January 17, 2013

Tree Test

I experimented with some trees tonight to determine how the colors and techniques were going to work. For the basic process I used SuperTrees with a wire and wood armature to make a deciduous tree.

I had several packages of Woodland Scenics Fine-Leaf Foliage, medium green (F1131). These packages contain about 75 cubic inches of SuperTree material  that has been treated with an adhesive and coated with ground foam.  They seem to force the clumps into "tree-like" shapes because if you examine each cluster, you find the smaller branches going in random directions instead of radiating out for the main trunk. In O scale these trees will only work in the background or as bushes. Their trunks are too wispy to represent a mature tree in O Scale.

Before clipping the needles
I had a tree armature left over from a pine tree experiment (see photo at left).  I was not happy with the bumpy chenille I used as pine needles. So I clipped them off and repainted the bare trunk.

Then I took the worst-shaped clumps of fine-leaf foliage from the WS package and started gluing them to the armature with CAA and zip-kicker.

I found that I had more reticulation in the armature than I needed as the clumps of fine-leaf foliage were able to cover fairly big gaps. I used about one whole package of WS Fine-Leaf  Foliage for this tree, though I also got one good looking O Scale shrub to use along the backdrop.

Once the foliage was on, I sprayed the whole tree with matt varnish and sprinkled on some green blend ground foam to cover some bare spots.

I found that the faded green trees on the backdrop were not dark and saturated enough to blend with the WS medium green foliage, especially when the foliage is right against the backdrop.  So I got out my paints and used  Cadmium Yellow and Ultramarine Blue (green shade) with a touch of Paynes Gray to add an area of more intense colors where the trees will abut the backdrop.  I darken the shadows and added brighter highlights.  I think I got a good color match.


One O Scale tree covers a lot of ground!


Overall I think the test was a success. There will not be a lot of trees on the layout, so the ones we have must be well executed.




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