Academy 1/700 R.M.S. Titanic

By Chris Banyai-Riepl

Overview

Few, if any, ships are as familiar as the R.M.S. Titanic. Hailed as an unsinkable ship, the Titanic went down on its maiden voyage in 1912. That disaster quickly became one of the most popular nautical stories told, starring as the main subject in untold numbers of books, plays, and films. The latest epic film about the ship, directed by James Cameron, proved that interest in the story was still high as viewers sat through the nearly 200 minute long film. For those with less patience, I recommend “Titanic in 30 Seconds,” which captures the highlights. For the full story of the Titanic, a quick Google search will inundate you with everything you could possibly wish to know about the Titanic.

The Kit

This is the second Titanic kit from Academy, with their first being quite a bit larger at 1/400 scale. This kit, to 1/700 scale, will better fit on smaller shelves, and also will fit in with existing 1/700 ship models. This latter point is particularly useful in demonstrating the size of the Titanic, as there are few ships that approach its nearly 900-foot length. The kit is molded in three colors: black, white, and tan, roughly matching the finished colors of the actual ship. While this is perhaps a good feature for new modelers, eliminating the need for painting, most other modelers will want to finish this model with their regular choices of paints. I would recommend using a good gray primer beforehand, to help cover up the plastic color differences before laying down the various colors used.

The basic breakdown is similar to most other Titanic kits, with a one-piece full hull and a multi-part upper decking. The main central deck and superstructure fits snugly onto the hull, and the fore and aft decks mesh up to that main piece smoothly. From that point on, the rest of the assembly focuses solely on building up the deck details and superstructure. Capstans, cranes, masts, and vents are all separate pieces, and while the plastic is somewhat thick for this scale, a bit of thinning coupled with thin washes should create some acceptable results. I strongly recommend looking through the instructions repeatedly beforehand, as there will be some painting required before the ship is fully assembled.

Moving on to some of the other external details, as this is a smaller scale some of these are simplified. A good example are the lifeboats, which are molded together with their davits in one piece that fits onto the upper deck piece. The stacks are three pieces each, in contrast, which allows for much more detail to be present. The small decal sheet provides the minimal markings found on the Titanic, namely the ship’s name on the bow and stern and the flags to fly from the masts.

Conclusion

Although somewhat simplified compared to their larger kit, Academy’s 1/700 Titanic is a very nice kit and one that is more likely to be built given its common scale. Out of the box it would make for a decent replica of this famous ship, and I am sure that it will not be too long before we see some aftermarket photoetch sets to really make this model shine. My thanks to MRC for the review sample.

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