Making Logs

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by hminky, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. hminky

    hminky Member

  2. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member


    Very nice tutrorial!! Thanks .
    I would have skipped the last part about making them too dark tho --- never, never tell on yourself!! :p
  3. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I thought it was made from a real branch at first. Grout for bark really works.
  4. hminky

    hminky Member

  5. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Your log making technique looks spectacular!, I'm thinking it would be great for trees. The lighter stressing, from the sandpaper, is more realistic than scraping with a razor saw, and the color and texture looks really nice.
    BTW, in a discussion about styrene ship decks, and making them look like wood, I referenced your "how to", as the best technique I've seen.
    I wonder if the Testors spray white primer would be a good substitute for the Kilz2.
  6. hminky

    hminky Member

    Any flat white paint works, it is used to kill the color in the wood and start with a blank palette. I have tried razor saw scraping and have found using coarse sandpaper gives a more random texture.

    If it works for logs why wouldn't work for trees.

  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Harold: Sorry, I can only give you five stars on this tutorial. Try to do better next time:mrgreen::mrgreen:. Actually, great work. Thank you.
  8. hminky

    hminky Member

    Mike Siggins used my method to make some logs and was kind enough to take a picture of them


  9. sam

    sam New Member



    Your technique really made the logs realistic. As mentioned previously, what if anything would you have to change to make tree trucnks?

    Thanks for the help.

  10. hminky

    hminky Member

    A log is a tree trunk therefore it should follow that you could use it for making tree trunks.

  11. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Great tutorial; however, I would add one comment - "any flat white white paint" might not do it as well as the KILZ you used. KILZ has the added property of completely sealing the surface you apply it to so that nothing leaaks through. This would be especially important if you use Aspen or Pine branches as the beginning basis for your logs, as I occassionally do.
  12. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    There's a lot of good advice here on logs and how to make them. For logs on my HO layout "Pics of Equity Junction" now showing on this forum, I used trimmings from a Silk Tree which is in my field. After drying, I cut the ends with a box-cut saw to the right length for the rail cars. The bark and knots look about right to give a realistic effect. Bob
  13. hminky

    hminky Member

    The white primer isn't to seal the log it just creates a blank palette to add color. I like the Kilz2 because it dries in an hour.

  14. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    That's why I use real branches as the starting point for my own logs. No "added color" needed.
  15. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Mountain Man, I'm with you, my natural "logs" look very real and need no paint or anything else. It has worked out well. I'll get some closeup pics out soon. Bob
  16. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Pics of Logs at the Equity Junction Mill

    Shown here is my version of HO logs made of trimmings from a Silk Tree. All natural. Bob

    Attached Files:

  17. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Silk tree

    So what is a Silk tree -- where do I get one & how long do they take to grow??
    Those are great logs !!!

    Licorice Root makes great looking logs as well
  18. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Dave, the Silk Tree is a common ornamental used here in Northern CA and it should do well in LV as well. It has pink flowers most of the summer and then rather large ugly pods hanging from the tree in the fall. It grows fast out here if it has water. It's a medium sized tree but grows rather wide and so it needs a lot of space. Some consider it a nuisance because of it's fast growth. But "fast growth" is relative and it needs several years to get those nice branches that make those nice "logs". After pruning the tips of several branches, let dry for several weeks, then cut to size with a box saw and dry some more and then they're ready. Once dry, they seem to last for years without changing size or color. Mine had a bit of moss on them and that makes for good texture and color too. I surveyed all the trees on our property and went through at least 30 different speices including many oaks and that Silk Tree came out the winner. Just luck, I guess. Bob
  19. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    Dave, my wife informs me that the Silk Tree is usually called a Mimosa in most parts of the country and that they grow about everywhere. Try a gardener in your area. Bet he might know where he cam get some trimmings for you. A little grease in the palm might speed up the process. Bob
  20. Dave Harris

    Dave Harris Member

    Mimosa I've heard of --you have a smart wife .
    To grease a gardener around here I'd need to get some Pesos. :twisted:

    Thanks for the info.

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