January 26, 2011

Immortal Bonsai

My brother Rob visited this week. Since we were snowbound, he decided to improve the dead bonsai tree he sent to me last year.

First he pruned and tapered the dead branches to improve their scale appearance.

Then he built up the base of the tree using wood putty and a block of wood so that the root structure was realistic. The bonsai folks call this nebari.

Next he drilled  about 50 holes in the branches to accept springs of Supertree. The Supertrees is a trade name for  a natural weed from the Arctic area of Lapland. Scenic Express imports and markets them as "Supertrees."


Once the Supertrees were glued in place, I painted the tree with woodland camoflague brown, medium grey and flat back. Rob says the tree resembles a sycamore in this configuration. It started out as an azalea bonsai.  The whole tree s quite delicate as the dried out azalea and the Supertrees are very brittle.

The tree is secured to the block of wood. When it comes time to install it, the whole block will have to be integrated into the scenery as the tree is too delicate to remove from the block of wood.  I 'll have to cut the foam scenery to accept the block. So it's not a big deal.

Rob and his  creation at Stoneman's Station












Since it is such a big tree, I plan to place it near Stonemans station where the scenery is deep.

While he was working on the tree, I made some smaller understory trees for the Clairborne Creek Scene and finished the two latest boxcars.

Finished Product - The Immortal Bonsai at Stoneman's Station

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