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Wood Size Selection

Wood Sizes to Use

Use the table for your scale to determine the best material size to match your prototype dimensions.

Whenever I sit down to model a prototype, I like to go through the entire family of all possible wood sizes to find the best match.

When you are modeling in N scale, you are not limited to N scale woods. Sometimes you will get a better match to the true scale dimension by using a scale wood in a different scale. You can use the tables that follow to find the best modeling wood to use for your prototypical models.

For example, let's say you are modeling an 18" x 22" beam in N scale. The N scale dimension is 0.1125" x 0.1375". The tables show that the best match is an HO scale 10" x 12" (0.1149" x 0.1379") piece of wood.

Select the scale you are modeling in on the left. This will transfer you to a table which shows the full inch equivalent sizes for different whole inch scale sizes. For example, it shows that a 12" x 12" S scale beam can be accurately modeled with a 0.1875" x 0.1875" piece of wood. When you click on 12" in the S scale table, you will transfer to a table that shows the materials and part numbers close to that size. In this case, WD-0606 (3/16" x 3/16") basswood is a perfect match.

Things to consider:
- The smaller dimension always comes first: 2" x 4" not 4" x 2".
- Styrene may be the only option for sizes under 0.020".