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Wooden Deck Planking

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  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Rhode Island
Wooden Deck Planking
Posted by oz1998 on Thursday, July 3, 2003 11:11 PM
Hi All !

I'm considering doing a project on a Tamiya 1:350 Bismark where I'd like to modify the plastic deck and plank it with wooden strips. What's the best way ?

1. Cut out a smooth sub-deck out of a sheet of styrene and plank that ?

2. Use the plastic deck provided and sand down all the molded in features and plank that ?

Has anyone done this before ?


  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, July 6, 2003 8:11 PM
Geez ... I thought I was ambitious ...
I don't know how you'd be able to use the original deck without screwing up the scale of whatever casings etc. are molded in, so if you can't reduce it to a flat sheet I would suggest starting from scratch.
I don't know about Bismarck specifically, but ship deck planks of that era were typically 8" wide maximum, which means 20 mil wooden strips if you want to maintain the scale width of the planks. Lengths varied but seldom exceeded 20 feet.
I think if I was going to do this I'd lay the thin wood strips on edge, so there would be some substance to work with, and use a thin epoxy to bond them to the plastic deck underneath. Don't even think about caulking seams in this scale. When you're done gluing sand the wood strips to smooth out any irregularities (and since you're that ambitioyus you can sand in the correct camber on the deck as well). Your new deck will be too thick for the model hull and will likely need tapering on the edges to get it to sit down properly inside the hull.

Good luck, and if any one has a better idea I'd like to hear it as well.
  • Member since
    January 2003
Posted by Jeff Herne on Sunday, July 6, 2003 10:46 PM
I've done this before, and it's extremely tedious...there's several how-to articles on that would make life alot easier...

That being said...balsa is too soft and has too coarse of a grain for 1/350.

I would suggest using gumwood, or some other tight grain wood. There are several companies that do veneers in the dimensions you'll require, but it's going to cost more than the kit and PE combined.

Replacing the plastic deck with a thinner sheet, then laminating that, is one way to go...this insures you're not cutting around fittings, etc. I'd strongly suggest using plastic sheet, and keeping the original kit parts intact, for several reasons. First would be to reference the fittings, the second would be 'just in case' the project becomes too much, you can always fall back on the plastic decks.


Jeff Herne
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 7, 2003 9:49 PM
I agree with Jeff's comments on keeping the original deck intact.

Some other woods you might try (if we haven't discouraged you too much) include Lime, Obechi, Boxwood, or Pear. Try a good model ship hobby shop or a specialty wood supplier like Lee Valley.
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, July 8, 2003 6:21 AM
Try this...Rather than do all that work, paint the deck with two coats of gloss black then paint the deck the color you wish. Then lightly sand with very fine sandpaper or steel wood. This brings out the detail very nicely and looks great.

  • Member since
    June 2003
  • From: Rhode Island
Posted by oz1998 on Wednesday, July 9, 2003 9:25 AM
Thanks guys ! Smile [:)]

All are great suggestions. I've planked a wooden deck on a wooden 1:75 Cutty Sark project, so I know it can be a real tedious project. But then again, I'm never in a hurry. Big Smile [:D]

I got the idea from a diorama I saw on eBay of the Prinz Eugen. Some guy had taken the 1:400 Heller kit and put a wooden deck on it. It looked awesome ! It was selling for $500 at the time too. Tongue [:P]

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