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Old 06-18-2009, 07:15 AM
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How I Make My Deciduous Trees

Hello all
I just wanted to show a few pics on how I make trees. Hopefully someone somewhere will find it helpful.

This one is meant to be an oak [not that I'm fussy about that] I made it quite a while back. It's still alive

I started with a twisted wire frame

Made a second frame very similar to the first and wound them tightly together to make a twin-trunker. They were then covered with DAS modelling clay [from hobby and craft shops] which I always coat with PVA glue as it dries. That stops it cracking:


When all was dry it got a thin coat of greyish brown acrylic paint and I began to glue on the finer branches - coconut fibre from hanging basket liner which I pre-painted:

I like to twist the fibres into clumps and glue them on. Any loops or unruly branches can be snipped out once the glue has set.

Foliage for this was Heki foliage mat, glued on in small pieces. The Heki mat loses a lot of its "leaves" when it's cut or torn. I save them and glue them back on later by dabbing on some PVA then dipping the tree into the loose stuff.


On the layout:


In the next pic there's Woodland Scenics used on the trees either side of this one that has the Heki. I much prefer the Heki, although you could get a similar result by gluing some loose scatter onto the WS foliage.


Here's another that I made. This one is the main tree in the village so I gave it a root system with clay and wire after it was planted:

In this pic the trunk looks a bit thin down low, but clay would fix it.

The tree was extended after planting


Another view:

This tree is based on a garden twig with other twigs glued into carved recesses to make the major branches. It's roughly 8" high.

I really love making trees. These are on my 00 scale [4mm] British layout. Almost makes me wish my New England layout was not set in winter.

Mike
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Last edited by MikeC; 06-18-2009 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:30 AM
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Mike: Thanks for sharing your technique for making some outstanding trees. I will definitely try making some like those. DJ
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Old 06-18-2009, 07:45 PM
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Excellent work Mike!!! I appreciate you sharing your technique
How long did it take you to do the main village tree?
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:55 PM
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Thanks fellas!

Nazgul that's an interesting question, because I started on that tree about ten years ago! Consequently it's famous for being the oldest tree in the village
I plan to make a small sign/plaque to stand beside it.

It's hard to say how long it took, but it would've been something like two and a half hours working time. Finding suitable twigs and whittling them and the trunk into shape was quite a job. The timbers are held together with five minute Araldite.
I really must do another for the New England side. As you would know, you never really count the time when doing things like this, and it's done in small sessions, then nothing until glue and paint dry.

Mike
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Old 06-18-2009, 10:38 PM
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Hey Mike, those are some great looking trees. I really like the root system showing on the tree in town! I did a post in the tips,tricks and techniques section titled TREES about making trees out of wire. check it out if you get a chance I used plaster of paris to cover the wire and have not had any cracks unless you bend them. I brushed the plaster on in thin coats and it gave them a little texture. I was playing around one night and found some old wire that you would use for wiring in your house. I stripped all the insulation off and used some other wire that I had laying around. they turned out pretty well and they were cheap to make.
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Old 06-18-2009, 11:11 PM
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Very nice job on the tree Mike. The way you did the roots at the base of the trunk looks very real. That tree does need a plaque of it's own.
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Old 06-19-2009, 06:47 AM
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Thanks Crazy and Jim.

Good trees you made, Crazy. Nice job. The plaster looks like it works well. The clay will crack too if you bend it too much.

Mike
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Old 06-19-2009, 04:51 PM
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Some great trees you have there mike.
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