If you want to make a Pine forest quickly and realistic looking, here’s your answer.
(1) A garden fern, Foxtail, provides ideal armatures. When the frond dies, remove the dead stems and trim to whatever height or scale you want your trees to be. If they are curved, gentle pressure will straighten them.
(2) Take a can of spray adhesive, the type used for mounting photos, etc. It is usually available in clear or colours such as white or yellow, (ONLY USE THE CLEAR or it will show in the finished product), and some ground flocking material. Holding the base of the armature between the thumb and index finger, apply a liberal coating of the adhesive and immediately dip it into the flock. Remove from flock and holding it upside down, twirl it gently over the container to flick off any excess. If necessary repeat the process for a heavier coating. Set it aside in a block of foam and continue with the next one.
(3) Allow the trees to dry for an hour or so, then take a can of any cheap and nasty firm hold hair spray,(the smell will eventually disappear), and give the trees a good coat or two to set the flock.
(4) The process is best done outdoors in a wind free place as overspray from the adhesive can lead to stickiness where you don’t want it.
An oblong ice cream container is ideal for holding the flock of your colour choice and it is an idea not to put too much flock into it at one time, as some glue residue will be transferred to the contents, causing it to clump after a while. Don’t throw this away as it will be useful for other types of trees.
(5) The lower sections of the fronds can be used inverted to give a conifer with drooping branches. You can if necessary, trim the branches to give a taper if you desire, and apply a more generous coating of flock in the top of the tree to hide the thickness of the protruding stem. Dead, fallen or dying trees can also be simulated. The armatures, once harvested, will keep for years until wanted although it it easier to straighten them if necessary before they get too dry. If you look around your neighbourhood and see these ferns growing, I am sure you will find , as I do, that the owners will gladly supply you with their dead rubbish if you tell them what you want them for. It is often the case that they are eager to see what the finished product is like. These trees are N scale but I also have them in HO. They would also work for O scale. Just make them as tall as you need.
If you can’t turn out a realistically looking tree in a minute and a half or less I will be very surprised. It’s dead easy. So what are you waiting for. GET STARTED !!!!!
By the way, the N scale grey deck arch bridge shown in the photos, is constructed of super glued 1,5mm square balsa overlaid on each side with strips of glossy corporate report cover light card applied with PVA glue and it is capable of supporting a 4 inch long 4KG piece of real rail standing on its head crossways in the middle, with only a 1mm deflection !! Not bad for strength.
A superb ‘how to’.
Thank you, Roland.
Don’t forget to have a look at the latest tweaks on the ebay cheat sheet.
And my son’s bundled up all his houses which makes them bit of a steal.
Please keep the tips coming.