Titanorak pushes boat out to build 16ft replica

It was a Titanic effort, but worth every single moment.

It was a Titanic effort, but worth every single moment.

Self-confessed ‘Titanorak’ Zoltan Panka unveiled his remarkable 16-foot-long scale model replica of the ill-fated liner yesterday.

“It was a big effort but I am delighted with it,” Zotlan said.

The Hungarian national, who lives in Dillon’s Cross, on the northside of Cork city, builds model motor boats for fun, but this was by far the largest project he’s ever taken on.

Originally from Kaposvár, Somogy, Budapest, Hungary, he developed an interest in the workings of ships during his compulsory national service with the Hungarian army. And he said the Titanic tragedy was as well-known in his homeland as in Ireland.

“I am fascinated by the Titanic story and I love Titanic history, so this was a good project for me.”

He spent all of this spare time over the last 18 months building the 1:52 scale model of the doomed vessel in his garage.

Working from old photographs of the ship, and with reference to a smaller plastic model of the original White Star Line ship, Zoltan ploughed €7,000 in to the project, faithfully recreating a large-scale model of the legendary 269-metre ship.

Zoltan’s model has working bronze propellers and a smoke generator for the funnels. The detail is incredible, including safety railings, lifeboats and portholes.

He plans to install a working light system soon.

And he said he hopes it will last a long time.

“I plan to test it in the water in Cobh this weekend — if the weather is good. If I get a good price, I will maybe sell it.”

The ship is due to go on display in the Cobh Heritage Centre this morning.

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