Wayne Kusy started building ships out of toothpicks in the fifth grade for a school project. Today, the ships he builds are significantly larger and much more detailed. Kusy's model of the Queen Mary One stretches twenty-five feet and five inches. His most famous pieces are the Titanic (completed in 1985) and the Lusitania (completed in 1994). He was inspired to build his model of the Titanic by the attempt in 1982 to locate the wreck. He painstakingly researched the ship at the local library in order to be as accurate as possible with his replica. After finishing the Titanic, Kusy went to college and got a full-time job as a marketing assistant with an insurance company, which left much less spare time in which to build his ships. The Lusitania took him two and a half years to construct and earned him national recognition. When asked about the ships, Kusy said, "It's a challenge. There's a lot of people who like to climb mountains like Mount Everest...I choose to build models. It's safer."
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