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titus
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What are you guys using for "flocking" to when creating "caspia pine" trees? I'm trying to learn this technique and I'm comfortable with creating the trunks and branches now, but I'm wondering how to finish it.

What I'm wondering is what type of material to go with for flocking it. I've thought of 3 things to use:

There's fine ground foam texture, something along the lines of http://www.sceneryexpress.com/FINE-OLIVE-GREEN-FLOCK-6-oz/productinfo/NH07200/.

There's this stuff which seems even finer than ground foam, http://www.sceneryexpress.com/BURNT-GREEN-FINE-32-oz/productinfo/EX812B/.

But then I thought, what if I tried using static grass in an effort to simulate pine needles, http://www.sceneryexpress.com/DARK-GREEN-STATIC-GRASS-FLOCK/productinfo/WD0636/.

Any recommendations?

Oh and here's what the tree looks like so far without flocking...

Lost Creek RR
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Titus (cannot see your name sorry)tree looks good.
I would suggest making the trunk a lot darker with stains then flock. I used Woodlands Scenic Coarse Turf Dark Green for my trees on the Lost Creek RR. Several applications were needed to get the coverage I was comfortable with using non perfumed hair spray as the fixative applied liberally during and after adding the flock.
On other posts here some folk us static grass to very good effect so you could do both to two different trees and see which you prefer.
Have fun.
Rod.

titus
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@Rod:

Regarding the darker trunk, I had actually experimented with that tonight. I had used Builders-in-Scale's Silverwood stain on the first few trunks, but I gave it a go with their "Blackwood" stain then dry brushed some gray on it after and I think that might be the look I go with. The blackwood by itself was a tad dark, but I think the color variation and "pop" from the dry brushing was something I liked. I'll probably stick with that in the future, though I'm still considering experimenting with some brown rit dye before I settle on something.

I'm really surprised by the use of *course* turf. I hadn't figured that would work. Do you have any pictures of that?

Milocomarty
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Would add a layer of 2mm fibers with a thea sieve, after that I use WS fine turf weeds, think the coarse turf is ehm to coarse...

Lost Creek RR
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In the On30 section of this forum "The start of my Lost Creek RR" on page 2 and 3 you might see some of the trees I have done. There is a mixture of wire and rope trees along with a few pines like you are making these were my first attempt at such large trees.
Just try a few and see what size of flock you like. If they do not turn out like you want just add them to the rear of your scenery and behind the better ones you make . After all it is your RR.
Have fun
Rod.

dennischee
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You can try this its very easy http://dansresincasting.com/Ground%20foam.htm

Dennis

titus
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For anyone interested, I tried both 2mm static grass and very fine ground texture. I'm not 100% satisfied with either. Going to keep experimenting...


2mm STATIC GRASS:



FINE GROUND TEXTURE:

titus
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Dennis,

A few years back I decided to try making my own ground foam. It happened to be on the same day one of my wife's friends came over. The look on her face when she saw me putting foam and pouring acrylic paint into a blender was priceless. I had to assure her we owned two blenders, one for food and another I had picked up at a garage sale for other uses.

Creating your own foam is actually a bit more challenging than it seems. I couldn't quite get a good penetration of the paint all the way through the foam, and it was a bit harder to control the size of the end result. That said, everything gets better with practice so I'm sure a few more tries I could get better results.

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2014 03:41 pm by titus

jtrain
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Titus,

The Fine texture ground foam I think looks pretty good, maybe add a few more branches next time. One thing I learned not to rely upon is what everyone thinks a tree should look like. By itself, that tree looks a little thin, but put it in with a small group of trees and I thin you'll be surprised at how full the foliage will look.

In a forest, every tree is competing with every other tree nearby for light. Every tree is trying to grow taller and get the most light, and what results is that most of the (green) branches will grow in the upper half of the tree where there is the most light. What also results from this is that the trees don't have thick, bushy branches. The only trees that look like that are on golf courses and suburban homes.

Your tree, assuming it's supposed to be in a forest among other trees, looks fine. I'd say make a couple more, group them together, and see what you think. I'll also add in that a couple of branches towards the top of the tree would make it look great too.

Ad By the way, the flocking, if you can use it a bit more sparingly, would make that pine look a lot like a ponderosa pine. Their needles are a good 6" long and grow in clumps of about 10-20.

--James:java:

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2014 04:14 pm by jtrain

jtrain
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Seeing you're from colorado, I assume you know what different types of pine trees look like. But just for reference, here are a couple photos to prove my point from the post above:

Here is a good photo of naturally growing ponderosa pines:
http://www.science.oregonstate.edu/bpp/BOT415/Mistletoes/Mistletoe%20%20Ponderosa%20pine%20.jpg

Compared to a ponderosa grown at Northern Arizona University:
http://www4.nau.edu/arboretum/Womack/images/W11.jpg

But I'm guessing you weren't going for a ponderosa pine, so here is a "White Pine" from Minnesota:
https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSy52jvfbLPAWVCpWobEU6Fn2EEDu0j249_0vphE-rN946oxrgKpQ

As you can see, the wild trees don't grow nearly as thick, and so your model tree (the ground foam decorated tree) looks pretty good in my opinion.

--James:java:

Last edited on Sat Feb 15th, 2014 04:12 pm by jtrain

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..

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...

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:

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.

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.

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:

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

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:

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.

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

titus
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I'm starting to become happy with the results from my "tree skill builder" exercise. Here are a cluster of three trees that I'd have no problem putting on any layout. There are couple minor variations in them, but the only noticeable is the trunk color. The brighter one in the middle is Builder in Scale's "Brownwood" stain straight from the bottle. The other two are Builder in Scale's "Blackwood" stain drybrushed with raw sienna acrylics.

The biggest thing I've been fussing with is branch color and flocking. Here's what I've settled on:

I'm using a blend of fine and course foam, 4 parts fine to 1 part course, colors leaning on the medium to dark green side. After flocking I airbrush the trees, 2 parts Pullman Green to one part Coach Green (Polyscale/Master Modeler brand paint). The underside of the branches are then given a light wash of one part Pullman Green to one part Rail Tie Brown.

jtrain
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That looks both delicate and excellent. Put them on the layout and start making more, you'll soon become a master at tree building.

--James


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