Lego Titanic two-year project almost done as Keith builds 9ft model
A Lego enthusiast has undertaken a Titanic task in every sense of the word - building a 9ft model of the doomed Belfast-built liner using more than 40,000 of the plastic bricks.
Keith Morton (65) from Leeds started the project two years ago and will fit the last pieces to his replica over the next few days.
The semi-retired surveyor told the Belfast Telegraph: "It feels good, but sad to have done it. I am sad but pleased, sad to say it's almost finished.
"I have always been interested in the Titanic and I always had an interest in Lego since when I was a young lad, so I was able to download the Lego digital design to build it and that's what I have done and just bought the bricks when I needed them over the two years."
Titanic was built by Harland & Wolff and was deemed unsinkable by its designers. But it went to the bottom of the North Atlantic in April 1912 after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage to New York.
More than 1,500 passengers and crew perished.
Mr Morton got the idea from a child in America who made a Titanic model. His father and older brother were both sailors, so he has always felt a connection to the sea.
Using smaller bricks than the youngster's model, he feels his looks more realistic.
The Lego he used was sourced from second-hand websites BrickOwl and BrickLink due to price. He spent £780 in total, saving himself over £2,000 for new Lego pieces.
He added: "Out of all the ones that I used they have mostly been good. I have only thrown away about 20 or 30 out of about 40,000.
"It makes it look more like the actual steel plates of the ship on the side, which I'm quite chuffed with."
But Mr Morton's heart sank when he nearly had his own iceberg moment in June.
He could only see one side of the model while working in the bedroom. And after he put a window in on the starboard side and built up the back of the vessel, he realised he had made an error.
"I pulled my hair out a wee bit. I didn't want to pull it all down but it took me around two months to sort it out," he said.
During his Titanic venture he also put in a kitchen and built an extension to his house, which he said was why the replica took so long to make. He also had to control the eager hands of partner Karen Birch's 10 grandchildren, aged three to 12.
He joked: "If they would have touched it, I would have strangled them. No, on a serious note, they're of an age to realise and yes they have knocked a couple of little bricks off it, but nothing untoward."
Mr Morton has seen Titanic artefacts at the Merseyside Maritime Museum as well as Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition in Florida, but has yet to visit the Belfast museum.
There are around 50 small bricks left to fit before the model is complete, but Mr Morton is already thinking about making the Flying Scotsman next.