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This is going to seem pretty retarded to some of you, but I need a large amount of basswood strip to lay the deck of my Great Eastern model, which is over seven feet long.  I've never been terribly good with anything involving numbers. so I need advice on what size to purchase.  The deck planks of the prototype were seven inches wide, so I assume I'll be needing some obscure (to me) metric size.  At 1/8 inch per foot scale. this comes out to a tinch over 1/16 inch.  What metric size would this be equivalent to; those .20 type numbers mean nothing to me.  Also, what would be a good source for such a large lot of lumber?  Many thanks to anyone who could help me.

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One can go crazy trying to mentally 'translate' a duodecimal measurement into metric. It is much simpler to use a scale ruler of the appropriate scale and continue to think in (full size) feet and inches than decimalize a scale measurement  and express it in full size.


So, say at 1:48 scale, 8 inches is always 8" on the scale rule, not .666 recurring of a scale foot, or 0.01388 recurring of a full-sized foot at scale size, or..... (I expect your eyes have already glazed over and your attention wandered.)

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Since you live in the US, why bother to change to metric. At 1:96 scale, 1/8in represents 1ft.  6in is half of a ft or 1/16 in at scale.  1/16 in basswood sheet stock should be readily available at most hobby outlets to be ripped into planks.


What about the extra inch? Planking is 7in, not 6in.  1in at scale is 1/96in, about the thickness of a sheet of paper.  I personally would not worry about this small difference in order to be able to use readily available commercially available sheet stock.


For general measuring, I agree with druxey, buy an inexpensive architect’s scale.  The triangular type available at office supply stores will include a 1/8 inch (1:96) scale.





Edited by Roger Pellett
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First we define the terms and scales.


1:96  or 1/8" = 1'  is a semi miniature scale  often used in ship modeling

although it is 1/2 museum scale (1:48) in any one dimension - the final subject - being a 3D construct is 1/8th the volume

of a museum scale model.  It is difficult at best to try to be precise with scantlings in miniature scale- how it looks to the eye

is more important.  Under rather than over works better.


HO scale is 1:87   It is about 10% larger than 1:96 


You have not stated your actual scale for your model.

With your 7" value - I was thinking thickness, but a contemporary liner would be 4" thick on the main gun deck  -

so width it is.  the outside limit would be 10" - 

1/16th inch  is 5.4" in scale .


At 1:96 that is going to look "busy" for plank width.

Get the 1/16" - but use that for the thickness.  Use a steel straight edge and VERY sharp knife blade the slice off the plank width from

that.  Given the small scale involved, the most I would recommend as far as caulking rep is to add a slight walnut dye to the glue at the

plank edges.

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