Making model trees

“Hi Al,

Every time I took a closer look at my scenes, one thing always bothered me – how unrealistic my trees look!

All the trees that are currently installed in Wrightsville Port are off the shelf products – I spent different amount of money when I bought them, but overall they never live up to the standard of the rest of the scenes.

When I look at off the shelf ‘fine scale’ or ‘craftsman’ trees, I always find the price to be prohibitive.

While searching for ways to make better looking scale trees I experimented quite a bit and found this one way that doesn’t burn your pocket and when done right, can give you some incredible trees for the foreground of your model. I thought it’s worth sharing the method here. Believe it or not, these trees are meant for N Scale! Though they will do pretty good for HO too.

Here are the broad steps:

1. Take commonly available plastic armatures and bend them to suit the shape of the tree (I used Sycamore, Beech, Hickory etc.)

2. Attach small seafoam twigs to the branches using super glue.

3. You get the basic structure.

4. Paint them using spray paint and airbrush.

5. You get the bare tree in the colour you need.

6. You add suitable foliage and leaves.

7. You get some awesome trees!

I have documented the process in detailed, but quick to watch videos – you can find the process to make autumn trees in this video:



Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

Hope this is helpful for your subscribers.

Cheers!

Kaustav”

A big thanks to Kaustav for his pics and narrative. He’s pretty much kit bashing trees, which is something I never would have thought of in a million years. But that’s what I love about the blog – you lot make it what it is.

And by the way, if you missed Kaustav’s stunning layout, it’s here.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming. Or if you just want to take the plunge and start your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.

Best

Al

16 Responses to Making model trees

  1. Very nice trees. I may actually try this.

  2. Chris Arnold says:

    What a great idea and video tutorial. Thank you.

  3. Bill Holt says:

    EXCELLENT, WELL DONE

  4. Beautiful work. Amazing. Such talent is very impressive.

  5. george zaky says:

    Kaustav
    Many thanks for the trees and especially the barge. You are a super craftsman and your attention to detail is incredible.
    George from NY

  6. Laurent Daudelin says:

    Nice. But what are “available plastic armatures”?

  7. What are plastic armatures

  8. Benjamin Wright says:

    Wow! Amazing trees!

  9. Eric Rayner says:

    For those mentioning plastic armatures try Woodland Scenics they do a range of them they make good trees with a little effort.That’s what I use for my trees.
    Love Kaustav”s trees they have turned out very well indeed, very realistic, well done.

  10. Jim Moran says:

    Gorgeous trees! Can’t believe my eyes. BUT….I’m a novice and have no clue what a “plastic armature” is. A wire? What gauge? What’s a “seafoam twig” and where can I get one? Would have been nice if we saw the initial creation of the tree itself.

  11. Jim AZ says:

    Nice. More than nice. Great looking and a well thought out process. Thanks for sharing.

    Jim AZ

  12. Kaustav says:

    Thank you everyone for the comments and encouragement.

    I realize I should’ve provided some more background. The video provides a lot of the explanation and shows the process in detail, but here are answers for quick reference.

    Plastic Armature: These are molded scale tree armature made out of plastic. Most famous manufacturer is Woodland Scenics, but there are others like Heki. You can buy them in lot in cheap price and then shape them to fit the species that you’re moedling.

    Seafoam: This might be a little more alien to most, but believe me that these are possibly the best scale tree armatures you can ever find!. These are natural plant materials and Scenic Express sell them as ‘Super Trees.’ However, there are others who started selling them as well, including Heki.

    Both the materials are actually commonly available now-a-days, so just google them and see. If you still cannot find it, leave a message with me I can share specific link.

    Cheers!
    Kaustav

  13. Amazing trees, thanks for the lesson in construction of them. love the finished product.

  14. Awesome Tip!
    Great Tutorial…

  15. Marklin ed says:

    Also great video on iTunes Marklin of Sweden on making trees

  16. Charlie Hagerty says:

    WOW! Your trees are great. I’m definitely going to try this.

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