Freerails Home 
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register
Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Scenery > SAGUARO CACTUS MADE EASY

Because of non-railroad abuse of the site, new members MUST use their first names (at least) to join NO EXCEPTIONS!

SAGUARO CACTUS MADE EASY
 Moderated by: danpickard Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
New Topic Reply Printer Friendly
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Mar 14th, 2011 03:04 am
  PMQuoteReply
1st Post
W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6063
Status: 
Offline
From the outset, I know that there will be just a few freerailers who will want to make saguaro cactus plants. I have wanted a bunch of these majestic cacti (cactusses?) for a long time and have looked at and spent money on "scale replicas" that failed to melt my butter and ideas to make them have taken an inordinate amount of Muj's and my time, we have thought of and tried several methods to make the plant. Making wire armatures with plaster covering, clay models used as masters for rubber molds..all time consuming and still not quite "right". Well, while I was watching "3:10 to Yuma" the other night, I got an idea...why not carve the things from balsa sticks which I had a bunch of stashed away. So, here it is. It takes longer to explain than to make.



A balsa stick is carved into a tapered dowel (roughly) and a coarse Xacto saw blade (or other) is dragged lengthwise to simulate the "ribs" in the trunk.



Here, an "arm" is being carved from a stick. This will be rounded and the saw will be run lengthwise also. Be sure to use a fresh #11 blade to do the carving.



The "arm" is glued in a small pocket made in the trunk. Peach Head is not amused as I use medium CA to glue the part on.



Here is a "finished" cactus. I inserted a small piece of wire in the bottom to help when I "plant" the cactus. I see the old man has moved, I must be bothering him. You can add "arms" where you want but it helps to look at photos of real saguaros and don't make them all look alike.



Here's an old cactus which looks like a bunch of sticks standing vertically. I made this one by really attacking the balsa with the saw...it has that dead look now.



And here's the saguaro cactus "forest" I am working on. these are not glued down and I will mess with the ground cover some more to get the "look". I didn't spend much time making all these, just some nice sittin' and whittlin' in the sun. I painted them in various greens and gray, none are alike. Now it's time for some more.

 



____________________
Go ahead, make my day!
Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Mar 14th, 2011 09:11 pm
  PMQuoteReply
2nd Post
Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 609
Status: 
Offline
Very nice tutorial, Mr. Greene...

They look really nice in the 'flesh', too.

"And that's all I've got to say about that."

                                          - Forest Gump


 

Last edited on Mon Mar 14th, 2011 09:52 pm by Sullivan



____________________
James Sullivan
Move along...nothing to see here...
Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Mar 14th, 2011 10:02 pm
  PMQuoteReply
3rd Post
Herb Kephart
Administrator


Joined: Thu Jul 19th, 2007
Location: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 4898
Status: 
Offline
Have no idea what a real one looks like, so will have to go along with the experts.

What are you going to use for leaves?


Herbie :old dude:



____________________
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
Back To Top

 Posted: Mon Mar 14th, 2011 10:12 pm
  PMQuoteReply
4th Post
Sullivan
Registered


Joined: Mon Aug 4th, 2008
Location: Garland, TX
Posts: 609
Status: 
Offline
Herb Kephart wrote: What are you going to use for leaves?



 

       :shocked:    .....uuuuuhh.....

Durn troublemakers!



____________________
James Sullivan
Move along...nothing to see here...
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 03:14 pm
  PMQuoteReply
5th Post
wclm
Registered


Joined: Thu Dec 25th, 2008
Location: Dacono, Colorado USA
Posts: 526
Status: 
Offline
Great looking Woodie. Doesn't look like they need much water so the leaves should
not be a problem. First time I have ever seen tongue and mortise on cacti though.   
                                                                   :us: Clif K



____________________
Clif Korlaske

OWNER,OPERATOR,CHIEF COOK,& BOTTLE WASHER
W.C.L.M.RY
Favorite Quote
"How old will you be before your as stupid as you think I am?"
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 03:59 pm
  PMQuoteReply
6th Post
W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6063
Status: 
Offline
Well, I seem to have satisfied my "craving" for these cacti, something I have wanted for quite a while. The leaves? Saguaroes have millions of tiny spikes that have the same function as leaves so that's the botany lesson. On the models, the act of carving and scritching the balsa causes tiny fuzz and that represents the leaves or spikes. That's my story. I am going to make these in a spring setting with some flowers (when I figure that out) and a few birds sitting on the tops.

Clif-the morticed arm joint is easier to glue together, the soft balsa gets squished and fitted before I do the glue so the nicely cut attachment point is pretty much hidden and then with some glue here & there, it is gone. Making these things is really fairly relaxing and now I may have the problem of making more than I really need, unlike when I used to make trees...never enough!



____________________
Go ahead, make my day!
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 04:47 pm
  PMQuoteReply
7th Post
Dwayne
Registered


Joined: Mon Mar 19th, 2007
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Posts: 1011
Status: 
Offline
Herb Kephart wrote: Have no idea what a real one looks like, so will have to go along with the experts.

What are you going to use for leaves?


Herbie :old dude:

http://d-daze.blogspot.com/2011/03/this-photo-of-saquaro-cactus-near.html



____________________
"If the women don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy".
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 05:38 pm
  PMQuoteReply
8th Post
W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6063
Status: 
Offline
http://phoenix.about.com/od/arizonapicturesandphotos/ig/Saguaro-Cactus/

Here's a link to some more cactus stuff. Some of these saguaros are really outlandish and I think that I will go outside now and carve up a couple of more. I noted that in these "forests", there were many "young un's" which didn't have any arms, just look like trunks coming up 10-15 feet or so. That close up of the spines is a good one, I don't know if I will do spines, I got fuzz already.



____________________
Go ahead, make my day!
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 07:33 pm
  PMQuoteReply
9th Post
Stickboy
Registered


Joined: Thu Aug 2nd, 2007
Location: St Johns, Isle Of Man, United Kingdom
Posts: 340
Status: 
Offline
Your cacti look great!

I seem to recall a nugget of information along the lines of the saguaro cactus does not get it's first "arm" until it is about 100 years old. I know they are protected, and damaging them is a serious offence. Good work!

Phil



____________________
Phil
Back To Top

 Posted: Tue Mar 15th, 2011 07:43 pm
  PMQuoteReply
10th Post
W C Greene
Super Moderator


Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 6063
Status: 
Offline
Phil-you are correct..they are protected in Arizona. If they catch you digging one up to take home, the authorities may send you to Gitmo or some other high security prison. You can drink a beer in a bar with your sidearm holstered but if you touch a saguaro...well..."git a rope"...



____________________
Go ahead, make my day!
Back To Top


 Current time is 09:32 pm
Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  

Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Scenery > SAGUARO CACTUS MADE EASY
Top



UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems