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Last Updated: Monday, 20 October, 2003, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Matchstick men in Titanic challenge
The Titanic
Fifteen hundred passengers were lost in the Titanic sinking
Two unemployed model makers have launched a plan to make a scale replica of the Titanic using more than three million matchsticks.

Mark Colling and Lee Roberts will spend 14 months building the model which they hope will win them a place in the record books.

The Llanelli duo have started touring markets in south west Wales to publicise their challenge and raise money towards the 2,500 cost of the matchsticks.

Mr Colling, aged 30, has been building model ships for more than five years but Lee, who is 21, is a relative newcomer to the hobby.

I normally make the models in my front room but I don't know if its going to big enough
Mark Colling

"A couple of years ago I did a six foot model of the Titanic based on clips from the film," said Mr Colling.

"But this time I want to make it to scale so we are doing research at the moment. We want it to be exactly right."

They will use headless matchsticks and are currently deciding on whose house to use for the project.

"I normally make the models in my front room but I don't know if it's going to big enough."

Spanish galleon

"It will be about 14-foot-long and more than three-foot-wide."

The men have chosen to recreate the Titanic for practical reasons rather than any great interest in its history.

Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in the Atlantic on 15 April 1912, with the loss of 1,503 passengers and crew, becoming one of the world's worst shipping disasters.

"We decided on the Titanic because it is very long but not too tall. We will use 3,200,000 matchsticks.

"If we made something like a Spanish galleon using the same number of matchsticks it would be over 12 foot tall and would not stand up. This will be easier to pick up and move around."

Mr Colling's talent with matchsticks has already seen him stage an exhibition of his models at Llanelli library.

"Hopefully when it is finished the Titanic can on display somewhere in Llanelli. I would not want it to leave the town.

"It would put Llanelli on the map for model makers everywhere."

He will be at Carmarthen Market on Friday showing off some of his previous models and is aiming to get the challenge under way before Christmas.

Voyage to the bottom of the sea
05 Mar 03  |  Science/Nature
Anniversary of Titanic's sinking
15 Apr 02  |  England
Tycoon presents Titanic II proposal
09 Jun 00  |  Northern Ireland



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