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Flocking for "Caspia Pines"
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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 04:13 pm
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Milocomarty
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Titus, think you have to go for some 6mm fibers first, add some 2mm and after that the fine turf. Just scarcely..remember more is less..



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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 04:14 pm
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titus
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James

The first picture is pretty spot-on what I was going for. I see what you mean by the needles growing in clumps. I also see the length of the branches is fairly consistent up the height of the tree. I had just finished carving up 3 more trunks a day or so ago and think I might do some more trial trees. I'm also seeing that the trunks are more brown than I've been making mine. I might mess with making a new stain formula too...

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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 04:17 pm
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jtrain
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The bark and the needles all depend on the species of the tree. So you are going for a ponderosa pine? To tell you the truth, I don't think anyone has tried that before.

You might be breaking new ground here, can't wait to see what you have for results.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 06:36 pm
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titus
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I'm not quite sure I had narrowed it down to a specific species of pine. I was interested in creating something that looked like it belonged in northern California. I have a decent amount of railroad books about that area (logging lines mostly), but to be honest the picture you posted was the first time I had actually seen them in color (or at least what was in my head, in color).

That said, I had enough time during my son's nap to put together another tree. It's drying and I'll take some pictures of it later today. I can already see it's an improvement.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 01:08 am
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titus
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Here's where I'm at as of today. I focused on branch location and branch width. I've at least got that right. As far as I'm
concerned it's already a big improvement. I think I'm going to fiddle with the color and density of the foam still.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 03:39 am
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dennischee
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I was lucky my wife was going to throw her old one out, it got as far as my shed! I did a whole lot of different blends even did some wattle (acacia)trees we have down here and got good results, the pine trees I'm about to start are Bunya pines and the needles actually point up allowing the use of static grass with the tree upside down to get the effect.

DennisL:L:L:

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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 03:42 am
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jtrain
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The one on the right looks perfect as far as I can tell. A little more ground foam on it, put it with a few others, and you've got yourself a good looking forest.

You can also try giving the branches light coatings of spray paint. I've found it to be successful in smaller scales to paint the undersides a dark green, and to give the top a light dusting of a light green, which adds highlights to the tree. I'm only talking about adding a very light coating, I mean very light. One can of dark green and one can of light green lasted me until the paint went bad.
--James:java:

Last edited on Sun Feb 16th, 2014 03:46 am by jtrain



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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 03:49 am
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jtrain
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I've also been meaning to ask, how fragile re those trees? do the branches break easily of is caspia fairly resilient. I'm asking because they look like good candidates for making trees on my future G scale railroad.

One thing I forgot to mention about the paint, I sprayed the trees before adding the ground foam to give the interior of the tree canopies more depth.

--James:java:



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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 02:43 pm
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titus
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Re: painting the tree: Funny you mention that. The tree on the right just happens to be Pullman Green. :) After I had flocked it, I was looking at it thinking the color wasn't right, and was like, "You know, I bet I can airbrush a color on that." Sure enough. I discovered the effect you were mentioning in doing that. Based on how you hold the tree parts of it won't be painted. I was thinking on my next tree I'd try an artificial highlight or shadow (or both)?

Re: fragility: I think it has a bit of the "bed of nails" effect, in that with a bunch of branches all clustered together they seem fairly resilient however each branch individually can be a bit fragile. The caspia itself has some variation in this as well, which I suspect is related to how dried out the plant is. Some branches are slightly more "green" (in the water sense, not color) and are thicker. I have to use a #60 drill bit in order to be able to attach them. Other branches are anorexic and I can get away with a #70 or smaller bit. Those latter ones are much more fragile. For G scale I suspect you would favor the larger branches and probably have less fragile trees than I might in a smaller scale.

One problem that I think you'll face however is that the caspia comes in long but narrow branches. For the scale I'm working with that's not a problem as I trim them down already, but in a larger scale they might be too narrow to look conniving. If nothing else you could give a go at creating just one tree. The caspia is about $6 a bundle at Michael's and you just need some balsa for the size you're after (3/8" square?) which would be inexpensive.

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 Posted: Sun Feb 16th, 2014 04:08 pm
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jtrain
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Thanks. In G scale, he problem is that everything is so large, it has to have detail to look right. In HO scale, ground foam suffices for leaves, but in G scale, you almost need static grass and coarse ground foam to be effective. Yes, I would use the thicker branches, and I might even do something like soak them in rubbing Alcohol, let them dry, then soak them in Polyurethane which is essentially a liquid plastic. When the ploy dries, it might give more stability and "flex" to the branches.

Long and narrow shouldn't be a problem, you just bundle two or three together to make a branch, or have more branches overall. Ponderosa pine doesn't really have large, flat branches, that's more of the spruce variety. Also, for my railroad I'll be having lodge pole pine, so I'll need to have a lot of branches of about the same length.

Next time I am near a Michael's, I'll be sure to pick some up and try it for myself.

--James



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