Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trees revisited.

Trees! Those pesky essential scenic elements that can drive us to distraction trying to get convincing looking models. And unless you're modeling the desert, you're going to need a lot of them.
For awhile I thought that the Super Trees from Scenic Express were the answer, but I found that the "trunks" were too thin to represent the size of trees I wanted on the layout.
The Super Trees might be great for background trees, but on a layout as narrow as mine, all trees are foreground trees.
I fiddled briefly with the idea of wire armatures and then coating the resulting "tree" with some form of goop to replicate bark, but that is feeling far too labourious. It may yet come back for certain effects.
Currently my solution is these very nice armatures from Model Builders Supply, they come in a variety of heights and the price in a bulk pack isn't too crazy. The best part of these armatures is that they are molded in 3 dimensions, unlike the Woodland Scenics armatures that are molded flat.
The 6" and 8" are shown here with the "branches" twisted horizontal.
The next step is the application of Poly-Fiber. Tease out little clumps and stick it on the armature.
I'm still working through refinements of this part of the process, but you get the idea.
This is secured in place using a matt spray varnish. I just grabbed a spray can from the hardware store. It works great. Far better holding power than hairspray, and easier than Tacky glue or other such stuff.

Once that dries, the tree is sprayed again with the matt varnish and Noch Leafs are sprinkled onto the Poly-Fiber.
Once that dries the trees can be planted.
I have a few refinements in my process to work through and I want to figure out a process for doing what I call,"the dense pack" of tree trunks that I see so much off. In the meantime I'm out of Poly-Fiber, so until I have more tree progress is stalled

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