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1/400 Academy R.M.S Titanic


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This vessel doesn't need an introduction, but I'll write one anyway:

 

The R.M.S Titanic was a British ocean liner, one of three Olympic-class ships and the largest ship in gross tonnage at the time. During her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York she struck an iceberg at the North Atlantic and sank in just under three hours, resulting in the death of 1,496 of the 2,208 passengers and crew. This was the event that immortalized her name in history. 

 

This is Academy's non-premium version of the model, meaning that it only came with the model itself; It didn't have any of the extras that came with the other boxings of the kit such as photoetch or wood decks. Other aftermarket used was Eduard's photoetch set and Master's Olympic-class brass mast set. Other corrections or additions were either scratchbuilt or 3D printed. 

 

Here are the photos, before I get into the details of the kit (This is going to be bandwidth-heavy): 

 

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This is the single longest (8 months) project and largest, most difficult build I've done and it definitely tested my limits as a scale modeller. Being that I usually do aircraft I had to learn multiple skills on the spot to get this model across the finish line. The materials and tools used are fairly straightforward; All of the paints on the model except the white (MRP), anti-fouling red (Mix of (XF-2:2/XF-7:1)  and some of the thinner brown parts (light brown marker) were painted with Tamiya acrylics. If I were to revisit this build I'd probably lighten the mix of anti-fouling red and use a much lighter color for the wooden decks and the dark mast color, though.

 

The rigging came from Infini's Super Fine Black Lycra rigging (40 denier), but for the Marconi array that connects the masts I decided to experiment by heating the black PLA filament I use for my 3D printer and pulling it, like stretched sprue. The material behaves like it as well, but is tougher and sags much more consistently than sprue (although more brittle). I used this on the model but the sag disappeared when I attached the lines attaching it to the boat deck and those lycra lines pulled it taut. I would definitely recommend trying it out if you have some PLA to spare at home for rigging that has to droop.

 

As for the quality of the kit, well, of the large scale kits of Titanic the Academy's probably the best one for beginners, but that doesn't say much given that its competitors are a kit released in 1976 and a monster that's twice the size. The way it goes together is relatively straightforward if tedious, but the instructions frequently make it difficult to be sure on anything or to figure out how some parts are supposed to be placed, something that's crucial when there are up to 20 copies of the same ventilator, pipe or crane. The fit isn't great either, especially with the decks and superstructure. It's also highly inconsistent in this regard; sometimes a part will fit just as it's supposed to, and on other times it has to be wrestled in to place. The worst part came when it came to the forward "wall" of the superstructure; This is the part where the bridge windows are located. The gap is inconsistent on each side and I had to use a lot of plastic card shims to get it in place properly, and even then some of the seams are still slightly visible. The inaccuracies on this kit can get annoying as well, so much so that I can't really go into too much detail listing all of them unless I want to make this much longer than it already is. Any builder of the Titanic could uncover many of them through just checking surface-level photos and references and correct accordingly, but I suppose the most important corrections to make are adding a set of missing emergency "cutter" lifeboats (the ones that are opened and hang over the ship), and the lack of C-Deck openings under the forecastle and poop deck. I implemented as many of these as I could but there are some that I had to leave in. For all the inaccuracies, it builds up to a nice looking model in the end, however, and the kit still stands up to what other companies have to offer and is superior to the Revell kit in the same scale. 

 

There are many things in the build I know I could have done better in or rushed too much in; but after many months of work I'm just satisfied to call it done for now. Maybe I'll be able to build something closer to the real thing in the future.  

 

Thanks for reading! 

Edited by Columbia20713
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