THE SMA FORUM ARCHIVE
Posted by jordanuk, on 2008-05-18 05:56:57
i want a big tree for my set like this one in the picture any ideas?
Posted by Nofby, on 2008-05-18 06:07:36
We need more details! What scale are you working at?
Posted by Nofby, on 2008-05-18 06:16:47
Well, I've visited the other thread about the 'post box' and I see you bought a model, probably around 3-4 inches high? Anyway, the method I use for smaller trees is.....
1.For the trunk, strands of craft/florist wire twisted together then painted
2. The branches are un-twisted strands of wire from the main trunk, splayed out.
2. Fine bits of foam are glued all around the branches, then painted with green shades.
I'll try to get some photos later on.
Posted by Isomer, on 2008-05-18 21:19:08
I made some miniature trees by sculpting the trunk of the tree out of Super Sculpey and then sticking a bunch of stems from 'Babies Breath'(tiny white flowers often arranged in bouquets of flowers) and then baked. I then sanded a bunch of crumbly bits from open-cell urethane packing foam into a bucket, sprayed my bare tree with a heavy dose of spray glue and dunked it into the bucket.
I airbrushed the leaf color onto it in a few different shades of forest green and this is a photo of what it got...
Posted by Nick H, on 2008-05-18 23:45:27
Some tree branches, with lots of fine sub-branches, make pretty good scale model trees. You might need to add some spreading roots at the base. Usually the leaves are too big, but the branch structure might be ok. All you can do is look around.
If there's nothing, make it.
I make most tree trunks out of plaster. Sometimes, for big ones, I make the basic shape out of cardboard tube, or plastic pipe, or chicken wire. Then I cover with hessian (burlap in the US) stips dipped in plaster, then just plaster. As it sets you can smooth it, or texture it to get rough bark. It makes sense when you actually mix some up and play with it.
Some of my trees are 3/4 round, there is a front and 2 sides but no back. I made the basic shape in potter's clay, lying down on the workbench, then put plaster over it like I was making a mould of it. But the plaster became the tree, and the clay was removed from the back.
You can join real branches onto the trunk, or make them from wire twisted together and covered in plaster bandage or many other materials.
Model shops sell very fine ground-up cushion foam, already dyed to various shades of brown and green, for foliage. You can also make your own, coarser stuff, by chucking some foam in a blender! Then dip it in watered down paint and dry it. It is good for an impression of foliage, where you aren't looking close at the shape of individual leaves, or where the leaves would be really tiny.
On a bigger scale, there are various kinds of plastic leaves and plants that might give you the leaves you need. Some smaller ones can be found at aquarium shops.
Have a look at older posts in Shelly's Notes from Halfland blog, where she is making the big tree:
Just scroll down a bit, you'll see some shots of it. She details how it was made.
Like any other modelmaking job -
1. Look at a real one.
2. Work out how much smaller yours needs to be, and what size the parts should be.
3. Find or make something that resembles a smaller version of the real one.
Keep an eye out, always, for things that might come in handy.
I have used some dried flowers that look a lot like small branches of small leaves, or even African acacia trees on a 1:100 scale. Not the same flowers as Ron's trees, but the same idea, look out for stuff that could become something different. Never mind what the guy in the shop thinks it is, or what most people want it for. Just see shapes and textures, and store them away in the back of your brain for later.
Nature repeats shape and patterns in different scales - the long seed cones from an auricarian conifer might look like the trunk of a cycad at 1/24th the size. I didn't know what they were called, but I saw these seedcones lying on the ground and I saw little palm tree trunks for my set.
Posted by jordanuk, on 2008-05-19 05:55:52
cheers nick your always a great help :)
Posted by chesapuppet, on 2008-05-21 17:29:54
Maybe you could try using real trees. Bonsai trees are real trees with lesser scale... if it doesn't work, at least you could use its fallen leafs and use it as living ones after a green dying.
Posted by Nick H, on 2008-05-21 19:35:44
Some of the conifer Bonsais look pretty good as miniatures. The Japanese maples and many others tend to have leaves that are too big for the scale. Also, Bonsai are very expensive. English Box plants (used for hedges) also look great, because they have small leaves and a compact growth habit, but are cheaper.
There is a risk with living plants, or even dead but fresh cut branches, that they will grow or dry up and shrink during the shot. I found I couldn't stop for lunch, because all the branches I used as trees would very slowly shrivel up, and you could see the jump where I stopped shooting and started again. It's better to let them dry out over a few weeks, then if they have small leaves you are using, spray paint them green.
Here's a plaster tree trunk, made over clay, with the clay removed.
Some real vines have been added and blended in, the same can be done with real branches or branches made over wire.
There is no back, so the clay could be dug out. Some of the aerial roots on the right are cast in latex from a plaster mould, which is another way to make trees.
Posted by PaulVortex, on 2008-05-29 06:52:14
I found a fantastic tutorial for making any kind of tree you can imagine, using a material called Seafoam.
This is a natural product that can be cut, joined and combined in different ways using a few materials to make some very realistic trees. You can make the trees to a range of scales and having some of the stuff here and looking at it I could esily see it making impressive trees even up to 1:6 scale.
Here is the tutorial... It's a site selling wargaming modelling materials... but many of the materials can be used at the bigger scales we use in stopmo :
Sillohettes to help you form your chosen tree (these give an idea of tree shape) :
Here is the product : (the pieces can either be used individually, or the pieces can be combined to make larger trees, or broken down to make shrubs and bushes)...
Posted by Nofby, on 2008-06-01 12:53:40
Just a quick note, heres a couple of pictures of a tree constructed in the way I mentioned...