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Working on my 'Carry on regardless' diorama, I again attempted to make realistic trees. Whilst I had some success with trees in my previous diorama, Lost in France, the trees portrayed were definitely in their 'Autumn clothing', that being, in a state of undress. This was because it was simply too time consuming to place individual leaves on the twigs. Instead I settled on 'scattering' the leaves over armatures coated in PVA. The resulting hedgerows received many positive comments, but I know I'd 'chickened out', portraying an Autumn scene rather than Summer. This time, I was determined to show trees in their Summer clothing. In the WIP I experimented with various methods of construction, but all based on the idea of using nylon monofilament fishing line as 'armatures' for the foliage. Gradually, I narrowed down the,best method for producing REALISTIC trees in the shortest time. (for the given materials) Materials required: Several twigs, suitably 'twiggy'. Garden twine with a wire core, or any narrow gauge wire. Basil, or mixed herbs. PVA glue. CA glue. Nylon Monofilament Fishing Line. I used 6lb breaking strain Maxima. Braided Fishing Line (optional. I used 6lb breaking strain Drennan Feeder Line) Acrylic Varnishes (matt or gloss) PLEASE NOTE THAT ALL OF THE PHOTOS WERE LOST DUE TO THE PHOTOBUCKET DEBACLE. HOWEVER, SINCE POSTING THIS TOPIC, I HAVE IMPROVED ON THE METHOD AND HAVE MADE A LARGER MORE REALISTIC TREE FOR MY DIORAMA 'EVER EVOLVING DIORAMA' AVAILABLE TO VIEW IN THE WIP SECTION. PAGE 1 WILL LIST WHICH PAGE TO VISIT TO VIEW AN IN DEPTH DESCRIPTION OF HOW I CONSTRUCTED THE TREE. I SHALL POST PICS HERE AS WELL THOUGH. THE METHOD: First, select two or three suitably twiggy twigs and bind them together at their 'trunk end' using twine, or wire. I play mix and match with several twigs until I find a set which make a pleasingly shaped armature. I also add finer twigs cut from a different species of plant, just to fill out the spaces. Alternatively, you might be lucky enough to find one suitable 'twiggy twig', like the one in the photo below, which was kindly donated by a 'gardener' who dumped it and several tonnes of its companions at an illegal fly tip. PHOTO 1. A VERY TWIGGY TWIG. I set about removing a lot of the central twigs which weren't really needed. I only needed a few as 'attachment sites' for the foliage-carrying branches which I would be making. I also added a couple of 'branches' at the bottom of the canopy as it was missing some here. These were attached by drilling out the ends of the 'branches' and inserting wooden dowels into the holes with some PVA, then drilling out holes in the trunk of the tree and inserting the dowelled branch into the holes, again with some PVA. You'll also see that I thickened up the trunk and boughs with some Miliput, but as it turns out this was nowhere near thick enough. Ultimately the trunk was made much thicker towards the end of the construction. . Now, to the 'leafing' of the tree. Here, I will be demonstrating the method using Nylon Monofilament, but the process is the same for Braided line. Braided line is softer, limper, more absorbent and pre-coloured (usually pale or dark green) Wrapping the line around my index and middle fingers 10 times, I formed a loop made up of ...er... 10 loops. I then took another piece of line and using a blood knot, trapped the loops of line together. BTW nowadays I wrap the line around my fingers 15-20 times. I repeated this process, forming a 2nd and 3rd bunch of loops and tied the 3 together using another length of line and another blood knot (more bunches of loops can be added to achieve an even bushier look) I pulled and teased the loops into position so that ALL the blood knots were grouped together. I then applied CA to the knots to fix them permanently. (Optional) Using scissors I then snipped through the loops at points roughly opposite the blood knots, By cutting INDIVIDUAL bits of line at slightly different points, I was able to introduce variations in length. I then heated the ends of the fishing line gently with a cig lighter as below. Here I left the line sitting at its natural angles, but sometimes I bent the two masses together and fixed them with CA so as to form just one large 'clump of twigs' rather than having two smaller clumps splayed apart. It's optional, but extra clumps of twigs can be added to the gardener's twine, simply by twisting one length of the twine around the other and trapping the clump of twigs in between. Again CA is used to further secure the bond. The twine, with its paper outer, soaks up the CA really well and bonds strongly. Sometimes I would add two or three extra 'clumps'. In the photo below I just added one, but even one extra is effective as you will now see.... Cut, and then crinkled with a cig lighter, the above structure would support leaves 'deeper' within the canopy. So, I placed blobs of CA on a plastic sheet, and dragged the 'twigs' through them to coat them almost fully. Then I dragged the CA'd twigs through piles of Basil to get this: The above 'bunch of foliage' is the basic building block for 'leafing the tree.' This single building block could be attached to the tree by threading the Gardener's Twine in amongst the tree armature and twisting the twine around a convenient 'branch'. A trickle of thin CA on the 'knot' further strengthened the fix. I'd also sprinkle Dil Tops over the knot, hiding it and giving the impression of moss. But I could also join several of these building blocks together and then join this new larger bulk of foliage to the tree in one go.... dependent on the room available of course. Here's a large amount of building blocks joined together ready for fixing to the tree: Out of shot on the left are lots of 'loose ends' of twine. These were wrapped and tied around twigs nearer the centre of the tree and fixed with CA and Dil Tops. The whole structure, or parts of it could then be bent to fill the canopy. I found it easiest to start at the bottom and spiralling up to the top. The advantage of using the wire-cored Gardener's Twine as the 'branch' is that it can be bent so that the foliage can be positioned precisely so as to create or fill gaps in the canopy. Below, working my way up to the top of the tree...... A lot of line is visible here and although it doesn't look bad I did decide to add more foliage into some of the larger gaps. From the photo above the one above, you can see that I thickened the trunk to suit the bulk of the foliage. I thickened it first with Miliput, but realised I would have had to use a whole pack of the stuff to get the thickness I required. So, with the trunk at half thickness I decided to use latex, paper stuffing and CA. I thought I could take a mould of a real log and use its texture, but I had no really 'barky' logs. I made do with the mould below. This was twice the diameter of the trunk and so left a hollow all the way around the inside. I stuffed the hollow with paper and doused the paper with thin CA, dribbled in from the top of the trunk. Thin CA makes latex and paper set hard and 'plastic-like'. The next job was to make a better bark texture, which I recreated using lengths of Gardener's Twine, glued to the latex using medium CA this time. I deliberately left the twine protruding out of the top of the trunk and twisted and wrapped this around the lower boughs of the tree, thus creating a nice 'blend' between branches and trunk. Although in truth one would have to get below the level of the diorama and look at the tree from below to see any of it. Green 'Grit Paint' added to simulate moss. Below... the tree was sprayed with dilute PVA and then sprinkled with Dil Tops. Any nasty clumps of herbs were then cut apart with scissors or a scalpel. The foliage was then teased and repositioned to fill any unwanted gaps, or to create gaps with views through to the interior structure of the tree. In a couple of places I actually added some more branches with foliage, just to get the shape of the tree more to my liking. There's a lot of flexibility for changing the silhouette of the tree and it has in fact changed shape slightly since this photo was taken. Finally, the tree was given several heavy coats of acrylic varnish. TFL, Rearguards, Badder
Hello all so im going to keep going and post my collection slowly over a few weeks. I will keep using this post and just add to it rather than make multiple posts. First up is an Hasegawa Bf-109E3. I did this kit 16 years ago and it is a Battle of Britain aircraft from the II/Staffel JG-51. It was piloted by Josef Fözö. I chose the markings because of the replacement Rudder with the extra 1/2 Swastika. Ok here goes Next up is a more recent build from last year. Its Eduards Bf-109G6 early. It is a sprue release. The markings are for a JG-52 Plane in Yugoslavia sometime circa May of 1944. The camouflage is real it was taken from an G8 Reconnaissance plane in the balkans. Hope you like them i will add more to this post when i can. Thank you all.
tonyot posted a topic in Ready for Inspection - AircraftHiya Folks, Having biult a whole raft of 1/72nd scale Kittyhawks and P-40`s lately here is another one, the very nice 1/72nd scale Sword kit built in the RNZAF markings from the box; It was brush painted using Humbrol enamels, Cheers Tony PS- I`ve added a few more Kiwi Kittyhawks and a few more of my RNZAF models further on in response to a valid point brought up by LSD Modeller/Alan!