Lusitania Model II

Tom Lear

Hi, everyone. Just posted a new thread at TRMA, so I'm going to copy and paste here as well. Finally had time to get back on the Lusitania in the past week, working my way from the keel up.

I'm now up to the Shelter Deck, and have a render at My questions are many: first, if anyone out there has any sort of documentation or photographic record of the Shelter Deck on the Lusitania, I'd be very grateful if you could share, since I'm always short on documentation. I'm curious to see any detail shots from either the Shelter or Promenade decks showing the ceiling beams or the vertical superstructure posts that enclosed these decks.

As for what little I've done so far, my limited schematics for the ship show the capstans and bollards mounted right in the deck itself, it seems (the render shows a collection of such items at the stern of the ship). I assume these fittings were positioned right into the planking(although there would have had to have been some kind of break in the planks, which I attempt to show), without a proper metal base? My plans for the Mauretania do show such bases for these fittings, but again, I have no such indication for the Lusitania.

Also, were the center plates on any of the Lusitania's capstans inscribed with the name of the manufacturer or of the builder's yard, as can be seen on some of the capstans for the Titanic?

Thanks for any input. Much appreciated.
those look amazing.
what program are you using?

i am only starting to study at the ship so i can't be of much help, and use 3d renders, but Mr Sauder's and Mr. Marschall's book Lusitania: Tripumph in the Edwardian Age is most likely the best source it has wonderful pictures. many people have boasted paying high prices for it (myself included) but it looks like you can get it here
it lists here for about 18 bucks i payed over 40 for the 1st ed. i still think it's worth more than i payed...
Sorry i can't be of much more help,
i look forward to seeing the progress.
Thx, I already have that book on order; with luck I'll have it here within a month. In the meantime I find myself having to improvise quite a bit.

I'm modeling this ship in 3DS MAX, BTW
Yeah, got the PSL reprint in the mail about a month and a half ago. It's been some help, but doing a ship in this much detail still leaves a lot of questions unanswered. I'm improvising a lot from what I see of research done on the Titanic. The other night, to get ready modeling the Third Class areas in the front of the ship, I was taking a whole lot of screen captures from the Cameron film.

Cut and paste from my TRMA thread:

Did prop blades, be they on a three-screw ship like the Olympic class or a four-screw ship like the Lusitania class, all tend in the same direction? Or did they differ on the port and starboard sides?

You can see renders at and to get a better idea of what I'm asking. I have my blades skewed in one direction for the port props, and in another for the starboard props. But I'm not sure if that's accurate.

Also, another relatively easy question, about the Blue Ensign - I haven't been able to find many reliable examples anywhere, only the Red Ensign (I'm assuming the Blue would have flown from the Ensign Staff at the rear of the ship). Was the blue background of the Union Jack in the upper corner the same blue for the entire flag? Or was the remaining 3/4 of the flag a different shade of blue? I have it rendered at

And finally, back in render #11, you'll see I have a small fog light modeled near to where the Ensign Staff intersects the railing. But I didn't know whether to include a running light or not. Did most ships have running lights at this location as well as a fog light?

So once again, I'll sit tight and see if I get any answers....

There is always a problem with this vessel as she and Mauretania were quasi sisters and quite different in detail although from afar, apart from the ventilators, they looked the same
Now, propellers on quadruple screw ships. Incidentally Lusitania had three bladed screws originally and these were changed in 1909 for four bladed ones. Her machinery layout involved HP Turbines on the wing shafts and LP units on the inner shafts with HP Astern units on the inner shafts for manoeuvring — the outer shafts idled when running astern. The outer shafts rotated inward when running ahead and the inner shafts outward. This arrangement counteracted any turning moments, which can affect the steerage of a ship if propellers rotate in the same direction. Not only this, the slipstream from the outer screws has to run into the way of the inner screws when running at speed increasing efficiency, in theory. Experiments had been carried out with a model in connection with the building of the Mauretania and it was found that no material difference in performance occurred if the outer screws rotated outboard or inboard. An experimental set of Turbines was built before Lucy’s were developed and these found their way into the Glasgow and South Western Railway Clyde Steamer Atalanta.
The Blue Ensign was exactly the same as the Red Ensign but the main colour was blue. It was flown only when a proportion of the crew, including the Master, were in the Royal Naval Reserve, although in the case of Cunard this was usually fait accompli.
I cannot locate a close enough view of the stern to identify the exact location of the stern light, but on most ships this was attached (or hung) from the rail aft just below the flagstaff. This was only illuminated when the ship was not under way. In some cases this light was stowed and plugged in to a socket; it could be replaced by an oil light if necessary.
Hi Allen: Are you sure about the rotation of the props? In fig.86 in Plate XXXIX, from the 1907 issue of Engineering, they show the pitch of the props being what appears to be right handed on the starboard side for both the outside screw and the inside screw, and just the opposite for the port side screws. This arrangement would have counteracted any turning moments even when going astern.
Look at Plate V Fig 23. I'm sure that these two screws are opposite pitch! That's where I took my information from and I am sure that I have read somewhere about this. Will stand corrected though, as it would not matter as you say if both sets of screws rotated inwards.
I've been looking further and it would seem that Lusitania and Aquitania had both inner and outer screws which rotated inwards, but Mauretania, which was the only ship of which I could find a description of screw rotation, had outer screws which rotated inwards and inner screws which rotated outwards. Can anybody confirm this?
I would assume the photographic record overrules the blueprints; the only question would be, were the four-bladed props fitted in '09 the same arrangement? For all the wealth of detail, neither the Vol. I reprints nor the original '07 issue talk much about pitch or rotation. I looked to try and answer Allan's question, but - too tangential even for Shipbuilder?
Once the Turbines were installed you could not alter the direction of rotation. The problem is I cannot find any direct written reference to direction of rotation for any of the 3 ships, once can only interpret what one sees in pictures and on the drawings.

Was it just the "fog light" per se that was never lit while the ship was underway, or any light, be it a fog or running light, located at/near the ensign staff?

If it's just that a fog light alone is never lit while underway as a rule of thumb, then I either have the wrong light modeled or I need to add a running light, because my sources do show a light shining at the ensign staff while the ship is steaming into harbor. (Maybe my source is wrong).
I don’t know where the term ‘fog light’ came from but this has no relevance to the regulations. When under way a vessel was required to show a white light on the foremast 20-40 feet above the hull visible ahead and two points (22½°) abaft either beam, and a similar white light on the mainmast 15 feet higher than the forward light. Side lights are to be placed lower than the white lights and visible right ahead and two points abaft the beam, red on the port and green on the starboard side.

A vessel not under way or at anchor should show and all around white light on the forestay 20 to 40 feet above the hull and at the stern a similar white light 15’ lower than the forward light, this latter light is the one being referred to here. Other navigation lights are extinguished.

On most ships I have known the stern light was either attached to the stern rail or could be hung on a bracket and plugged in there. The forward anchor light was either rigged on the forestay or lower on the foremast, although in the case of most Clyde Steamers I knew the anchor light doubled as a morse lamp and was mounted on a pole atop the wheelhouse.

The Regulations were changed around 1956, before that date ships under a certain length only needed one mast light, then the rule became under 150’. I cannot find what the actual rule regarding length was before that date.

Also re your blue ensign, the blue in the union jack part of the flag was the same as the rest of it.
Thanks Allan for pointing to Fig. 23 plate V. That shows the starboard side of the stern. I also found Fig. 191 on Plate XIX which shows the port side of the stern, and best of all, Fig. 189 plate XVIII which shows all four props. From these we can say with confidence that looking forward from the stern, and for the ship going ahead:

+ the starboard outer prop rotated counter-clockwise
+ the starboard inner prop rotated clockwise
+ the port inner prop rotated counter-clockwise
+ the port outer prop rotated clockwise

All this makes sense. The two inner props rotated in opposite directions from each other, and the two outer props rotated opposite from each other. And for a given side, the inner prop rotated opposite from the outer prop. Best efficiency and no turning moments going ahead or astern.
Regarding running lights, Parks Stephenson once posted the regulations in effect in Aug 1910. I don't have a copy to the link but I do have a copy of the post which is reproduced below:
Quoted from "The Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea," as printed in Nicholls's Seamanship and Viva Voce Guide, 4th Edition, London, August 1910 (in effect until superceded in June 1912):

(edited to include only those passages germaine to this discussion)

Lights For Steam Vessels

Art. 2. A steam vessel when under way shall carry --

(a.) On or in front of the foremast..., at a height above the hull of not less than 20 feet, and if the breadth of the vessel exceeds 20 feet, then at a height above the hull not less than such breadth, so, however, that the light need not be carried at a greater height above the hull than 40 feet, a bright white light, so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 20 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light 10 points on each side of the vessel, viz., from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on either side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 5 miles.

(b.) On the starboard side a green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on the starboard side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

(c.) On the port side a red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 10 points of the compass, so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to 2 points abaft the beam on the port side, and of such a character as to be visible at a distance of at least 2 miles.

(d.) The said green and red side lights shall be fitted with inboard screens projecting at least 3 feet forward from the light, so as to prevent these lights from being seen across the bow.

(e.) A steam vessel when under way may carry an additional white light similar in construction to the light mentioned in subdivision (a). These two lights shall be so placed in line with the keel that one shall be at least 15 feet higher than the other, and in such a position with reference to each other that the lower light shall be forward of the upper one. The vertical distance between these two lights shall be less than the horizontal distance.

Lights for Vessels Not Under Command

Art. 4

(a.) A vessel which from any accident is not under command, shall carry at the same height as the white light mentioned in Article 2 (a), where they can best be seen, and, if a steam vessel, in lieu of that light, two red lights, in a vertical line one over the other, not less than 6 feet apart, and of such a character as to be visible all round the horizon at a distance of at least 2 miles.

Notice that there is no provision in the Rules for a stern light for steam vessels. The only place where such a light can be found in the 1910 rules is:

Art. 10. A vessel which is being overtaken by another shall show from her stern to such last-mentioned vessel a white light or a flare-up light. The white light required to be shown by this Article may be fixed and carried in a lantern, but in such case the lantern shall be so constructed, fitted, and screened that it shall throw an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 12 points of the compass, viz., for 6 points from right aft on each side of the vessel, so as to be visible at a distance of at least 1 mile. Such light shall be carried as nearly as practicable on the same level as the side lights.

Anyone schooled in the Rules understands the significance of and the difference between the specific words "shall" and "may;" therefore, I have emphasised them for ease of understanding. In Article 2 (e), above, the "shall"s in that paragraph are to be observed if the optional additional light is employed (the "shall"s follow the "may").

Nicholls's Guide was the prescribed study guide "for each grade of the Board of Trade Examinations from Second Mate to Master."