Author Topic: Some More Trees  (Read 2835 times)

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wm3798

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Some More Trees
« on: January 14, 2007, 10:49:39 PM »
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I've been hanging around Ed and Tom too long.  Once perfectly content with my cheesy dollar tree trees, I have now embarked on a project that should greatly enhance the look of my layout.

I've been stockpiling red sedum stems for about 3 years from my garden, and the new section of river I recently completed is crying out for some foliage.
This is what the stems look like right out of the garden.


While they have pretty good branch detail, the crown of seed pods looks more like an umbrella than a tree if left unmodified.

So, I clip apart the stem so I can combine different sizes and sections of crown, then glue them together to create a more realistic tree armature.

This gets dipped in diluted matte medium, and clipped with a plastic clothes pin.  Once dry, they are ready for paint and flocking.



Watch these pages for further updates.  My plan is to make enough of these (I can do 50 trees at a time, since that's how many clothes pins I have...) then intersperse them with the Dollar Trees and puff balls to give my forest some texture and variety, and my stand-alone trees some prototypical panash.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

tom mann

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2007, 06:44:04 AM »
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I think that used as a group, those would look fine.

John

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2007, 08:07:18 AM »
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I don't like seedum as a tree material .. the leafy looking things are way to big IMHO. Having said that, if you can combine the trunk material with something else that would look a little leafier, then I think it would be ok ..

SAH

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2007, 08:40:13 AM »
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With my first super trees experience still fresh, I'll say sedum might work too.  The beauty of the super tree structure is those little seed pods at the ends of the branches (where I assume the flowers were) that make good mounting points for the foam, flocking or whatever.  The sedum plant might work the same way but as a component of a larger tree structure.  Go for it Lee.  Let's see what you come up with.

On second thought, we have a few sedum plant out in the yard.  Better go grab 'em before my wife uses them for some dumb dried flower arrangement.  On the other hand, she does come up with some interesting material in those things sometimes.  I just blame the cat when something comes up missing from one of them.   ;D

Steve

wm3798

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2007, 12:27:41 PM »
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Here's what we've got so far...
I didn't take any process photos, I was too excited with the results I was getting.  First I took the armatures I built from the combined stems, which were good and dry this morning.  Then, using my trusty flat black and grey primer spray bombs, painted each one.  Black for the base color, then I misted the grey over it to get highlights.

Once this was complete, I again dipped them into the matte medium solution, and sprinkled Scenic Express flocking on them.

Here's the result:








I like these trees on several counts...
One:  They're cheap.  I have the plants in my garden, and can harvest enough stuff to make 200 trees every winter.  I paid about $5 for matte Mod Podge, $3 for Elmers glue, and used about a cup of Scenic express flocking to make 100 trees. 

Two:  I think the combined stems, once glued together, give you a sturdier looking tree than Super Trees, and the seedpod things actually provide the bulk for the foliage.  Once painted and "dipped", I think they look great, and it really cuts down on the amount of flocking you need.

Three:  They're CHEAP. 

Four:  They look good as stand-alone trees, as well as in groups.  Since I'm doing a summer scene, full foliage covers any significant flaws with the shapes, and again, combining several layers at different levels makes them look more prototypical.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2007, 01:05:42 PM »
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Those do look good .. how about a detailed article ..

wm3798

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 01:10:17 PM »
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I just gathered this year's harvest, and put the camera batteries on the charger ;D

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Sokramiketes

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2007, 02:29:31 PM »
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90% of the trees on the CGW are Sedum trunks.  We pulled off all the seeds though, and used Woodland Scenics Clump foliage to gain the body back in the canopy. 

They look good in person, but in photos with low light, the trunks are too light.  I would definitely paint them dark gray first.  Here's a shot:

Mike

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Better modeling through peer pressure...

wm3798

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2007, 04:39:59 PM »
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Clump foliage is Soooooo expensive....

The batch I'm working on now include some that the seedpods started to drop.  They'll look a little different.
Stay Tuned.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Mark5

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2007, 10:32:12 PM »
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Nice efforts all around.

Sokramiketes

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2007, 08:36:02 AM »
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Clump foliage is Soooooo expensive....

The batch I'm working on now include some that the seedpods started to drop.  They'll look a little different.
Stay Tuned.

Lee

Small bag of clump foliage is only a couple cents more than a small bag of turf...? 

The fine leaf foliage is really expensive comparatively, but the clump foliage really isn't that bad...
Mike

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wm3798

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Re: Some More Trees
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2007, 01:59:11 PM »
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But out of a package of clump foliage you can only cover about two times the area of the bag.  I get the big dispenser of flocking for about $6, and it'll do 1,000 acres.

Due to popular demand, I've created a tutorial on my tree procedure which is both fast and cheap.
http://wmrywesternlines.net/scen_trees.php

I haven't rigged up the thumbnails to click yet... but you can find the larger images in the gallery under Scenery.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net