece of sheet plastic the thickness of the hull or use a thinner (and more accurate) piece and use more filler on the inside of the new section.

Once the glue has set fill any gaps around the new section and sand smooth. If you chose to use a thinner piece of sheet plastic you will have to build up the base on the well deck side with so you can sand it to give the appearance of being a part of the hull.

There were removable sections of the hull for loading cargo, you will see these as large 'U' shaped ridges below the cut out. These are over represented and should either be sanded down or sanded off and scribed onto the side of the hull. It is likely that you will remove part of these as you sand the filler.

  • Note: This problem has been fixed in the re-release of the Minicraft model.

Item 4 (port side portholes).

There is an incorrect porthole count on the portside white section of the forecastle hull (since fixed on the new Minicraft). See the PORTHOLE section for fix.

Item 5 (starboard 3rd window B deck).

The 3rd window along B deck on the starboard side is too far back and needs to be relocated to match what is seen on the port side.

See the WINDOWS section for details on how to fix this.

Item 6 (bilge keels).

These need to be glued flush to the hull. After gluing the keels into place wrap large elastic bands around the ship (and keels) with bands at the forward and aft ends of the keels with one amidships. This kept the keel pressed tightly against the ship until the glue set.

Item 7 (prop shaft housings).

The aim here is to make the prop shaft housings to look like part of the hull.

Glue these to the hull. Once set, putty the seams. After puttying sand them down with fine sandpaper and then finish the sanding with steel wool. It is important that the front of the housing sits flush to the hull and isn't "dog-eared".

Item 8 (propellers).

You can fix up the OUTBOARD propellers by adding two types of details.

Each outboard propeller had 27 nuts and bolts at the base of the blades (the central prop did not have these). There are 9 per blade with 4 at the front base and 5 at the rear base of each blade. Thanks to Bob Read and Bruce Beveridge for the updated number of bolts.

To fashion these take a spare 5-bar panel of discarded A/M railings. Cut the internal 3 railings from the railing panel's posts. Being molded as a unit (which is why the manufacturer tells you to paint the recessed areas black so they look separate) cross cut them into small sections less than .5mm wide. This should create a small group of three joined pips. Make 12 of these triple pip assemblies (2 per blade x 3 blades x 2 props).

Glue one set of triple pips on the forward and rear base of each blade. Paint them the same color you have chosen for your props. We suggest that you do not leave the props their plated "brass" finish. We used Testors brass paint on ours.

On each blade's STERN face add a small black dot near its center. This represents the hull's ID number which was 401 for the Titanic.

Item 1 (anchor well plate).

In the white section on the port side at the tip of the bow was a removable panel for the center anchor. This can be seen on pages 52 (Olympic) and 53 (Titanic) of Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic".

You can indicate this on your model by drawing a faint pencil line in the area to match the 'wedge' shape seen in the above photos. You can also scribe this into plastic if you are experienced with a scribe.

Item 2 (prow jackstay piping).

These are attached to the port and starboard sides of the bow, starting just aft of the bow and finishing approx. level with the forward edge of the first fairlead. The port side had three segments to allow for the center anchor panel. The starboard side had a single rail.

Construct this from thinly pulled sprue cut to lengths of 18mm. Cut the port's into a group of three using the panel you drew in item one as a guide. Glue into place and when dry paint them white to match the hull.

Item 3 (cleats).

Along the port and starboard corners of A and B decks forward you will see eye bolt cleats and 'protrusions'. These can be seen in Leo Marriott's "Titanic" on page 80.

Make these from cross cuts of very thinly pulled sprue. Glue these 'pips' into place and paint flat white.

Item 4 (Coaling outrigger brackets).

Along the sides of the A-deck superstructure were located 10 right angled triangular shaped brackets. These were located on the 1/350 model with measurements taken from the forward corner of the A-deck promenade to each vertical post of a bracket. From the corner:

Bracket 1 = 8mm from corner
Bracket 2 = 43mm from corner
Bracket 3 = 75mm from corner
Bracket 4 = 106mm from corner
Bracket 5 = 128mm from corner
Bracket 6 = 162mm from corner
Bracket 7 = 202mm from corner
Bracket 8 = 236mm from corner
Bracket 9 = 273mm from corner
Bracket 10 = 319mm from corner

Fashion these brackets from pulled sprue or microrod. Each bracket consists of 3 pieces, one vertical post, one horizontal, and one angle piece. Remember to taper the ends of the angle brace to match the angles of the right angled frame created by the joining of the horizontal and vertical pieces. After you glue all the outriggers together mount them to the A-deck superstructure underneath the windows and open promenade, paint them flat white to match the surrounding area.

Item 5 (doors).

There are several missing doors on the hull. Consult the DOORS section to see where they go and how to make them.

Item 6 (openings by private promenades).

There was an opening at B deck level port and starboard just aft of the 1st class entrance doors. Located underneath and slightly to stern of the 1st window aft of the aft door. It sits at about floor level of B deck and we are not sure if it is a drain, vent or what its exact purpose was. It is seen clearly in the Ken Marschall painting on page 107 of Don Lynch's "Illustrated History".

Mark the location on either side of the ship with a pencil and then drill the holes with a fine bit.

Item 7 (removing the seam line).

Down the center of the bottom of the hull is a nasty seam line from the molding process. Sand this off with a fine grit sandpaper and then finished the sanding with steel wool until all signs of the mold seam are gone. The steel wool helps to keep sand marks from showing in the plastic.

Item 8 (knuckle piping down A-deck and B deck hull).

On both the port and starboard sides of the ship you will see a pipe just underneath the windows extending along the length of both A and B decks. See the photo on page 31 of Don Lynch's 'Illustrated History'.

Fashion these from 4lb. test fishing line and glue to the sides with CA glue. As a guide we believe that they were at the same height as the hand railings on the open promenade deckhouses.

Paint flat white to match the hull.

Item 9 (outboard hand rails).

The hand railings along the open promenades extended outboard of the stanchions not flush as presented in the model. To simulate this glue lengths of 4lb. Test nylon monofilament along the length of the hand railings to the outboard sides. Paint them the same brown you are using for the railing caps to help blend them in. These should line up exactly with the piping you applied in Item 8 above. Apply these railing extensions to both A and B deck promenade areas.

Item 10 (drilling out the portholes).

See PORTHOLE section for information on drilling out the portholes.

Item 11 (note about fiber optics).

If you wish to light your model using small bulbs, fiber optic cables or lightsheeting we recommend that you visit Joe Oliveira's web site at;

This is an intensive "how to" on lighting the 1/350 Titanic. If you decide to use fiber optics we recommend that you plan how and where you want to add the light sources in preparation for your drilling assignment. You will also need to hollow out the interior decking to allow for the passage of ambient light and/or cables subject to the light source you choose to use.

Item 12 (mooring eyeplate cleats).

Along the sides of the ship between E and F decks were a series of holes with an equatorial horizontal bar across them. These were known as mooring cleats and aided tenders in dispersing mail or passengers, etc. These are represented on the model but need drilling out.

A cleat also needs to be added just before the gangway doors on D deck slightly forward of the Private promenade areas. You will see a pair of doors in the black part of the hull. A picture of this door in use and a view of the E/F deck cleats can be found on page 42 of Don Lynch's "Illustrated History".Use the rigging diagram on pages 70 and 71 of Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic". The photo on page 27 of Leo Marriott's "Titanic" can also be of assistance.

Mark out the locations with a pencil and then drill them out. You can use small sections of very thin pulled sprue to glue across their openings to represent the horizontal bars.

Item 13 (condenser discharges).

There were condenser discharges on the sides of the hull at the waterline level (where the hull turns from red to black) roughly in line with the bow of the LAST lifeboat on the aft Boat Deck. These played an interesting role during the sinking of the ship as the water from the starboard discharge caused lifeboat 13 to drift underneath lifeboat 15 descending from above threatening to crush all the occupants. It was only by the narrowest of margins that they escaped.

The discharges were a rectangular plate with two holes in them and were recessed into the hull. Drill out a rectangular opening 4mm high by 6mm long. Then create a hollow box on the inside of the rectangle from plastic strips. An alternative method is to simply cut out the top and bottom sections of a spare 4-bar A/M (or GMM) railing panel to create the two rectangular frames. If you use the A/M railings to make the frames sand them down to reduce their width (as it is easier to sand the entire railing panel on the sanding block than trying to hold and sand the smaller rectangle you trimmed off).

Add a square of sheet plastic to the back of the square and drill two holes to represent the outputs. Glue the assembly into the rectangles you cut in each side of the hull.

When the glue has set these will be painted black to match the hull.

Item 14 (stern portholes and hawse holes).

There are several portholes missing along the stern end of the ship. This is covered in detail in the PORTHOLE section. Likewise a pair of hawse holes need to be added on either side of the stern. This is covered in the HAWSE section.

Item 15 (missing plating).

The hull plating detail gets washed out in the stern area when compared to the sides of the hull. The best way to add the plate detail is to scribe new vertical plate lines with a sharp hobby knife and straight edge. The photo of the Olympic being launched on page 20 of Tom mcCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic" shows the plating lines clearly against the gray hull. Use this for a reference for your scribing.

  • Note: In general the hull plating is over represented. To correct this sand the whole hull leaving the rivet detail intact. You will need to drill out the portholes BEFORE you start sanding (web author's note).

Item 16 (stern knuckle piping).

There is a 'knuckle' located along the stern of the ship between the words Titanic and Liverpool where the hull suddenly angles forward this is the junction between two set of plating. You can see this on page 26 of Don Lynch's "Illustrated History". It extends around the stern of the ship from the aft port side of the well deck to the aft starboard side of the well deck.

Create this "knuckle" by gluing a length of nylon monofilament fishing line around the stern with CA glue. Once dry paint black to match the hull.

Item 17 (stern cleats and hooks).

If you look at Page 51 of Tom McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic" you will see several bumps on the stern plating where the rudder enters the ship. These seem to be cleat like devices some times these cleats can be seen with hooks hanging from them.

Construct these from small pips of crosscut pulled sprue and glue into position using the above mentioned photo. These will be painted black to match the hull. We counted 13 in all.

Item 18 (rudder supports).

This is one of those rare occasions where the model is TOO detailed.

If you look at the picture of the Olympic's rudder on page 51 of Anatomy of the Titanic you will see that there is no rivet detail and that the ribs are solid. Bob Read says that these were filled with cement.

To fix this sand off the existing detail and replace with Evergreen plastic strips.

Item 19 (loop on rudder).

The rudder had 5 ribs down each side. Just below the second rib from the top there was a loop attached to the aft side of the rudder. This can be clearly seen on the Page 51 photo mentioned in item 16.

Fashion the loop from pulled sprue. To curl the sprue drag it lightly across the back of the hobby knife to form a "C" shape. Next glue two small strip plastic squares to each side of the rudder where the loop is to go. Then glue each end of the loop to each plate. When dry paint the loop the same red as the lower hull.

Item 20 (painting the hull).

This is a multi-step process. There are a number of ways to paint the hull and what we suggest here is not necessarily the best or the easiest way. We have not tried every conceivable idea to find that perfect combination but what follows worked well for us and does NOT require anything more than spray paints, masking tape, small paint brush, bottle paint and newspapers.

Step 1 Painting The White Interior.

Ignore this step if you do not plan to light the interior. Painting the interior white increases the reflective quality from the light source and helps to increase the ambiance. Paint the interior BEFORE the exterior because the white paint may run through the portholes and get on to the outer hull areas.

Step 2 Painting The Black.

Make sure you are in a well ventilated dust free area when you go to paint the hull. We did ours outdoors. First spread newspapers out onto a table and tape them down so a breeze will not cause them to lift and hit the wet hull. Next place the hull on its gunwales to protect the white interior from overspray (if you painted it white) and paint the hull with the flat black spray using quick strokes about 10 inches away from the surface. Go back and forth to feather in each pass. Paint in stages rather than all at once. Too much paint or too close will cause the paint to run. We recommend spray paint over using a brush for a more uniform finish and speed.

The flat black (we used Testors) will dry quickly in the sun, however, let the paint cure for a full day before adding the next color to the hull.

To paint the rudder stick it upside down in disposable putty. This will hold it while you paint it. If you don't have putty take a piece of bread and knead it until it becomes like a dough, then press it onto the table and stick whatever you want held into it. Hey, we improvise like this all the time!

Paint the entire hull black not only provides the center pigment on the hull but acts as a uniform primer for both the white and red to be added next.

Step 3 Painting The White.

When painting the white section of the hull we need to take the yellow stripe into account. The yellow paint looks better painted onto a white background rather than the black. When painting the white area make sure you include the additional width of the yellow stripe. Using a good masking tape place a strip of tape along the hull where THE BOTTOM EDGE OF THE YELLOW is to go. In other words the tape itself is entirely on the ship's black painted plating.

Tape around the perimeter of the ship. Then take strips of newspaper and cover the lower half of the hull below the tape line to protect the black areas from any white overspray. When done take the ship back to your well ventilated spray area and paint the top white. We had to apply two coats to get a solid white pigment over the black. We did both coats of white in the same day and a couple of hours apart.

When the paint is dry remove the newspapers shielding from the lower half of the model but keep the original masking tape line you used for the divider between the white and black areas (this is also the bottom of the yellow line).

Step 4 Painting The Yellow Stripe.

Now tape another line along the hull's perimeter but 3/64" above the other masking tape. Keep these as parallel as possible. The stripe ran just below the 'cut out' in the well deck so use this as a guide to the TOP of the yellow stripe.

Be careful with the bow hawse holes (where the name Titanic sits between) these were in the BLACK hull section so take this into consideration when taping your lines.

Also the square windows on C deck just in front of the aft well deck are molded too low. These windows sat totally in the white section on the real Titanic. You can cheat a bit here and mask the line so it just scrapes the bottom sills . The alternative is to move the windows up with a slice and dice sheet plastic job, putty and much work. We opted to leave the windows as is and touch their sills with the yellow.

The curve of the stern will poses some difficulties with the masking tape. We recommend you use several small pieces of tape to work the curvature. If you try it with a long piece of masking tape, the tape will want to crease and it is absolutely CRITICAL to have no openings along the tape lines for the yellow paint to bleed under.

Once both tape lines are on the ship press their edges down as tight to the hull as possible to remove any gaps. When satisfied that the tape lines were secure brush yellow paint on the area between the two tape lines. Once you have gone around the perimeter and have a uniform degree of yellow pigment applied wait for the paint to dry.

With the paint dry remove both tape lines and the result should be a nice sharp cut yellow line separating the black from the white areas of the ship. If the yellow bleeds onto the white or black use touch up paint to rectify the problem.

If you are worried that the bottle paint doesn't match the spray paint with 100% accuracy then spray a blast of spray paint onto a piece of newspaper and use that as your touch up paint.

  • Note: for those not wishing to paint the yellow stripe most hobby stores have pinstriping tape that comes in a variety of colors. You need of mustard yellow for the Titanic.

We opted to paint ours.

Step 5 Painting The Red.

The waterline is a little different than that marked on the hull. As Scott Andrews explains...

"... the antifouling paint wasn't applied in a straight line. Amidships, on the flat portion of the hull's flanks, the antifouling paint was applied up to the level of the maximum load waterline, 34'-7". This roughly bisects the condenser exhaust openings. Beginning at the portion of the hull at both the bow and stern where the things begin to turn inward, the line between the black and the red antifouling paint rose from 34'-7" to the 40-foot mark at the bow and to the 37-foot mark at the stern. This allowed for both any difference in trim (bow or stern sitting lower in the water) so that only antifouling paint was submerged. This common practice and is evident in photos of Olympic and Titanic and in photos of many other liners as well."

In scale this would mean that the waterline would rise to 34.84mm above the keel at the bow, 30.1mm amidships and 32.2mm at the stern.

This subject is also covered in the signs section.

As with all the lines on the hull you want this to be a crisp clean cut edge. As before run the masking tape around the black area of the ship so that the lower edge of the masking tape is where the will red begin. If you look closely at the model there is a very faint line on the hull to indicate where the red ends and the black begins. Run the tape along this line.

Also install the rudder onto the ship to make sure the red paint lines up on the rudder as well.

As before place newspaper strips on the black and white areas to protect from any overspray. Then (in our well ventilated area outdoors) turn the ship upside down onto our taped newspapers on the table so it sat on its gunwales. Apply the red paint. For a good coverage we found we had to apply two coats. When finished set it aside INDOORS to keep it from dust and then allowed it to dry for at least 48 hours. We worked on subassemblies in the meantime.

After the paint was dry remove the newspapers and tape from the upper half of the model to reveal your sharp, nicely cut, red edge and keel area of the hull. It would have done Thomas Andrews proud. Testors was happy anyway.

Item 21 (protecting the hull after painting).

If you are like us, the hull will undergo tremendous handling during the rest of the model building project.

To protect the hull from hand grease, oil and grime, or bumps and bangs take several sheets of WHITE paper and tape them to the hull from yellow line to yellow line like a cradle. Don't use newspaper as the printer's ink will rub off on both you AND the model.

You can now handle the hull as much as you like. The paper will protect the hull being damaged or the paint on the edges of the bilge keels from wearing thin. It is a small tip that pays big dividends and is well worth the 5 minutes it takes to do.

Item 22 (adding the brass porthole rings).

Some of the authors bypassed this project. However, if you wish to add the brass rings do it after painting the hull but before you do the windows. The rings were recessed so only paint the plastic inside the hole, not out onto the hull itself and do not mistake hawse holes for portholes. If you are a brute for punishment, the brass paint is over there! Have fun.

Item 23 (adding acetate, Kristal Klear or paint).

If you did NOT drill out your portholes, now is a good time to paint them gloss black or with graphite pencil to indicate glass.

If you drilled them out you can now decide to acetate them or fill them in with Kristal Klear. If using Kristal Klear we recommend that you apply it with a wooden toothpick. It is a time consuming but rewarding project.

If you decide to place acetate behind them (our choice) read the ACETATING THE WINDOWS paragraph in the MISCELLANEOUS section.

We did Kristal Klear the new portholes drilled along the white area of the stern as it was too difficult and narrow a space to place an acetate strip.

Item 24 (adding the surface rust).

To obtain a realistic look we elected to add rust to our hull. Who says plastic can't rust? If you elect to do this drybrush rust down the following areas:

  1. The white areas where each deck bollard sat by a railing
  2. Underneath the gangway doors
  3. Expansion joints
  4. Ribs along B deck
  5. Plate seams on the black
  6. Coaling doors and
  7. Below the bow anchors.

Read the dry brushing techniques section in the TIPS section to learn how to do this.

  • Note: The starboard had more surface rust in the aforementioned areas than the portside as the portside's paint job was touched up before passengers arrived for loading in Southampton. So keep this in mind if you are adding rust.

Item 25 (dryfit the rudder).

If you want your rudder to swing back and forth dryfit it to the model and put it aside. Add the rudder as one of the LAST things you do.

If you don't care then you can glue it into a fixed position.

Item 26 (zinc sacrificial anodes).

If you look at page 89 of Anatomy of the Titanic you will see a strip of metal on the forward bottom edge of the rudder. This was one of the zinc sacrificial anodes. Scott Andrews explains that they were used "to prevent corrosion of the steelwork in the vicinity of the centerscrew through galvanic action. They tend to stand out well against the anti fouling paint because they must be left unpainted in order to function. They are silvery-gray in color.

There were also a number of these fitted within the arch ot the center screw aperature, You'll see them in better reproductions of the drydock and pre-launch photos."For the rudder you can make this out of K1 strip. 3mm length below the first rib, 4.5mm between the first and second rib and 3mm above the second rib.

For the propellor arch use K2 strip and bend to required shape.

Thanks to Hayden, Dan Cherry and Scott Andrews for their input on this modification.

Picture of rudder provided by Mike Pell.

Item 27 (draftmark decals).

The kit's are wrong , we recommend you buy Duane Fowler's CORRECT ones.

  • Note: The draftmarks have been corrected in the 99 re-release of the model.

Item 28 (jackstay rails).

Underneath the handrail caps along the open promenades of A and B decks are thin rails like those seen on the bow. We believe that they were used to tie off items like the canvas covers over the promenades. You can clearly see the Olympic's by its Cafe Parisien in Paul Quinn's "Titanic At Two".

Like the bow fashion these from either pulled sprue or 4lb. nylon monofilament fishing line and paint white. These were located on the bulkhead only and not on the small half-height promenade doors.

Item 29 (misaligned C deck portholes).

These do not present a problem if you do -NOT- drill out the portholes but if you do you will probably see the edge of the B deck's decking through them. What to do? Well the easiest fix is to just paint the edges of the B deck parts flat black so they are shadowed out of view, but we have found an even better solution.

Most of the B deck interior decking is not seen nor is it needed. Therefore trim it off immediately behind B deck forward's bulkhead right back back to the leading edge of the Private Promenade area. Then trim from behind the promenades back to the leading edge of the Cafe Parisien. By doing this you accomplished three things, a) less weight in the model, b) if you are lighting your model maximum light can shine up to the upper deck areas and c) less B deck edges to be seen through the C deck portholes.

Having removed the solid deck inside we did not want to jeopardize the hull integrity by allowing too much inward flex. Cut off sections of the sprue parts tree and using them as joists for the interior.

Measure the cross-width distance of the hull's interior and cut the sprue pieces to this length then sand the ends flat. Glue the remaining B deck assemblies in place on their gluing rail. Glue the joists underneath the B deck assemblies and and along the length of the hull making sure that you do not obstruct any portholes. This gives strength to both the B deck assemblies and the hull and prevents any inward flexing. A worthwhile fix to this perplexing problem.

Item 30 (superstructure gluing tabs).

The gluing tabs on the hull and the slots they are supposed to fit into on A deck do not line up. Remove the tabs completely from the model with a grinding wheel, sharp hobby knife and light sanding. This allows the modeler to freely move the superstructure around for micro-adjustments when fitting the decks together later.


This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000