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Making Trees with Wire

Step Five : Adding Leaves

Ah ! A lot has been said and written on this subject. Many products can help you here, and I'm far from the expert.
To make a naked tree (dead trees or trees in winter, autumn), you can leave the tree as it is and just spray paint it. You can make it even nicer by adding extra branches from nature. Several bushy plants have roots that look fabulous as model tree branches. you can glue these into your tree, and cover with some plaster/tile glue where needed.

When the whole tree is finished, you can add extra drama by spray painting it. This too is a time-consuming process, but it works wonders. Start by painting the whole tree dark grey (almost black) or very dark brown, depending on the result you want. Then start adding more spray paint colour as you go along. Look at trees in your garden or in nature to see how nature "paints" its trees in summer, winter, fall,... Not just the leaves, but also the stem and branches. A coating with dark green (the one-celled moss that covers most tree stems) looks convincing, too. Make sure you mix your colours right before you add them to the tree.

Leaves are not my specialty, but I discovered a superb product that makes the most wonderful leaves : birch tree seeds. When you roll a seed cone in your hands, it breaks down into individual 1/35 or 1/15 (120mm series) scale leaves. All you need to do is spray paint them.

There are several diorama wizards on Armorama who can advise on leaves. There's plenty of specialized products on the market, not to mention what mother nature and your wives spices and herbs cupboard can offer you !

Options : Snow

There are several ways to add snow, and several threads in the diorama forum deal with these. To add snow on a tree, you need to make sure it looks 'real". That means adding snow to the big branches and the stem, as well as to the small twigs.

In the example tree, I sprayed a mixture of white glue with water on the tree, and "snowed" microballoons over that. It looked splendid. But for two reasons I'll never do this again : the microballoons are a very unhealthy product that irritated my eyes and throat for several days. Enough reason to ban this from my household forever ! Since they are very light, they spread all over the place. You could achieve the same result with other products like talcum powder or dry shampoo powder. Avoid all edible products like flower or starch : they attract unwanted visitors (bugs !) and colour yellow/brown after a while.

The same thing happened to me with the glue. Don't just use any white glue to add your snow. I'd suggest you add white paint to the glue, to avoid discolouring.

Good luck, and have fun with this!

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About Jan (GeneralFailure)

I live in Belgium, Europe. Though modeling was big on my list of hobbies, I spent all my time refurbishing the home we bought a few years ago. I promised I'd be back some day. That day can't be far off, now.