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REALISTIC FERNS - Trees, Bushes & Hedges - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 02:43 pm
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pwarburton
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I wanted to get a bit more variety into an area on Beeches TMD ................ 

http://beechestmd.webs.com/

where I had already put some vegetation.  Such areas in the real world often have a wide range of plants with different textures and colours - they are not all one shade of green.  One plant I had wanted to try to recreate was bracken.  Some attempts to model this plant don't look very realistic - perhaps oversize or the leaves are too exaggerated. 

I firstly stood beside some real bracken during a walk along the old Midland railway line near Monsal Head in Derbsyhire - many of the plants came up to just below my waist (I'm 5'11").  I then modelled my plant against some Bachmann figures on my layout.



My model plant is actually the tips of leaves from real bracken.   They were firstly dried and flattened in between the pages of a book and pressed for about a week.  The tips were then cut to size, some bent to mimic hanging leaves / branches and glued in place with PVA.  I find some very dilute PVA on the tiny branches helps to reduce the brittleness of the natural plant material.

Close up photography is so often very cruel (I have already noticed some fine hairs from the flock on the tree on the left that need trimming!!).  The photo above does though show the plant in its context - this is what I will see when working on the layout and running my locos.  I don't think it looks too bad.   I need now to add a few more bracken leaves / plants - one plant in isolation doesn't look quite right - but mustn't overdo it!!!





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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 03:32 pm
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ddolfelin
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Nice job!



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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 04:02 pm
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Robert
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As you say it needs just a touch more to make it almost perfect. I really like it.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 05:21 pm
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pnwood
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pwarburton wrote:
  I don't think it looks too bad.  


That's the understatement of the week. :shock::lol:

One way of preserving natural plant material is to use Glycerin (see link)

http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1115/



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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 07:21 pm
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owen69
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nice job with the plants,impressed,
good bit of advice  Woody, Ihad forgotten about glycerine,,
:thumbs:lol::lol::cool:

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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 08:36 pm
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Dock Shunter
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Looks really good.....:thumbs
A nice variety of plants there......



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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 09:29 pm
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Petermac
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Now they really do look good. :thumbs

with bracken and brambles, I'm not sure you can actually overdo it. :roll:  They seem to get everywhere if the soil's right for them.



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 Posted: Sun Oct 2nd, 2011 10:53 pm
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rector
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Excellent foliage - at next to no cost:thumbs

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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 12:54 am
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Gwiwer
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Looks totally convincing.  As of course it should!  How good would it be if we suggested real bracken didn't look like bracken? 

A very handy tip thank you.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 3rd, 2011 03:43 pm
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Ianbo
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Very impressive, as you said in the first post all the colours are slightly different :thumbs



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 Posted: Sat Oct 8th, 2011 02:49 pm
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Old_Steamer
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Hairy flock? Eye of the beholder!
What I see is early misty morning with spiders webs so perhaps add a little dew, no need to trim.

Brilliant natural foliage.

In my past military modelling activities I always used natural bits and pieces gathered on walks over the common.
My wife thought I was a little strange when going for a walk. Always armed with a supermarket bag and a pair of secateurs. Others took a dog, nothing wrong with dogs I like them, but they only fetch the sticks you throw for them. I wanted a dog that would go off and bring back a bag full of useful stuff.

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 Posted: Sat Oct 8th, 2011 03:03 pm
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pwarburton
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Old_Steamer wrote: Hairy flock? Eye of the beholder!
What I see is early misty morning with spiders webs so perhaps add a little dew, no need to trim.

Brilliant natural foliage.

In my past military modelling activities I always used natural bits and pieces gathered on walks over the common.
My wife thought I was a little strange when going for a walk. Always armed with a supermarket bag and a pair of secateurs. Others took a dog, nothing wrong with dogs I like them, but they only fetch the sticks you throw for them. I wanted a dog that would go off and bring back a bag full of useful stuff.


Hi Brian

Loved this reply - particularly the positive thinking!!   Thanks for the compliment. 


Made me smile reading about your collection of natural bits and pieces.  Couldn't agree more about using natural materials to model trees, shrubs etc.   I collected the bits of ferns on a walk near Monsal Head in Derbyshire.  My wife and daughter had walked on ahead a few times and wondered what on earth I was doing.   We were a little late returning to our car and my wife had a hair appointment in the village where we live.  I'll leave you to imagine how I was reprimanded by SWMBO for nearly making her late - just collecting the tips from some ferns and a few other bits and pieces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   The things we do for our model railways!!!



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 Posted: Sun Oct 9th, 2011 11:55 pm
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Gwent Rail
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I've recently found the use of natural materials gathered from the garden or on walks to have a lot of potential for realistic modeling. This is one such example that I'm now in the process of trying.
Thanks for the tip. :thumbs 

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