The Cheapest Technique For Making Model Trees – They Look Great Too!On March 16, 2017 Beginner's 2 Comments Tags: Model Making, Techniques, trees
I go full Blue Peter for this tip.
It won’t be for everyone but if you’re looking for an almost free and very quick and very easy technique to make trees for your model railway hard to beat.
And in true Blue Peter style I’ve got pictures of ones ‘prepared earlier’ that show how good the trees made with this tip can look.
So without wasting more time that you could be spending on your layout let’s get going.
Look at the trees around you.
Those with full leaf growth.
(If you’re reading this when I wrote it, in early Spring, most trees will only have a few leaves so you’ll need to look for evergreen trees but during Summer months any tree will do).
What’s noticeable, or at least I noticed and it forms the cornerstone of this tip, is that on trees in full leaf bloom the branches aren’t visible. They’re hidden under all those glorious green leaves.
The branches aren’t visible. Think about that.
All that’s needed to create trees then is a trunk and something that looks like the foliage growth.
The trunk is easy and I’ll come to it in a jiffy. For the foliage all that’s needed is a material that can be shaped into the crown of the tree and holds this shapes without branches.
For this I’ve used my old friend the kitchen sponge.
Take a dark green one and cut into the shape of a tree. (One of the best things about this tip is that that can make pretty much any type of tree just by carving the sponge to the shape of the required).
Now for the trunk.
I’ve written before about using twigs for tree stumps but it’s this tip where they really come into their own. As can be seen in the photo below, they look fantastic as the trunk for these model trees!
Look around your garden or neighbourhood for them. (I’ve had some odd looks when caught kneeling in the gutter of a local alleyway picking up twigs — the things I do for this hobby!).
For best results find twigs with a slight taper and ideally with collars of old shoots that have broken off off. For N scale, twigs of about 2 inches in length are best, three to four inches for OO and HO and six inches upwards for O scale.
Now skewer the sponges on them, sharpening the end of the stick to help it push through the sponge.
That’s it — the majority of the “planting and growing” is complete.
It’s really that easy!
Trees created at almost no cost, quickly and easily. Compared to the faffing around making trunks and branches from wire and then sticking on layer upon layer of scatter suggested in other guides, including several on this very blog and its much quicker.
As for cost, it’s an old sponge and a twig! Compare that to £4 or £5 per tree in model shops!
As promised, here’s a photo of some I made earlier. Now where’s my Blue Peter badge….