The standard approach in OO is to use wire cable (tow cable and/or bowen
cable) with the strands un-twisted to form the branches, you need to add
some strands to fill out the upper parts of the tree. To get the shape take
some photos in winter to see the tree shape, childrens books on trees are
often worth looking at as well. The tree can be coated in plaster (with
brown/green paint mixed with it and some PVA glue as well). The foliage most
people use these days is Woodland Scenics, a kind of webbed material that is
teased out and spread over the ends of the branches (having coated the ends
of the branches in diluted PVA). There have been a number of other
materials used over the years, ground foam (although I am not sure that is
still available and the colours tended to be a bit harsh. One I liked was
dyed dried tea leaves, if you want to go over the top the under side of the
leaves is a lighter green than the top side
To fill in behind the carefully made trees you can get stuff called (I
think) sea foam as 'forrest in a box' which comprises some kind of aquatic
plant to serve as the tree with (I think) woodland scenics foliage to cover
Beginners guide to freight ops
On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 14:37:32 -0800, "Mike Smith" wrote:
Sea Foam : Teloxys aristata. (Chenopodia)
From the Gobi desert, would you believe !?
Seeds available from "Chiltern Seeds"
(QUOTE)"A real novelty in every sense of the word. And a plant for
your dedicated model maker as little chunks of this fascinating plant
are sold for use as model shrubs and trees for miniature track-side
and road decoration"(/quote)
Not tried it yet, but on my roundtuit list :)
There is some uncertainty on how best to germinate it, so perhaps the
ready grown/dried stuff in the model shop may be an easier but less
adventurous route :) :) !!
Woodland Scenics, Scenic Express both make very good tree kits.
Make a few trees using their kits, then adapt their methods. You can buy
tree making materials from either one (eg flock, fibre-fill).
It really upsets me buying bits of cut up or shredded plastic, there must be
some suitable natural or waste product. Like Mikes idea of tea leaves,
perhaps could use Japanese or green tea so wouldnt need to paint the
leaves - well it tastes awful so would be nice if good for something.
Not (just) the money, it doesnt seem right. Should be able to make or
destroy something. Latest trials are on dog hairs (from a retriever) and
baby wipes - got through enough of those for full sized tree.
On Wed, 31 Jan 2007 22:04:01 GMT, "Bob Heath"
Adding to what others have contributed, you can make very convincing
trees using the dried heads of Sedum Spectabile
which is a fairly common garden/rockery plant in the UK. Pick the
flower heads after the petals have wilted in the Autumn and let them
dry out, then roll the heads in dilute PVA or latex glue and sprinkle
with flock powders, ground foam, dyed tea leaves, etc. I've used
this method to make a range of trees from small bushes to medium sized
trees (depends on your scale). You can make a forest in no time and
the end product looks very convincing.
The only problem is that the dead heads are only available late
autumn, although we've still got a few on plants in our garden -
that's until wife does her spring clean :-)
I've known other modellers use the dead heads of lace cap hydrangea in
a similar way to get very convincing trees and shrubbery.
I use a combination of Woodlands and Heki products:
http://mrol.gppsoftware.com shows trees just above the end of the
train - the nearest tree is Heki, the others in the cluster are
Woodlands. All trees under the viaduct are woodlands.
You can buy woodlands tree armatures separately in quite large
quantities. You can also buy the folliage separately.
The traditional method of twisted wire/pva/plaster does give good
results and it is a cheaper solution, but for the beginner, it is a
fairly onorous method.
Trees to the left are Woodlands:
is all Woodlands.
Just a tip about Woodlands. Being an Amercian product, it is based on
American scenery. My observation having done many years of scenery
work is that the UK has much brighter greens than the US and
consequently, many US products are too dark for the UK, especially
when compared with the UK in spring when growth is a vibrant green.
Just choose the lighter Woodlands colours.
Personally, I find that SetScenes do more reallistic colours for
ground cover than Woodlands.
Thanks for all the good advice. I think I will be purchasing a tree from
each of the suppliers mentioned, and then see if I am capable of making some
Looking at the manufacturers websites, you seem to get a lot for a few
dollers. Are there any distribitors here that selling these trees or tree
kits as cheap, or would I be better off waiting untill my hols in USA and
buying the trees then?
Just one thought on model trees. The real thing is a very large object
indeed. If you have a fixed layout, consider acquiring trees for the
next scale up so an OO layout could look better with O gauge trees. The
colours may also be wrong - as a norm trees don't have brown trunks and
branches. They are grey with a touch of green especially on the north
side (in the Northern hemisphere).
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