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How to make a simple model of the titanic

Updated February 21, 2017

The Titanic is one of the most famous cruise ships and its sinking is probably the most tragic maritime event in history. The sinkings of many famous ships such as the Titanic, Lusitania and USS Maine are regularly taught in history classes throughout the United States. A lesson about the sinking and aftermath of the Titanic could be greatly enhanced with a simple model-building project.

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  1. Use the marker and ruler to divide the styrofoam block into thirds lengthwise. You should have marked all around the styrofoam, dividing it into 4 inches at the bottom, 4 inches in the middle and 4 inches at the top. Using the styrofoam cutter, cut off the top 4 inches of styrofoam. Reserve this section.

  2. Draw two shapes like an upper case 'V' with a rounded end on top of the remaining 8-inch styrofoam block. These shapes should be about four inches long, should connect both sides of the styrofoam block and one 'V" should be at each end of the block. These will form the stern and bow of the ship.

  3. Cut away the styrofoam from around both 'V' shapes to form the shape of the ship. Turn the styrofoam block over and shape the bottom of the ship by rounding the edges on both ends and cutting at an angle slightly. Make sure that the ship can still stand without tilting when turned right-side up. Use the picture of the Titanic provided in the Resources as a guide.

  4. Retrieve the 4-inch piece that was cut away earlier. From that piece, cut out a rectangular block 6 x 12 x 4 inches. Cut the ends of the block at an angle slightly so that it looks like a giant gold bar. Attach this block to the top of the ship with the hot glue.

  5. Turn the ship over so that the bottom is pointing up. You should still be able to see the black marker line dividing the block into 4-inch tall sections (from Step 1). Retouch this line so that it goes all the way around the ship. Paint all the styrofoam below this line black and all the styrofoam above this line (including the very bottom of the ship) red. Allow this to dry for several hours.

  6. Cut the cardboard tubes in half. Paint the top half of each tube piece black and the bottom half red. Perform this and the following steps while the ship is drying. Allow these tubes to dry.

  7. Cut the straws into thirds. On the cardstock, draw four propeller shapes, similar to a four-petaled flower. Cut out these shape and poke a hole through each with a pen or the end of a kitchen knife. Insert one straw piece through each of these propellers. Discard the remaining straw pieces.

  8. Turn over the now-dry ship. Glue the four cardboard tube smokestacks in one row, spaced evenly one behind the other, on top of the unpainted portion of the ship. Glue the four propellers to one end of the boat (that end will be the stern of the ship) towards the bottom.

  9. Using any remaining black paint, paint a few rectangles on the sides of the unpainted styrofoam at the top to represent windows on the upper decks.

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Things You'll Need

  • Large block of styrofoam, 2 x 1 x 1 feet
  • Ruler
  • Black marker
  • Styrofoam cutter
  • Hot glue gun
  • 2 bottles of tempera paint, black and red
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • 2 large, cardboard paper towel tubes
  • 2 plastic drinking straws
  • 1 sheet of cardstock, 8 x 11 inches

About the Author

Jeremy Cato is a writer from Atlanta who graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and an English degree from Morehouse College. An avid artist and hobbyist, he began professionally writing in 2011, specializing in crafts-related articles for various websites.

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