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RMS Titanic (83420) 1:700


Mike

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RMS Titanic (83420)

1:700 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd

 

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There can’t be many people that haven’t heard of the appalling and unnecessary loss of life that happened when the Titanic’s maiden voyage route intersected with an iceberg, causing huge gaps down the ship’s side due to blown rivets, overwhelming the safety measures that led many to believe that she was unsinkable.  At the end of the day on 14th April 1912 she hit that fateful iceberg and began taking on substantial quantities of water.  The ship’s waterproof bulkheads only extended to a level below the main deck, and one-by-one they overflowed, causing the Titanic to settle lower and lower in the water.  Less than three hours later she broke into two and slipped beneath the surface with many of the passengers still aboard, and many more forced to jump into the almost freezing water, where most died from hypothermia or drowning.  Over 1,500 souls were lost that day thanks to the hubris of the designers and impatience of the supervising crew, but many lessons were learned from this tragedy that are still applicable today, and many lives have subsequently been saved as a result.

 

The 1997 blockbuster release of the film The Titanic brought the story to the public consciousness again after the wreck had been found over 13 miles from her expected location some years earlier.  She was found lying upright and in two major parts, both of which had hit the sea bed at a considerable speed, badly buckling the underside.  She has since been thoroughly inspected, and some of the knowledge gleaned from those expeditions was incorporated into the fictionalised plot of the James Cameron helmed film, which itself has become part of modern vernacular, with phrases such as “paint me like one of your French girls” raising the occasional titter.

 

 

The Kit

This is a new tooling from Hobby Boss, and represents the Titanic on her fateful voyage, although we understand another boxing will be forthcoming soon that depicts her sister ship Olympic in Dazzle camouflage livery, as she appeared during WWI as HMT Olympic, performing troop ship duties.  The kit arrives in a rectangular top-opening box with a painting of the Titanic on the front, and two cardboard dividers inside that keeps the various aspects of the kit separately.  There are ten sprues in grey styrene, plus the hull and six deck parts of varying sizes, a black styrene stand, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and black & white instruction booklet with separate colour painting guide slipped inside the pages.  It’s immediately evident that this kit is intended to be a more “serious” kit than the recent offering from another company that came with a basic lighting kit, as the higher number of parts and monotone grey styrene suggest.  When you remove the sprues from their individual bags, the detail is very finely engraved, showing delicate planking to the decks, window frames, doors and other fixtures, found all around on the visible surfaces thanks to a substantial use of slide-moulds that improve the model without increasing the part count unduly.  The inclusion of PE parts is welcome, however this is a small sheet, and doesn’t include railings or other fine fittings that would be outwith the scope of most kits, and would cause frustration and extra expense to many modellers, who would see it as unnecessary complexity.  They’d be entitled to think so, but the aftermarket producers are able to assist if the urge takes you to super-detail your kit.  Hopefully, the research that Hobby Boss have put in is as good as the detail present.

 

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Construction begins predictably with the hull, which has hundreds of portholes, fittings and the distinctive banding around the hull moulded into it, plus the tapered stern where the rudder and screws will be placed later.  The initial deck part covers the majority of the top surface, leaving the stern and bow to be added later, turning the hull over to fit the port and starboard prop-shaft fairings into grooves in the underside, with three props, one in the centre, which was the only screw with strong rudder authority, making her slow to turn, and could well have contributed to the collision with the iceberg once it was eventually spotted by the lookouts, who weren’t issued with binoculars, amazingly.  With the hull righted again, the bow and stern deck parts are installed, and various deck fittings are applied over the next several steps.  The superstructure is built from two deck parts, adding sidewalls to the lower layer, and building up the ends to prepare for the next deck, and includes the bridge.  Two more deck parts are placed on the raised guides, adding a few detail parts to the smaller section to cover a blank space that couldn’t be dealt with by sliding moulds.  The gap between the two superstructure parts is filled by a pair of walls, adding more inserts around the forward area near the flying bridges so that the deck above can be laid on top, detailing the open areas with more deck furnishings.  The smaller upper deck areas are each detailed with dozens of parts, including life boats, davits, and a PE compass platform, resulting in seven sub-assemblies that are also placed in situ with guidance from the raised shapes all around the promenade, which is then covered with dozens of benches.

 

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The ostensibly complete superstructure is mated with the hull, taking care to align the bridge with the bow end, which shouldn’t be hard thanks to the raised guides that are used to assist throughout.  A small forest of deck cranes are mounted on turret-like bases at the bow and stern, adding a couple of PE doors to the sides of the hull near the stern, which are likely either particular to the titanic, or were left off the mould by mistake and added later.  Who knows?  The Titanic had four large oval funnels, one of which was fake and was used to vent the heat and fumes from the kitchen so that the First-Class passengers didn’t have to smell the cooking odours.  The three active funnels are made from halves with nicely engraved and raised details, adding an inner ring near the top, and covering it over with a PE grille.  Painting the interior of the funnel tops a deep black should prevent anyone seeing the shallow base, and while the exterior of the aft funnel is identical to the others, the insert has a tube projecting up the centre, plus a pair of holes should be drilled in the floor.  The PE grille is also different, with a solid forward section setting it apart from the others.  The completed funnels are installed on the decks with their raised oval base plates assisting with placement, and taking care to glue the correct aft funnel at the stern end.  Dozens of davits for the life boats are arranged around the sides of the main upper deck, with a few having a different design, and these are pointed out in the instruction steps.  The lifeboats are suspended from each pair on the deck, which is best done after the glue on the davits is totally cured, fitting the two masts as the final act.  The foremast has a small crow’s nest for the lookouts and an angled jib, while the stern mast has a single level jib facing forward.  Both masts will have copious rigging, but there are no diagrams showing where it should be fitted, however the box art should assist with this, as the Titanic is almost directly side-on to the viewer.

 

 

Markings

The Titanic didn’t last long after it embarked on its first and final voyage, floundering without completing a single crossing with huge loss of life.  You can build her as she left Southampton below:

 

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Decals are printed by Hobby Boss’s usual printers, and are fit for purpose, although under magnification the blue seems very slightly out of register on our sample, but unless someone is very sharp-eyed, it probably won’t be noticed, especially if you don’t use the US flag that’s supplied.

 

 

Conclusion

This is a very nicely detailed kit of the Titanic, particularly at this relatively small scale, with deck, windows and portholes finely engraved.  It’s not a gimmicky kit that lends itself to a quick build with lighting, it’s for the modeller that wishes to build a well-detailed model as a little part of maritime history, as an homage to those that lost their lives.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of

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18 minutes ago, Mike said:

but many lessons were learned from this tragedy that are still applicable today, and many lives have subsequently been saved as a result.

 


Oddly enough she has also caused quite a few deaths after she sank. People realised that safety gear was needed on other ships so the Seamen's Act (stop sniggering at the back) was signed into law. This meant, among other things, adding (heavy) lifeboats to ships not designed for that. There is at least one wreck, the SS Eastland, that possibly suffered stability issues from this by becoming so top-heavy that she rolled over while still being tied to the dock. 844 lost souls. Titanic's legacy.

The Podcast "Ship hits the fan" did their first episode about the Eastland back in 2022

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Very much looking forward to the Olympic, and happy that I somehow have never brought myself to buying the Revell Olympic. This looks like it has much less pronounced surface detail, which for me is a good thing.

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  • 2 months later...
Posted (edited)

Looks a nice kit.

Titanic model makers certainly have plenty of kit options to build this ship ranging from very small to enormous.

Different material options too. Plastic, Wood, Card and I believe one of the large scale part works doing one in Die Cast.

Edited by Noel Smith
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Just got this kit and it’s very nicely molded.

 

I did observe some detail omissions:

Titanic’s funnels have numerous pipes of different diameters running up and down their outsides. None of these are present on the kit funnels. I find this an odd omission as the design of the kit has to be based on the 1/200 Trumpeter kit. These pipes will have to be added from soft wire or similar if you want to make a correction. Maybe these were separate parts on the 1/200 kit and that’s how they got left off.

Likewise there is supposed to be prominent pipework from the base of the third funnel back  to the roof of the deckhouse that contains the reciprocating engine room vents. This is totally missing as well. 
 

Everything else looks quite good, although I question the raised lines on the superstructure where the expansion joints should be. Those will be easy enough to cut off.

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