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labor intensive trees?
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 Posted: Mon Jun 21st, 2010 10:14 pm
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W C Greene

Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8253
I don't do tutorials about stuff, but I figured that someone might be interested in making some cedar/pine/fur trees which may be a little different from commercially available trees.

Here you see a piece of limb or twig found in the yard. I carved it down with a razor knife to make the tapered top and drilled holes in the "trunk" for the next step.

This is a whisk broom from Hobby Lobby or Michaels. I saw this stuff being used in another thread so I won't take credit for finding this. The broom has some really neat "branches" which can be cut and glued into the holes drilled into the "trunk". Since this is outdoors, I used Titebond 3 since it is water resistant. The little sprigs will probably last a while since the broom material is pretty flexible and appears to be tough enough to last outside.

Here you can see that I cut the pieces from the broom and glued them into the "trunk". I didn't worry about the length of the pieces, they will be trimmed off later. I drilled a hole in the base and glued in a BBQ squewer (whatever it is called) so the tree can be stuck in my styrofoam scenery and glued down. Again, this stuff has to be "hell for stout" on my layout.

This tree was made from a nice carved trunk given to me by Mopman. Shown is how I glued pieces of Woodland Scenics dark green "foliage" to the branches, again with the Titebond 3. After the glue is dry, I spray a couple of heavy coats of matte acrylic spray-also from Hobby Lobby/Michaels- and let it dry a while. The tree is then stuck into the scenery and glued (more Titebond 3), the base will be "detailed" later with some roots, etc.

Downtown Mogollon is getting "greened-up" since I am tired of the stark and hot rocks. The tree to the left is a double trunk job made from a branch that had the "look" I wanted. Later on, I will go back and airbrush a little lighter green on the trees to simulate highlights. The big tree on the far left was made from a piece of sagebrush with WS foliage glued on the branches. More trees will be made for the town since the era is late 1930's into the 40's and the trees have grown back from earlier times when most were cut down to use for mine props, firewood, etc.

Well, that's about all. From start to finish, it probably takes 30 or so minutes to make a tree so these are not for scenes that require forests but they do make nice foreground trees. Time will tell about how long they last outside, but indoors they should be around for a couple of hundred years. They may be labor intensive to do, but I can make a couple of them while "watching" PBS or CSI-Miami. Fun, fun, fun..


It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
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 Posted: Mon Jun 21st, 2010 10:46 pm
2nd Post
Bob H.

Joined: Sat Oct 11th, 2008
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 512
Nifty trees Woodie.  To think that all these past years, I used those expensive ws deciduous trees for branches. ;)

Chief Dog Scratcher & President Possum Ridge Railway.
Some people are like Slinkies... they're really good for nothing
...But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
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