Make Your Own Tree Stumps And For Free! - Thrifty Thursday Model Building Tip #4 - Model Railway Engineer

Make Your Own Tree Stumps And For Free! – Thrifty Thursday Model Building Tip #4

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Model railway tree sumpts

Take a look at any railway banks, you’ll see stumps and branches where trees have been cut back to prevent damage to passing trains and prevent falling branches blocking the line. Here’s this weeks Thrifty Thursday tip to making these tree stumps and for free. 
Yes, you read that right. Free.

This weeks tip allows you to make as many tree stumps and fallen branches as you want at zero cost. Nothing. It’s not even a case of reusing  house-hold items that you’ve already bought but using something that’s absolutely free in the first place.

I love this technique not just because it doesn’t cost anything and it produces superbly authentic looking trump stumps but it also works for any scale of model railway, from Z and N scale to HO and above.

Twigged what it is yet?

To make tree stumps just go out and grab some small twigs and bush branches. You’re looking for twigs that have a shoots emerging from the main trunk, like this:

Take a look at any railway siding, you'll see stumps and branches where trees have been cut back to prevent damage to passing trains and prevent falling branches blocking the line. Here's this weeks Thifty Thursday tip to making tree stumps for free.   Yes, you read that right. Free.   This weeks tip allows you to make as many tree stumps and fallen branches as you want at zero cost. Nothing. It's not a case of reusing  house-hold items that you've already bought but using something that's absolutely free in the first place.  I love this technique not just because it doesn't cost anything but it produces superbly authentic looking trump stumps and can work for any scale of model railway, from Z and N scale to HO and above.  Twigged it yet?  To make tree stumps just go out an grab some small twigs and bush branches. You're looking for twigs that have a shoots emerging from the main trunk, like this:  Now with cutters or a shape knife cut across the main stem just below the shoots.  Now cut diagonally above the shoots, you'll want the branch leading to a long sharp point. You should have something like the picture below.  Now turn the brach upside down, so the shoots point downwards and insert it into your ground surface until the inverted shoots are level with the ground (you might need to drill a small hole in which to insert it).  Hey presto a tree stump. The shoot stems look like the root collar leading into the soil and the top half tampers off as normal tree trump would.  Being real wood, our DIY tree stump has yellow tint on the inside just as real tree stumps do and textured bark.  Take some other small twigs and scatter them around the stump simulating cut branches and trunks and you have wonderfully realistic and authentic dead tree stumps.   I'm currently working in N Scale so I pick very small twigs, for larger scales just use larger twigs.   You can also sprinkle some yellow / brown scatter around the stumps to simulate sawdust from the trees but this is only necessary if you want to create the look of freshly felled trees.

To make the tree stumps, find small twigs with shoots emerging.

Now with sharp knife cut across the main stem just below the shoots and then cut diagonally above the shoots, you’ll want the branch leading to a long sharp point. You should have something like the picture below.

Twigs After Cutting

Cut above and below, cutting diagionally above the shoots and the rotate so the sharp end points down.

Now turn the brach upside down, so the point heads downwards and insert it into your ground surface until the inverted shoots are level with the ground (you might need to drill a small hole in which to insert it).

Hey presto a tree stump. The shoot stems look like the root collar leading into the soil and the top half tampers off as normal tree trump would.

Being real wood, our DIY tree stump has yellow tint on the inside just as real tree stumps do and textured bark.

Tree wood

The cut branch, showing inner wood.

Take some other small twigs and scatter them around the stump simulating cut branches and trunks and you have wonderfully realistic and authentic dead tree stumps.

Model railway tree sumpts

The end result, postions on the railway banks. The surrounding soil is still being worked on but you can see how realistic the DIY felled trees look.

I’m currently working in N Scale so I pick very small twigs, for bigger scales just use larger twigs.

You can also sprinkle some yellow / brown scatter around the stumps to simulate sawdust from the trees but this is only necessary if you want to create the look of freshly felled trees.

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#4 How To Make Tree Stumps, For Free!


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