Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Money saver
Not that difficult.


If you look close, they're fairly easy to spot in my photos... (most of them have fairly smooth bark).
You can avoid that by tediously scraping their lengths (crookedly) with a razor-saw... too time-consuming for me, and anyway, they get hidden in the overall population.
You can use twigs, but you'll need to microwave them to kill insect eggs and potentially nasty biotics & organisms (which can also be corrosive).

A.) Skewers, dowels, (or twigs).
B.) Drill & wire (copper or brass).
C.) Paint (black, browns, grays).
D.) Glue & apply flock, lichen *, or WS Leaf Foliage.
E.) Air fern can be used for pine branches.
* Preserve lichen with glycerin/alcohol... can be dyed.
My choice is flock or Leaf Foliage.
Drill to press-fit, or glue the wire, so branches don't turn.
I sometimes use AK thick Rust Effects as an undercoat.
TreeMaking_009.jpg
TreeMaking_017.jpg
PinesNest_009.jpg
toPineNest_004.jpg
Pine'sNestWest_005.jpg
TrackToMainline_004.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,974 Posts
Your trees are excellent. I have a couple of bags of the ws plastic twist n glue to trees. And I made a few.... But it didn't really do much for me. Even so. I feel there's more tree making in my life ...I'm open to ideas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
817 Posts
Can you explain your process a little? I'm not sure I'm following how that list of parts turns into your final product (I can be slow??)

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
I'm guessing here:

Start with a dowel or skewer.

Use a drill as a lathe, and then use the sandpaper-on-boards to sandwich the dowel as it spins so you can taper the body of the tree.

If you desire, use a wire brush or the edge of a small saw to grate the side of the dowel to make the bark texture.

Drill small holes into the side of the dowel to receive the wire branches. Either press fit them, or use a small amount of glue to secure the limbs to the trunk. I would think for smaller trees, you could just wrap the wire around, leaving the "branch" ends sticking out, then secure with glue, which would also obscure the wire wrapping.

Paint the tree to your desire, and possibly insert a pin into the base so you can ultimately "plant" the tree into your ground. Paint on the dark colrors first, then dry brush the accent colors like gray and tan.

Then hit the branches with spray adhesive and dip the tree into loose foliage. Sprinkle more foliage on wherever necessary.

Very similar to making deciduous trees using the wire wrap for trunks.... but using wood dowels for the tree, as most pines have very straight trunks, as opposed to deciduous trees that sometimes have unusual shaped trunks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,033 Posts
Excellent deciduous trees.....I use Sedum for my Maple, Oak and Birch as my neighbor lets me cultivate the dead growth from their flower garden!! there are a couple of great articles in MRR magazine on Tree making...but your work is exceptional!!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
BTW, another reason to sterilize twigs...
In addition to insect eggs and corrosive biotics, they can also carry allergens, e.g., pollen, mite feces, and mold spores.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Static grass pine trees (my version)
Different levels of maturity.


There are videos for this, but I 'shortcut' to an abbreviated version.
One of these trees was treated with multi applications of 2mm and 4mm static grass (photos #1 & #2).
Various YouTube vids are available:
e.g.:
The other, (photos #3 & #4) was done with 6mm & 12mm.
The difference is noticeable.
For a pine forest, 'plant' the sparcest trees inboard, with the lusher ones to the perimeter... just like in nature.
I do use various colors of grass, and spray them as in the videos, but I take the 'lazy' route, and skip some other steps.
My 'lushiest' pines are the old Campbell kit trees. They droop somewhat more, so they get mixed-in on the perimeter, and they blend superbly.
2&4mm_007.jpg
2&4mm_006.jpg
6&12mm_005.jpg
6&12mm_004.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
[Note, post #7]: These are tall pines (50 to 80 footers).
Short saplings are a challenge.
The smallest 'quality' conifers I can find online are GCG 2-3", but I got a few dozen 1/2-inch and 1-inch at shows.
I suppose you could clip the tops off taller ones, but that'd be an egregious waste of money, and still wouldn't match the juvenile stature of a diminutive sapling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Making Ponderosa Pines
HandmadePonderosas_006.jpg
HandmadePonderosas_013.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
289 Posts
@LateStarter besides getting the great feeling of making them by hand do you think it's cheaper in the long run to make trees yourself? I know I've read and heard hand laying track is actually cheaper in the long run just takes a ton of time and I was curious if that holds true to making your own trees?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
... besides getting the great feeling of making them by hand do you think it's cheaper in the long run to make trees yourself?
When you consider that the top-quality brands can retail for $4 to $12 per tree, you bet your 'trucks' it's cheaper.
I buy the top brands (JTT, Heki, MBR, GCG, etc) only at shows where they sell for very cheap.
If they have enough with them on that day to buy a cart full, I'm set for awhile.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I figured this would be your answer thanks!
To forest the 2-track mainline through the Shastas at the club with top-drawer retail trees would've cost nearly $2,000.
It took 4 guys 6 months to make the trees for about $50.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
I plan to make 50-60 really nice looking trees to put along the edge of a forest where you would likely see the trunks. The middle of the forest is just going to be one continuous canopy, so the trunks wouldn't be visible anyway. I'm thinking about using wire mesh to form the underlayer of the forest canopy, then apply woodland Scenic clump foliage on top in a layer thick enough to obscure the mesh framework beneath.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
289 Posts
To forest the 2-track mainline through the Shastas at the club with top-drawer retail trees would've cost nearly $2,000.
It took 4 guys 6 months to make the trees for about $50.
Awesome thanks for the breakdown that's a no brainer in my mind and I have tons of sticks and twigs in my back yard!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you ever done a giant redwood?
No...
In North America, redwoods are indigenous only to the central California coast to southern Oregon... and the Peruvian coast in South America.
Redwoods are ferns, (not pines) and their foliage is very difficult to replicate on a model scale.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,758 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
FYI:
Tallest known redwood
(est. 600 to 800 yrs old).


The World's tallest known Sequoia is named Hyperion. It resides in California, and is 380 feet tall, containing 18,600 cu ft of wood.

Trees of that height would appear ludicrous on an HO scale.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top