"Shoofly" Free-moN module (2'x6')

MC Fujiwara Feb 22, 2012

  1. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    How many strands to make up that tree? Can you give me an idea of it's overall size? Looks great and has me daydreaming...
     
  2. y0chang

    y0chang TrainBoard Member

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    MC On that first picture of the completed tree, the foam might be a little dense on the top right side, but that might be the angle of the picture, on the layout it fits right in. You might want to try a variation with the main forks lower to the ground and the branches more horizontal. I'm no horticulturalist and every tree is different so its totally up to you. Thanks a lot for sharing details of its construction.
     
  3. TetsuUma

    TetsuUma TrainBoard Member

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    The tree in the cow pasture had me thinking. You might want to muddy it up under a tree as the cows ("Moo-ushi" :) - I should probably leave the puns to you) will go there for shade. You also might consider a small fence around the tree. I know horses will scratch against trees, eventually killing the tree and causing sores on the horses but I'm not sure about cows. It would be a nice detail, however.

    Keep up the outstanding work.

    Andy
    Tetsu Uma
     
  4. SinCity

    SinCity TrainBoard Member

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    Wow....if it wasn't for the background clutter, the scene looks very realisitic.
     
  5. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    I started with 3 stripped lengths about 7-8 inches long:

    [​IMG]

    Probably ended up trimming about 1-2 inches by the end, but I figured it's easier to cut away than to add on ;)
    I'd have liked a few more wire branches (and so less polyfil), but as this one is pretty big, the same amount of wire should be fine for the rest.
    Maybe 6-7 inch lengths.

    This tree ended up about 4" tall and 6" wide:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [I kinda like how the Mt. Coffin & Columbia River layout is now proving useful as a "backdrop" diorama]

    I intentionally made it large as it's a single oak on this side of the module and compositionally (counter) balances out the hill and future trees on the opposite / kitty korner side.
    The rest (on the hill and one between the vineyard and river) will probably be about 3" tall and 4-5" wide.

    The bamboo skewer does make the trunk a bit straight, and I'll be using shorter ones for the rest.
    The sawdust / glue does a good job of making knobs & bumps in the trunk, and I planted this tree at a slight angle (you can see it leaning right).

    I'm definitely going to trim the bottom a bit, maybe expose more wire branches by pulling the polyfil/foam completely (or nearly) off.
    That should reduce the "puffball" appearance and show off more of the nifty trunk as well as the cows lounging in the shade underneath.
    Once I plant it I'll spread some more dirt & make it look more "lived in".
    Should be a very moo-ving scene.

    Thanks for all the ideas, suggestions, and comments!
     
  6. TetsuUma

    TetsuUma TrainBoard Member

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    And . . . BOOM! goes the dynamite.
     
  7. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Don't have a cow, man.
    Even if the jokes are udderly pun-ishing, I'd like to think there's no bull.
    ;)
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. That is a nice sized tree.

    Question- Once you'd twisted those wires, was there any need to glue or solder the bundle? Or is it tight enough on its own?

    Well, I am inspired... Now to get brave and to the work bench. I need to do some apple trees, evergreens, alders and......... Sure wish I'd taken some good closeup photos while out and about in the woods!
     
  9. NCDaveD

    NCDaveD TrainBoard Supporter

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    That Oak is great! The wire twisting trees I tried some time ago did not turn out any where as nice as this one. The polyfiber removal/subtle alterations really did the trick.

    The module is looking wonderful..

    NCDaveD
     
  10. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Wrapping it is enough to keep it in place while you twist the rest of the branch wires.
    After that, the whiteglue / sawdust mixture does the trick ;)

    Can't take credit for the technique: this dude Jos from The Netherlands makes amazing trees with wire & glue.
    He uses some cut up European aquarium filter material for the smaller "branches": I just tried to use what's on hand, which is polyfil.

    Looking forward to seeing your trees!
     
  11. y0chang

    y0chang TrainBoard Member

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    One idea for your photography is using a painted or even blue unpainted foam board as a quick backdrop. You can clamp it to the side, and bam instant backdrop.
     
  12. dave n

    dave n TrainBoard Supporter

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    The tree looks outstanding. I've made oaks using that technique, but you used alot more wire strands than I did so it looks better than mine. Also, I like the sawdust & glue step - I soldered mine then spray bombed them w/ grey primer. I'm going to try a few w/ your technique, thanks for sharing!
     
  13. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Dave & y0chang.
    Definitely gotta get a better backdrop than a piece of white foam core & my garage door.
    Dave: the glue & sawdust trick turns "meh" trees into "mahvelous" ones (or at least it does to the trunk).

    I pulled some foliage off some lower branches & trimmed some others:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not a huge difference but a little lighter & airier underneath so you can see the trunk, roots & future cows better.

    Anyone see the latest addition to the module in those last picts?
    It's super tiny, super detailed, and a super "selling" addition to the model:

    [​IMG]

    That's right!
    A super backsaver turnout throw detail by super David K. Smith & NZT. (still needs some weathering)

    Just showed up in the mail today (Monday) from Chuck at Feather River (ordered it on Saturday, too: dang Chuck's good!) and had to go on the module lickity split.
    (Though now I'm having second thoughts about adding a super-fine (and a wee fragile) detail so early in the game. Oh well!)

    The SP tank car showed up in the same box as well.
    Heck, if you have to pay for shipping, you might as well... ;)

    Ok, tomorrow I'll string the fence.
    Promise.
    Really.
    Unless work gets busy.
    Or I build another oak.
    Or...
     
  14. TetsuUma

    TetsuUma TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not having a cow and I don't have a beef with you. I stand in awe of just how punny you are. I enjoy seeing you milk this for all it's worth. :)
     
  15. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Moo-ving right along.

    Spent this afternoon blowing my eyes out while stringing a wire fence with E-Z Line:

    [​IMG]

    There's Bessie, laughing at my efforts after an hour.
    (That's what it took to figure everything out and do the lower wire all the way around the cow pasture)

    Luckily, I figured out how to do it much faster, so the second wire took only about 15-20 minutes.
    Then I decided to share my new-found wisdom and make a video (first one on my iPhone), so the third wire took about an hour (15 minutes without all the video broo-haha).

    So here's me rambling for about 8 minutes, along with a rising-crane-helicopter-seagull-on-speed shot of the completed fence:

    [video=youtube_share;aU_6tj-2f50]http://youtu.be/aU_6tj-2f50[/video]

    [Hmm... picture's not quite as clear as before exporting to YouTube... Will figure it out!]

    As my little doohickey to attach the iPhone to the tripod hadn't arrived yet:

    [​IMG]

    And for those of you who wisely bypassed the blather, here's some shots of the finished fence:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Haven't quite figured out what I'm going to do with the wire that runs off-layout.
    Stiffen it and hope it stays?
    Posts?
    A place for cows to escape?
    Hmm...

    Not sure if you can see, but I also planted that oak & fixed some dirts around the base.
    The roots look cool.
    I'll see if I can't get a close-up tomorrow when the glue dries.

    Anyway, my eyes are shot, so I'm going to take a break and play some Wii with my son.
    Or take a walk.

    Thanks for looking (and listening, if you dared).
     
  16. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    MC,
    Lots of dairy farms have opening between posts to allow machines through, etc. Under these gates are grates that the cows apparently can't cross. Google should give you some good images.
     
  17. TetsuUma

    TetsuUma TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen cattle guards done with railroad rails (in real life) but those are usually used at roads. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandstep/114286939/ You could also glue a fencepost to the edge of the module to tie off the fence.
     
  18. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

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    You could leave it as is, looks good, but if you want more how about a walk through gate.
     
  19. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

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    How about you plant a bush at the edge and call it a day? A beautiful day, too, even Bessie will agree...:)
    VERY nice work!
    Otto K.
     
  20. MC Fujiwara

    MC Fujiwara TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for both slogging through the video and for all the suggestions for ending the fence at the fascia.
    Right now I'm hesitant to put a gate, post, bush or climb-over right at the edge, as things get knocked off pretty quick during transport, set-up & take-down.
    So I just clipped the wires at the last post and I'll let the viewer's imagination extend them off-module.
    The anti-cattle crossing gate could work on one end, I'll just have to mock it up and see how I feel about it.
    I'd rather not draw too much attention to the edge.

    The oak tree is, of course, a mighty oak, and is firmly rooted in it's beloved Northern California soil (i.e. between Aileen's super tacky and the diluted glue for the dirt it's pretty firmly planted & really not going anywhere anytime soon on its own).

    Now that the fence is up, the cattle rancher has release a few more heads from his herd into the pasture:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks, Joe Fugate, for the corner-post brace idea.
    Its little details like that that are easy to do, add some realism and break up the pattern of purely vertical posts.

    I'll redo the cow pond near the end and add more cows, but otherwise the cow pasture is pretty much hunkey dory for me.
    Thanks for looking, and for sharing all your thoughts & suggestions.
     

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