A MODEL of the Queen Mary has taken pride of place at Southampton's new SeaCity Museum.

Moving the 26ft-long, one-tonne scale model into its new home was a Herculean task in itself.

Windows had to be removed and cranes deployed to hoist the ship into the exhibition space at the museum at the city's Civic Centre, where it was welcomed by leisure and tourism supremo Cllr John Hannides.

But the biggest task of all was to bring the massive model into ship-shape condition.

Two conservation technicians were tasked with cleaning the exhibit - using tiny cotton buds.

The job took four days to complete, which is about the record time the real 81,961-tonne liner took to sail to New York during her sailing career which spanned from 1936 to 1967.

The ship, carved from one log of white mahogany, was previously berthed in the old maritime museum.

It is the first artefact in the new museum which opens on April 10.