by: Rick Cooper [ ]
introductionThis 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.
ContentsThe 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.
constructionScenic 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.
ConclusionIf 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.