Super trees

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by Kevinkrey, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I visited the LHS today and after talking with one of "the train guys" we decided to order a set of super trees to see what they look like, I think Ill be buying them when they come in to try them out for modeling birch trees. Does anybody have any pictures of them? Or anything to say about them for that fact?
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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  3. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I wonder if he just painted the whole trunk white? It looks like it. It also looks very good!
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    There are lots of spindly-looking weeds that could make decent-looking birch trees, Kevin. Late Fall, when most of the foliage is gone, but before they've been beaten down to the ground is the best time to gather them. Sorry, but I have no idea of species names, but any field should yield some suitable candidates. Don't necessarily expect to find "trees" on their own either - often, they're part of a larger weed or bush, sometimes yielding many tree armatures from one plant. Also, sometimes the "tree" shape is hidden by too many other stems and branches, so don't be afraid to trim the weed to the shape that's required.
    For background birches, very suitable ones can be made by twisting soft wire, between .020" - .030" thick, into suitably-sized "trunks", then separating the wires out into branches. Some white paint, a little thinly-stretched polyfibre, then an application of ground foam and cheap hairspray, and you can have a background forest in no time. :thumb: For trees even closer, you can apply modelling clay or plaster to the trunks to hide the wire. I'd use a dark grey paint on the upper branches, but wouldn't worry about the black flecks on the trunks unless the trees are really in the foreground.
    I don't know what type of weed was used for this gangly-looking specimen, but it was trimmed to the shape I wanted (most of the weeds were in excess of 4' tall) - a different pruning job and some white paint, and it'd make a decent-looking birch, too, I think.
    [​IMG]

    Wayne
  5. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Thanks. I need to go to a county park with a pruner (dont tell the county) and look around. Do you use WS ground foam, or foliage such as whats offered in their fine leaf folliage kits or a flock like offered by scenic express?
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Most of the trees that I've made so far have been with Woodland Scenics Medium ground foam, in various colours. I usually apply the darker colours first, especially near the bottom of the tree, then a couple of different shades of medium green, and finished off with a burnt grass shade, to give some "sun" highlights, near the top.
    Depending on the season you're modelling, a mix of fairly light greens would look good for summer birches, and, as you move into Fall, more and more yellow - you know how bright they can look just before the leaves drop, especially if they're in a forest mixed with evergreens. Minnesota's scenery looks a lot like that in northern Ontario, I think: some black lake water would really set-off a Fall scene nicely. ;):-D

    Wayne
  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    For my purposes, weeds, used to make trees must follow these rules:
    1. They must look like scale trees.(or be able to be modified)
    2. They must be strong enough to withstand the handeling necessary to make them into trees, and hold the foliage.(they can't be too fragile)
    3. They must "stand the test of time". I once used asparagus fern to make pine trees. they are great "dead"trees now, 40 years later!

    The "Supertree" product, can be extremely fragile, and needs "preservation" before it can be successfully used for trees. It does look good, and is worth the effort.
    I have reached the point where I would rather craft sinthetic materials into trees, than use natural weeds, especially for pine trees.

    Birch trees? Airbrush the armature white, brush paint the black "patches", add foliage......
    Deano has seen my modules at Trainfest. Some of the trees there are over twenty years old now, and they have been "moved" to and from shows many, many times.
  8. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    The trees came in today, and when I picked them up I realized that the "kit" that I got was simply a large box of weeds.

    I got some WS folliage (fine turf) in colors I want. Would paint work for preservation? And could I use watered down white glue to glue on the folliage?
  9. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Let me say I have no Matte Medium, my purchases tonight made me flat broke. Whats new:v8: Is it a must before paint?
  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    This project is NOT going real well yet. I pulled out a nice looking tree and just went right in to start experimenting with this one, wasnt worried about doing it proper, just to get a feel for them. I painted it white, sprayed it with scenic cement (now I know why they suggest Matte Medium, and yes I will be getting some). I began sprinkling on some green fine turf, that the scenic cement never held real well, then opened up my pack of yellow and orange "fine turf" that turned out to be pre stretched polyfiber sprinkled with turf already. So it wont work on the trees. Tommorow Ill try to find some money and regroup with more proper materials such as
    -matte medium
    -white spray paint
    -yellow and orange fine turf
  11. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I have about 6-8 drying right now. I also have some reference pics out, but what Im finding is that the trees in the pics are pretty much solid shades of yellow or orange. The super trees are working out great so far now that Im actually doing it right.
  12. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Here are some pics o them in a temporary spot on the layout drying. The glue is still white.

    Attached Files:

  13. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    scenic cement

    It's not scenic, and, for trees, it's more like cement(heavy) than adhesive for leaves.

    I would recommend the prescribed preservation technique from the "manufacturer / distributor".
    I would recommend clear gloss spray (rattle can from Ace hardware, or equivalent it's less expensive than the testor's, to use as the adhesive for attaching leaves.)
    I would recommend using Woodland Scenics "coarse turf", sifted, with a small flour sifter so only the smaller bits go on the tree. The larger remains can be used for ground cover. It usually takes three to four applications. For S, or O scale, you can use the coarse turf as is, but sprinkled from about 18" above.
    Tapping the tree will help the "leaves" drop into the interior areas.( the unused material can be recycled, if you have a "ground cloth", or newspaper, under the trees to catch the extras. ) I usually start with one application with the tree inverted, and finish with the tree upright.
    If the trees will not be subjected to handling / moving / physical contact, you can get by with spray paint for color, then clear to attach the leaves.
    For larger trees, use some other form of armature, and attach the supertree pieces to it.
    The small branch pieces can be used to make bushes. Cut 1/8" styrene tube in 3/16"-1/4" lengths. Insert from two, to as many as will fit, branches in each tube piece, and set with glue. Apply leaves as per above, and set aside.
    The bushes can be planted by making a 1/8" dia. hole in the scenery base, and plugging the "tubes" in.
  14. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    The instructions say that you can paint the stems first, and use it for a form of preservation.
  15. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

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    :oops::oops:
    :oops:

    I got the material,...... without the instructions. Still, the product is very fragile, so procede carefully.
  16. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    It is very fragile. But I love working with it so far. It has brief instructions that say to use the matte medium as a sealant. It says that if you want a painted trunk, simply paint it before doing the other steps, so Id assume that the paint will seal it also.
  17. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    I have read about boiling the SuperTrees in a mixture that includes glycerin to make them more resilient, and to straighten them.

    Can you provide any comment on these suggestions?

    Andrew
  18. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    No, but maybe somebody can, sumpter?