MAJESTIC MODEL DOSSIER

A model of Majestic survives today at the Auckland Maritime Museum. It was originally made by by Basset-Lowke, who manufactured several ship models, as well as model railways and other assorted items. Timothy Young deserves sincere thanks for sharing information about the model.

(Another model, reputedly the original builder’s model of Bismarck/Majestic, still survives today. It is a half model, displaying the ship’s interior spaces, and remains in excellent condition. It is displayed at the RAN Historical Collection, Spectacle Island, Sydney Harbour. Photographs and information about this model can be found at Peter Leach’s website: Bismarck Model’ )

majestic model bow

majestic model stern

 

Above: Although the model - especially the rigging and deck fittings - have seen better days, the elegant sweep of the bow is visible. (Courtesy Timothy Young.)

 

Above: At the stern, many of the lifeboats are still intact. The gold colouring of the porthole rims makes them stand out. Among other damage at the stern, the ship’s starboard propellers are missing. (Courtesy Timothy Young.)

majestic model amidships

majestic model topsides

 

Above: Majestic’s funnels still shine, but the dull, yellow colour of the funnels seems to be a poor match for White Star buff. (Courtesy Timothy Young.)

 

Above: The model appears to depict the ship in the late 1920s. The white paint on the bow was removed around 1932-33 - see below. (Courtesy Timothy Young.)

 

majestic

 

majestic

 

Above: Majestic cut an impressive profile. This photo, first published in early May 1922, was therefore taken before her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. (Author’s Collection.)

Below: The forward end of the promenade deck, directly beneath the lifeboats, as it was in the mid 1920s. (Author’s Collection.)

Above: Majestic makes an appearance on a postcard. The white paint of the superstructure and topsides extends all the way to the bow, and it was not removed until 1932-33 when the bow was all black. (Curiously, when she was launched as Bismarck in 1914, the bow was then black.) (Author’s Collection.)

Below: It is popularly believed that the forward end of Majestic’s promenade deck was enclosed in the late 1920s. In fact, it appears that the finish of the existing windows was merely altered from a wooden finish (almost invisible in photos - see below, left) to a white one (where the window framing is clearly visible - see immediately below). From a distance, this gave the illusion that the deck had been enclosed for the first time. (Author’s Collection.)

 

majestic

majestic

Majestic rigging plan extract

Above: An extract from Majestic’s rigging plan, showing the forward mast, the bridge enclosure, officers’ quarters, and the foremost funnel. It is also interesting to note the framing of the windows at the forward end of the promenade deck (seen here immediately below the three lifeboats). As we have seen above, it seems that these windows, originally wood finished, had their frames painted white in the late 1920s. As a result, they became visible on photographs and led some researchers to conclude mistakenly that the deck had been newly-enclosed. (Courtesy National Archives.)

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