First tree

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by aartwmich, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    I used woodland scenics twistable plastic armatures and the ground foam that came with the kit, but I ground it finer in a coffee grinder like someone suggested here. I used a 3m spray adhesive both before, between and after dipping in the foam. I only used one of the 3 shades of green for this first attempt.

    I think I will 'plant' it without using the stand.

    Any critique and/or suggestions would be welcome :)

    Attached Files:

  2. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Second tree...

    will I become addicted to this??? I used all 3 shades of green here, darkest first, tho I think the middle shade totally covered the darkest.

    Attached Files:

  3. jkristia

    jkristia Member

    Looks good (if you remove the stand). What adhesive did you use. I know you said 3m spray, but I went to Michaels the other day and they didn't have anything that I could use, but maybe it was just out of stock (of course I didn't bother to ask :( )

  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Ima the trees look good (without the stand), if that's your first attempt that's outstanding! You might want to spray the trunk with a shot of dulcoat to kill the shine. :cool: Jesper around here 3M is found at hardware stores. Cheap hair spray also works and isn't near as toxic. :)
  5. You're doing a really good job of applying the ground foam to the branches. It looks pretty darned realistic. :) And you've got the right idea when using more than one color of foam.

    If the trees were mine, though, I'd be inclined to do one of two things. One would be to plant the trees without the base, as you suggested. The other would be to do some "surgery" on the base.

    First, I'd use an x-Acto to cut away some of the plastic on the base so that what was left more closely resembled tree roots growing outward in various directions. Then I'd use some modeling putty to fill in the gap between the trunk and base. Carve bark texture in the putty, let it dry, and paint it to match the trunk. By the time I "planted" the tree and added some grass and weeds around the roots, the "surgery" would be unnoticeable, but the tree's overall appearance would be much improved.

    You might try it with one tree and see how you like it. :)
  6. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Nice job. Looks great.
    On some of the tree's I have done, I've spray painted the plastic armatures with a very dark flat gray primer. While the paint was still wet I dipped it into the foam for the first coat. After the foam application was done and dry, I put a wash of 20% black paint and 80% water on the trunk. This brings out the detail of the bark.
    BTW - Nice pic's also.
  7. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    Aartwmich, Your trees turned out just great! ... A lot better than mine using the same kits. The secret seems to be in grinding the "foliage" finer AND using more than one colour of foam. Good thinking!

    Now that I come to think of it, before I do any more, I'll try various colours on the armatures, just to add variety.

  8. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    a lady forester in the works here. Nice work on all of the trees. I have to agree that the mixed color set looks the modst realistic. I Look forward to seeing your "tree farm" when you get them all planted.:) :)
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'm not sure exactly how you applied the ground foam, but you might try; Dump some of the foam in a paper bag, spray the armature with the 3m adhesive, dump the sprayed armature into the bag with the foam, and "shake and bake". I did a demo on this process at a local library, and it seemed to work fairly well.
  10. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    Thanks all for the compliments and suggestions :)

    jkristia .....its called 'Spray mount-Artists Adhesive' 3M No.6065

    Tyson a specific brand name for the dulcoat? It sounds like it would come in handy on alot of things. I tried cheap hair spray, it dried to quickly for anything to stick to it.

    Casey ....I was thinking just that about cutting the stand to look rooty when I trimmed the armature off the sprues. Thought also about painting the trunk some, if I could only find my old tiny, tiny paint brushes. Can you give a specific brand for the modeling putty? Does it actually dry/cure hard? Might work better to form the rooty part with the clay and stick the trunk into that...hhhmmmm

    marty w .....what kind of paint do you use that you can thin with water? I wouldn't think that water based paint would stick to plastic

    Davidstrains .....Well some would argue the title 'lady'..cause I'm a Tom Boy Girl Forever...LOL. I just got some pine armatures today..I will keep posting pics..;) If only I didn't have to work for a many trees, so little time and energy.

    Sumpter250 ....I used the - spray it, dunk it in the jar of foam, then spin the trunk to shake off the excess technique. I had to pick some off too and place some extra here and there. I'll try the bag method, reminds me of making powder sugar donuts in a bag in the car at the beach with my aunt when I was little...I can't believe she let us DO

    Thanks again everyone for the encouragement and ideas!!
  11. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    I have used Polly Scale and Folk Art by Plaid Paint. It sticks with no problem, also remember the tree was painted with the gray primer first. You can also use 1 teaspoon of black india ink mixed with 1 pint of rubbing alcohol for the wash.
  12. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Is there any reason to use alchyhol instead of water with an indian ink wash?

    Aart, I've used nothing but water based paint and haven't had a problem with it sticking to anything at all. I just use testors and art paint. I should probably try some of the good stuff these guys use sometime.
  13. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    Ima, Dulcote or Dullcoat or whatever is made by Testor's, most hobby shops carry it.
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Meijers also carries it by the car models. I also have some art supply clear dull finish stuff, I got for half the price nad twice as big but havn't tried it. If it works, I'll eventually become a millionaire on the money I save on dullcoat, assuming I never die. Statistically I won't likely die; less than half of the people ever born on earth have died to date. LIVE AND LET LIVE!
  15. Hey Aart;

    Great trees! So, one CAN make those woodland scenics trees well; I'll be trying out some of these techniques soon.

    As for spray adhesive, I use 3M Super 77; have for 20 years. It is hands down the best and strongest that i've tried. Home Depot carries it; some hardware stores and most, if not all, art supply stores will have it. 10 bucks for a large can, but it will do a LOT of trees!

  16. I would guess that either of the Squadron putties (green or white) would work with those plastic trunk/base pieces. It dries hard, is sandable, and can be carved. Of course, you may have the better idea: just create a new base from clay. If you go that route, I would recommend using Sculpey or one of the other polymer-based clays rather than ordinary modeling clay. The polymers can be baked hard on a cookie sheet in your oven and would be less suseptible to "damage" while being planted on the layout.
  17. Since the subject is "trees"....

    Here is a photo of some of the trees on my layout. Some of them are "Supertrees" from Scenic Express, others are homemade from dried flower stems from one of my flower beds.

    Attached Files:

  18. Here is another photo of some of my trees. Most are made by first spraying or dipping the trunk/limbs in matte medium and then applying ground foam of various colors. I use the darker foams first, then lighter colors on top.

    Since I model the Ozarks, where various hardwoods (white oak, red oak, hickory, walnut, ash, dogwood) grow in mingled profusion, I try to "plant" a variety of tree shapes and types in any given area. I also use a lot of undergrowth and brush.

    Attached Files:

  19. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    That looks almost natural. You have a good feel for the natural forest environment. Between you, tyson, pete and now ima, the Gauge could "reforest the world".:D :D :)
  20. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Casey, those trees look amazing! Excellent work!

    aartwmich, I don't know why most trees and tree armatures have that crappy little "feature" of being able to be rotated, but they do and therefore the gap has to be filled.

    Personally, I don't like the Squadron putty. I've tried it and it takes forever to sand down. What I've been using is good old spackle - for just about everything - gap filler and over foam sheet hills etc. It sands easily and dries fast.

    For your tree armatures, you'll need to glue the trunk to the stand first, before you do the filling in, so it won't accidently be rotated, cracking the joint you've just filled. Then paint the trunk whatever colour you want with a matte finish paint. Casey's advice about cutting away part of the base, leaving some of the roots is a good plan. Alternatively, you can "paint" the part you don't want to be roots with glue and spinkle with the same material you're using for ground cover in that area - earth, grass whatever. Do this before you plant the tree.

    For densely wooded areas I've tried the following technique and it seems to work well. Fully-modelled trees in front, then stick a bunch of trunks (I use actual twigs) in behind so you can see them from eye-level, and using some foam mat over top. Then I add Woodland Scenics Fine-Leaf Foliage to form the upper canopy. No need to model each tree. As long as it looks good from above, and at eye level, your eyes will believe it's a forest.

    Your trees look very good by the way.

    :D Val

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