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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

Last edited on Mon Aug 24th, 2009 08:07 pm by Wayne Williams

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:

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.)










Last edited on Mon Aug 24th, 2009 09:40 pm by Wayne Williams

MikeC
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Good one, Wayne :thumbs
Eagerly waiting for more!

Mike

Last edited on Mon Aug 24th, 2009 10:08 pm by

owen69
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wot e sed

:doublethumb:lol::lol::cool:

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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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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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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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

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

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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I am watching this one for the green stuff to grow !!

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Good progress there, Wayne! I like your bark texture too.

Mike

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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The bark texture and overall shape are very reminiscent of Liquidambars.

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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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?

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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Liquid Amber
http://www.arborwest.com.au/product02_details.asp?CatID=96&ProductID=303

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

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.

Last edited on Wed Aug 26th, 2009 06:53 am by Petermac

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200 x 5 hours = 1,000 hours = 50 solid days work, not bad when you put it like that :roll::roll::roll:

Really great work Wayne

Like the rest I am looking forward to the next stage :thumbs

Wayne Williams
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Well now I know what a Liquid Amber is. Though I don't believe that is what the tree is. It's much taller than the 15 meters that the web site said it grows to. This tree is probably 20-22 meters high. I'll see if I can find out exactly what type tree is really is and let you all know.
I have my granddaughter today so not much will happen with those ten fingers around.

Wayne

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Definitely another one for the Forum Index.

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I wasn't suggesting you were wrong, Wayne. It's just that it reminded me of Liquidambars.

Mike

Wayne Williams
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Robert wrote:
Definitely another one for the Forum Index.

Bob, maybe you should wait until it's finished!

Unless someone is looking for dead trees. :mutley:mutley:mutley

Wayne

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Wayne there's no way on earth that this project isn't going to finish up looking good and worthy of the Index.

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Robert wrote: Wayne there's no way on earth that this project isn't going to finish up looking good and worthy of the Index.
You'll note there's not one jot of pressure Wayne !! :roll::roll::roll::roll::thumbs:thumbs

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I don't put pressure on him Peter, he puts it on himself and that's why I know we will get a good result.

Wayne Williams
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You know I could stop right now and send it to MikeC, it would look perfect on his layout!

Don't get your hopes up Mike.:It's a no no

Wayne

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Fine print! There's always fine print :sad:

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Take your time Wayne you know the first tree will take the longest the other ones you will fly through.

Like a real tree they dont grow overnight

cheers Brian

Wayne Williams
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henryparrot wrote:
Take your time Wayne you know the first tree will take the longest the other ones you will fly through.

How right you are Brian. I have already realized that I assembled the tree in the wrong order. I started at the bottom with the larger branches and worked my way up from there. As I went up the lower branches got in my way. There was no place to hold on without branches in the way.

If I were to start at the top I could grasp the trunk all the way down. Just little things you learn as you go along.

Wayne

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Wayne Williams wrote:
[user=52]

If I were to start at the top I could grasp the trunk all the way down. Just little things you learn as you go along.

Wayne


:hmm:hmm:hmm
This is a model railway forum isn't it :roll:

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Wayne Williams wrote:.............................................I have already realized that I assembled the tree in the wrong order. I started at the bottom with the larger branches and worked my way up from there. ......................................

Wayne

Ah but that's exactly how REAL trees grow Wayne. :hmm:thumbs:thumbs:thumbs

Wayne Williams
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This is the foliage that I have chosen to use for the Styrene Tree. As you can see it is from Woodland Scenics and is called Fine-Leaf Foliage (Light-Green). It comes all interwoven together and must be separated into individual branches or clumps.



Here I have done some separating. Any green leaves that fall off are collected and placed in the white tray for later use. Even the dead looking branches are kept. I can use them later on the layout somewhere I'm sure.


The tree is now coated with "Hob-e-Tac" adhesive from Woodland Scenics. Believe it or not, but it will dry to a clear state. It stays very sticky for life, so you can take your time placing the leaves and smaller branches where you want them. I must now wait until at least three quarters of the white color disappears. It doesn't get sticky until it is clear. That should take about twenty minutes to a half hour.


I may be pushing it a little because the glue is not totally clear, but so far it is very sticky and is working fine. The thicker areas (white) I am trying to stay away from for the time being.


I would guess that I am just about half way done in this picture. It is coming along fine as far as I can see. The places where you can still see the adhesive (upper branches where the leaves are already on) are not as visible as they look in this picture. The sun is shining through the window right on it and really makes the glue look white. I'm going to try and add some "Loose" leaves from the white tray to those areas, maybe that will help.


I'm sure that once all of the branches are covered it will look super. I am up to six hours now on this styrene tree. I would estimate two more hours before I can call it done. We will see!

Wayne

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Wayne ive used the fine leaf foilage it is very good stuff

The tree is certainly starting to come alive now hopefully that glue will turn clear

its a pity that foilage isnt cheap that way we could buy a big bag dunk the tree trunk in glue then shove the gluey tree in the sack hopefully by the time we pulled it out it would be mostly covered :lol:

cheers Brian

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At this moment Wayne, I'm not saying anything - I'll make my comments when the foliage is all in place.

(:wow:wow:wow:wow:doublethumb)

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I remember when I was young, and a boatie, there was a saying, "If God had wanted us to have plastic boats, He would have made plastic trees." (Maybe that should have been She) . . . anyway Wayne - it looks like you've done it.  It's going to be great. :exclam 

Wayne Williams
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Well the leaves are on the Styrene Tree. It has changed the shape from what it was with only the branches. Not a whole lot, but it just doesn't look the same. I think I would have to reduce the height of the styrene branches to compensate for the added leaves and small branches from the Woodland Scenics Kit.
The instructions now call for sprinkling on of some fine turf (green) then spraying with Scenic Cement. I am going to think about that for awhile though. Has anyone ever done that?



Here is the tree sitting in place on the Proctor Farm.


This close up shows it from a different angle.


If my memory severs me correctly, it was Marty who was concerned about the styrene being able to hold up to the weight of the leaves. As you can see Marty, there was absolutely no problems in this area. So you can rest at ease.

Wayne

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Hi Wayne, the tree is looking good, I think the experiment has worked!!

Regarding the application of fine turf, I should think that the principle is almost the same as the way I highlight my tree tops. Although I use Busch "Leaf Covering material 1311" I use it in almost the same way as you are suggesting.

I spray the finished tree canopy with hairspray (or you could use scenic cement) and then lightly dip the tops of the canopy into the material. I find that doing it this way gives a more natural covering. The effect is to give the impression of small shoots of new growth and as long as it's not overdone can be very effective.

Here's one of mine completed :-




you can just see the highlighting effect that the fine scatter gives you.

Wayne Williams
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I see what you mean. It looks like you have used a slightly lighter shade of green for the scatter than what you used on the tree. Is that true?

All I have in stock here is a slightly darker green than what I have on the tree. I doubt if that would look as good. I will have to go shopping again!!!!

Thanks Jeff.
Wayne

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Correct, Wayne. The scatter is lighter (as is new growth on any plant) so it gives the impression of recent growth on the tree. It's surprising how much better just a little thing like that makes the whole look.

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I spray mine with hair lacquer and sprinkle it from above with Fine Turf Yellow Grass, using a nutmeg shaker which had holes about 2 mm in diameter.  The yellow looks like new growth and it can be done with the tree in situ if you want to.  Basically the same idea as Jeff.

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Very nice work, Wayne.

I have used the same foliage and I like it very much although it tends to get brittle after a while.

You could even apply small dabs of paint over the foliage ends to simulate new growth.

Mike

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Wayne,

Looks pretty close to the tree to me, nice work.

If I could bounce back at you what you said to me when I did the Larch...

To get this...



to look more like this...



you might need to get the chainsaw out and trim it to shape a bit.

And... also to bounce back at you what you said to me.... It's your tree and I didn't suggest this :lol::lol::lol: It just depends on how accurate you want to be.

 

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Excellent, but I would agree with all the guys, it needs some lighter colour to bring the tree alive, and I also use Hair spray, works a treat

They really do bring the whole scene together :thumbs

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Thanks for all the comments. I agree with what you are all saying. Just need to decide which way to go.

Marty, now I know how hard it was for you to actually start trimming! :shock: I do agree with you though it does need some work in that area.

I am fighting a very bad cold or something right now, so it may well be a few days before I can feel like doing this. Can't even finish typing a sentence without grabbing for a tissue right now.

Wayne

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Get yourself tucked up in a warm bed, take some paracaetamol with a very hot whisky toddy Wayne - work a treat :cheers

Take care - colds at this time of year need looking after.

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Thanks Petermac! I slept most of this day away. I feel great when I'm sound asleep!

Wayne :cry:

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Get better soon mate, I'm three weeks clear of a recent winter cold, makes you appreciate being healthier.

Last edited on Thu Sep 3rd, 2009 01:45 am by Marty

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yep getting closer to the rum +blackcurrant weather, that`s my defence
system.

:doublethumb:mutley:mutley:cool:

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The antibiotics have kicked in and I am feeling a little better. At least now I can stay awake long enough to do something.

So I decided to trim the tree, thanks to Marty's advice, which was my advice, which means, I don't listen to my own advice!

Anyway the first photo shows just how much trimming I did.



As luck would have it, this time anyway, i had some Fine Turf Yellow Grass, so I sprinkled some, but not a lot over the tops of the branches. This is a very old tree (Maple) and does not get a lot of new growth anymore. It did help the looks of the tree though. So thanks everyone for the advice.



Well I guess that if anyone wants to know if a tree can be made from styrene strips, this should answer that question. You have a lot of versatility by using the styrene, because adding branches was very simple, just drill a hole and insert it.

One problem I found though was when trying to add smaller branches to other branches. The bond didn't hold very well. I may try combining other materials with the styrene, like wire maybe. I will have to do some thinking on that.

Still it was a great little project that I enjoyed working on.

Wayne

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we enjoyed it too Wayne,it all helps when we decide to have a go.

:doublethumb:lol::lol::lol::cool:

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A very nice tree you made there.
I know down at my shops a tree like that would cost almost a whole months of pocket money. Did that work out cheaper then buying a pre made one?

Marty
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Great tree Wayne, :hmm

Lets see, I'll do you a deal, 20 of my twisted wire ones for 40 of your styrene ones. HO to N see? Equal amounts of materials :thumbs

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Isn't it just amazing how logic can look different from different directions! :mutley:mutley:mutley

Wayne

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Well, it was worth a try :thumbs

Nice tree.

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A truly excellent result, Wayne :thumbs

Mike


                 

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