Shiny Trees

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by MasonJar, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi everyone,

    I have created a few spruce trees using 1/8" and 1/12" dowel, some dollar store brown paint, superglue, and the green scrubber pads used for pots.

    I think they look pretty good, except they are kind of shiny. Does anyone have any suggestions to make them a bit more dull?

    My first thought would be dullcoat, but given the "fibrous" nature of the "branches", I wonder if the tree would just clog up and become a big unmanagable mess.

    Any advice?



    PS. Sorry , no digital camera to post pics (yet...!).
  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    If you thin Testors Dullcote 50/50, and airbrush lightly, it wont clog up, and will get rid of the shine.
    As I've mentioned before, I use Testors Glosscote, from the spray can, as an adhesive for the leaves, applied to Woodland Scenics Polyfiber. There's no clogging of the polyfiber.
    My strongest suggestion is, take any and all of the suggestions you get here, and try them. Yes, you'll have to build, and probably sacrifice some trees, but one of the techniques will work for you.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Try, try again


    I don't have an air brush, but I will try the dullcoat from the can and see what happens. I guess I may end up killing a few trees, but will (probably) learn something in the end.


  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Don't worry, Andrew, the trees are expendable just like the LPB's; plenty more where they came from!

    I think the spray can dullcoat won't hurt, it's very thin...
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    But I made them with my very own hands. I knew them since they were just wee potscrubbers under the kitchen sink...:p

  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    hehehe they do mean a lot more when you've made them your self, don't they!
  7. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Andrew, The Dullcote should work just fine....You might be interested in a post I just made about Dullcote in the Tips and Tricks thread.
  8. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Hi Andrew, I make trees as you do and find if a dip them in a thinned wood stain they come out in a more narural colour and can add foam while still wet. They dry flat.
    This is a lot cheaper than dull cote. Shades of stain make a difference so try whatever you have on hand. I like Early American as it is a fairly dark brown.
    I keep a bucket handy so when I take a tree out of the stain I hold it inside the bucket and spin it. Excess stain flies off then can be recycled. After the spinning I pour green foam over the tree and once again, spin off excess.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks again

    Thanks everybody...

    I tried the dullcoat approach, and just about died from the fumes in my basement. Looks like any further coating will have to wait until I can go outside. The tree however looked a lot better.

    Thanks for the wood stain tip Robin. I'll try that as soon as the weather warms up...! Is the foam added to provide the "green", as the wood stain makes the scrubber "branches" completely brown?

    Also found that bamboo skewers form the dollar store make good trunks.

  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Hi Andrew, the stain gives the tree brown tinge but the green shows through OK. I add some green foam to provide some colour which looks like new growth.
    I use those dollar store bamboo skewers for tree trunks too.
  11. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Here is one of my trees done the way I described. I got my scratch pads from a dollar store too.

    Attached Files:

    • tree.jpg
      File size:
      29.4 KB
  12. Sir_Prize

    Sir_Prize Member

    Hmmm... Take out the bottom 10-15 scale feet of "branches" and
    you'd have the makings of a fine Florida Pine.

    By the way that means it looks good to me.;)
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Pictures at last

    Heres a shot of a tree I made planted next to my station.


    Attached Files:

  14. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    That tree looks like a very well trimmed blue cedar - a tree we often find in parks (at least here in Europe). Therefore it is exactly at the right place beside a stately station building.

    Looks really beautiful! Congratulations!

  15. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    :eek: :eek: :eek: WOW:eek: :eek: :eek:

    That tree is VERY cool!! I would love to see a step by step tutorial on THAT!!! Or at least a very close up shot of it..if I can't touch it
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Tutorial in the works

    I have "liberated" the digital camera for the weekend, so I will see what I can do...

    Thanks for the help and the compliments everyone!

  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    How to make...

    Well, I didn’t get the pictures, but here is the text description of making the trees...


    Green pot scrubber pads (could substitute the coarse paint stripping ones, or sphagnum moss)
    Bamboo skewers (or 1/8" - 1/12" dowels)
    Acrylic craft paint
    Super Glue

    Cut out 8 - 10 circles of progressively smaller sizes and a very small triangle from the pot scrubber.

    Paint the bamboo skewer with brown and black paint.

    Peel the pot scrubber “disks” into three layers. As you separate the layers, make sure that at least the centre is complete. If the edges are ragged, it doesn’t matter. If they are too uniform, you can tear small chunks out with tweezers.

    Slide each disk onto the bamboo skewer. Attach at least the bottom disk with Super Glue. You can also attach every 5th of 6th disk. It is not really necessary to glue them all. Space the disks so they only just touch to get that layered look evergreens always have.

    Continue until you reach the last disk. Instead of separating this one completely, just “stretch” it by pulling the top and bottom apart. This disk should sit right on the end of the skewer, so the point does not go all the way through. Glue in place.

    To make the very top of the tree, take the little triangle and trim it so it is cone shaped. Put some glue on the base of the cone, and attach to the top disk of the tree.

    Set aside to dry.

    Once dry, you can spray on Dullcoat and/or paint/dip and/or add ground foam as desired.

    Thanks to Gauge members and Model Railroader for inspiration.


    PS - Will try to add pictures as soon as I can borrow that camera again.
  18. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    MasonJar...that sounds like a very good descriptive tutorial, I'll give it a try! Thanks :)
  19. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Sorry aart... I missed that part of your post. Here's a close up. I'll still try to add step by step photos later.


    Attached Files:

  20. aartwmich

    aartwmich Member

    GAWD MasonJar!! That is a beautiful tree!!! I love trees.... and fine scale modeling...and that is a great tree!! Funny how the simplest little things just thrill me at times. :)

    I'm gonna have to try that!! I hope it turns out as good as yours did :D

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