Yes it is true, I broke the Lusitania.
Actually there is a bit more to this title than meets the eye. When the Atlas Editions “Legendary Ocean Liners” collection was originally advertised most of us were very excited, but that excitement declined when we saw the first model come out (RMS Titanic). It was not what I expected, in fact it was not good at all. I had already decided to not collect the ships because of the outlay on these part works and hassles cancelling it. I was not after most of the ships anyway, just a select few, and it was easier to buy those off ebay once the novelty wore off.
I did pick up a Titanic for the princely sum of £10 at the local charity shop but really wanted the Lusitania model.
The Titanic model was not great, which is sad because the Atlas Editions warships were amazing models and I have a few of them. The warships were easy to waterline, you just had to unscrew the lower hull and voila: a waterline warship. The big question was: could you do the same with the passenger ships? short answer is: no! The hull is in one piece so it is going to be a mission to cut off the underwater part of the hull. I had done that before to a Revell QE2 model and that was plastic, this was some sort of alloy and would need a lot of work unless you had the right tools (which I thought I had.)
A quick squizz on youtube found me a video of somebody that had performed surgery on these models, and I watched it and it didn’t seem too complicated but there were snags in doing it. I have a mains powered mini tool and a whole wodge of cutting and grinding disks so it was feasible. It was just a case of getting a ship and actually doing it. With hindsight I should have cut the Titanic first.
A few weeks ago Atlas Editions suddenly stopped trading and a notice appeared on their website “it is no longer possible to place orders for new collections”. The playing field had changed and it was now in the realm of the second hand market. I did not really expend much energy looking for a Lusitania though but eventually found and bought one off ebay.
It is not a nice model, in fact it doesn’t really look too much like the Lusitania. The vents make it look like the Mauretania (incidentally they use the same model for the Mauretania), and I have no idea why there are strips of different colours on her superstructure.
Unscrewing the base was easy, and I tried a cut on the underside of the hull… seemed to work…
Phew, it turned out to be a major job, my cutting disks were just not up to the job and I ended up using a hacksaw to cut my way through the metal. The big snag is that there are at last two known pillars used to screw the base onto, and possibly more that I did not know about. The metal was easy to cut but the angles and sizes made it difficult. Surprisingly enough the paint and plastic fittings held out quite well although I eventually broke the mast and the foredeck crane (did the Lusie have one originally?).
Here are the 3 sliced up bits
And what it looks like as a waterline model only before I get down to finishing off the waterine.
I am semi happy with what I have achieved, but there is still a lot of metal work involved to get the model down onto the waterline. Watch this space is the operative word from now on.
The next day.
I repainted the underwater parts and add a new white line and remounted the mast and painted them brown. The ship looks like this now and I like it more than the full hull version. Will I waterline the Titanic? I am considering it, but at least next time around I will know what is waiting for me
As mentioned before, there is a Mauretania in dazzle camouflage, and it uses the same model for both. Do they really think we wouldn’t notice? Similarly there is a dazzle camouflaged Olympic and I expect that they are using the same Titanic model but may be wrong, I have not seen too many pics of that iteration yet.
The funny thing is that since there is no longer an Atlas Editions distributor the ships are popping up all over ebay as being available from China.
** Update 13/10/2018 **
I managed to pick up an Albatros Mauretania and she is amazingly detailed.
And this is what she looks like with the Atlas Lusitania.
I taped those strange brown lines on the Lusie and at some point may paint them instead. I do however like this waterlined Lusitania, it is quite a nice model if you don’t look too closely at it. This is what they look like from above:
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