Minicraft 1/350 Titanic
KIT #: ?
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Mark Hiott
NOTES: Gold Medal Models photo etch used


Everyone knows the story of the Titanic. Maiden voyage, hits an iceberg, sinks, a lot of people die… we’ve all seen the movie. (This is not a good example of a proper historical introduction. I'm sure Mark won't mind me using this as a teaching aid for prospective authors. Ed)


The Minicraft kit has been reissued over the years, getting better each time. This model is of the early issue, dated around 1985 or so. The early version of the Minicraft kit has several detail mistakes that some may want to fix, I chose not to. The later kits, as well as the 1/400 scale kit, resolve some of these problems. The kit was first marketed by Entex, along with the companion kit, the RMS Lusitania. They were state-of-the-art kits at the time.

The kit is beautifully cast, with a one-piece hull. The hull is cast in black, with the main parts in white, including the separate rails. A nice touch is the deck cast in tan. Also included is a tree of gold plated parts for the propellers and anchors.

There are ALOT of parts in the box. The amount of detail in the kit is amazing. All railings are separate and well cast with very little flash. Bulkheads are also separate, but will need quite a bit of clean up around the windows.

The instructions are very well done. The steps are well laid out and easy to follow. Riggings call outs are included in the steps that require it.

A very fine kit can be made with the parts in the box, although I used the Gold Medal Models detail set.


What can I say: This kit is a tedious build. The model is big and is very easily broken during the process if you're not careful.

Breaking the build down into several smaller builds goes along way in easing construction. The only big deviation I made was to build the superstructure off the hull. I found it easier to handle as a separate part. If you try it this way, just be sure that you note what you will have to do differently with the rigging in later steps.

One thing that will need to be done is add a small lip to the forward well deck sides. If you don't the gold cheat line will pass through the well deck as opposed to passing under it. Another spot that will require attention is the forward hull area. The number of portholes visible in the white area is incorrect. You will need to add the portholes with a small drill.

There are numerous improvements you can make to this model to make it more accurate, but with just these two you can make a wonderful display.


I'm going to add a section about this all by itself because I think the photo-etch is what sets this model apart from others.

Gold Metal Models makes some of the best ship details that I have come across and the basic "Merchant Ship" p/e set is complete with everything a person will need. Railings in five types (1,2,3,4 and 5 bar), stair railings, lifeboat davits, ladders and ratlines are all included as well as many other small items. One note on the photo-etch: it includes 4 bar railing, but the Titanic does not use it. If you intend to build the Lusitania sister kit to the Titanic, save the 4 bar railings. There is not enough 4 bar in the set to do the Lusitania. The set is reproduced in several scales and they are all the same.
GMM now makes more complete photo-etch sets that include parts for the deck benches as well as the compass platform.

Most of the parts are direct replacements for the kit parts. Stairways will require a bit of modification to fit the railings properly.


Painting the ship is straightforward: Black for the lower hull, white for the upper sections. The decks (although molded in tan) were painted Model Masters "Wood". A 1/16-inch gold cheat line was painted around the hull. One thing of note is that some of the rails require a brown top-rail. Make sure to do research to determine which rails require it. Most passenger areas use 5-bar railings, while crew areas use 1, 2, or 3-bar railings.

All portholes were drilled out and filled with "Krystal Klear". Drilling the portholes in the black area of the hull turned out to be a waste of time, as they are very hard to see, but to each his own.

The funnels require a custom mix of paint to get the "Cunard Buff" color correct.

The decals were used for the "Titanic" names on both sides of the bow and at the stern. Also provided are various flags for the rigging. Rigging was done with black sewing thread.

I chose to leave the anchors and screws in the gold plating... I think it just looks really cool.

I mounted the model on a custom made base using Acorn shaped lamp fennels. I also built a custom case out of 1/8 Plexiglas to cover it.


This is a great model in my opinion. Excellent detail, great subject matter plus a wide range of p/e available make it a good choice. Not to mention, it looks GREAT on display, everybody likes seeing a Titanic model!

It takes a skilled hand to build, but anyone with a bit of ship building experience should have no trouble. 


“Exploring Titanic” by Robert Ballard

Various photos off the web

Mark Hiott

February 2009

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