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Pine tree - Trees, Bushes & Hedges - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Apr 20th, 2008 10:42 am
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MikeC
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I've had a bash at making a pine tree, using twisted wire and sisal rope fibres with Woodland Scenics Conifer Foliage #F54.
This is the first one I've tried. It needs a little tidying up here and there.





It's a pretty simple process. If anyone's interested I'll show some photos of the next one. Not an original idea of mine, by the way.

Mike

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 Posted: Sun Apr 20th, 2008 12:03 pm
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Wayne Williams
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MikeC, exactly what is "sisal rope fibers"?

And Yes, I'm always interested in how you do things!!!

Wayne



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 Posted: Sun Apr 20th, 2008 12:20 pm
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MikeC
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Wayne you need rope made with natural fibre. Sisal is the best. You chop off a length, separate the fibres into thinnish strands, place them in irregular clumps between the two legs of a U-shaped length of wire, put one end in a vise [or vice :D] the other in the chuck of an electric drill and wind it up tight with the drill. As I said, it's a technique that can be found on numerous websites. Probably in our index too!
Fun to do. I'll show some pics of the next tree being built. Maybe tomorrow....

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 02:19 am
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MikeC
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These are fun to build because I get to use a power tool :D :D And a vise.
And again, it's not my idea - I've borrowed it from elsewhere online.

Start with a length of wire doubled over to the height you want. Cut some sisal rope strands and roughly separate them out, then insert between the two legs of the wire. Wise modellers will do this outside, because it'll make a mess. Guess where I did mine. :lol: Try to vary the spacings. Lengths can be adjusted with scissors later. Some people recommend masking tape to hold the clumps in place, but I couldn't find any around the house so I made do without it.



Insert the open end into the chuck of your drill, and the looped end into the vise, then slowly wind it up with the drill, to get this:


The one on the left has been trimmed afterwards.
It seems the look of the tree will vary according to the amount of twisting you do. If the wire snaps off in the drill, you've overdone it [again!]
The rope fibres constitute the branches of the pine, not the needles, which in our scales would be near impossible to see anyway.

Next step is a bit of DAS on the lower part of the trunk, followed by some paint :D


Mike

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 04:01 am
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Marty
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Nice Mike,
I'll give that method a go.
cheers



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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 10:16 am
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MikeC
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After a trim the lower trunk was covered with DAS clay, and the whole thing was painted with acrylic raw umber. Here it is with the first of the foliage glued on.


A bit more...






All the handling damaged the DAS clay which I hadn't allowed to set.

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 01:41 pm
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Wayne Williams
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That's very helpful Mike, thanks for the step by step. I looks fairly easy to accomplish and it gives a great variance to many trees. This way they do not all look alike and I like that.

Will you trim some of those "Dead" branches off or leave them?

Wayne



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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 10:17 pm
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MikeC
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Wayne I have left them for now. I don't like seeing the threads of foliage though, and snip them off when I spot them.
Yes, I like the variation you can get this way. I'll have to do some tall, thin ones too, with less foliage. So far they've been sturdy specimen trees.
From my schoolboy science days, I seem to recall that pines sprout branches radially rather than alternately, so this method is ideal. And from my bonsai days I seem to recall that they are reluctant to sprout from old growth, which in their natural state leaves them with branches that are quite bare close to the trunk. If we can't model needles, it's important [in my opinion] to at least model the tree's habit. I'll keep working at it, anyway.
I think there's also scope to adjust the foliage colour with a bit of paint - maybe some brown or even some blue-green.

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 10:26 pm
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rector
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Mike, this may be the answer to my need of conifers on the layout, so I'll give it a go. The fact I have ten feet of sisal hanging up in the garage hasn't influenced me one bit :lol:

One question: The wire that forms the trunk. Can you say some more about what you used, what gauge etc :?:



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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 10:31 pm
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MikeC
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Tim the best wire that I've found is 18G - 1.25mm galvanised tie wire. I've tried lighter gauges and also copper, but they tend to break when wound too tight. Obviously this wire would break too, if you forced it.

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 10:35 pm
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rector
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Thanks Mike - I might have something similar in my "keep in case it might come in handy" boxes :!:



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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 11:07 pm
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Gwent Rail
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I'm in the middle of some experiments at the moment, using florists wire.
I've used both 0.7mm and 0.5mm quite sucessfully and have had no breakages due to twisting.
The stuff I'm using is non-galvanised, which seems to be more flexible, so maybe this is why it isn't breaking.
I'm taking some photos as I go and will post the first results as soon as I've completed the first batch of four trees.

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 Posted: Mon Apr 21st, 2008 11:32 pm
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MikeC
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The breakages are really only the result of a trigger-happy drill operator :oops:
Yours sound interesting, Jeff. I look forward to seeing them.

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 12:04 am
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rector
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I might just use my old hand drill :!:

It will need cleaning up a bit and dusting off :!:



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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 04:24 pm
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sparky
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tch tch you should look after your hands better than that tim :) :)



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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 04:31 pm
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rector
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:roll: :roll: :roll: :lol:



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 Posted: Tue Apr 22nd, 2008 08:42 pm
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Petermac
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rector wrote:................................. The fact I have ten feet of sisal hanging up in the garage hasn't influenced me one bit ....................................

Just make sure it won't be needed for the bells Tim !!! :roll: :roll: :roll:

Petermac



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 Posted: Thu May 8th, 2008 02:44 am
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Neil Wood
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This technique is pretty much how the Heki kits are made. Twisted wire with fibres between, then you just finish it off with the flock. They don't look as good as yours though.

Have you ever done a weeping willow Mike?

I need one or two for my layout and haven't seen any commercial options that really strike me. Hand made tress seem to be better from what I've seen here and elsewhere.



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 Posted: Thu May 8th, 2008 03:26 am
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Sol
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Neil, have you sen the weeping willows from DCCconcepts?

They looked OK to me when I was shown them early April.

I have photos if you want to se them.

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 Posted: Thu May 8th, 2008 03:41 am
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Neil Wood
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Sol wrote:Neil, have you sen the weeping willows from DCCconcepts?

They looked OK to me when I was shown them early April.

I have photos if you want to se them.


Is it in their catalogue Ron? I have a catalogue at home which I can have a look at if they are.



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