Thursday, 14 April 2011

Trees 'Undreds of 'Em...


To misquote Sir Michael Caine I have hundreds of the things to make and paint, as can be seen in the picture above (just shy of 700 in fact, with 340 palm trees recently added to the pile). Above is a picture of some Woodland Scenics trees from their starter tree pack that I bought to try out. In the background of the picture are some Hornby tree armatures I got in a sale, which I have painted with texture paste so as to hide the the shape of the twisted wire armatures.

Initially I was quite impressed by the Woodland Scenics tree system, as the glue dries clear just as described, and is jolly good at picking up the clumped material provided in the pack. However, the next day I was less than impressed, because the tacky glue never quite dries and remains tacky, and yucky to handle.

For trees on a diorama, or for a train layout these would not be too bad. For a wargaming board where things have to be reasonably robust to stand up to handling, not so good as the trees will tend to stick to one's fingers and hands.

Huhm I thought, I know let's coat them in some matte medium. Bad move, do not repeat my mistake. Tacky-yucky glue will absorb water from the matte medium and lose its tackyness, resulting in virtually all the clumps of foliage falling off. Oh dear, it was going to be one of those days, you know the ones that are rich in learning opportunities.

So, I re-glued them and thought I will spray varnish on the trees to seal the glue and then I can paint them. Unfortunately, the foliage is not what I would call robust. As I dry brushed the trees the foliage wobbled and feels very unstable; as in the foliage is going to drop off again. Plan C is to dip, or bush good old matte medium all over the foliage, which will cause it all to go rather rigid. This is a good thing for a tree that will be used for wargaming.

More as I progress into the forest's dark heart...


  1. I also am having a lot of trouble with the woodland scenics tree kits. Years ago I bought they pre-finished trees which were much more robust.

  2. I must admit to spending sometime looking at the pre-made trees from Hong Kong that you can get through eBay. Then that little voice inside of me went "how hard can it be with the right glue?"

    So going out today to buy Copydex, and maybe some matte medium gel. Plus of course I checked my paints and several pots have dried out, so I have a little list of paints to get as well; though I'm going to be spray priming my trees as that will make things a little less tedious.

  3. I had a similar problem with that bloody tacky stuff... someone suggested lo viscosity superglue for foliage which I have yet to try...

  4. Couldnt be bothered faffing about with those, I just bought 4 bags of Trackmaster trees at a model railway show. 60 quid, 100 trees, I'm sorted.

  5. I saw some very nice trees at one of the stands at Salute today when browsing, but at a £1.00 plus a pop I decided that I'd pass on them at this time.

  6. you might like to give this a look Ashley

    Ok they've gone up slightly since I bought them, but they're still fairly cheap.

  7. Yeah, thanks for the link, they are not bad, and I've got a bunch of something similar. However, they are what I would call abstract geometric trees, and I'm trying to move away from that style to something a little more realistic, even if still pretty generic.

  8. I've never used the tacky glue that Woodland Scenics suggests, using Eileen's or similar Tacky white glues to glue pieces of the foliage clusters to the trees, rather than the clump stuff that comes with the tree kits. I've considered trying to spray a thinned acrylic matte medium over the trees, to see if it helps, but just haven't got around to it yet.

  9. I will reveal that in my next tree blog the results of my substitute tacky glue experiment. Answer Copydex, for those of you who are inpatient and want the answer now.


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