In-Box Review
Pine tree kit
Pine Tree Kit 16
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]

This is a quick add on to James review of the Scenic Factory Diorama Foliage and Ground Cover review earlier this week.

I had the chance to actually try building up one of The Scenic Factory pine trees this weekend and thought I would go ahead and shoot a few photos. Hopefully this will give everyone an idea about how easy these things are to construct.

The kit, PTKM-01, comes with a set of two 16" to 18" pine trees and all the branches you will need and then some. The trees scale out to 45 footers, so if you are going to use them for a diorama, make sure you have some decent headroom on the shelf or you've got a problem!

The instructions are pretty easy to follow with some nice photos to help you along, but once you put the first branch in you really won't need much further direction.

The trees come packaged in a heavy duty poly bag, with the two trunks well packaged inside, wrapped in bubble wrap and then wrapped in heavy brown postal-style wrapping paper to protect from any breakage. You get two blister packages of plumosa fern that has been treated with a glycerine protectant, one of large pieces, the other of slightly smaller pieces. One small blister package has empty branches for dead fall, and you get a T-pin to make holes. The long tapered trunks are coated with a bark texture material that looks really convincing. The trunks are balsa inside the tough coating.

Scenic Factory recommends strongly that you create some kind of stand and a way to support the trunk, which despite the bark coating are still only balsa remember, when adding branches. I took a 3/8 drill to a piece of scrap 2x4 and I'm glad I did, it made the process MUCH easier.

Take the T-pin, or some other suitably sharp instrument, to make a series of holes in the trunk. Take out a piece of the plumosa fern, dip it into a spot of white glue and insert it into the hole you have made. Repeat as necessary.

Really, that's about it. I started out holing the trunk with a series of 3 or 4 holes around the trunk about every 3/4 inch or so; it wasn't long before I realized I needed a bit more than that or I would end up with a really sparse tree. I would recommend every 1/4 to 1/2 inch or so for a really full, healthy looking tree. Work from the bottom up and in an hour or so you will have a really nice looking tree. Don't forget to add in a few of the bare branches for the inevitable dead fall branches that pines are so famous for.

One of the things that I appreciated was the amount of plumosa fern, I built up one tree but I still have about 2/3rds of the fern that I started with in both containers.

If you are looking for some easy pine trees to add to a diorama look no further. These are incredibly simple, and extremely convincing. The glycerine coated plumosa fern should hold up for years and looks great.
Highs: Very easy to build. Lots of material, trees look great, well packaged, easy to follow instructions.
Lows: Maybe a bit pricey, but remember you have to pay for quality and these look really nice.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: PTKM-01
  Suggested Retail: $49.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 06, 2013

Our Thanks to The Scenic Factory!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright 2021 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. All rights reserved.


They do look good, but as stated, at $50 a bit pricey. Wouldn't it be much cheaper to buy a bunch of fern at the local florist and make your own trunks with acrylic modeling paste brushed on balsa sticks?? Not too much extra work required.
MAR 07, 2013 - 05:01 AM
Biggles2, I am on both ends of your posts, I am the one also doing the large diorama. On the trees yes $50 does seem like alot but when you break it down not so bad. Price includes shipping which is about $10 by itself because of box size, which knocks it down to about $20 per tree and there is enough material supplied to probably build 3 trees and they are large, the trunks are textured. When your done running around collecting everything then building (also preserving plumosa to last isn't as easy as everyone thinks) $20 isn't that bad for a tree that looks as good as these, but as always its personal choice, they are out there if someone wants.I'll answer the other post in the other column, thanks - John
MAR 07, 2013 - 05:40 AM
Nice review. It does seem a bit pricey but for $20 a tree they look very good, and saving time on material gathering increase their value for me. I figure I'll buy at least one set and try them out. Matt
MAR 07, 2013 - 05:53 AM
Thanks Matt, I think what throws everything off is that they are sold in sets of 2 which makes it sound like a $50 tree,(its difficult to supply just enough material for 1 tree, everyone will build them different) if I sold them for $15 per tree w/o shipping that would probably sound great until you got to checkout and got nailed another $10 plus these are good sized trees intended for dioramas not mass plantings, because I do supply enough foliage I will start adding a 3rd trunk the 18" and 15" kits -thanks again -John
MAR 07, 2013 - 06:02 AM
please be aware,my order came to $63.80+$22.30 p/p.i have just been left a grey card from the post office,before they deliver I have to pay 18.86 import duty.worked out very very expensive.
JUN 06, 2013 - 02:05 AM
All I can say is John has a customer for life.
JUN 06, 2013 - 02:29 AM
update on my purchases from the scenic factory,Plumosa/Asparagus Fern Large Package,Pine Tree Kit 11"-13" (set of 3).well what can I say,fantastic bit of kit, the pine trees are awesome, the fern is the best I've seen, enough to make an extra tree, the packaging was A1 and the instructions are said, you pay for the best. Its a shame I had to pay taxes, but that's not mr hoenig's fault. Would I pay taxes and buy again, YES I WOULD. Product 10/10,but we need a uk supplier. Thanks mr hoeing, for a superb product.steve
JUN 07, 2013 - 01:01 AM
Stephen, Thanks for the kind words and positive review and I apologize for the import tax (they just have to squeeze money from everywhere)I am currently looking for a UK or overseas supplier if anyone knows or has contacts. I ship 50% of orders overseas. On another note I will be carrying the Stalingrad line of 1/35 figures and RB Model products shortly as well as harder to find products here in the US Thanks again - John
JUN 07, 2013 - 07:15 AM
Nice kit. But this reminds me of another feature article done 2002 ; LINK
JUN 09, 2013 - 06:19 AM

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