Saturday, April 9, 2022

Trees, trees and more trees...

After getting the new power wrapped up from the last post I decided to get back to working on the Whitewater Creek scene.  I'm still working on making more Reeds/Cattails, but decided to whip a bunch of Supertrees for the area.

I sat down over several nights, picked out and pruned several dozen trees for the area.  

While pruning the trees, I wound up with a bunch of smaller twigs, not wanting them to go to waste, I saved them separately and planned to use these for saplings as well as filler material once I get the main trees planted.   

Spent another evening steaming about half of them so I could straighten them out.  I did this by using a teapot with boiling water.  I tried this last time but did not get the best results.  A little research on the subject this time uncovered a video showing a guy doing it the same way, but he held the trunk with one hand and tweezers in the other end and kept the trees stretched for about 10 seconds after pulling it away from the steam.  This worked great!

Next came a soaking in a Matte Medium bath.  I do this so the trees soak up the mix and when they dry, it gives the trees a nice coat of Matte Medium.  Since Matte Medium doesn't dry hard like regular PVA does, instead it stays kind of rubbery, this helps to keep the trees from being brittle and falling apart.

Some folks will dip the trees in a Glycerin mix to help keep them from being brittle, I just happen to like Matte Medium.

After the trees dried, I took them out in the garage painted them with two colors.  I started with a gray primer and shot the trunks, and then I follow that with Krylon Camo Brown and shot the branches and slightly misted the brown over the gray trunks.  I feel that this give them a nice darker gray/brown look on the trunks.

I guess I shouldn't have shot them on the pink foam, the color doesn't show up very well.

With all this done, the next step is to start covering the trees with ground foam for the leaves.  I plan to use about four different shades of green to vary the color of the leaves, since not all trees are the same color of green.

Here's one of the freshly painted trees next to a tree that I did a few years ago.  You can't go wrong with Supertrees!

"I'm the Lorax and I approve these trees!"


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