HMS Majestic

HMS Majestic

These pages detail the construction of my model of the HMS Majestic, a first-class British Battleship from the late Victorian Era and the pride of Queen Victoria's Navy. These battleships were the finest and most majestic warships in the world until the Dreadnought and her steel-grey kin made all of these old ships obsolete.

Learn more about the history of the HMS Majestic.

The Model

This model depicts HMS Majestic herself or one of her close sisters. The last three ships of the class (Caesar, Hannibal, and Illustrious) are markedly different in having the forward flying bridge mounted over the forward conning tower instead of supported on the foremast. The color scheme follows standard Victorian livery in the 1890s: black hull, red below the waterline, white superstructure, buff funnels and masts. This handsome color scheme was mandated by Queen Victoria herself and was widely copied (the ocean liner Titanic twenty years later still utilized this color scheme). This color scheme would be replaced by the standard "battleship grey" over 1903-1904 as the winds of war started blowing as the Kaiser began building his High Seas Fleet.

I built this model over fall of 2007. The model is constructed entirely out of paper; there are no plastic, wood, or thread components anywhere in the model. Most of the material is standard 110lb cardstock, with 24lb bond paper for tubes and thin details, and rolled tissue paper for the tiniest spars. The model is colored with Prismacolor art markers and Sakura pigment liners, all done entirely by hand (hence the slight unevenness compared with computer-printed parts).

The best reference for British pre-dreadnought battleships is without question R.A. Burt's "British Battleships 1889-1904" published in 1988. The book contains detailed drawings and photographs of each class of battleships commissioned by the Royal Navy during this time and is an indispensible reference to modelers building British pre-dreadnoughts. My model plans are derived from the line drawings of the Majestic contained in the book.

You can read more about building the HMS Majestic.

Amazingly enough, there are no plastic kits available anywhere for this, the most influential of the British pre-dreadnoughts. If you want your own Majestic for display, you'll have to build one yourself.