So someone, Pete, accused me of Devoning. Well at least of Devoning the On30 stuff. Well given that I was a tad distracted with the MIK I wouldn’t exactly say I was Devoning the On30 stuff. But now that the MIK is over I have returned to some On30 stuff. Trees. One thing I have been critical over the years about is the sparseness of most indoor layouts. Trees are used sparingly. For good reason, they are expensive and/or time consuming to make. A tree here and there for accent is nice but a forest is a momentousness undertaking. Never the less I am modeling a forest and forests need trees, lots of them. This may turn out to be a life long project making enough trees to see out my vision. But I am going to give it the college try.
One thing I am doing is making wire forms. This is something I can do while I am laid up. Its monotonous but its also pretty mindless. So as I have been unable or unwilling or unmotivated to do any other modeling I have been making tree forms. I am using 24 gauge single strand communication cable. There are 11 individual wires in a cable. I am using sets of 5 or 6 wires. since its O scale I am working with 1:48 and a forty foot tree is 10 scale inches long. So I am making trees in and around that neighborhood give or take. The main focus at this point in time is aspen/birch trees. You take your pick which one they will look like but a white barked clumping tree is what I am after.Here are the basic wire forms.
After the wire is twisted together and made into a form I coated the ones you see with either liquid latex or liquid nails. On this tree form (not an aspen or birch) you can see the liquid latex. For this maple style tree I am making extensive root wads so that I can have exposed roots. After I push it in the plaster I can tease away plaster and expose the bare root. In the finished tree you can see them a little.
After the many layers of liquid latex are built up you can paint. Liquid nails is so much thicker it can be applied in one shot. The liquid nails gives a rougher bark and the liquid latex a smoother bark. The white tree is latex and the finished tree is liquid nails.
The finished tree is for a diorama I am making for my sister. The foliage I will be using ground foam and likely many other things. The finished tree is woodland scenics foliage in two different colors to give the appearance of light and shadows. On the ground is some brown colored perlite to mimic dead leaves and the ground cover is a base of sanded grout and ground dried sage (the spice). I have a plant of it that is fairly large and I love the look of it. I plane to use foam, saw dust, coffee grounds, what ever to mix up the variety of looks for the different types of trees.
But at any rate this is what I have been doing post MIK. I am figuring somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 aspen/birch trees for some low land scenes before reaching the pine forests.