Saturday, April 7, 2012

Small Scale, Big Project: Chronicling The Building Of My 1:700 Scale RMS Titanic

   In 2010 a good friend of mine gave me a scale model kit of the famously ill-fated ocean liner RMS Titanic as a housewarming gift. His idea for this gift stemmed from a conversation we had long before I moved in which I mentioned that a ship would look nice in the den. I told him I used to build models as a kid, but back then it was aircraft and space ships that I'd slap together in a day and ruin the next day.
   To some it may be a surprise that I never tried building actual ships when I've always had a love of all things nautical. The truth is I could never find any good ones that I could afford, and back then I was more into planes and science fiction so I bought cheap models that I could destroy and not worry about. And then I got into my teenage years and discovered girls and guitars and rock music, and that girls like guys that can play rock music on their guitars, so my model building days were over.
   I didn't even consider model building again until I met both my friend and my step father in law, who are both avid builders and have impressive collections. Even then I held off on the idea until I knew I would have the space to build ships and a place to display them. Once I knew that my soon to be new home would have a den that would become my "man cave" that's when I knew I could start building ships.
   I was very happy to receive the RMS Titanic kit and can't thank my friend enough. The kit is well made and at 1:700th scale is small, but still detailed enough to give a pretty accurate representation of the ship. It's not something that can be slapped together in a day, but thankfully I'm older and more patient these days so I didn't mind taking my time. I just had to wait until later in 2010 when my work as a painter slowed down enough to give me the time to work on the ship.
   At the time that I started building the model, I got the idea to take pictures of my progress so that I could present the build as a slide show video for my friends and family. Building the ship took me three months, but it's taken me almost 14 months to create the video. I gave up and re-started twice and was about to give up again, but then something clicked and it all came together nicely.
   The timing for this couldn't be better as we've almost reached 100 years to the day since that fateful evening when the real ship struck an iceberg, broke up, and slipped beneath the frigid waters of the North Atlantic taking 1500 souls with her. And even though a century has passed, the ship and her tragic story are still very popular today.
   I present my video as a tribute to the majestic old ship and the lives she took with her, and as a sort of thank you to the friend who gave me the kit and re-sparked an old favorite hobby of mine. Since building RMS Titanic, I've nearly completed a modern US Navy destroyer (no video for that one, but you'll see photos soon) and I have a third ship in waiting. I'll tell you more about that ship another time.
And so, without further ado, I present: Building R.M.S. Titanic In 1:700th Scale.

The Wandering Oak

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