Around the world in a day

Vintage ship models

If someone wishes to see architectural marvels, war gadgets, vintage cars, ships and airplanes from across the world, all under one roof, Ramaneeya Museum in Shivakote village, North Bengaluru is the right place to visit. Started in January 2016, the museum houses miniature models of iconic structures assembled by Dr Latha Srinivas Tantry.

She has handcrafted most of the miniature and 3D models displayed at the museum. The models are set up using imported model kits. The kit consists of several small parts that have to be assembled like a 3D jigsaw puzzle and then painted. The most precise replicas are made using expandable polystyrene (ESP) foam. Each section in the museum is dedicated to different models, ranging from cars to buildings.

Clones of our carriers

The vintage car section showcases several models of Mercedes Benz, Bugatti, Duesenberg, Phantom, Jaguar, Cadillac, Packard and Rolls Royce. What’s interesting to see here are signboards that show how the models have been assembled and the number of parts used. For instance, Pocher K90 1936 Mercedes Benz 540K ‘Rumble Seat’ model has 2,368 parts and through 43 diagrams, it shows the sequence of assembly. This is an instance of how intricate and laborious the task can be. “Building a model calls for great patience, keen eye for detail and also impeccable eyesight,” states Latha.

Among the mighty ships, RMS Titanic hogs the limelight. The Airfix 1:400 scale model commemorative kit took six months for completion. The model brings alive the imagery of the mighty ship that sank on its maiden journey. Columbus, HMS Victory, HMS Ark Royal, Varyag, La Santa María, Mayflower and Queen Anne’s Revenge are some of the other vintage ships that are displayed in a cabinet.  

Likewise, the airplane section is fascinating too. Wright Flyer, a pioneer of aviation, is displayed along with aircrafts from the MiG series, Saras, Hansa, and many other airplanes used in World Wars I and II. BAE Harrier, which could land and take off vertically, Thunderbolt Warthog, and F117A Stealth aircraft that cannot be traced by radar are some of the airplanes with special features here. Apart from these, one can also see miniature recreations of architectural wonders. This section takes you around the world in a matter of minutes through its models of the Big Ben, Taj Mahal, Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and many more.

Paper and ESP foam are the most commonly used materials for many of the models displayed here. The parts are usually numbered and are printed in sheets. Since these
models use slot fitting, there is no usage of glue. Gentle handling is required to prevent any damage to the delicate foam.

Colourful curios

There are various scale models made using wood and paper on display as well. Soft wood and balsa wood are used to make wooden models. The kit contains wooden sheets on which parts are etched. They have to be removed carefully and the edges are polished and fixed into the slots. Submarines, bicycles, seaplanes, and animal and bird figures are just a few wooden figurines displayed. For those made of paper, models from sheets of paper that have the parts are printed on it are used. The parts need to be cut out, marked, folded and then glued together. Paper models of animals, birds, cartoon characters and dolls are also put up. Of these, it is the colourful Chinese dragons and Japanese dolls that attract one’s attention.

The museum also houses some craftwork made with materials like terracotta and also a few curios and antiques from prized collections. Coins from Shah Jahan’s time and currency notes of different nations are worth seeing. There is a display of vintage car monograms also.

With so much to grasp and gather, Ramaneeya is a treasure trove of miniature models. To visit the museum, call Latha on 9164718678.

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