I am trying to re-capture my childhood fascination with a giant re-creation of the Olympic class liner, the Titanic. But to manufacture the parts of the model in such a way that it could be copied multiple times to share with others as a kit. My journey started with a fully 3d printed 1/72nd model. This model is just shy of 4 meters long! That’s over 13 foot for the imperials out there! But it wasn’t enough… So I re-designed it to be fully RC! After being a success in the water, I STILL felt it was missing something… It needed to be bigger to capture the true fascination of the Titanic. This is when I decided to go one step further, and design a 1/24th scale model! It would be so big, that it would be able to house a driver and one or two passengers inside. But not so unfeasibly large that it would take no more care and storage than a standard trailer boat. While using modern technology (like the 1/72nd) to make each part at ease to create a kit for anyone to build themselves. The more I looked at the design, and completed the computer representation, the more this concept became easier than initially thought! And eventually, I had a workable plan to make this idea a reality.
I quickly realized that 3d printing would not be capable of building the whole thing like the 1/72nd model. A more traditional approach would need to be adopted, with a wooden frame and planking for the bulk of the model. However, 3d printed parts could still be implemented to exclude the need to fair the bulkheads for planking, and for construction of all smaller detail parts. I decided to utilize the same technology in 3d printing to develop a cheap and effective large reaching laser cutter for making the frame and coverings. After designing the cutter, and compiling a parts list, I was able to calculate the cutter to cost around $900AUD. With this, I can cut out all hull boards and coverings for a simple and easy place and drill style build! For a cheaper more ‘DIY’ option of kit, I could provide all of the build instructions for the cutter and plotting programs to cut their own boards.
Once the hull is completed with the bulk of the superstructure finished, I can begin focus on the interior and drivetrain. This is where the fun begins… Using existing kits already available, I have calculated that the cheapest option for driving the replica (and ironically the most authentic option) would be live steam engines. The final plan (and kit) will include all information and installation of the running gear.
The interior will have three 4” boilers, two quad piston steam engines (for the wing propellers), and one dual piston steam engine (for the central propeller). Each of the boilers will be plumbed into the first 3 funnels for an amazingly authentic product.
For the Titanic purists, the boilers will have a seat for a stoker to manage the plant, a small storage bunker for coal, and small water storage tanks to re-fill them when low.
For the days when your stoker friends aren’t available, the boilers will have gas fueled racks to easily slide into the fire boxes. Water levels, pressures, and temperatures will be fully monitored and controllable by the helm. As well as all engine speed, direction, and rudder controls.
Finally, the easy part of the kit development (as I have already completed and have proven the designs) will be the fine detail. Painting and placing all of the small parts to get her to an authentic finish.
As much as this sounds like a massive feat, each step on its own is actually quite simple! And if you help back me today, I will guarantee a great kit that will be simple to build, and an amazingly fun boat to cruise around in. Not to mention, I guarantee it to be unbelievably cheap! Once completed, to make it even easier to own one, I will even offer a pay as you build service. Where you pay a fraction of the full price for each section of the build.
I hope this goal excites you as much as it does me! Thanks for taking the time to view my Kickstarter campaign. And I hope you will be able to help me start this 'Titanic' build for your own kit soon.
Risks and challenges
There are a few challenges ahead that my past ‘large model’ experience has shown me. However, I have overcome these challenges before, and am well equipped with the skills and knowledge to overcome them again.
The biggest challenge that I can see will be ballast. This is one of the biggest problems with scale Titanic models, and one that I found myself when testing the 1/72nd scale Titanic (over 140kg in total). You see, the original Titanic was made of thick Iron plates. For her size, she was a heavy ship, as were all steamers of her time. Therefore, she had quite a deep draft. So a LOT of weight will be needed to lower her to the necessary depth for authentic accuracy. This can be advantageous with a large model, as she will be incredibly stable when fully ballasted. The problem will be transport, as a fully ballasted 1/24th scale Titanic will weigh almost 4 tons. But this can easily be overcome with a false hull system, with the actual watertight hull being on the interior of the model. The calculations and designs for such a solution are already in the development stage. The estimated final weight of the replica when the false hull is dry will be 1.2 tons. Easily transportable by an average tow hook!
Over all, the project itself is quite simple! With only a few obstacles that a bit of smart planning, and a touch of unique engineering can easily overcome.
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