The trees are deadwood? Part 1

May 15, 2011

To recommence the narrative of making trees using the tree armatures, I was now up to sticking foliage into place on the armatures. I applied Hob-e-tac onto the branches and boughs, only going far enough along until a fork:  – if there was no fork, then I went down halfway:  . I then tried to remove excess glue by wiping it off with the same brush I was using to brush it on. I didn’t want it too thick as that would require a longer waiting time until the Hob-e-tac had reached the correct level of tackiness.

I had elected to wait ninety minutes for the right amount of Hob-e-tac tackiness before applying foliage, as previous experience had strongly demonstrated that the fifteen minute wait advised by Woodland Scenics is not long enough. While waiting, I prepared the foliage. I had both clump-foliage:  which I’ve worked with before, and also foliage clusters:  . The clump-foliage was ready for application, straight from the bag. The foliage clusters were not…in fact, when I took it out of it’s bag, it was a single, solid block. “Perfect for bocage!” I thought, but that was the Western Front, not the Eastern…

I began tearing off and breaking off clumps that were to become the leaves of my trees:  . It wasn’t too hard to get these pieces into position and have an armature looking good:  . I commenced by starting with the crown of the tree, where I’d put a sizeable torn-off piece of foliage cluster:  and then I would work down the armature vertically, one facing at a time:   . After about half an hour, I had eight good-looking treesusing both types of foliage:  and after an hour, only a tiny piece had fallen off:  . Things seemed to be boding well!

After 24 hours, it was time for a review. There had been some dropped foliage, mostly from a tree where I had used large foliage clusters to model the leaves:  . In retrospect, I had probably chosen a lazy way to make some of the trees, using such big torn-off pieces of cluster foliage. The weight of them was probably too heavy for the small amount of Hob-e-tac that had adhered to them. My thinking at the time had been that a big piece could cover 7-10 armature points and the tree could be finished in a couple of minutes…what I probably should have done was use smaller pieces that only covered 2-4 points (and the tree would take longer to complete). Even so, one tree modelled with clump-foliage had also lost some clumps:  . I decided to put these two “less-leaved” trees aside for later repairs, and press on with the six good ones:  . The next stage was to spray them with watered-down PVA glue (using the proprietory Woodland Scenics’ Scenic Cement, no less) to make doubly sure everything was glued on and holding tight. That was when everything began to turn bad.

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