Cheap Palm Trees

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by caliban, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. caliban

    caliban Member


    I was in need for a few palm trees. Only a few commercial produced are available and those are announce1EXPENSIVE! I found only Heart of the South Models, Woodland Sceenics and Preiser making palms. Preisers palms are the cheapest of all three (in Germany), you get 4 for 10€ as kit. But if you need a lot of palms it will become expensive.

    OK, I found a way to model what I need:
    In the aquarium corner of a home improvement store I found a plastic (vinyl) aquarium/terrarium plant. The leaves are looking like palm leaves. The trunk is from a different plant I've got in crafts store, it's basicly a couple of wires covered with plastic and fibre grass.

    Attached Files:

  2. caliban

    caliban Member

    - Bend the trunk.
    - Cut the leaves from their trunks.
    - Prepare different sizes of leaves.
    - I started with some of the bigger ones and glued them around the trunk. They will support the other leaves when glued on.
    - Because of the vinyl the leaves are made of, ca glue don't work well. I used a special glue for PVC, acryl and plexiglas.
    - Glue the leaves to the trunk, use prototype photos as a guide how and where to glue them.
    - If will not satisfy a botanist, but for me it looks like a palm.

    Attached Files:

  3. caliban

    caliban Member

    Sorry for the poor quality of the photos, I had to use the cell phone camera.
    The trunk needs some paint and some dull cote.
    I paid 5€/6$ for the aquarium/terrarium plant, the trunk can be made from wood, wire or what ever looks suitable.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    great idea :) your my kinda guy:D
  5. caliban

    caliban Member

    Thanks Jim!

    I painted the trunks brown, it's the first layer of paint. After adding the paint to the trunks, they look more like real palm trunks. The background is a "desert grasmat" made by Preiser loooong loooong ago. Found it today in a lhs in a neighboring village, hidden in a corner. Cool old Preiser stuff, love it!!!!

    Attached Files:

  6. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Now you just need a "gilligan" to climb the treessign1
    They look great!:thumb:
  7. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    OUTSTANDING Tobias!!!:thumb: :thumb: what a GREAT IDEA!:thumb: :D -Deano
  8. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    I've been making Palms too- again from Aquarium Plants - currently working on Fan Palms - if you'd like to see some of my results go to and scroll down to "Jack's Trees". Latest versions are being done with a variety called Hornswort. Dave's layout, and my trees are inspired by this Trunks are cuttings from a conifer hedge, latest are from dead rhododendron stalks, wound around with paper strips with the top edge cut with pinking shears, points bent outwards and then painted with white glue and left to set. Latest versions are not yet on Daves site. Sorry, but I can't seem to get photos to post on here or I'd put the latest ones up. If you are particularly interested email me - chacmool at lineone dot net (teplace appropriate words with symbols) and put Palms in the subject line
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  9. caliban

    caliban Member

    Hi shortliner,

    wow, You've built a lot of them. I searched the internet quite a while for a how-to on palm trees. I never found your website, it would have saved me a lot of time!!:thumb: And Deano, thanks for your kind words:wave:. I'm still building more and trying other techniques.
    I used a length of wooden rod for this one. I added putty for more texture on the trunk and to give it a more natural shape, not to look like a light pole with leaves. The final step after assembling the palms will be painting and "weathering" them.

    Attached Files:

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