Author Topic: Best Of How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product  (Read 2635 times)

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tom mann

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How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« on: November 21, 2014, 09:53:23 AM »
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The Silflor foliage looks very good for HO and larger scales.  It looks so real I think I have to trim the trees every fall :trollface: :facepalm: :



The drawbacks are price and scale. You need almost a full pack (@$20) for a single tree in HO scale.  Also, the "leaves" are pretty large for HO, and huge for N.  I wanted to experiment to see if I could come up with something that addresses both shortcomings.  This is what I came up with.



(out of the box Silflor on the left, my knock-off on the right)

I used blue aquarium filter (which is thicker than white aquarium filter) and dabbed it with a green paint that I picked out at Home Depot.  When that was dry, I sprayed it with cheap hairspray and sprinkled it with Noch Laub (German for leaves).  The Noch product is smaller and usable for N scale.
 


I'm happy with this first attempt and will try some variations before using one of my wire armatures.

Happy modeling!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 05:47:49 AM by tom mann »

davefoxx

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 01:03:07 PM »
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That's the basic idea I used to make kudzu, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the Silflor product.  It could have cost me hundreds of dollars to cover my layout in kudzu for what I did for just a few bucks.

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Scottl

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 01:10:13 PM »
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I grind up moss from the floral section at Michael's.  It comes in a variety of muted greens and browns, and I just mix it with water, grind, and dry on cookie sheets.  I sieve with a coarse sieve and then bag it for ground cover.  I know it is not a mat like siliflor, but it has the great irregular texture and the colors are nicely muted, so they don't look fake like most of the colored foam products.

Catt

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 01:18:23 PM »
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What are you using to grind the moss? I have been thinking about get a food processor from the Goodwill store to make my own ground foam.
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Scottl

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 01:28:01 PM »
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The kitchen blender.  I have an old glass top I found at a garage sale.

Andrew Hutchinson

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 02:49:05 PM »
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Scenery products are way out of my price range and I feel like I am not alone in that category. Along those  lines I've found that sifted sawdust coloured with inexpensive house and craft paint to be an easy way to get leaf-like particles. Once the "leaves" are sifted to a size I want I dump a smallish quantity in a yogurt container and proceed to essentially dry mix the grit with a small amount of paint and a wooden stick. A little paint goes a long way. Lighter colours require more paint and the lightest colours often need a priming mix with white or a beige before they can be turned to a pale yellow or some of the lighter more acidic/nuclear greens found this time of year on the west coast of Canada.  I make most of the deciduous colours up from craft paint since there are so many hues during fall but house paint works really well and once I have a good and populous colour I take it down to the store and get them to match to my mix card.  Most of us already have sawdust if we've built a layout so you essentially get that part for free and you save some space at the dump along the way.

Andrew Hutchinson

grove den

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 04:24:36 PM »
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I use the same technic as Tom Mann!! :)  : small branches and twigs made out of "aquariumfilterfibres" and grassfibres( 12 mm and 6 mm  . These fibers are modelled in shape  by using tweezers ore your fingertips .Some times twisting fast  the frame with the added fibres between thumb and indexfinger so many fibres will point to the outside of the shape of the tree! Twist not to fast otherwise the fibers will loose from the frame!  ;)
Here a close up picture of the added filterfibres and grassfibres:

btw: I use sprayglue to add/fix the fibres to the frames...
Another picture using the lightgreen aquariumfilterfibres. Cut them in very small parts= max 1 cm

glued on the frame of a scotchpine...

Same fibres but now cut in lengts of max. one inch and glued on the frame of a birch

I think when using these aquarimfilterfibres you have to add/use too grassfibres specialy the small/short ones of 2 mm before  adding the fine turf as leaves
last picture: londonplanes ( platanus acerifolia)H0 scale and using the NOCH "Blätter"leaves :


Jos

unittrain

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 07:18:49 AM »
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Man Im sold on making trees now I just went to the craft store and bought a bunch of wire also got a whole bag of sawdust from Lowes my mom works there and got it from there saws also got the leaves and glue just need the fibres, Seeing these trees got me realizing realistic a scene can be I will make the detailed trees for key scenes then use my pepper grass (candy tuft) trees for fillers.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 02:36:55 PM »
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You should be painting "branches" gray instead of green.

Just sayin...

That said, I need to get me some of this aquarium filter stuff. It looks VERY useful for winter stuff too.

grove den

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 04:43:34 PM »
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Hello Ed and unittrain,

Of course I spraypaint the aquariafilterfibers !
Mostly in a , as you wrote too, a greyish-darkgreen color.
I tend do paint the fibers a darker color than the leaves I add on the frames.
Sometimes not: when making modelling trees or pine trees which  are growing in "high altidude" and the background shows a blue sky with any clouds and  light is very bright and trees are standing alone/solitar...you can see/more visable  the small twigs/small branches .
here an example of an Acer/maple(?)
Just before adding the leaves of  ( sponge) scatter or the ones from NOCH( Blätter):

Looks like a kind of "winter"tree  ;)
I added the smaller grasfibres with a strainer= lookin  a litlle bit irregular...I think when using the NOCHstatic grasapl. you can make the overall look of the winter maple tree may be a lot better= most of the fibers will point to the outside / the periphery of the tree.
Here I used only the 12 mm and 6 mmFibres( wildgrass from NOCH)

and a big shrub/small tree before adding the leaves...


Jos

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Re: How to: Make Your Own Silflor-like Foliage Product
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2015, 06:52:04 AM »
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I grind up moss from the floral section at Michael's.  It comes in a variety of muted greens and browns, and I just mix it with water, grind, and dry on cookie sheets.  I sieve with a coarse sieve and then bag it for ground cover.  I know it is not a mat like siliflor, but it has the great irregular texture and the colors are nicely muted, so they don't look fake like most of the colored foam products.

Solid idea. Ive actually have done that before. splashed thin acrylic paint in different batches to vary the colors.