More Tiny Trees

This lot have been saturated with dilute PVA glue to make them durable.
In this weather it takes a day or two for them to dry thoroughly.
I'm exercising my god-like powers of creation to build some more trees.

These ones are based on Woodland Scenics' tree armatures, which are reasonably cheap, and make things pretty quick and easy. They're a semi-soft plastic that can be bent and will hold its shape, so though they're moulded flat, they can be manipulated into a more three-dimensional form before any foliage is added.

I've glued the plastic armatures to thick, heavy 40mm steel washers, so they're pretty stable. It's not impossible to knock them over, but they don't fall down at the merest quiver.

I've made some before with these armatures, by gluing clump foliage directly to the branches, and the finished effect is OK but the foliage tends to look a bit sparse, and it's quite a labour-intensive process as each clump has to be glued individually.

Also, it's quite expensive compared with my current preferred method, below.

Looking up under the canopy
This method uses dacron wadding (the stuff used to pack teddy bears and duvets), teased out cobweb-fine and stretched out across the branches. Then it's sprayed a tree-ish colour before being dusted with spray-glue and having flock dropped over it.

This one has had two flock coats; one of green sawdust flock, and a second of a coarse-ground foam flock.

After all the flock has been applied, the whole thing is saturated by spraying it with diluted PVA glue. Once that dries, the finished tree model becomes quite durable, and the flock stays put where it's meant to be instead of scattering itself far and wide.

 Steel wool can be used in the same way as the dacron wadding, and already being a dark grey it doesn't absolutely need to be painted before the flock goes on.

Under the steel wool canopy
The effect is pretty similar in the end, though the steel wool just rests on the armature branches until it's glued in place by the PVA spray — it doesn't hold itself under tension like the springy dacron fibres.

It's easier, because of that, to shape the canopy, and it gives a generally more rounded appearance to the tree.

These two are dacron, and you can see that the fibres stretched over the armature give the canopy a sort of faceted appearance. That can be ameliorated a bit by applying the dacron in smaller pieces, rather than trying to cover the whole thing in one wad.

When building up a canopy from small bits of dacron, I found it useful to give the whole thing a good spray with ultra-cheap hairspray, just to hold everything together through the flocking process.

These ones, like the steel wool tree above, have just had a single layer of a foam flock added — it's a railway modeling flock called Dark Tussock which I think is made locally (or at least, in New Zealand), so may not be available overseas. Something similar will be though.

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