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Fishwelding

1/35 Trees, shrubs, other plant life

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If my armor modeling has a grand strategy, it's to build like the classic Shepard Paine scenes so many of us enjoyed seeing years ago.  In my earliest diorama efforts I discovered that slathering plaster, cat litter, and model railroad turf onto a hastily cut plywood base didn't make very convincing groundwork in 1/35th scale.  And in the past several years, I've focused on the confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Europe.  Germany is green in mind, body, and spirit, so I'd better learn to build trees.  

 

Here's some experiments I've done lately.  In all cases, the major trunk-and-branch system is twisted wire armature coated with Vallejo's mud paste.  Variations on this method can be found scattered throughout the modelmaking internet.  (The tallest tree has some epoxy putty in it, too, but I'm not sure I'll bother with that next time.)  In each case, I'm using products really sold for smaller-scale model railroading, so the question is whether in 1/35 scale it's persuasive for smaller leaves.  Let's see: 

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This shrub's foliage consists of the finer branches or twigs done with Woodland Scenics' polyfiber, stretched around the bigger branches and then snipped with scissors, per Andy's (He of Hobby Headquarters) tutorial on YouTube.  I then added leaves from Noch.  Looks good, if somewhat dense, but I suspect the leaves can be thinned by simply sprinkling them on less heavily.  

 

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This small tree has polyfiber for the smaller branches, but I used Scenic Express' "superleaves."  Very similar to Noch; it may be my imagination, but the leaves might be slightly larger.  If so, it's not obvious.  Scenic Express sells this stuff in a shaker bottle, as well as these "Eco" bags.  The bag is better, I think, because the shaker is tedious and slower than simply using my fingers to scatter the leaves on the tree.  I think this looks pretty good, and I'm going to try scaling this up.  

 

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I don't think this looks like a European tree.  On my largest armature, I used Noch static grass (5mm) instead of cut up polyfiber.  I think that's the mistake.  The static grass didn't give the leaves (also Noch)  a sprawling branch network to lay on, that the polyfiber would have provided.  I think I've seen trees that look like this in other parts of the world, though, so it's worth filing away.  

 

I'm looking for sources of larger leaves right now, and have at least two ideas in mind.  But I'm pleasantly surprised that the smaller scale leaves I tried out both look reasonably good for smaller leaves in 1/35 scale.  

 

Edited by Fishwelding

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The tree's shape looks good, but it is lacking branches. Have you tried to add some moss to the last tree? That will give it some more volume, and then cover this with a fine or medium dark green foliage, followed by the leaves.

You might want to look up the tutorials of Luke Towan on YouTube. He is building in HO scale, but the techniques should also work for 1/35 scale.

Currently building a diorama in 1/72 scale with everything. Trees, water, rocks, etc.

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Like Lancer512 said, check out Luke Towan's youtube videos as there's a lot to learn that can be applied to 1/35th scale. As far as leaves go, check out the miniature leaf punch sold on Evilbay. Use miniature leaf punch for your search there. Punch allows you to make 4 different leaves in 1/35th scale. I tried using green paper, looked like hell. Instead, use real leaves. Spray 'em with a Mod Podge matt coating, let dry, then punch away. The "fun" part is separating them, but the result is excellent.

 

Since you're doing Europe, check out dioramadebri series of brick wall molds, curbs, etc.  Simon Kemp has a series of Youtube videos using these molds. Title for his videos is 1/35 diorama builds. He's been building a WW 2 house using different dioramadebri molds. Have several copies of the brick wall molds and they're really good, though 2 things about 'em. Took me almost 3 months before I was finally able to buy all the molds I wanted at one time. Guess with his videos, sales have really jumped. The other was trying to get the end caps for the wall pieces to come out in one piece. Simon uses something that's only available in England and Hydrocal & plaster of paris didn't make it when it came to popping these pieces out of the mold. The wall themselves, had no trouble with, the end pieces cracked EVERY time. Tried Perfect Cast (Amazon) which says it's 5 times stronger than plaster of paris and I've had no trouble since then. Because of the price, use Perfect Cast for the end pieces, while the wall gets plaster of paris.

The other thing is the brick work detail is only on 5 of 6 sides

 

Europe's got a lot of stone walls/boundaries around farm land and Hirst Arts molds will do the trick for them. Number 701 is your basic field stone mold, so you can make your wall as long/tall as you want. The molds are made for 28mm, but I see no problem using them as you can stack 'em as high as you want, which I'm doing right now for a zombie/apocalypse 1/35th scale diorama.

 

Hope this helps.

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On 7/30/2017 at 5:33 AM, Lancer512 said:

You might want to look up the tutorials of Luke Towan on YouTube.

 

Towan's got great tutorials generally, and specifically I think he does a good job of showing how to build up the trunks and branches from wire.  

On 7/30/2017 at 9:23 PM, willc453 said:

 As far as leaves go, check out the miniature leaf punch sold on Evilbay. Use miniature leaf punch for your search there. Punch allows you to make 4 different leaves in 1/35th scale. I tried using green paper, looked like hell. Instead, use real leaves. Spray 'em with a Mod Podge matt coating, let dry, then punch away. The "fun" part is separating them, but the result is excellent.

...

Hope this helps.

I've got two of those punches coming in the mail.  I wonder how they'll hold up in mass production.  For the leaves, I considered soaking them in a glycerine solution, which I read preserves them really well, and keeps them from being brittle.  But that may mess with the punch.  We'll see!  

 

This is all a big help.  Thanks to both of you!  

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