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RMS Titanic Academy 1/400

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After getting back into modelling during lockdown I have progressed to what I would generously call an intermediate standard. I now fancy tackling my first large scale model and for this I have chose the 1/400 Academy, as it seems to get the best reviews for accuracy and detail. I plan to add some aftermarket extras, as well as LED lighting. I'm aware that there was a limited edition kit with lighting however that no longer seems available as new in the UK.


My question primarily concerns the use of LED lighting. It doesn't seem to difficult, however if anyone has any experience of this I would much appreciate some tips and pointers. I also did wonder if the kit available for the 1/400 Lego model could be adapted?


Any other advice would be more than welcome….I know my limitations 😀


Thanks guys.



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Depends on how far you want to take it really. Personally, I'm not a fan of the proprietary lighting kits available for Titanic models. I think they're too bright and certainly too expensive considering you could buy their constituent components- namely LED light strips- from amazon for a couple of quid! 


But most importantly, I think they're totally unrealistic. The brightest lights on Titanic at sea would be the navigation lights on each side of the bridge, and the masthead lights. To my knowledge these aren't included in any of the proprietary lighting kits that are available.


Also worth noting that Titanic's funnels were not 'uplighted' as depicted in James Cameron's film- that was a director's decision to help light the film sets. Before the bridge would be kept blacked out at night to ensure the officers and lookouts could retain their forward night vision. The Bridge itself would be dark for the same reason. There was also a big variation in the intensity of lighting between different parts of the ship. The public spaces were of course amply lit by electric lighting, but the crew spaces were much more sparsely lit. And if you really want to take realism to extremes- there wouldn't be many circumstances in which every single light along the ship was blazing. When Titanic struck the iceberg many passengers and crew were asleep. The public spaces were closed variously between 23:00-00:00. Some, such as the dining saloons would have remained lit only because the staff were busy cleaning or setting places for breakfast. It all rather depends on what you want to achieve- a display model or a depiction of the ship in a moment of time. These are the reasons why many modellers resort to using fibre optics.


Practically, whatever method you choose the challenge is making sure light does not 'leak' through plastic parts that you don't want it too. I think the reason many people chose fibre optics over LED strips is because you have more control of the individual 'spots' of light, which goes some way to representing the differing intensities of light on the real vessel. I have seen models completed with a single, large light shining through every single opened hole in the hull and to be honest it rarely looks realistic!


Good luck!



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Thanks Will. That is pretty much my thinking as I’ve seen the kit LED’s and they don’t look great. I’ve ordered a bunch of LED and fibre optic lights and plan to try the subtle approach. 




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