Back in my very first blog I posted I was painting some trees up for wargaming with. Here I am still painting trees, but after making what I called the "hero" trees for my Newten Town boards I'm no longer enthused by my earlier efforts. The trees on the above photograph now look very unsatisfactory to my eyes. I call them the abstract trees, because they are simple geometric tree like shapes, which are in no way representative of what a real tree looks like.
As a modeller, who wargames, the modelling aspect of the hobby is as important, if not more important to me than the gaming aspect. Mostly because I don't get to play as regularly as I did when I was young (teenager and early twenties being my definition of young). However, as I recounted previously the tree kits from Woodland Scenics come with a tacky-yucky glue that never quite sets. So I set my myself the task of finding an alternative glue that would grab the foam and secure it firmly. My hunch was that either matte gel medium, or Copydex latex glue would do the job, but which would be best?
I repeated the task with the next twenty trees using matte gel. Again I chose to push on suitable chunks of foam onto the armature at random. To me it felt easier to apply the matte gel, probably because I got to use a brush of my choice. However, the matte gel wasn't as "grabby" as the Copydex, but overall it all felt marginally easier to apply.
However, after allowing both sets of trees to dry overnight, I did my my twizzle test (take tree and hold upside down as you rotate the tree rapidly between fingers), which showed loose foam coming off the trees. Not catastrophic amounts, but enough that I thought a coat of matte medium would help pull all the foam together on the armatures and make the trees stiffer, and therefore easier to paint.
As the above picture shows while brushing on the matte medium yet more foam fell off. I kept the results for each tree set, and on the left is the foam that fell off the matte gel trees, while on the right is the foam that fell off the trees that I used Copydex to glue the foam on with. Clearly the Copydex is the overall winner for the task of attaching the foam to the tree armatures, because it grabs better, less falls off when twizzling, and one can brush on extra matte medium gel with minimum foam loss from being tugged at by the brush while doing so.
Palm trees next...