Trees, trees and more trees

Inkaneer Oct 29, 2020

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    There are many tutorials on You Tube about making trees but time becomes an important issue when modelling an eastern Appalachian railroad that requires a lot more than just a few. I looked at the so called 'puffball' trees, even tried to make some but they did not impress me as being realistic. They looked like, well like puffballs. So, my question is, has anyone tried the plastic trees available from China and marketed on Ebay? From the photos they look pretty good and could look even better with a minimum of work (spray painting a different color of green and maybe adding flocking). They are cheap enough, usually less than $0.20 per tree and with free shipping. Ideal to populate a large area. The 8 cm trees are roughly 3.15 inches and represent a tree about 40 feet in height.

    Here are some examples:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/300-Pieces...802985?hash=item3da4145ce9:g:7bQAAOSwcwRez5Wm

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/200pcs-Mod...669389?hash=item3d96d6df8d:g:fZ4AAOSwomJdwnrO
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  2. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I have quite a few and if you look in my small layout build thread near the end you can see some. They are pretty good looking but they are small. Only about 2" tall. Which is good for new growth but not for an old forest. They did really make my layout look better, but some variation in size would have been nice. For the money they were not a bad buy.
     
    BarstowRick likes this.
  3. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    they are -okay- , you will have to spread them out a bit after you unpack them from thier squashed bags ... i have similar trees, but for HO size, from we-honest [sp?]
     
  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's a good quantity for the price and a fairly quick way to populate a forest. Just a thought here. Site says they are about 8cm (3.14 inches) tall. You might want to maybe look at some HO size as well to get some height variety there.
     
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  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I looked at the Ebay HO listings. The price rises significantly as the trees get taller. Besides, trees that I see all seem to be about the same height. In a forest they compete for sunlight and nutrients and while they all try to have as large a leaf canopy as they can their neighbors are doing likewise. So the competition seems to regulate growth and maintain a status quo on height and breath of the leaf canopy. Forty to fifty foot trees are quite common. Besides, being packed together as they are, it is difficult to tell the actual height of the trees.
     
    BNSF FAN likes this.
  6. wvgca

    wvgca TrainBoard Member

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    you can vary the height to get the coverage desired ... on my HO layout i used some 2 - 3 inch, but mostly 3 - 4, with a scattering of 5 inch ... it's actually pretty hard to tell the height difference from close to straight above ...
    should be someplace on here under 'Squirrel Creek', or second layout ..
     
  7. locomcf

    locomcf TrainBoard Member

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    I've bought quite a number of different Chinese trees from ebay, but never found any that I was totally happy with. In the end, I've resorted to buying plastic tree armatures (also from China) and reworking them to produce trees that I'm happy with. So far I've made about 100, but I have a lot more armatures on order.
    These photos are "before" and "after" images. I've included a step-by-step instructions on my Gulflines FB page at https://www.facebook.com/GulflinesOperator
    These trees are fairly time consuming to make, and cost me about USD $0.60 each to build. They're probably not the best solution for a dense Appalachian forest, but could be placed on the edges of the forest, with less detailed trees in the background.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
    Joe Lovett and MK like this.
  8. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    The cost of $0.60 per tree is a deal breaker for me. There are other trees available on Ebay for much less and they look a lot better than the puffball trees. I don't think there is anyone who produces trees that are economical as well as scale representative of a real tree. So we have to make do with what is available until something better comes along.
     
  9. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    This is the reason I went with jewelry wire and medical tape to create my spooky tree for my haunted module. I just wanted an Oak armature that didn't cost $15!!
     
  10. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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  11. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    Along those lines, this forested helix cover is mostly just Great Stuff foam, painted and foliaged to look like tree tops.
     
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  12. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    That's kind of what a friend of mine did on his HO layout. He basically made a perimeter of trees and Filled in with tufts of whatever foam and foilage he had to create a super cool looking Appalachian mountainside fall forest scene.
     

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