Thursday, February 12, 2009

Pine Tree Parts and Base

Okay, Dusty the cowboy is there for size comparison of the base, which is about 8 inches long by 4 to 5 inches wide. I'm planning on basing about 5 trees in a rough semi circle. The base is thin sign plastic cut and painted, including the edge, in green. Woodland scenic grass was applied on top of a coat of white pva glue and allowed to dry. Next came a coat of Woodland Scenic Flock and Turf to give it a look of dead leaf fall for under the trees. My method is to use Kel Seal elastomeric patch, brushable caulking. It is basically caulking you get in tubes but in a 1 gallon bucket (about 30$) and I apply it with either a Popsicle stick or my finger tip. It has the advantage that I can tint it with paint before I apply it or put it straight onto the base. I pour the flocking on, the ROLL a rolling pin over it to smash the flock into the Kel Seal. Set aside and allow to dry overnight. Next day light brush of loose flocking off and the remaining covers very well and is durable.
My pine trees will be permanently attached to the bases rather than be movable as I do with my typical Trees with forest underlayment bases. Pine trees are a bit more fragile than my deciduous trees. So large Tote trays will hold the large bases safely, though I thinking of magnastock in the bottom of the totes and metal bits on the bases... more thought and testing ahead.
Tall Pine Trees do not Hot Glue to discs worth mentioning. I had serious problems with bumping them when hot glued to discs breaking off that I sought out Nail wall fasteners, clipped part of the nail off as pictured to the right. Drill a hole into the base of the pine tree about an inch. Tree glues down and over the nail. This gave me a rigid base to affix to the forest base. The thickness of the nail fastener is almost an 1/8th of an inch, yet this is proving easy to fix with some putty to be covered with dark flocking to represent the thick ground cover of dead pine needles and branching that litters the base of all pine trees not recently in a fire or even after a fire, the ash build up leads to the accumulation of a cone pile of some depth till the tree gets over 15 feet or so. Overall , I like the strong base attachment of the fastener over any other method I tried.

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