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...