Thursday, February 25th, 2021

Titanic model Bob Cline to appear at Library

Posted: Friday, May 4, 2012

Ever stopped to admire the model of the ill-fated steamship H.M.S. Titanic at Huntington City-Township Public Library? Do you realize that lifelong Huntington resident Bob Cline hand-built this 5-ft-long miniature Titanic from scratch? Join us for an unforgettable evening with a true master of his craft. Bob Cline will visit the Main Library at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 10 to share his stories of building, sailing – and yes, even sinking -  his Titanic before donating it as part of the Library’s permanent collection. The Titanic model – which rarely leaves its special display case inside the Library - will be on hand for close-up viewing, as well as examples of how Bob uses his 80 years of experience to design original plans for creating miniature ships, and custom-builds his creations from scratch to be as accurate as possible to the real ships from which they were designed.

A model builder since age eight, Bob began with model airplanes, at first working from kits, then later learning to design his own plans for his original models, which he would then enter in competitions and show around the Midwest and across the country. He began designing and building boats around 1973.

“Most of the planes I built and flew had to be carried home in a sack after crashing,” Cline relates. “One year, while at the Toledo National Show, I was complaining about this to another model builder, and he asked me, ‘Well, why don’t you switch to boats?’”

The rest is history. The first boat Cline designed was a working model of the famous paddlewheel steamboat, the Robert E. Lee. Cline didn’t have much interest in the H.M.S. Titanic until his sister, Beulah Ware, a Titanic buff, asked him about building a model of the famous, ill-fated steamship.  He joined the Titanic Historical Society, which provided him with information for his model, and got started.  His version of the H.M.S. Titanic took over a year and a half to build and was completed in 1978.

Stick-built and powered by three electric motors, Cline’s Titanic is radio-controlled and can be sailed – and sunk (at least down to the anchor) – and comes complete with sound effects of the real Titanic’s whistle, ragtime music, a telegraph machine clacking, and a call of “Iceberg! Dead Ahead!”

Cline and his miniature Titanic are seasoned travelers, having visited Indianapolis, Toledo, Detroit, Chicago, and both Monmouth and Peoria, IL for various shows, exhibitions, and competitions of the International Model Power Boat Association, for whom Cline has served as both official judge and vice president, as well as competitor.

This is a free event and the public is invited.  No registration is required to attend. Huntington City-Township Public Library is located at 255 W. Park Drive, Huntington. For more information about this or any other Library program, call 356-0824.