Model exhibition of Titanic proportions goes on display in Norwich

Titantic 1912. 2017 rebuilt. 1:48 scale. Photo: Richard Gale.

Titantic 1912. 2017 rebuilt. 1:48 scale. Photo: Richard Gale. - Credit: Richard Gale.

For some people model building is a quiet hobby that can offer a relaxing break from their busy schedule, but one Norwich man has taken this pastime to a new level.

F14 A Tomcat Desert Camouflage, Gulf War. Photo: Richard Gale.

F14 A Tomcat Desert Camouflage, Gulf War. Photo: Richard Gale. - Credit: Richard Gale.

Richard Gale, from New Costessey, has been creating giant, scale models for more than 26 years and now his vast collection of works are to be exhibited in the Owen Barnes Room in Breckland Hall, Costessey.

Mr Gale, 72, makes a range of giant models including boats, planes and cars. Amazingly, some of these giant replicas are powered by motors allowing them to been flown or sailed.

'My wife bought me a model about 40 years ago,' Mr Gale said. 'She bought me a model boat with an engine in it and from that moment I was hooked. From there, I started to construct my own models but I've always built very large models, not small ones. I don't buy any kits, my models are totally scratch built.'

Scratch built is where a model builder will use blue prints and raw materials to create their work rather than using a prepared kit.

Richard Gale with one of his models. Photo: Richard Gale.

Richard Gale with one of his models. Photo: Richard Gale. - Credit: Richard Gale.


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'It's easier to build in a larger scale than a smaller scale. Although I have built many models that are small I prefer larger builds.'

MORE: Popular Rickinghall Model Railway Show set to returnThe qualified carpenter creates the large structures out of plywood, aluminium and various plastics, with the flyable planes made from Styrofoam. Because of the size needed to create the models Mr Gale has converted a part of his house into a workshop.

'They don't take as long to make as you might think, the Titanic took around nine months to build but considering the complexity of it, that's a quick build.

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'I spend on average six months on most models but I am retired and can spend a lot of hours doing it. I feel like I've constructed something with a sense of accomplishment. I start with a piece of wood and love creating something that makes people ask 'how did you do that?'.'

Norwich Model boat club open day at Eaton Park. Richard Gale with his model HMS Illustrious. Photo

Norwich Model boat club open day at Eaton Park. Richard Gale with his model HMS Illustrious. Photo: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant � 2008

MORE: Model air show set to take to South Norfolk skies at Tibenham AirfieldMr Gale has built models for people with disabilities and for museums. A model of the Titanic sold for £4,850 which he used to travel to Brazil.

'I've never had an exhibition of my work before and I may never be able to do this again,' he added.

The collection on display includes three large ships and six planes. The free exhibition is open from 10am till 5pm on Sunday, May 28.

Boys toys weekend at Oxburgh Hall. Pictured: Richard Gale with his 1/72 scale model of HMS Illustrio

Boys toys weekend at Oxburgh Hall. Pictured: Richard Gale with his 1/72 scale model of HMS Illustrious. PHOTO: IAN BURT COPY:Chris Bishop FOR:EDP News EDP pics © 2010 (01603)772434 - Credit: IAN BURT

Just how gigantic is the Titanic?

One of Richard Gale's most impressive models is his recreation of the Titanic.

The ship took nine months to fully complete - that is more than 6,570 hours of building - from blue prints that he had created himself, and raw materials.

The ship is 18ft long and 2ft wide and is complete with crew and passengers. Mr Gale says the Titanic is a 99.9pc recreation scale model complete with funnels, crane and life boats.

The exact same colour paint has also been used and the boat was glued together and uses more than 2,000 screws.

The overall cost of materials to build the ship was around £1,500 as high grade plywood and aluminium was used.

But this model of the Titanic is the third ship Mr Gale has built, as the first boat was used in a trade deal for a sports car and the second model he sold for £4,895, which he used to fund another hobby of his, which is travelling.

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