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Styrene Tree - Trees, Bushes & Hedges - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 08:34 pm
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Wayne Williams
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In trying to get back into the hobby from our vacation up north, I decided to try and make ONE tree from styrene tube and rod. The Proctor Farm has four extremely large walnut trees in the front yard.

Scale wise these are quite large, probably 7" high. I do believe that if I follow the actual height of their trees, they will look too large for the layout. So I will reduce them down to 5", hopefully that will do the trick.

I have taken three different sizes of tubing (all telescoping, from one size to the next). So the trunk of the tree was the largest (3/16") and that went up about half way up the tree (2 1/2"), then I reduce down to the next smaller size (1/8") and extended it up another inch, and the next smaller size (1/16"), and it went up another 3/4". From there I switched to solid rod to get to the top of the tree.

The branches were all drilled into the trunk and bonded in place, which actually ended up looking great. I drilled all of the holes on a somewhat vertical angle, which I'm sure helped a lot.

I was going to post a picture here from the new photo gallery, but I use a "Mac" computer and it seems I will have to do some research to find out how to do it.

Be back with the picture soon, (one way or another)





Well it looks like that didn't work. Back at it!

Well the only way I could get the pictures was through Photobucket. I did manage to get them into the Photo gallery, but could not get them from there into this post.

Wayne



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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 08:45 pm
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owen69
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Wayne,you say that a 7" tree will look to big on your layout,think again
on my mn&s layout i have a 9"high 8"wide oak tree it is fine,
remember your`s is a  bigger set up than i have,

:hmm:lol::lol::lol::cool:

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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 10:37 pm
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Wayne Williams
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These are from your Photo Gallery Wayne. (This is Bob posting as you and the Gallery works just fine so you must have missed something somewhere. If the Mac uploads to the Gallery then I would have thought it would put them in a post but maybe it's just because I am using Windows.)












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 Posted: Mon Aug 24th, 2009 11:08 pm
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MikeC
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Good one, Wayne :thumbs
Eagerly waiting for more!

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 12:16 am
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owen69
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wot e sed

:doublethumb:lol::lol::cool:

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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 01:17 am
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Marty
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Nice shape Wayne, how strong is it?
My concern is that the thinner styrene branches at the ends won't be strong enough to hold the weight of the foliage?



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 10:05 am
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henryparrot
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Wayne

when you have uploaded the photo into the gallery a window opens and you see the photo there you have to mouse click it and it gets put into your post

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 10:28 am
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Alan
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Good to hear from you again Wayne :thumbs

And I very impressive start to the building of your tree's, how many have you got to build for the whole layout ?

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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 10:38 am
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Petermac
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The "Styrene Kid" rides again !!!

Wayne, the stuff you tackle is just mind boggling.  Strength or not, this looks like it's going to be yet another masterpice of a build.  I'd never even have thought about using styrene.  (Do you have shares in a plastics company somewhere? :roll:)

Watching with great interest. :thumbs:thumbs:thumbs



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 01:27 pm
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Wayne Williams
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Marty,
The top branches too thin to hold the foliage? Well Marty to tell you the truth, I hadn't even thought about that, guess the future will be very interesting. The top branches are .025 diameter styrene rod. The longest one is about 2". When I touch it, it seems fairly stiff. Stay tuned and we will both find out.

Brian,
Do you have to open your new post BEFORE going to the photo gallery? If I remember correctly, if I left the post it would disappear, and I would have to type everything over again.

Alan,
How many trees do I have to build? Oh my Alan, I don't think I even want to go there. If I started thinking about how many trees (literally hundreds) I wouldn't build the first one. Besides I probably won't build all the trees from styrene, I'm just trying out new things. I have 2 hours and fifteen minutes so far in this tree, and it still needs a ton of work. Not very efficient is it?

Petermac,
No I don't have shares in a styrene company, though I think I have helped them become profitable! I think I have about $4.00 invested in this so far. We'll see how it ends up.



Thanks All for your comments!

Wayne



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 06:44 pm
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Wayne Williams
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I wanted the root system to show at the ground level, so I cut out a shape, very irregular from a piece of scrap clapboard siding I had laying around, and cut out a hole in the center and slid it up to the bottom of the trunk. While it didn't look bad, it didn't look good either. It needs to be more three dimensional.



So I hunted around for my MMD White Putty (Thank You MikeC) and filled in the area around the base. I liked the looks of it so well, I decided to slap some on the trunk above the roots.



In fact I liked it so well I spread it as far up as I could get my finger into. I used it to blend the joints between two telescoping tubes also, worked great!



Here is the entire tree again.


I then painted the entire tree with white gesso, straight from the bottle. I wanted a little rougher look, not so smooth, as the styrene is. After that dried the tree took on a whole new look. I painted it brown, actually it was Burnt Umber with a lot of light grey mixed in.



This close up shows the trunk. In looking at the photo, I need another coat of paint, missed some spots.



Maybe all of the paint will help to stiffen those upper branches! I did loose two branches while painting them. I think they were close to breaking off anyway. They just couldn't handle the pressure of the paint brush. Better now than later I guess.

Wayne



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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 11:04 pm
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Sol
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I am watching this one for the green stuff to grow !!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 25th, 2009 11:08 pm
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MikeC
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Good progress there, Wayne! I like your bark texture too.

Mike

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 01:48 am
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Wayne Williams
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MikeC wrote:
Good progress there, Wayne! I like your bark texture too.

I just spread it around with my fingers, very rough looking, but not too much either. Makes a mess on the fingers though.

Hang on Sol, the green stuff is coming.

Wayne



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 02:12 am
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MikeC
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The bark texture and overall shape are very reminiscent of Liquidambars.

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 02:19 am
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Wayne Williams
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Well Mike, I wish I knew what "Liquidambars" is. Actually never heard of it. That's not too surprising though, I've lead a sheltered life!

Wayne



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 02:20 am
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Marty
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So far so good mate, keep it coming.
The Oak I made for Rick's Penhayle Bay took about 8 hours all up.
I like the shape, is it modelled after any particular tree?



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 02:40 am
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Wayne Williams
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Marty, here is a picture of the tree that I am trying to copy.




I am up to 3 1/2 hours so far, compared to your 8 hours, maybe I'm not doing too bad, huh?

Wayne

PS: I managed to get this picture into the Photo Gallery and copied into this post using my MAC computer. I had to copy the image address and paste it here to get it though. Clicking on the picture only brought up the full size image. It's still progress though.



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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 02:50 am
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Sol
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Liquid Amber
http://www.arborwest.com.au/product02_details.asp?CatID=96&ProductID=303

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidambar_styraciflua

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 Posted: Wed Aug 26th, 2009 07:51 am
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Petermac
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You beat me to it Sol !!! :???::???::???:

I knew it was native American tree - we have a clump of 3 in our garden - they look great in autumn.   In summer,  are not unlike the popular french maple although not as fast growing.

Here,  grown just for the autumn colours which, in our case, is usually a brilliant red.



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