Making some Birch Trees

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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

 

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “Making some Birch Trees

    1. Many thanks John, they will work well to represent Birch trees on the table which is important for the current Dalarna 1943 dalarna project, to get the Scandinavian feel to. Pine trees and birches are the trees of my home county – not random poplars 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you John. It as fragile as I can go without creating something I need to repair all the time, if the turf falls of I can always to another spray and sprinkle some more 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. peter holland

    They look fine for wargaming. It is what it symbolises. A tree! If there is something finer than course turf it may give a better visual representation of a Birch tree.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. A really nice tutorial that I will file away in my memory banks unless dementia sets in . Always love the extra details you give for your Scandinavian projects. We have birch trees here, but they are far outnumbered by pines, oaks, and especially maples.

    Liked by 1 person

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