Dale’s scenery ‘how to’

“Hello Al,

My name is Dale, and though I cant make a video, I took pic. I know this will make a lot of train hobbyists happy, probably make someone upset, but oh well why keep jacking up the price on stuff for such a little amounts of foliage.

12 years ago, I was upset about how much the pliable foliage cost, and decided to figure out how to make it myself.

The dear moss is whats used, anywhere in the south can be found, at least thats where I get it. I live in Florida. And this stuff is every where in the woods.

Then after trial and error for 2 years this is how to make your own foliage, as much as you want.

Goto a store and by finger nail polish remover, its really like a concentrate, this stuff does not like to stick to anything, by itself, but I put it into a jar of pickle juice, mixed it, added green cloths dye, and shoved in dear moss, waited, till it soaked up the solution, then removed the dear moss once saturated. I then squeezed out with my hands back into the jar any excess liquid.

Now the fingernail remover or skin protectant called glycerin, I found at walmart under the fingernail aisle.

I have many jars of pickle I used, used varying methods of color and different liquids ie, water, leather solutions, etc. to mix with the glycerin, I added more glycerin to one jar then another, all with the same results.

I think the plain ole pickle juice mixed with 3 or 4 bottles of glycerin works quite well.

In my old tackle box is all the different foliage I made 1996 still as pliable, soft as today, as you can see I took the pictures today.

Dear moss once it dries out is brittle as heck. Sure one can spray paint the foliage the color one wants, but that wasn’t for me.

So I made my own pine trees, using a coffee grinder to chop up pine bark then rolled a stock of dog funnel, I guess, thats what its called with elmers glue all over it, let dry, then added more glue lower down the stock, until after a few times of this I got the shape I wanted.

Then I added limbs and the foliage to the limbs. I found that an envelope cut away at one end did real well so I could roll the stock, when done so easy to put the excess of the pine bark back into a container I have for it. I have to use my cell phone to send this so hopefully this will post ok.

First pic tackle box, of different shades of foliage I made, red an green 2nd pic of pickle jar..

3rd pic of glycerin.
4th pic of color dye
5th pic of pine trees I made.

Im trying to figure out how to make palm trees now, the stocks off pine trees look like the trunks of palm trees, but its finding the right foliage for the tops, I haven’t figured out yet.

For now I can have all the pine trees I want, all the oaks too, I haven’t started on the firs yet, I like realistic looking trees, I have all the shrubs I need also. And they dont dry out.

Just dont soak the foliage you made in plain water, or they will, and they wont loose the colors, maybe fade over the years, but, what I made is as good as any expensive store bought foliage.

The glycerin is the key here.

Im still working on my layout HO 24×10 layout, in my garage.

Al you may need to post captions for me to pic, I thank everyone who post here and send in ideas and help, hope my post helps you or someone here.

Thank you sincerely Al your site is the greatest around.







A wonderful ‘how to’ from Dale – and I think it looks spot on.

And please don’t forget if you missed yesterday’s mail. The price of the railroad guide is going up by $10 on Tuesday Morning.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about it, now is a great time to grab it. Right now it’s just $17. You can grab it here.

That’s all this time folks. Please keep ’em coming.



PS Ebay cheat is updated everyday. Here’s the latest.

6 Responses to Dale’s scenery ‘how to’

  1. Bonny McDaniel aka Grannytoot says:

    I’ve known, for decades, that glycerin will preserve plant matter…however, what I don’t know is where you can buy the big bottles of it like you show in the photo. Let us know where you do get yours. Thanks for all the photos and your trees look great.

  2. paul Otway says:

    niice work

  3. dale says:

    I made them pines around 1996, ive repaired them so many times I have to laugh, one move after another, 1 looked great as a lightning strike. When I say I tried to make the dear moss soft an pliable, I tried boiling, soaking in oil, the microwave, lol that stunk up the house, then I grabbed my wifes fingernail polish, glycerin, and then I found the secrete, wife wasn’t happy, she couldn’t find her glycerin, oh well, at least I was, lol.

  4. dale says:

    My cell phone does not take really good pictures, but it gets the job done.

  5. Chris Gibson says:

    Looks like trees from Dr Seuss books

  6. Jim says:

    Sounds great. I have to find dear Moss in New Jersey. Thanks

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