Palm trees - Step by step guide.

Discussion in 'Building Questions, Tutorials and Guidebooks' started by muller, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. muller

    muller Active Member

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    As promised, here's my guide to scratch building a palm tree for a PTO diorama. :) Sorry about the quality of the pics, but you'll get the idea!

    What you'll need : Wire to base the trunk on, coathanger wire is perfect. Masking tape. PVA glue. CA (super glue) Some newspaper. Fake plant leaves. Suitable colour paints.

    1. Cut the coathanger wire to the length of trunk you want. These two are about 9 inches long. (So for a 1/48 scale dio, this tree will be 36 feet high!)

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    Two wires twisted together.

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    2. Tape the wires together.

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    3. Wrap the taped wires in masking tape till it gets to the required thickness you want, make it thicker near the base of the trunk.

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    4. Get a length of masking tape and twist it to make a long skinny strand of tape with the sticky side out.

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    5. Wrap this around the trunk in a loose spiral.

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    6. Wrap another strip of masking tape around the whole trunk, pressing it down between the spiralled tape.

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    7. Tear some newspaper into thin strips (about an inch across). And run some PVA glue along the length of the strip.

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    8. Wrap the glued newspaper strips around the trunk, a fair bit of glue is required here, press it down between the spirals.

    Now here's something I discovered by accident. As the glue dries, the glue soaked newspaper starts to come away on your fingers, it gives the trunk a rough realistic look and texture.

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    9. Prime the trunk, I used a grey rattle-can.

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    10. Paint the whole trunk with a light brown/grey colour.

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    11. Dry brush the whole thing with a light sandy colour.

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    12. Dab a dark brown colour on in places with a piece of sponge. (Or dry brush this if you like)

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    13. Now for the leaves, I bought these fake plant leaves at my local hardware store.

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    14. The leaves I bought were too big, so I cut them in half and trimmed them into a palm leaf shape, then cut the fronds into the leaf with a blade.

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    15. Stick about 5 or 6 of the leaves together with superglue.

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    16. Then stick these to the top of the trunk, and add the additional leaves on top of these. There are about 25 individual leaves on this tree.

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    Thats it! As I said, not very difficult! This method could quite easily be used for other scales too.
     
  2. Catch22

    Catch22 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Muller!
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great work M! It's a simple guide, well explained and illustrated, and a straightforward method. Thanks mate!
     
  4. Heinz

    Heinz Active Member

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    Great stuff mate thanks!
     
  5. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Great stuff Muller!
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Excellent Muller! Now your next task is to replicate a diorama of one of these scenes! :D 8)
     

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  7. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    great stuff Muller
     
  8. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Nice work...well done muller!:D
     
  9. 109ROAMING

    109ROAMING Active Member

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    Great Stuff mate!:thumbleft: Nice shots Andy!:D
     
  10. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    With all here.:cool:
     
  11. muller

    muller Active Member

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    Thanks fellas, now i want to see loads of palm trees in the PTO GB. :lol:

    Nice shots Andy, it'd give me a good excuse to build another P-40 8)
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Yeah, but you might have trouble replicating the knock-knees of the guy in the middle on that first pic!
     
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