First Trial at Silver Birch

Discussion in 'Scenics' started by Sandy Taylor, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Sandy Taylor

    Sandy Taylor Full Member

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    20200214_212043.jpg I’m not completely new to this modelling game but quality was never too important before. I’ve built a 6ft tall Loch Ness Monster for a local festival that even floated. I used chicken wire and shirts soaked in plaster.

    However, modelling a specific tree is a different story. I wanted silver bitch. I observed that birch branches did not come at right angles from the trunk so I looked for twigs that had branches that sloped upwards. I found a Yaupon Holly in my garden called Will Fleming (I live in Texas) and found a few suitable twigs. I painted them off-white and added the black stripes. I’d tried shredded scrubbing pads on a previous trial and they still looked too clumpy but I found an old pillow and used the batting from it. I used the batting very sparingly and sprayed it very lightly with green paint. My other hobby is woodworking so I have plenty of sawdust. I mixed some green sawdust and some yellow. Using a mixture of about 6 to 1 green to yellow, I made my foliage blend and applied it using the hair spray method. The tree looks not too bad but looks more like a poplar than a silver birch.

    The stuff at the base is lichen I found in my yard. The clumps are orange bush lichen that I gave a light green spray and added a few bits of yellow sawdust to make it look like gorse and the thistle (I’m a Scot) is called golden eye lichen with it eyes painted purple.

    Am I on the right track? Comments please. Sandy
     
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  2. Kimbo

    Kimbo Staff Member Moderator

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    Looks good Sandy, using a twig as a base is a good start to any tree making. Instant texture and detailing built in. I’ve had ago at a few trees, similar to your method plus I’ve used horse hair to form the leaf areas then added woodland scenic flock and bush materials.
    I now model in o gauge and I’ve had some nice results using sea foam, a natural product that I ordered from the States.

    Another approach to building them in a larger scale :-


    Checkout Gormos how to on wire twisted trees as well.

    Kim
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  3. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    For a first attempt at tree making, especially a specific type is pretty good Sandy, :tophat: well done. Sea foam as Kim says is good for small trees, branches and twigs in the larger scales, plus there is a bonus with using it, the little black specks on the branches are seeds. If you collect them, plant them early spring they will be ready for harvesting at the beginning of summer, dry them and you've got a free forest.

    Thats an excellent video Kim, the foliage on trees would be a bit overscale in 4mm and probably in 7mm scale too as he appears to model in 1-35 military. I have got some dried and chopped parsley that I'm going use on some trees I've already built using twisted wire armatures. The parsley I get from a local cheap and cheerful supermarket plus they also have some dried Oregano that I think would make excellent dead leaf scatter, the only thing with that is it may cause pizza cravings :avatar:.

    Cheer's, Pete.
     
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  4. Sandy Taylor

    Sandy Taylor Full Member

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    FYI, Model Railroader for March has an article on making silver birch trees
     
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  5. Gloria Aldridge

    Gloria Aldridge Full Member

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    Hi Sandy Taylor,
    Very interesting I haven't tried making any trees , as we use our natural garden for our railway being 16mm. Your article that you wrote is very intriguing for those that would like to make trees as i think they will add to any layout gives room for thought well done to you.
    Regards,
    Gloria.
     

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