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Author Topic: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.  (Read 4330 times)

DACS

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Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« on: June 25, 2014, 06:37:42 AM »
Hey all...thought I would share this while working on the T/T thread.  Gives me a break.
This is how I build the conifers for my modules.  They can be any height, breadth...etc..  Only you are the master of your domain.

In the great outdoors against the real deal.



On a now long gone module.



I build my trunks in two very distinct manners.  One way is for background trees.  Handcarved trunks.



The other is for trees in the foreground, where more detail can be observed.

 

Rounded trunks then sagebrush bark added.  I really prefer these, but when a tree is in the back ground, there really isn't the need for the extra work of adding the bark.

Do I have your attention?

Dave  HWCRR
Seattle
I am never having another birthday.  The candles for the cake are starting to cost too much!

Dave K.

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 06:42:58 AM »
Most definitely!

DACS

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 07:08:36 AM »
To begin, here is a pic and list of materials for the handcarved trees.  It is the same with the barked trees, the only difference is adding the bark.  I will get into that later.
First, let's do a handcarved, background tree.



List of Materials and tools:

1. Square balsa sticks. I use sizes 1/2 to 1"

2. Western Sage Brush. This is used to make the primary branching. I also use sagebrush bark for the foreground trees.  This is not shown in the list or pic.  I live in Washington state, so I can make a trip to the countryside and gather all I want.

3. Sisal rope, cut into 1/4 to 3/4 inch lengths. Then separate the fibers.

4. Flocking of various shades of green, mixed together. A very will know scenery supply company on the internet, makes pre-mixed dark and light forest floor debri blends. I use these, sifting out all the flocking and other small things. This stuff comes with little brown flakes of something, that look like pinecones on the finished trees. Major bonus!

5. Yellow green, finely ground foam. From the same company as the flocking. This depicts moss growing on the side of the tree.

6. 1/4 inch dowel rod. This will be used to mount the trees to the layout.

7. Super 77 spray adhesive

8. Cheap super hold hair spray

9. Brown and/or black india ink and alcohol washes.

10. White glue

11. Assorted tools: hobby knife, tweezers, clamp tweezers, razor saw, large kitchen sifter, small phillips screwdrivers or drill bits.

Balsa is very fragile. When working with it, give it good support. Do not try to work with a lot hanging out in the air. It will break. If it does, all is not lost. Merely leave the ragged ends as they are, put some white glue on one end and stick them back together exactly as they broke.
No insult here, this info is for those not experienced.

The first step is to cut your balsa stick to the length you want the tree to be in height.
Begin carving it down to a tapered rod. Don't be to concerned about perfection here. It all works out in the end. Remember: Imperfection can be perfect. Or does it go: perfection can be imperfection?



Short tree!



Next, run your hobby knife, held at a very shallow angle, down the trunk in short strokes. Do this using the side of the cutting blade. Score with only enough pressure to leave nice lines in the trunk. Do not forget to support the wood as you go.



Using your razor saw, scribe the trunk. No more pressure than needed to leave marks in the trunk. Use short strokes. Do not worry about any fuzz that might be left behind. Just leave it.



With your small screwdriver or bit, make a 1/4 inch hole in the base of the trunk. Cut a 1 3/4 inch length of dowel rod. Sharpen one end and with a dab of white glue, insert into hole.





Color the trunk of your tree with your favorite shade of ink and alcohol mix. I use a brown and a black mix. Sometimes one or the other.



Once this has dried. This next step is a matter of preference. Personally, I really like the effect.
Spray only one side of the trunk with super adhesive. Let it set for about 20 sec., then sprinkle the yellow, green ground foam up and down the trunk. Set aside and let dry.



Do not worry about the brightness of the simulated moss.  That can be toned down with I/A mix.  Again, you are the master of your own domain.

At this point, it has taken me 15 mins. to make the one trunk. Not too bad.

Next, I will start with the primary branching.

Dave HWCRR
Seattle
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 07:14:57 AM by DACS »
I am never having another birthday.  The candles for the cake are starting to cost too much!

Dave K.

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 07:12:51 AM »
Nice tutorial do far, Dave. Thanks for sharing.

ACL1504

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 07:25:41 AM »
What Dave K. said! Thanks for sharing.
 
Tom ;D
If you hate plan A, you are certainly not going to like plan B!

Tom Langford
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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2014, 07:47:46 AM »
Wow!

Jaime

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2014, 08:17:14 AM »
Great forum clinic, thanks Dave!
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

DACS

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2014, 08:46:33 AM »
Dave, Tom and Jamie and Gregory...thank you for the drop in and your great comments!

Onward and upward...(pun intended).

This is western sagebrush.  I will gather bunches of the stuff when I make my sojourns to the East side of the Cascades.  I use this to make the primary branching on my conifers.  In another thread, I will show how I use these to make my diceduous trees also.



I will break off twigs of various sizes and and configurations.  Anything you do here, I guarantee you will find it in nature.  Go for forked, curved, straight, bent, long, short.  For these, we want larger at the bottom and work our way up, getting smaller and smaller.  Then, sometimes not...
As in nature, do in your modelling.  If I have found out anything, it's this. You will always find the same look in nature. :D :D 



Using your small screw driver or drill bit. Begin making the mounting holes for your branches. Do this all the way to the top of your tree. Stagger them and try not to be perfect. Mix them up as far as their shape and direction of curve. Do not glue them in yet.




Once you are satisfied with how it is going to look. Begin removing them from the bottom up. I usually do 4 or 5 at a time. Do this in your own comfort zone.

Now we will begin to do the secondary branching.
For this, I use sisal rope fibers. I will cut 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 inch lengths into a container.



Next step is to make what I call, "rollers." This is taking a clump of the sisal fibers in one hand, then roll is back and forth between both hands. The fibres will realign.
Once I have this, I will then pull them apart in the middle. It just makes them easier to work with.





Holding your branch in tweezers, or if you prefer clothes pins, spray them with the super adhesive. Don't spray all the way to the base. Leave some branch that will still show through the tree when it is finished.
Let sit for about 20 seconds, then taking the half roller, and begin just touching it to the adhesive. All up and down the branch and both sides. Don't let it clump too much. But, you can always thin it out later.
Once you are satisfied, set aside and do the next one.





By the time you get to number four, you can go back and spray the branches again with super adhesive.
Then gather up some of your flocking mix and sprinkle it over and under the branches. When they are covered to your satisfaction, shake off the excess and affix with the hair spray. Set aside and let them dry.



Now, you can begin placing the branches where they belong.  Start from the bottom and work upward.  It's a lot easier this way.











There it is.  This is this same tree on a small diorama.  Well, not exactly the same tree, just made the same way.  This is one with the sagebrush bark.



Also, someone needs to get out there and trim those widow makers off!  :D :D

This pic is on the now defunct module.



Enjoy!!

Dave HWCRR
Seattle
« Last Edit: June 25, 2014, 09:12:26 AM by DACS »
I am never having another birthday.  The candles for the cake are starting to cost too much!

S&S RR

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 09:39:13 AM »
Dave


Great looking trees and great thread. Thanks for sharing.
John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

bparrish

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2014, 12:18:14 PM »
Great trees.

I've used sage brush for disiduous trees.  Your tall pines are super.

Thanx
Bob
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Bntrainmaster

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2014, 06:22:41 AM »
Dave,
Great looking tree......Very interesting thread......Thanks for sharing...........
Bart
Model On!!!!!!

EricQuebec

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2014, 07:04:39 AM »
Very beautiful tree and interesting tutorial.
Thank you to share it with us.
Eric Qu├ębec

BrianM

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 09:11:38 AM »
Thank you, Dave, for putting together this tutorial.  Very interesting techniques with fantastic results and I'm really looking forward to seeing how you add the sagebrush bark for the foreground trees.


What scale was your old diorama?
BrianM - sometimes home in San Antonio, TX

DACS

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Re: Making Conifers for the Horace and William Creek R.R.
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 12:27:00 PM »
Thank you John, Bob, Bart, Eric and Brian.

I am having to search to find the pics for the barking of the trunks.  If I cannot find them, I will make some more and share.

I work in O scale Brian.  On30 to be exact.  That may be an oxymoron to some, a lot modellers do not consider this to be an exact scale of anything.  You may already know the following. 
Some even call it "the dark side."  But, I am of the "I love to model in this (scale)", sort of guy!  ;) :)  A lot of model railroaders are coming over to this side too.

I build a lot of things that have no "in life prototype."  But, the way I feel:  if I build it, then it's a prototype!
It lends itself very well to the hobby.

Thanks again

Dave HWCRR
Seattle
I am never having another birthday.  The candles for the cake are starting to cost too much!