Making some Birch Trees

You may recall this picture from some of the previous blog postings,

IMG_4449

It shows some Birch trees I bought from NOCH and comes in a box of 7 for about £20 (if you shop around). The are ok, but I wanted to make another 30 of them, this would cost me another £80 and frankly I did not really thing it was worth it and thought that maybe I could do some cheaper.  In a online interchange with Adam Bengtsson (@paganfury on twitter) he suggested using some poly fibre to make trees – I bought some and made a few trial trees, here is what I did.

I had a bundle of these tree armatures I had bought for another project some time ago.

IMG_5774
Tree armatures – I bought these from a seller in china a long time ago, there are some non-Chinese based sellers who sell the same kind of trees (slightly higher price).  Search for Bare Trunk Trees on ebay, the ones I got were about £8 for 30 armatures.

I pruned them a little bit and painted them black, with a cheap acrylic paint.

IMG_5776
I guess I could have used a spray paint, but not sure how it would react to the plastic the trees are made of.  I takes a minute or some to do a tree, so I used a brush with generous about of paint.

Let dry and then a coat of white, do not paint the branches white.

IMG_5777

Then some decorating with grey and black and some more white here an there, trying to make the illusion that it is a birch tree, there is no right or wrong here as the look varies. Leave the crown black as shown.

IMG_5781

When the tree is dry take some green poly fibre (I got mine from Woodland Scenics) and carefully cover the tree with it, do not use too much (I probably will reduce the amount I use for my next batch).

IMG_5782IMG_5783IMG_5784IMG_5786

Time to go outside and use some spray mount/adhesive – I did about 6-8 quick sprays (press and release, hold the trunk and avoid spraying on the trunk mainly hit the fibres) on each tree and after this covered them with some Woodland Scenics Coarse Turf (Light Green). I suggest you spray one tree then add the turf immediately.  Do it with the bowl or a box under so you can re-use anything that does not stick to the tree.

IMG_5792

I think they look great! (Currently based on some Washers but will think about what I do moving forward).

IMG_5793

IMG_5791

Ok there are a few issues to consider, so at least I can say I told you so.

  •  Birch trees tend to have an overall thinner appearance than this method gives (the Noch Trees gives this illusion form a distance) – but for me these work.
  •  They are a little bit fragile so I intend to buy some cheap hair spray and spray them a few times to seal them, this should make them more durable.

Anyway let me know what you think, nothing new really but this will allow a quick production of a lot of trees for, Say at a cost of less than £1 per tree compared to the £3 from the ones from Noch.  I think they look better too.

No need to bend steel wires!

/ Hope that was of some interest