In our search for details to add to the model we found a photo of a small red plug in Robert Ballard's `Discovery Of The Titanic'. We figured if there was one, there were more and then set about the task of tracking them down the best we could with the reference material available to us. These were small water plugs for hoses used to wash down the decks, etc. placed about the decks of Titanic.


Step 1.

Having replaced the cross braces of crane's boom with Gold Medal Models photoetched brass parts use the discarded X cross members to create the plugs. If you are using the original crane booms for the cranes then fashion the plugs from small pips cut from microrod or pulled sprue.

If you are using the X shaped crane boom parts for the plugs then here is what to do to do.

Remove the X braces from the boom supports with the tip of your very sharp hobby knife, carefully cutting along the inside edge of each boom structure.

Once the row of X's are removed, cut them into individual segments.

Step 2.

Now take the hobby knife and trim this X to look like the following:

You will end up with something that looks like a microscopic check mark with a pair of miniature legs (for balance). The higher upper arm represents the plug body and the shorter upper arm the angled connecting nozzle for the hose. It looks much better than the diagram. These are very tiny, smaller than a pin head.

We elected to paint ours insignia red so they really stand out on the decks even though they are small.

Dan Cherry uses a combination brass and red for his hydrant color.


As the hydrants are very small we suggest the following procedure:

Place a small dab of glue on the deck at the location where the plug will go, either use the GluSquito or the tip of pulled sprue. Then pick up the hydrant with the tip of a hobby knife or a moistened toothpick and place on to the dab of glue. The surface tension of the glue will pull the plug free and allow for positioning.


The following information is based on a compilation of what was found on Titanic's sister ship Olympic and drawing on the `'knowns' from the Titanic. After examining both a mathematical pattern emerged which helped us to locate the most difficult plugs. The majority of the plugs listed have photographic support from either the Titanic or Olympic but a few are speculative we have clearly labeled these plugs.

Hopefully as more plans become available, the true layout will become fully known.

Our list comprises plugs along the forecastle, boat deck and poop deck. We did not bother with A-deck.


Plug 1 (photo reference - Olympic).

Just behind the bow anchor crane and phone box was a small deck hatch between the main anchor chains. Just to the port bow corner of this small hatch you will see a plug. Check page 54 of Tom McCluskie's `Anatomy Of The Titanic' to see the Olympic's. Thanks to Bruce Beveridge for pointing this one out to us.

Plug 2 (photo reference - Olympic).

Plug two sat on the deck just aft of #1 hatch behind the port side splash guard's first stanchion and the hatch's port/stern corner. A good photo of the Olympic's can be found in Paul Quinn's `Titanic At Two' on page 34.


Plug 3 (photo reference - Titanic).

The next plug found in Robert Ballard's `Discovery Of The Titanic'. It was located on the boat deck on the port side at the base of the bulwark just aft of the port wing cab. It lines up with the aft end of the opening for the crew's stairwell, between the collapsible and bulwark, just aft of the first davit for the emergency boats. It is also visible on the Titanic wreck mosaic photo in the same book listed above or a clearer version in the National Geographic's October 1987 issue.

Plug 4 (assumed based on plug 3).

We found proof that plug 7 and 8 mirrored each other along the bulwarks so we assumed that plug 4 would mirror plug 3. We cannot find any photographic proof for this in either Titanic or Olympic photos. If our assumption is correct you should place a plug on the starboard side in the exact same location as its `twin' on the portside. Again using the aft side of the crew's stairwell to position the plug along the bulwark.

Plug 5 (assumed - possible confirmation).

This plug is based on the wreck mosaic and a Ken Marschall painting on page 45 of Robert Ballard's `Exploring The Titanic'. This would place the plug at the base of the bulwark sitting 2mm ahead of the forward expansion joint and the 5th davit arm back from the bridge on the 1/350 model.

Plug 6 (assumed).

Mirroring our assumption for Plug 5 on the port side glue another plug at the base of the 5th davit 2mm ahead of the forward expansion joint.

Plug 7 (photo reference - Olympic).

There was a plug along the base of the bulwark opposite the curved bay window of the Reading & Writing room. It can be seen in a photo of the Olympic's on page 38 of Leo Marriott's `Titanic'. You will see the base of the guy wire attached to the deck, then just aft a bulwark stanchion and just aft of that, the plug.

Plug 8 (photo reference - Olympic).

The location of plug 8 is a mirror of plug 7. A photo of it being used can be found in Paul Quinn's `Titanic At Two' on page 44. This photo confirmed the `mirrored' placement and helped us to locate some of the more difficult plugs that have no photographic proof.

Plug 9 (photo reference - Olympic).

A pair of plugs are required in the area of the engineer's promenade. Glue one at the base of the superstructure's upper bulwark approx. 4mm (in 1/350scale) aft of the aft expansion joint. More or less in line with the front bulkhead of the Tank Room deckhouse.

See the top photo on page 123 of Tom McCluskie's `Anatomy Of The Titanic'. Using the Tank Room's bow wall as a guide and sure enough, there's the plug! right at the base of the stanchion just aft of the expansion joint as predicted. This in itself validates our formula as being useful in plug prediction.

Plug 10 (assumed).

You will need to mirror plug 9 on the starboard side of the ship 4mm aft of the aft expansion joint.

Plug 11 (photo reference - Titanic).

This one can be seen clearly in the Cork Examiner photograph sitting at the base of the 7th davit back from the aft expansion joint just outboard of that davit's belaying bitt. See page 39 of Don Lynch's `Illustrated History'.

Plug 12 (photo reference - Titanic).

Another photo from the Cork Examiner collection shows the starboard side where a plug can be seen sitting at the base of the 7th davit back from the aft expansion joint just outboard of the davit's belaying bitt. Check page 73 of Leo Marriott's `Titanic'.


Plug 13 (photo evidence - Titanic).

Using either page 716 of National Geographic's December 1985 issue or page 39 of Don Lynch's `Illustrated History" you will see the plug attached to the outside of the railing kickstrip above #6 hatch. It is that dark spot just to the starboard side of the centered winch.

Plug 14 (photo evidence - Olympic).


Bruce Beveridge has supplied us with photographic evidence that there was a plug located outboard and just forward of the fairlead immediately in front of the docking bridge. This was tucked right up against the base of the railing. If you look at the photograph on page 21 of either Marriott's "Titanic" or McCluskie's "Anatomy Of The Titanic" you will see a water line that follows the base of the starboard poop deck rail. At the farthest point aft where it stops in front of the fairleads is where the plug is.

The waterlines were constructed from sections of pulled sprue and glued on the outboard sides of the gutters (to be added) at the base of the poop deck railings.

Plug 15 (assumed as a mirror plug to #14).


It is our belief that there was a plug sitting on the port side of the Poop deck by the fairlead as seen in #14 on the starboard side. We mirrored both the plug and the waterline on each side respectively.


 Based on the math formula below additional plugs MAY be located in the following locations:

Plug A


Hypothetical plug on boat deck at bulwark in line with the aft end of the GSC foyer deckhouse, placing it just in front of the last davit of the forward life boat group (i.e. 8th davit back from wing cab).

Plug B.


A mirror of plug A sitting at the base of the bulwark just ahead of the 8th davit back from the starboard wing cab.

Plug C.


A plug should be located against the base of the bulwark in line and across from the stairs at the aft end of the Lounge's raised roof. These stairs can be seen in the photo of Jack Odell. There appears to be an object in this location in a photo of this area on the Olympic but even with magnification it is hard to distinguish . It does match, however, the location where a plug `should' be.

Plug D.


The mirrored counterpart on the starboard side of Plug C.

Plug E.


A plug should be located forward of the 2nd davit back from the aft expansion joint, tucked away against the davit similar to the one seen in the Cork Examiner photographs farther down. This is roughly the halfway mark between the engineer's promenade plug and the Cork Examiner plug. Possible confirmation could be seen in the photo of the Olympic on page 102 of Illustrated History.

Plug F.


The mirrored location of the Plug E estimate, sitting just forward of the 2nd davit back from the expansion joint.


Once the position of the known plugs was calculated a relationship could be seen, in that the numbers used were divisible into and/or multiples of each other. Based on the 1/350 model, assuming that all deckhouses are precise, which we doubt can be said with 100% certainty, a pattern appeared which made placing the plugs somewhat easier. The numbers 52 and 104 (52 x 2) were seen to be repeated everywhere.

Here is how we came across them. All dimensions based on the 1/350.

  1. First the known Titanic plug was located on the port side just aft of the wing cab. This gave us a place to start.
  2. The next plug to be located was the one behind the splashguard on the port side of the forecastle. Distance from wing cab port plug = 104mm.
  3. The next plug to be located was the aft Gym starboard plug. Distance behind the wing cab plug = 156mm. (this is exactly one half of 104 added to 104 (52+104=156))
  4. Next plug to be found was the mirror of the Gym plug by the Reading and Writing room again 156mm behind the wing cab plug. Knowing that the plugs were mirrored we then placed another on the starboard side mirroring the port's wing cab location. By now 5 plugs were located.
  5. Next plug to be found was the port Cork Ex. Distance from the Reading & Writing Room plug was 208mm. Exactly twice the 104mm distance from the wing cab plug to splashguard.
  6. Next was the starboard Cork Ex plug, 208 mm aft of the Gym plug. 7 plugs found.
  7. Seeing the pattern we then divided the 208mm distance in half to arrive at the 104mm distance and measured 104mm aft of the Reading and Writing plug to locate one in the engineer's promenade in line roughly with the tank room's forward bulkhead. This was then mirrored on the opposite side. 9 plugs located.
  8. We found the 104 number to be important so we measured 104mm forward of the Reading and Writing plug and found one that should be located just ahead of the forward expansion joint. We scanned the wreck mosaic and a Ken Marschall painting and found what we think is evidence for the plug at that location. This theoretical plug was 52mm behind the wing cab plug, exactly one half of the 104 measurement. The plug was mirrored on the starboard side. 11 plugs located.
  9. We then measured 104mm towards stern from the Cork Ex. plug which placed us in the middle of the well deck by the `mushroom' vent and low rollers. We could not find a plug there but did spot an object near there on the bulkhead/kickstrip above #6 hatch with the classic plug profile. A scan of the roof inside the 3rd class entrance on page 55 of Leo Marriott's `Titanic' caused us to believe we were looking at water lines along the ceiling slightly starboard of center and heading out towards the bulkhead which matches perfectly to the location of the object on the bulkhead/railing kickstrip. In our
    impression plug 12 located.
  10. Bruce Beveridge then draws our attention to the forecastle plug behind the phone box. Distance from splashguard plug = 52mm. Once again one half of the 104mm measurement. Plug 13 located.
  11. Now seeing 104 and 52 being commonly used we measured back 52mm from the #6 hatch plug feeling that if the forecastle had two plugs, chances were high that the poop deck would also have two, but tucked away in a pedestrian free location. This called for a plug equal in location to the bow side of the docking bridge.
  12. Scans of photos proved fruitless until Bruce supplied the much needed information in an Olympic photo he had purchased. In our estimate, plug 14 and 15 found. We assume these were repeated on the Titanic as the area is blocked from view by passengers along the rails in the classic Titanic poop deck photo.
  13. We then considered all plugs that were 104mm apart on our model may have plugs sitting at the 52mm mark away from them (in theory) but without photographic confirmation it is difficult to say. So we do see 52 and 104mm commonly used, but we would not be surprised if 52mm was indeed the standard dimension.
We therefore give you at least 15 plugs that we have added with the option of at least 6 more along the boat deck as mentioned in the PROJECTED PLUG LOCATIONS. We leave it up to the modeler to decide which (if any) to add. Some of the authors of this tutorial are going to be adding all 21.

This site was created by David Cotgreave January 2000