Thursday, July 9, 2015

Making More Trees for the M & M Sub.

New trees "planted" on the M & M Sub.

When it comes to trees, you can never have too many on a layout. At least, that's my philosophy, and nature backs me up--unless you are modelling dry land Alberta or Saskatchewan, there are trees everywhere you look.

So I was happy to find a new source for spirea, my favourite tree-making material. And large ones, too, since you also can't have too many big trees.

I needed more trees for two reasons. First, there was a section without any trees; it badly needed some foliage. Second, some of my early trees are no longer up to my (admittedly pedestrian) standards. I wanted to replace them.

Below are the trees before painting.

I use shake the can spray paints; green for the "leaves," black for the trunks. Below are the trees after painting.

Next, I sprinkle on ground foam, using cheap hair spray to fix the foam in place.

I do this over a box so as not to lose any ground foam. I also like to do this outside so my layout room doesn't smell like a hair salon!

Above is an in-progress shot, showing trees with ground foam and trees without.

Done! My trees with real trees in the background.

These aren't the greatest trees in the world. Up close, they wouldn't pass muster. But I employ the three-foot rule on the M & M Sub., so that's OK. Plus, I find that when you plant a number of them together, they help create the illusion of a forest or wooded area.

One thing I wanted to do was to create an even better "tree tunnel" on the upper level, just outside of Nance. The former tunnel was OK, but still too see-through.

The "tree tunnel."

I find that placing view blocks in front of trains, on the layout edge, helps create an illusion of distance. It also breaks up the scene into discrete spaces.

I still could use a few more trees, but that will have to wait until fall and the next crop of spirea comes in.

Click here to read more about how I make trees out of Sedum.

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