cheap trees please!!!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by bigsteel, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    hey guys,i've looked everywhere for a good tutorial on making cheap evergreen trees,but now im does anyone know a good site with a tutorial for ohio,kent.,w.virginia type conifers?ill need all the help i can get whwen i start my layout!thanks.--josh
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Got a picture of the trees you want?

    The easiest (and coincidentally the cheapest) way to make evergreens is with bamboo skewers (dollar store) and green pot scrubbers (also dollar store) or furnace filter material (the coarse kind, not the white paper type).

    Dunk the skewers in some bark colour paint.
    Cut circles of diminishing sizes from the scrubbers or filter material. If you use the scrubbers, you can peel each circle into two or three layers to make them less dense.

    Poke skewers through circles of material. While the tree generally gets smaller from bottom to top, it is not absolutely necessary to have perfect trees (conical conifers? ;)).

    Spray some sort of glue like matte medium, dilute glue or cheapo harispray (also dollar store) and sprinkle on ground foam.


  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    All Model Railroading - Community Forums

    I tried to copy a link, but I couldn't get that function to work on the new Gauge board, it may be a glitch in the new system. Anyway, that forum belongs to Shamus who used to frequent the Gauge before he started his own forum. He makes the most realistic trees I'ver seen anywhere in any scale. A few years ago he wrote a book on his modeling methods used in building his model railroad. None of the publishers was interested in publishing it, so some of us suggested he publish it himself on a cd. He did so, and many of us on the Gauge bought copies for $20.00 including shipping from the UK to the US. Go to that forum and contact Shamus and ask if he still has copies available. His trees will not be as quick and easy to make as the method Andrew suggested, but will look a lot better in close up. I would suggest that where the trees are in the foreground, or standing kind of alone, you might want to make some really nice ones. Where you would have a thick forrest, you could put nice ones in the foreground with less detailed trees behind where they are less visible.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    My method is subject only to the "three foot rule"... ;) Closer inspection may reveal that they are not real trees...!

  5. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    OK,i checked out shamus's site and was wondering if those trees would be found in the ohio/w.virginia area? the trees im lookin for are more like cedars and ....well ill be back later with pics oand descriptions.--josh
  6. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I did a tutorial on evergreens a couple of months back. They're labour intensive but worth the effort and I figured they only cost a couple cents each. Just do a quick search for pine trees in the scratching and bashing forum.
  7. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Nazgul has got a great little tutorial on cheap trees for HO and N scale but due to the temporary chaos of the site, I can neither post a link or show you the pictures. Have patience, look him up in the members list, find his layout thread and look on page 42... he is trying to fix the links for all the pictures.
  8. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    the only bad part about all this is there all for western conifers,not eastern conifers.the usual evergreens i see here are full and you can hardly see through them.i gotta find some pics of the trees i want but for some reason google hates me.ill be back.--josh
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    The furnace filter and/or pot scrubber approach is good for this. It makes for a much denser tree, and once the ground foam is on, they are not light and airy - they are positively "thick" ;)

    Another source for "armatures" is old (or new ;)) artificial Christmas trees. Their little branches can look quite good once they have been doctored with scissors and covered with ground foam. Although they are more expensive, I have also used Dollar Store conifers dipped in paint and covered with ground foam (they are usually 3 or 4 small, or 2-3 medium or 1-2 large for $1).

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You might check out your local thrift stores to see if they have any artificial Christmas trees left over from people upgrading them. If you can wait until after next Christmas to start on your trees, you can probably find left over artificial trees at clearance prices.
  11. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    so how do you think these scrubber material trees look,if they are only good for 3 footers ill try buyin the mondo expensive ones or do you guys no another way to make eastern style pines that are really detailed for close ups.ill have pics of the kinds ill need in a few.thanks.--josh
  12. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    sorry,i got to go.ill tlk to ya tomorrow.--josh
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Josh, I'm having to do this from memory because I haven't been to the East coast since our last trip to Florida 2 years ago and I haven't been to the Northeast in at least 30 years, but if I remember correctly, when you look at a forrest in the Northeast, you can only see the trees in the front of the forrest. The trees tend to be so thick that you can only see 10 feet into the forrest. You could use the expensive trees in the front of the forrest and then put cheaper trees or even just green foam clumps behind. Many modelers of Appalachian roads only put trunks on the very front row of the trees and the rest of their trees are just foam. Of course these are mostly hardwood trees that may be green or they may be in fall colors depending on the season being modelled, but I think the same sort of technique could be used for an evergreen forrest.
  14. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    i guess i just use polly fiber balls for the thick forrest then the detailed trees with trunks in the front? but therein lies the problem,i dont know a way to make higly detailed evergreens for my the super detailed ones are western species.ill be back with pics.thanks.--josh
  15. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    these are my basic styles of evergreens:​

    1.Eastern white the forrest portion they will be mostly trunk then tops,like in reality.but when left alone there are branches about 4ft off the ground.they are about 40-50 ft tall.

    2.this is an shortleaf typically grows about 60-100ft and is about 2-4 ft in diameter.

    3.Red spruce.they are around 50-80 ft at 1-3ft in diameter.​

    5.eastern hemlock.70-80ft tall and 40 ft spread with a 2-3ft trunk.Google Image Result for

    6.Eastern red cedar.these typically grow to 40-50ft with a trunk of 1-2ft in diameter.

    well thats pretty much you can see the trees here are much more filled out than in the west.but when in the forrest or on the edge of it,its mostly trunk,dead branches than tree for closeups on the evergreens at the edge it needed to be you see what i was sayin.i wanted branches and secondary branches,not just a big filter.although i will use the filters for long distance trees.thanks for your help.--josh​

  16. spyder62

    spyder62 New Member

  17. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    that was a great tutorial rich,i printed it out and am going to modify it for different grades and types of trees the bottle brosh tree with manilla rope looked very good..although if anyone else has ideas im always lookin for variety and detail.thanks.--josh
  18. Nazgul

    Nazgul Active Member

  19. HO Newbie

    HO Newbie New Member

    great trees

    There is actually really good instructions to make the kind of trees you are interested in on this site somewhere? I had the page bookmarked but since the change over have lost the link? Perhaps someone else would know how to get to the instructions.
    You use a wisk broom, by cutting the bristles to use for branches and lay them on a long piece of masking tape. Once you have them all laid out you place another piece of masking tape over the first piece. Then you take a piece of wire (straightened) fold it in half and lay it on the masking tape strip. Place the wire ends in the chuck of a drill and the looped end in a vise. As the drill spins it twists the wire and you end up with a great pine tree shape, then just spray paint with various shades of browns and greens.
    Hope this helps? It is a really cheap way to make realistic pine trees! Sorry I don't have any photos just yet to post.
    If anyone has the original link, please pass it along
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    HO Newbie - that tutorial is the one in the message above yours (by Nazgul) called "Trees are thousands..."


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