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Olympic Build

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As nobody's objected to my post re building one of theTitanic's sisters, here goes with a build of RMS Olympic, the first of the class and the one with a long and distinguished career. In fact, parts of this ship are still in existance and in use on a daily basis - parts of the first class lounge and aft staircase are incorporated into the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, and a private house in Southport was fitted out with fittings from various rooms, these are apparently now back at sea aboard the Celebrity Cruise Ship Millenium

The model I'm going to build can be downloaded for free from the Currell Graphics website, Instructions and Parts. You'll also need the Titanic Instructions and I'' be using this Base to mount the finished model on.

Heres most of the stuff I'll be using:-


From the left

A useful and informative reference on Olympic

Titanic instructions, Olympic additional instructions and two sheets of A4 with all the parts of the model

Steel rule, assorted tweezers and pencil

Ball pen with no ink left - used to mark and score fold lines

Large and small scissors

Thick card for reinforcing bulkheads

Uhu glue

Assorted scalpels and replacement blades ( 10, 10a, 11 & 15)

Cocktail sticks for masts

A length of 1" x 1/4" wood for use as a building base.

And last but not least at top centre - reading glasses so I can see what I'm doing!

I'll try and follow the instructions as close as possible, so anyone else that fancies a go can follow as well.

Right, off to start, more later....


Edited by Dave Swindell
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Stage 1

Simple one to start off with- the section containing all the bulkheads and formers is cut out and stuck to 1mm card to stiffen it up and give the model rigidity


Stage 2

The main keel or backbone folds have been scored with the dud ball point pen, and the the part has been cut out


More tomorrow....


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It's nice to see a card kit in the GBs. Looks like good detail for this scale and the instructions aren't in Polish! What weight of printer paper are you using?

I'd be tempted myself, if I didn't have so much else on.


P.S. Just checked out the rest of the site Here. There are some great free models there.

Edited by It'sAllGoneHorriblyWrong
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Hi Andy

Paper is 160g/m2 colour copier paper, got a 250 sheet pack from Staples a couple of years ago that will provide raw material for a good number of models. The models on the Currell site are excellent, one of my Concorde builds is here on Britmodeller , and I've built all the airships. Right, off to do some building, update later.....


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OK, here's this afternoons progress

Step 2, the lengthwise former with all the folds made along the previously scored lines


With the base sections folded out of the way, the central spine is doubled up and glued together


Whilst this dries all the bulkheads and the well deck formers were cut out from the laminated sheet, then the deck line and bulkhead slots were carefully cut in the lengthwise former.


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Jumping ahead to step 5, a centre line was marked on my strip of wood to be used as a temporary base. The centreline former was then stuck to it with very small dabs of glue on the base tabs at the points marked "X" The forward and aft sections were carefully aligned on the marked centreline, and the outer sections were located by temporary fitting of bulkheads F, H, & K


Now back to steps 3 & 4 - I prefer to fit the bulkheads after the centreline former is attached to the base, the instructions have you fit them before, the choice is yours.

Here's mine with the bulkheads (stage 3) and Well Deck stiffeners (stage 4) all glued in position. If you want to separate the model off the temporary base on completion, be careful not to get glue on the bottom of the bulkheads where they touch the base!


Next step focsle and poop decks...

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A bit more done this evening

Step 6 display base skipped as I'm building on the temporary base, I'll come back to the display base once the model is built

Step 7

Focsle deck cut out, folded and installed. A small hole was punched using a punch & die set for the mast, and alignment with the mast step cut in the centreline former was checked whilst attaching it.


Poop deck cut out, folded and installed. note a small section of the centreline former protrudes through a slot in the well deck section


Step 8

Forming the aft outer hull sides - this is one of the more difficult stages of the build as this area curves in 3 dimensions. After cutting out the parts for this stage they should be offered up to the hull frame one piece at a time so that you can work out where and which way the curves go. Gently roll the parts round a suitably sized curved object (I used one of the punches from my punch & die set, approx 4mm dia) to get the approximate curve of the part, test fit and adjust until the curve looks about right. Parts A23 & A24 will have a shallow S shape in cross sesction. Once the parts have the correct curvature, glue on the tabs and glue the parts together one side at a time. As the glue is drying tease and curl the part into the desired shape, test fitting as you go.

Here's a close up of the aft end of the hull sides after shaping & glueing


and a full shot of both sides


Step 9

The two hull sides are now joined by glueing just the two halves of the rudder together, seen here clamped between self closing tweezers


The outer hull skin is now ready to wrap round the hull skeleton, a job for tomorrow morning....

Good night & thanks for watching.


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Yes, definitely fun Cliff! Had a couple of hours at it this afternoon, here's where Ive got to so far:-

Step 10

Adding the hull sides is best tackled in stages, starting at the stern, up to and including the aft well deck first. Do a dry run to start off, then put glue on the bulkhead and deck edges back to bulkhead D. If you're building on a temparary base, don't get any glue on the bottom edge! Slide the hull sides on from aft and line up the top deck edge and the aft well deck opening. Hold in position around bulkhead D and gently work the hull sides into shape around the stern.


Once you're happy with the stern plating add glue to the bulhead edges along the parallel mid body as far forward as bulkhead M and glue the sides in position taking care to line up the forward well deck opening. Try not to put any pressure on the sides between the bulkheads or you'll end up with ripples along the hull.


With the sides attached, the bow sections can be glued in place one side at a time - if you've got the position right the front edge of the bow plating should protrude just slightly forward of the centreline former.


Step 11

Now comes another tricky bit, the counter stern plating is first curved into shape and then the edges glued together, this is the part viewed from what will be the inside


Once its formed and glued into shape it can be test fitted and glued into position in front of bulkhead M


Step 12

The forward bridge and promenade decks are simple L shapes folded and glued in position


Step 13

The aft bridge and promenade decks are a little more complex.

The lower part needs slots and a hole cut in before the fore tab is bent up and the aft tabs down. Test fit the slots over the bulkhead and centreline former before glueing


The upper part is quite complex, study the instructions to see where the folds and cuts go - this is a shot of the underside of the part showing how it folds up.


Once it's folded and glued it can be turned over and positioned on top of the lower part


Looking a bit more ship shape now, next we add the boat deck....

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A bit more done this evening-

Step 14

Boat deck - Cut the slots for the bulkeads first, and test fit before glueing. As with the hull sides try not to put pressure on between the bulkheads or you'll end up with a wavy deck


Step 15

Second class entrance - some small fiddley bits here


Step 16

Smoke room nad funnel deckhouse


Step 17

Tank room and skylights


Step 18

No 3 funnel deckhouse - another fiddley one to fold up - got distracted and didn't photograph this stage separately, so the next photo also shows

Step 19

Lounge roof - Fairly straight forward


That's it for this week, busy with other stuff over the weekend, so next installment probably Monday evening.

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Three whole days before the next installment! Give me a chance to get some more :popcorn: .

... As with the hull sides try not to put pressure on between the bulkheads or you'll end up with a wavy deck ...

For the benefit of anyone else contemplating a papermodel build, one solution to the wavy deck problem is to use balsa or bass wood for these large/long/narrow flat pieces. This also provides a stronger base when adding subsequent superstructure elements. Just remember to align the grain along the length of the piece.


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Three whole days before the next installment! Give me a chance to get some more :popcorn: .

For the benefit of anyone else contemplating a papermodel build, one solution to the wavy deck problem is to use balsa or bass wood for these large/long/narrow flat pieces. This also provides a stronger base when adding subsequent superstructure elements. Just remember to align the grain along the length of the piece.


Glad you're enjoying it Andy!

Whilst i'd agree balsa would be good for flat areas on larger models, remember this is 1:1200 scale, the whole model is less than 9" long /1" wide (>230x25mm).

The model is plenty stiff enough, you just need to take care not to put pressure on between the bulkheads. Use a straight edge or something similar (flat) of a suitable size to push the part into place so you don't force the part down between the bulkheads.

The photos are coming out much larger than life size on my screen, and aren't very forgiving in showing bits not quite meeting or not quite square - I've tweeked several bits after looking at the photo's, and I'll be tidying up the joins later.

Have a good Weekend All


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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry Andy, been a bit of a long weekend, Christmas, New Year, Tax Return & life in general got in the way.

Anyway, it's back on the coffee table (paper modelling allowed in the lounge!) and I got a bit more done this afternoon


This is step 20, the no 2 funnel deckhouse in position - well actually it's nearly in position - if you look carefully you can see a bit of light blue to the right of the 5 windows, the whole deckhose slipped forward about 1mm without me noticing, which caused a bit of a problem later on


Here's step 21 , the wheelhouse front bulkhead and bridge wing bulwarks attached to the front of the bridge deck


Now on to step 23, the officers quarters and wheelhouse, which should just slip in between the bridge front and the deckhouse fitted at stage 20 - test fitting showed up the error mentioned earlier, but by then the glue had set so rather than risk damaging everything trying to reposition the deckhouse a small amount was trimmed off each end of the officers quarters and wheelhouse until it could be slid into position.


And here's step 23, the promenade deck sides in position. This is the first bit that is noticably different from the Titanic, the promenade deck on Olympic was open for it's full length, whereas Titanic had sections plated over and staterooms extending out to the ships side, this was a modification incorporated into Titanic after White Star management had sailed on Olympic's maiden voyage. The top of these parts is cut down compared to the Titanic kit parts as the model is of Olympic in the 20's and consequently has lifeboats the full length of the boat deck above, whereas Titanic had deck edge bulwarks between the sets of boats.

Cranes and cargo hatches tomorrow.


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Very interesting build Dave

Glad you're enjoying it Mish, here's this afternoon's progress

Step 24 is building the Electric cranes, they're quite small and fiddley, here's the forward 2 in positon (plus the two forward hatches from step 25, which gives the position for all the cranes and hatches)


Also included here is 3 stages of assembling the crane itself. On the left, initial stages of cutting out - with small bits like this you want to do as much of the fiddley cutting out as possible whilst the part is still attached to a relatively large bit of paper. here there are two cranes and I've cut all the way round the top of the T of each part which had the folds scored before starting. The middle bit has had the jib cut to length and one side removed. The waste part can then be gripped with tweezers and the last straight cut made to release the part. Hold the whole length of the jib inside tweezers and make the fold, slide the jib out a bit so that the T will double over, put a tiny bit of glue inside the fold and close the fold up. now grip the folded over part with locking tweezers as shown on the right, put a dab of glue on the two halves of the T and fold over the top of the tweezers so that they meet, grip with another pair of tweezers, and squeeze the locking tweezers just enough to slide the jib out. A tiny dab of glue on the bottom and the jib can be positioned on the already assembled and positioned pedestal. Hope you can follow that!

This is the stern with the cranes and hatches all in position, together with the aft docking bridge assembled in step 26. This docking bridge is all one part, the supports wer folded up and glued in place with the part still attached to a large tag on the aft side of the part - this is a simple straight cut once the glue has dried and makes the part much eeasier to hold an less likely to fold up on itsself whilst the supports are shaped.


Finally step 27 the raised hatch on the focsle and breakwaters in position. There's also a tiny anchor handling crane in this stage, but I'll not be using the paper part, this will be used as a template to make a replacement out of wire towards the end of the build, it's prime carpet monster fodder!


Time for dinner, I'll be having a go at the chimneys once I'm fed.


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Back again.

Here we have step 28, the funnels under construction.


From right to left, first we have the parts for the aft funnel cut out. The steam pipes and the funnel caps are cut out oversize and doubled over to give extra thickness and have yet to be cut to the final shape. The main funnel part has been turned over and the top edge coloured with a grey felt pen as this will be seen on the finished funnel.

Next we have the joiner attached to the main funnel part and gently rolled into shape round a cocktail stick, the steam pipes have been trimmed to length.

After that, the main funnel part has been joined to form a tube, the cap has been trimmed to size and the steam pipes trimmed from their backing with a new blade.

Finally the funnel tube is gently squeezed in on the sides so that the cap with a thin coating of glue round its edge can be slid into position just below the top edge of the funnel, and the steam pipes added along the front and rear sides - note the rear one is shorter than the front one! You may also note part no's pencilled on some parts - each funnel is different! I would advise against cutting all the parts out like this to prevent mixing bits up - cut the parts out as you need them. I only did this for the comparison photo.


Stage 29, here we have all the funnels in place - this makes a big difference - makes it look nearly finished, but there's still a bit to do yet!

The next stage in the instructions is the compass platform which is shown drawn in the correct position between nos 2 & 3 funnels, not as noted as between 3 & 4 funnels. However I'll be skipping this stage as this was removed in the early 20's sometime and this model will represent the Olympic after this.

Stage 31 is the Masts, and I'll be skipping this stage as well until all the lifeboats are in positon and the model is on the final base.

So tomorrows task - loads of little boats!

Until then


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This afternoon I've mostly been cutting out lifeboats!


Here's a few showing my method of assembly - from left to right, at the top

The keel bottom is cut first, then the bow and stern shaped, then the piece cut off the waste with the last cut

Below is the top and sides, first cut the inverted W at each end between the top & side sections (1), then trim the sides to release the part from the waste (2)

Turn the part over and curve the sides by rolling a cocktail stick over them whilst the part rests on a finger tip (3).

Add the keel along the centreline of the top (4)

Fold the sides up with tweezers to form an E shape (5)

Runglue down the valleys of the E with a cocktail stick, then gently sqeeze the tops of the sides in to meet at the keel, and teesze the bow and stern into shape (6)

Gently remove completed boat which is now stuck to fingers!

Easy, one boat done! Only 39 more to do.. now I realise why modelling Titanic is much more popular than Olympic or Britannic!!!!

Next post when they're all in positon


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That looks seriously fiddly and very easy to lose all the little bits to the carpet monster. As soon as I get a bit more motivation back (all the fiddlyness got to me), I'll be joining you building again.

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That looks seriously fiddly and very easy to lose all the little bits to the carpet monster. As soon as I get a bit more motivation back (all the fiddlyness got to me), I'll be joining you building again.

The beauty of these downloaded paper models is you can feed the carpet monster and still complete the model - just pop back to the computer, load up the printer and print the page with the bit the monster ate! Also useful for extra detailing, for example the deck where lots of detail such as bollards, winches etc is just printed on the flat deck, print another set of parts, cut out the individual details from the deck and stick them over the printed detail. As you say, very fiddly but the result is much more 3D, especially wort it if your're scaling thekit up to make a larger model - you could very easily do ths is 1:600 or 1:700 if you have access to A3 printing facilities.

Good to here you're going to get back into building soon, look forward to seeing some progress.


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Well, looks like we're on the home straight, she's looking like a proper ship now. Just got to get her on a base and let the tame spider loose.


The lifeboats presented a bit of a quandry, as the photo's I have of her post war show different numbers of lifeboats - it seems she carried various different fits between her post war refit and eventual scrapping. A plan shows double stacked lifeboats the full length of the deck each side except for the ones immediatly aft of the bridge, which were triple stacked, however the photos seem to show only some double stacked and the rest singles. Eventually I went with an aerial photo of 1923 which appears to show the configuration shown above (or something close to it!)

The masts are cocktail sticks held in a pin chuck and rotated by hand on a cutting mat whilst filing along the length to give the required taper. This was fiinished with fine sandpaper and coloured with a brown felt pen. They're just slotted in position for the photo - once the model is on it's permanent base they'll be fixed in position.

Base construction will commence tomorrow..


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She looks a beaut Dave

Hi Mish Glad you're enjoying the build and like the results!

More progress this afternoon in the base department - here's the parts I used. 5mm foam board cut to size (60x240 mm in this case), the Titanic at sea base from the Currell site, the title block from the Olympic instructions, and my Word black document (can't always find black paper, so this is a document with a black rectangle that takes up the whole page, works well on a laser printer, not sure about an inkjet?)


The black paper has been folded and cut to wrap around the foam board to "finish it off" and the title panel cut out. A piece of scrap paper has been used as a mask to determine the composition of the base - draw a rectangle the size of the base with the lines extending well beyond the rectangle, cut the rectangle out and position over the base and adjust to give the composition you want, hold in position and make short cuts through the extended lines into the base (8 marks total), turn the base over (easier to see the cuts) and join the cuts with pencil lines, hold the base up to the light to check you've got it right, then cut the base out with a new blade.


Glue the black wrap carefully over the foam board, stick the base print on top, and the title panel on top of that, and the base is done. Then comes the nerve wracking bit, separating the model from the temporary base without destroying it. If you didn't mark the building base with where the glue spots were, check the pdf file to see where the glue spots should have been and mark the base accordingly. Slide a thin sharp blade in between the glue spots and work the blade up towards one, other blades (old ones will do, or feeler gauge or similar) slipped in behind the sharp blade help to keep the gap open and ease the moving of the cutting blade. Gently cut through the glue spot, if you feel the cut is moving up into the model, stop (obviously!), remove the blades and try from the other side of the spot. Carefully work round the model freeing it one side at at time, don't be tempted to try pulling it off! Here's the separated model and the completed base.


And here's the model attached to the base, with the masts attached complete with crows nest on the foremast.


Right, off to find Boris, I've got a job for him....


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Well, I can't find Boris anywhere, so I've had a go at the rigging myself, and come to the conclusion that she looks better without any rigging than with wonky / overscale rigging in this scale. As I'm not even attempting railings, and the lines are much thinner than stanchions, they're staying off! I've made a new anchor crane out of HSS using the paper part as a template, and that's it, i'm calling it done.


I'll be posting a "sail round" in the Finished Thread in a minute.

I'll be taking Britannic away with me on my next trip, I hope to get this done before the end of the GB, so I'll have a model of each of the class (see post 11 here for Titanic)

Thanks to all who've dropped by and commented, and hope you've all enjoyed watching. :bye:


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