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cjhill

Best RMS Titanic kit for a beginner

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Hi everyone,

 

I'm Chris, this is my first post here.

 

I will be honest and say that I don't have any prior modelling experience, apart from maybe completing an old spitfire airfix kit many years ago.

 

Like many others I have always been fascinated with the Titanic disaster and have always fancied having a go at making one from a model kit, so now I have decided, right...time to take on this challenge.

 

There seem to be quite a few out there on the market. I did look at the Revell 1:400 scale one but that one is rather too big. 

Ideally I want a kit that gives you everything you need to build it i.e the paints & glue as well. It seems to be between the Airfix 1:700 seen belowGIFT SET TITANIC GIFT SET

or...the Revell version

Image result for revell titanic 1:700 kit details

 

Which one would you guys recommmend is the best for a beginner & most accurate in terms of its detail?
Also If there are any other/better 1:700s out there please suggest those.
 

Thanks for your help.

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Hi Chris

The Airfix gift set contains the Academy kit. Both the Academy kit and the Revell kit have some simplified and overscale detail and would require a fair bit of work and PE details to turn out an accurate detailed model, however both should give a reasonable looking model out of the box built by a relative novice.

If glue & paints in the box are important to you, then go with Airfix. Otherwise it's price/availability.

There's also a Zvezda 1/700 Titanic kit which looks similar quality to the others.

There's a review of the Revell kit here on Britmodeller

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That's great thanks,

I'll probably go with the Airfix one then as there doesn't seem to be that much difference between the two and they both have good reviews.
It comes with the paints & glue which is convenient. Looking forward to getting started!

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Hi Chris

 

You can also get a LED lighting set for the 1/700 Academy kit if you want to make it really stand out. In terms of size there's a compromise on the 1/400 kit with Revell's old 1/570 kit. I was given one of those as a birthday present when I was 8 and it is what really got me into making models. Whichever way you go, enjoy! :)

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On 30/03/2017 at 5:40 PM, cjhill said:

It's this one isn't it?.....
https://www.wonderlandmodels.com/products/academy-1700-rms-titanic-led-lighting-set/

I have seen that, looks really impressive. Where would I find out the paints that I'd need for that?

 

Easy-  go here: http://titanic-model.com/paint/

 

Basically...

 

underwater hull- red lead colour

mid hull- black

upper decks- white

funnels- yellowish buff (it is still debated what exactly this looked like)

 

You could actually paint it all (perhaps excluding the funnels) using Halfords aerosol sprays!

 

There are a lots of other colour details that are worth researching (and not usually included in kit paint-instructions anyway). For example, the lower halves of the well decks were red- an often missed detail which is very visible.

 

A bit of time spent researching colour details would go a long way to elevating an otherwise basic model. Worth doing!

 

Will

Edited by Killingholme

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M

On 28/03/2017 at 3:12 PM, cjhill said:

 

I will be honest and say that I don't have any prior modelling experience, apart from maybe completing an old spitfire airfix kit many years ago.

 

 

More general advice from someone who was a beginner a few years ago too. I made lots of mistakes buying kit I didn't need, and got caught out by 'starter kits' too- they are really only a marketing gimmick.

 

Avoid starter sets with paint included because 1) there's never enough paint to cover the model well, and 2) the brushes are not usually the right type for smoothly painting large areas in single colours. You will also  find with kits such as airfix that they simplify their decal sheets, or sometimes even cheat by telling you a part is should be an inaccurate colour because it just happens to mean they don't have to include the correct one!

 

Titanic is a big model, but has a lot of large blocks of colour that you will want painting smoothly- doing this by hand is tricky unless you lay down thin coats over a good primed base- using a flat, wide artists brush. Personally, on a kit like this, I would recommend buying some aerosol spray tins. Halfords red, black and white primers will cost you over £15, but will guarantee a smooth paint finish, and the tins will last you a months as primers for any other models you build.

 

Going right back to the beginning, you will need some basic tools regardless of what kit you buy. I was stuck in a hotel last month and built a model kit to a pretty good standard using the bare minimum. So I AM speaking from experience that the following I consider essential modelling tools:


So you've got to remove the parts from the sprues...

 

1) Sprue Cutters

Image result for sprue cutters

Consider buying dedicated sprue cutters if you can, it makes removing parts from the sprue much neater and removes the inherent danger that comes from applying any sort of pressure to a craft knife blade

 

You'll need to clean those parts up- no matter how neat you are, there will be nubs of plastic from where the parts were formerly attached to the sprues- there might also be some fine areas of 'flash'. This is when the mould is a little bit worn and some plastic will seep out- it is usually a thin ridge and can interfere with fit. It is easily scraped away with a...

 

2) Craft knife.

 

Image result for craft knife

Buy a good one- cheap knives often have a plastic 'chuck' (the part where the blade is secured). Plastic chucks break- and I consider them to be quite dangerous actually. Make sure you have plenty of blades spare- they dull quite quickly, which makes work hard.

 

You may need to smooth the parts a bit further- so you'll need...

 

3) Sanding stick. 

 

Image result for nail file 4 in one

Now you can buy a whole range of sanding sticks from modelling suppliers, and they do work well. You can get products that will polish plastic to a glass-like sheen. In you case though, if all you're going to be doing is cleaning up parts that you've just cut from the sprues- I'd recommend just a plain old nail file. Those marketed as 'professional' with 4, sometimes 6  different 'grits' are quite handy, and whilst they will wear out much more quickly than 'modellers' sanding sticks- and water will often ruin them- they are cheap. Make sure you avoid emery boards- they are FAR too coarse for sanding model parts.

Edited by Killingholme

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Gluing:

 

4) Tweezers

Fine modelling tweezers prevent glued-up thumb prints on your model and make life generally easier when positioning small parts. This will be especially useful on a 1/700 scale model! Maybe a couple of different types- flat, needle, bent would always have a use, and many come in sets anyway.

 

5) Polystyrene Cement- Revell Contacta and Humbrol Precision Poly being the most commonly found in the UK

 

Note that these both have narrow metal tubes to ensure the application is controlled. Both are very similar in how they work- the Contacta having a little more grab (i.e. less working time before it sets), but the Humbrol makes a more aggressive 'weld'. I used contacta for years not because I like it, but I know how it behaves, and that predictability is very useful when knowing how much glue to apply. By the way, should you find these fine tubes get blocked, which they will, just hold the tube over the gas hob for a couple of seconds and the dried glue will be burnt out.

 

How to glue- I know, sounds silly, but worth reading. http://www.scalemodelguide.com/construction/techniques/how-to-glue-parts-together/

 

You might need to hold parts together whilst they dry. You can use clamps or tape. You'll need the tape anyway...

 

5) Tamiya Masking Tape

Image result for tamiya tape

It has a slight elasticity so that you can pull parts closer together if you want to apply some force to drying parts. It will also conform to slight compound curves which is handy. It is 100 times better than domestic 'decorators' masking tape and when you get round to painting you model, this tape will mean you get very clean demarcations between colours.

 

6) Cocktail sticks

For stirring paint, etc etc. Combined with a bit of foam packaging they make excellent paint stands for small parts.

 

It would be a challenge, but I think you could build that kit with just these tools and maybe a few general household items such as scissors, kitchen roll, etc etc. 

 

The best thing would be to open a build thread on here and let everyone weigh in with their experience and advice!

Will

Edited by Killingholme

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Hi Chris,

I don't know anything about ship kits (truth be told, I don't know much about modelling at all judging by the results), but excellent advice above about the minimum tools you need. I'd agree to steer clear of starter sets and gift sets; at best they won't have enough paint to cover all the hull and you end up buying extra.

 

In the completed group builds section is one dedicated to using a starter set and very little else, it takes a great deal of inginuity to get a decent model out of one!

 

I expect that you do want a decent model as you have an interest in Titanic rather than modelling. I'd say it would be a shame to buy it and then not complete it even close to what you had in mind. So, at the risk of sucking you into the curious world of model-makers, I'd say buy a few cheap kits to loosen up on first and get the basics sorted before tackling the big'un.

 

But, I'm sure it will be very satisfying to make a model of the ship- far more so than buying a ready made one. Quite possibly the ready-made on will be to a higher standard but you don't get the chance to examine it and relate to it in the same way as if you build a kit of one. It someone gives you a clearer idea of how it all fits together (sorry, dire pun). Most of all have fun and don't be intimidated by the exhibition standard models on here; it's your enjoyment we're all talking about.

 

Best wishes

Michael

 

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Guys thank you so much for your advice, lots of really useful information there.

In terms of tools, as chance would have it I do have some halfords red primer in the garage, tweezers and masking tape, other paint brushes (and a craft knife....somewhere)

Luckily I have a model shop in town (and a halfords) fairly nearby so anything else I need i.e craft accessories, extra paints etc I should be able to locate fairly easily.

I did in-fact go for the 1:400 Revell 100th Anniversary one and it should be arriving within the next 2 days. 
If more paints are required (which I am fairly sure they will be) then no problem. I guess that's the penalty of being a newbie

I did wonder about how to treat those 'nubs of plastic' that are left attached to the part after cutting it away from the sprues. Craft knife/sanding sticks seem like the best approach
Very good point about buying a smaller model though, even of a different model altogether, just to nail down the basics and 'see how it all fits together' as you said. :D


All the photo's I have seen of this model look very impressive and If I can get it looking anywhere near those I will be happy.

 

No doubt i'll have some other questions along the way and may even start a new thread as you suggested but anyhow I'll keep you all updated on my progress.

 

Thanks Again,

 

Chris
91Gxn1WtUXL._SL1500_.jpg
 

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Best of luck, Chris.  You'll find the folks here on Britmodeller are incredibly helpful and willing to share knowledge and experience (the latter sometimes hard-gained through mistakes!).  Bottom line is to enjoy it...like most things, we improve our modelling skills through practice.

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On ‎11‎/‎04‎/‎2017 at 3:31 PM, cjhill said:

Luckily I have a model shop in town (and a halfords) fairly nearby so anything else I need i.e craft accessories, extra paints etc I should be able to locate fairly easily.

I did in-fact go for the 1:400 Revell 100th Anniversary one and it should be arriving within the next 2 days. 
If more paints are required (which I am fairly sure they will be) then no problem. I guess that's the penalty of being a newbie

 

Chris

A model shop in town, that's a rarity these days. lol

 

Im my experience with this kit, you will need at least £15 in Revell paint to complete this.

 

When you goto Halfords, get yourself 1 can of each:-

 

Acrylic Grey Primer

Acrylic White

 

Just look at the side of the can to make sure its acrylic, they go for £7.99 for 500ml can.

 

Trust me you will need the white spray for the white side of the hull & superstructure, this was a 1st big build & I didn't know anything about spray paint at the time & the white hull & superstructure took me 8 coats of white by paintbrush to get it perfect, but if you spray it, it should be one maybe 2 coats.

 

Also be careful when cutting the railings off the sprue, they are very thin & will snap, so when cutting them off use the craft knife for that

 

Rigging will be a pain too, especially around the smokestacks, use your tweezers.

 

Another thing about the rigging, DONT cut to length as per the instruction sheet, it'll be too short, always leave a bit left over & cut it off the excess when you have attached them fully.

 

Also pop to hobbycraft or a cheap costume jewellery shop & get yourself some small chain for the anchor chain supports on the front of the ship, as this kit does not come with anchor chain, it should be about £3-£4 for a meter in a small bag.

 

Wayne.

Edited by Deadman Disciple

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For rigging I'd suggest forgetting thread (which looks fairly awful) and heat stretched sprue (which is incredibly fragile) and look to one of the modern lycra rigging line products. These are fairly idiot proof (I can do it!) and very forgiving to use.

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7 hours ago, Deadman Disciple said:

A model shop in town, that's a rarity these days. lol

 

Im my experience with this kit, you will need at least £15 in Revell paint to complete this.

 

When you goto Halfords, get yourself 1 can of each:-

 

Acrylic Grey Primer

Acrylic White

 

Just look at the side of the can to make sure its acrylic, they go for £7.99 for 500ml can.

 

Trust me you will need the white spray for the white side of the hull & superstructure, this was a 1st big build & I didn't know anything about spray paint at the time & the white hull & superstructure took me 8 coats of white by paintbrush to get it perfect, but if you spray it, it should be one maybe 2 coats.

 

Also be careful when cutting the railings off the sprue, they are very thin & will snap, so when cutting them off use the craft knife for that

 

Rigging will be a pain too, especially around the smokestacks, use your tweezers.

 

Another thing about the rigging, DONT cut to length as per the instruction sheet, it'll be too short, always leave a bit left over & cut it off the excess when you have attached them fully.

 

Also pop to hobbycraft or a cheap costume jewellery shop & get yourself some small chain for the anchor chain supports on the front of the ship, as this kit does not come with anchor chain, it should be about £3-£4 for a meter in a small bag.

 

Wayne.

 

Indeed! Very lucky indeed to have that, went in there today and bought a sprue cutter, some sanding sticks and a craft knife. They were very helpful.

 

The model arrived today and I cant wait to get going properly. 

Thanks for the info regarding the paints and the heads up on the rigging, that's really useful.
The instructions seem to suggest you just start painting the parts without primer but you would suggest applying it to the hull sections?


Just the hull or do i need to primer the other parts?

 

I also noticed the kit does not come with paints required for the anchor or the brass colour for the propellers so i will definitely be raiding the model shop again soon.

 

Thanks,

 

Chris

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14 hours ago, cjhill said:

The instructions seem to suggest you just start painting the parts without primer but you would suggest applying it to the hull sections?


Just the hull or do i need to primer the other parts?

You need to primer everything, will make the paint adhere better.

 

You can assemble the parts & glue them to the deck first & you can primer then.

 

Its your personal preference.

 

Wayne.

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The chain I used for the anchor chain is made by beads unlimited, again I bought from Hobbycraft.

 

On the bag it says:-

 

CHTR2 AC trace chain, 1 meter low nickel.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Wayne.

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Good luck, let us know how you get on and if you need help with anything. The Revell kit was originally released by Academy in 1998- and is considered the best all round kit of Titanic. The larger scale is your friend too- 1/700 can be darned fiddly!)

 

But don't do ANY gluing yet!!

 

Go online and read as many build reviews of this kit as you can find (the Academy 1/400 kit is identical to yours). You will soon get a sense of where the tricky bits are. 

 

A quick note about build sequence:

 

Most manufacturer's instructions are simple build sequences -glue this to this- and this to this- until the last step which is the completed, UNPAINTED model. What they often don't tell you is when it might be useful to pre-paint a part, or treat part of the build like a sub-assembly. Also, on big kits like these, don't feel obliged to do it in order. For example- you could easily glue up the four funnels, paint them and set them aside for later. Such little jobs like these- treated as sub assembly projects mean you can make progress, and if you don't have much time at the bench (or can't be bothered!) they represent an 'easy win' to keep the build moving forwards.

 

Good practice is to read the instructions through critically before you glue anything, noting down on them things such as colour callouts so you don't miss them out. Basically- build the model in your head first. It is also a good idea to look at what you can build as sub assemblies- clusters of parts which you can complete, even paint, and then fit later. Similarly, think about how you can paint up your parts in a way that will avoid having to mask around them later. An obvious example here is the deck houses. If you removed all of these from the sprues, painted them all white in one go, and then glued them to the (painted) deck- you will have a very crisp effect with minimal effort. It also has the benefit of meaning you can paint the mahogany window frames whilst you can still easily handle these small parts. 

 

Once you've built the model a few times in your head- then get gluing! 

 

Let us know how you get on!

 

Will

 

 

Will

Edited by Killingholme

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Once again, thanks for the advice guys, very useful.

The build is well underway. Quite a lot of detailed parts already in place, especially around the stern of the ship.

I have mostly been following the instructions given on the sheet as I feel that should give me a logical process to follow. 
The trickiest parts so far have been the cranes, rigging for the cranes and the staircases but the next step is to glue all the parts to the promenade deck, which also needs one more coat of paint.

Really enjoying it though and can't wait to see the final result.

Here is a photo of it in the 'dockyard'...

titanic1.jpg

front railings glued in and masked to hold in place.

titanic2.jpg

 

Some areas will need touching up with paint obviously but it's coming along slowly.


 

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Excellent progress. Looks good and I'm in awe that you've tackled such an ambitious build as your first (and only- truly we're not trying to suck you in!). Remeber, we're rooting for you and don't feed the carpet monster- that feared eater of small parts.

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Cracking build so far... And this is your first model in how many years???

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Thanks guys, the rigging for a couple of the cranes could have been a bit better but overall pleased with it so far.
This is actually my first proper model ever I would say, not counting a small spitfire I made in school over 20 years ago. 

Promenade deck going on shortly.

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