Model Trivia

Model

  • Construction of the model began in October 1977 and ended on March 1978.  (Added 10-29-2002)  Thanks to Ken Marschall.
  • A model of the 55½-foot model of the Titanic was built at a cost of $5 million.  They also built a 10-foot model at $350,000, which was used only momentarily on screen.  When it was finished, it was discovered that it was too big for the tank in Malta.  Because of this problem it delayed production for 6 months.  The actual Titanic, in 1912, cost only $7 million. (Updated 5-29-2002)
  • The 55½-foot Titanic model was placed on a spring-loaded monorail-type track and cut loose to float to the surface. (Added 5-29-2002)
  • Ken Marschall became a consultant on Raise The Titanic! and help perfect the film’s 55½-foot Titanicmodel.  He made sure that every rivet, plate and window perfectly matched the actual ship. (Updated 6-29-2002) Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • The model itself was painted to a pre-sinking condition (black hull, buff funnels, white superstructure, etc.) (Added 6-29-2002) Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • The  two tall doodads on either side of the foremast with cowl vents on top of them were added in Malta to match the Greek ship Athinai.  Instead of cutting them off  the Athinai, the production crew decided to add them to the Titanic model.  This in effect made Ken Marschall furious for alternating the model instead of taking them off the Athinai. (Added 6-29-2002) Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • The producers decided to show the second funnel damaged, rather then the first funnel as historically stated, to prevent the film audience from thinking the Titanic was a three-funnel ship.  They also thought that it would be more dramatic.  (Added 5-26-2003)  Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • The cowl vents were added on the Titanic model because the Athinai was not considered at the time, to be scrapped and they were to be left on.  Because of that reason, the vents were added to the model as well as the rest of the foredeck.  (Added 5-26-2003)  Thanks goes to John Smith & Simon Mills.
  • The model was first floated and “christened” on the Gilligan’s Island lagoon on the CBS Studio Center back lot which was used for the swamp scene in The Muppet Movie, complete with moss and fake trees. (Added 6-29-2002) Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • Shots of the Titanic sinking was filmed but never used in the film.  The footage was later used in the 1982 television series Voyagers!  Titled “Voyagers Of The Titanic“.
  • It was divided by a giant longitudinal plan of the ship made up of the Harland and Wolff rigging plan for the part above the water line and the Engineering magazine drawing of the part below the water line. It was so big it acted as a room divider between the Billy Jack house of representatives set and the model workshop. I saw the little tugs being built, those yellow flotation tanks and Ken also showed me some tests on how the ship should be distressed under water. There w ere small panels of hull plating painted to show light rust, heavy rust, etc. The model itself was painted to a pre-sinking condition (black hull, buff funnels, white superstructure, etc.) The hull was by itself, with no deck on it at all, except for the foredeck, I believe. The main deck area was by itself and that’s where I could reach the lifeboat davit to crank it out. Ken even had the little benches where the passengers would sit! I think the poop deck at the back was by itself, too, but I am not sure about that. I got to crawl inside the hull to see the piping that would pump foam out the portholes. We have talked about those horrible vents on the bow that were on the Athinai but not on the real Titanic. Somebody added them to the model in Malta to make it look like the full sized ship rather than cut them off the Athinai. You can imagine what Ken thought after getting almost every plate and rivet exactly right. Most of the fittings were made of metal, but the hull plates were resin or fiberglass added to the strong metal hull.  Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.  (Added10-29-2002)  *NOTE* This is an exact quote from his e-mail.
  • The model footage is combined with live action footage of “Operation Sail” taken in New York Harbor in 1976.  (Added 5-26-2003)  Thanks goes to Robert Gibbons.
  • The whole length of the Starboard side of the hull, below D Deck is missing all its portholes, unlike the Portside which has them. The reasoning could be that the filming direction for the raising scene (watching the movie also) you only ever see the raising model from the Portside. The pumps inside the hull were only ever connected to one side of the model (Portside), so the Starboard portholes were never cut out below D Deck. Must have been part of the budget on saving money for piping, just keeping it to one side of the model.  Thanks to John Smith.  (Added 4-30-2004)