Author Topic: Turbo tree  (Read 3717 times)

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DKS

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Turbo tree
« on: March 19, 2010, 01:18:51 PM »
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Interesting: http://atlanticscalemodelers.com/Products.html

Like the static grass applicators, though, it looks like a DIY project that could save some scratch.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Philip H

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2010, 01:30:33 PM »
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Its an interesting idea, but you'd thuink they could add a short video of it working . . . .
Philip H.
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DKS

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2010, 01:38:20 PM »
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Not the greatest video, but it's something...

http://tracksidescenery.blogspot.com/2010/03/turbo-tree-demo.html
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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Pomperaugrr

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2010, 01:58:45 PM »
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It is definitely a DIY project.  Save a pretzel container from BJ's or Costco, add in a PC cooling fan with a 12v power supply.  Mount the fan about an inch above the bottom and hook some matte medium soaked super trees to alligator clips suspended from the lid.  Add ground foam, shake and you have a turf covered tree. 

I saw these at the Springfield MA show.  They are way overpriced for what they do.  I was not impressed, especially when I saw the matte medium dripping into the fan.  It does not seem like the fan would have a long service life.

Eric

riogrande491

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2010, 09:06:08 AM »
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A fellow modeler here in No. Colorado built a couple machines at little cost but incorporated several design improvements. We plan to hold a photo and video shoot for an article in the local club's newsletter, the Dispatch. Perhaps I can post a few outtake pix in a few days.

Jack first found that the fan produced an even, laminar flow vortex with lots of airspeed at the outside but little in the center. Perhaps that explains why the tree clip on the lid of the commercial version appears to be off-center. Jack added 4 equally-spaced vanes, almost from top to bottom of the jar, about 1 inch wide to make the air flow turbulent.

With a bigger jar such as from a $5 Sam's Club cheese ball bucket (do not eat!) a 4 inch fan produces greater flocking vigor when blowing down.

Drips of matte medium can be prevented by not using it. Jack glues teased pieces of Polyfiber to the branches of high-altitude western sage armatures and lets them dry. He next hits the tree with max hold hair spray and puts it in the machine. In Jack's version the polyfiber strands filter pieces of flock out of the airstream, which then become tangled in the fine fibers. When finished, fix the flock with hair spray. Repeat for a more dense growth.

A mix of Noch flock looks the best to us. Woodland Scenics ground foam is OK but not as leaflike.

All this said, Atlantic Scale Modelers deserves credit for coming up with the idea.

All the best

-Bob

wm3798

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2010, 12:50:34 PM »
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Jeebus, by the time you fool around with clipping things together and so on, you could manually flock the same number of trees, I'm sure.  I can see there's a modest improvement in muss and fuss, but I don't think there's $118 worth of improvement.  And even to build a home brew rig would require more time and effort than making 100 trees.

Although the idea of eating a tub full of cheeseballs does have a certain appeal...

Lee
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

riogrande491

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2010, 08:03:46 PM »
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Lee -

The great thing about the machine is that the flock evenly distributes in the Polyfiber instead of landing in clumps from hand flocking. In a matter of seconds you get a tree as open or dense as desired. It also seems to be quite frugal in the amount of flock used.

I liked the results enough that I'm building one, since the two expensive parts -- the fan and the wall wart -- are already on hand. A friend just delivered the cheese ball container. Now to dispose of the "interior packing material" in the local round receptacle.

All the best.

-Bob

railbuilderdave

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 11:42:13 AM »
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I got an empty container from Costco pretzels and now I'm looking for the fan to use and will build one for myself.  I figure for the little cost of a fan and maybe a power supply I have on hand I should be able to get this built for a few bucks.

Dave
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chuck geiger

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2010, 08:56:05 PM »
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It's a cash blower used for money promotions or in South Park, canned
food for Kenny's family, you get in and catch all the ground foam you
can in 2 minutes.
Chuck Geiger
Page, AZ
provencountrypd@gmail.com

riogrande491

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 09:18:19 AM »
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Here is a short h.264 video showing a homemade "cheese ball" flocking machine in action. Note: clicking on the preview will open a new window on Smugmug.

Enjoy.

-Bob


wazzou

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 11:49:24 AM »
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Bob -

So that's pretty cool.  What was spent outside of the cost of the cheeseballs?
Bryan

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riogrande491

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 12:13:38 PM »
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Bryan -

I believe, according to the "Ronco pricing model" it was $19.95 plus accessories.

Actually, a lot depends on what you already have on hand. The fan is a regular 12 volt computer fan that you might already have inside an old, dead computer. Pick one that pumps a lot of air. A new one runs $5 - $20, depending on whether it is electronic "surplus" or retail from Radio Shack. You probably already have a spare 12 volt DC "wall wart" that is good for about 1 amp. If not, that can run up to $20 for an adjustable voltage model. Add a few bucks for a mating jack to fit the plug on the wall wart.

The rest of the parts may already be in your junk boxes and bolt jars, or be easily procured from a local hardware store. Evergreen styrene tube can be used to make short spacers to keep the fan just off the bottom of the jar.

Buying all new parts at retail could easily run $50. Considering that a 2X or more markup is common for retail, $118 with free shipping is not really out of line for the commercial Turbo Tree.

The consumables (tree armatures, flock, Polyfiber, brown paintable caulk for root balls and diluted white glue) can quickly cost more than the machine if procured from the LHS. I am fortunate to live within a 1/2 tank of gas of free high-altitude western sage armature stock.

One more thing. I really do NOT recommend eating any of the cheese balls! They are really bad for you. Just consider them to be "inside the jar packing material."

-Bob

DKS

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2010, 01:53:27 PM »
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One more thing. I really do NOT recommend eating any of the cheese balls! They are really bad for you. Just consider them to be "inside the jar packing material."

Nonsense. What doesn't kill you just makes you fatter.
"Life's a piece of sh!t when you look at it."
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stickboy

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2010, 05:17:03 PM »
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Excellent video, thank you!

Phil

bigford

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Re: Turbo tree
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2010, 08:23:01 PM »
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stupid question ;D
 How long will a hairsprayed tree hold together??