*
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
September 20, 2018, 09:17:40 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Recent

Author Topic: Thicket Tutorial Part 2  (Read 417 times)

Offline kingsmt

  • scientist
  • Posts: 323
Thicket Tutorial Part 2
« on: July 03, 2018, 09:30:44 AM »
After I had finished and posted the original tutorial, I had some thoughts on some additional information that I will share here, now.

Generally, when you encounter wild bushes or thicket in nature, it is inter-weaved with several similar bushes. This forms a tight interlocking of impassable tangle.
Rather that attempt to portray this buy planting one bush at a time, I decided to use the craft sticks as a base and just hot glue the various armatures closer together, allowing the strands to interlock with the bush next to it.




I used the same process, I just worked faster. I sprayed the armatures on entire stick and really soaked them. I used a combination of 3 different flocks to get the right early autumn color that I wanted. I used medium green, autumn gold and a fine darker green. When using flock that's not fine powder, it helps to rub the flock material through your fingers, so that it turns to a finer consistency.
Over-sized blobs of ground foam will just ruin he piece, so grind it up as much as you can before sprinkling it on. A little planning beforehand goes a long way.





Additionally, the way that you apply the flock matters. Start about 6 to 8 inches from above and sprinkle slowly over the bushes. That will allow the flock to separate and spread out, resulting in a more even coating. As mentioned previously, a couple of cheap sets of salt and pepper shakers are perfect for this. Buy glass, not plastic, if possible. It's easier to see what's inside and the metal caps allow a better flow, than the plastic shakers do. They are usually 2 shakers for a buck at the 99 cent stores. You can pick up hair spray while you're there. In fact you can probably get everything you need to do this in one trip.

I use Avery labels to record whats in the salt shaker. Especially with custom mixes. If you don't use labels you'll forget what the formulas were and you won't be able to duplicate the mixture. I have recycled plastic Chinese food containers labeled "Saratoga Mix" or "Cowpens Mix" with the formula printed on an Avery Label attached to the container.

Once you've made your first pass and coated all 4 sides and the top, then it's time to spray more hairspray. Spray the entire piece again. If you detect bare spots then apply more flock. Give it as many coatings as you need to make the bushes as full as you want them.

Let everything dry overnight.






When your ready to resume, hold the bushes over the plastic shoebox and tap the craft sticks so that the excess flock falls back into the shoebox.

If you're satisfied with the result, lock everything in with a spray of Testors Dulcote. That will reduce any shine from the hairspray and provide additional
adhesive to hold the flock onto the armature.

I intend to mount the craft sticks onto some MDF cuts and to build up terrain around them. I'll probably insert small trees and rocks onto the MDF and generally tart up the bushes. I think that this method would work for making Bocage.







15 MM TREES
This is for my good buddy Rallynow and anyone else who works in 15 or 20 mm.

Using the same process, you can make outstanding trees for 15 and 20 mm figures. This works better if you are making individual trees. However, it is easier to do 10 or 12 trees at a time.

After cutting the sisal string into 2-3 inch pieces, dip the stem into the glue as far up as you want the trunk of the tree to be. Let it dry overnight.

When you get to the last step of the process, stop!
Before you apply the flock, you're going to paint my "tree bark" mixture all over the trunk, where the PVA was applied.

The mixture is outlined below.
TREE BARK MIXTURE:
For a small project of 10 -12 trees.  

Approximately 1 ounce of Liquatex Resin Sand Matte Modeling paste.
You can use any brand matte modeling paste. I prefer the Resin Sand.
Add enough dark brown, acrylic paint to the paste and mix it until the paste turns dark brown.
Now add some fine sand or very fine Model RR ballast into the mix.
Mix in a little at a time, until the paste becomes grainy.
Finally, add a squirt of PVA into mixture. About a thimble full, is enough.
Mix thoroughly with a sturdy stick and tweak the recipe, if need.
If the paste is too thick, then add some ordinary tap water, until you find the right consistency. Remember, you're going to paint this onto the trunk later.

Using an old paint brush, apply the tree bark all over the stem covering all the glue. Put it on thick and let it dry for a couple of hours. Apply a second coat, if needed or if you just want a thicker trunk. Once completely dry, rip out a piece of newspaper ad wrap it around the trunk. This is going to protect the trunk from the hairspray and flock, so make sure the scrap newspaper is thick enough to absorb the hairspray without damaging the trunk.

Now is the time to form the strands of the sisal into a tree shape. Pull and tease it out until you're happy with the outline. Don't be afraid to use the scissors here. Cut off any offending strands and generally shape the "branches".
Once that's done, attache the trunk to a washer or poker chip or whatever you use as a base for single trees. You can always mount 2 or 3 together on your base.

Now complete the process by spraying the hairspray on the top and sides of your armature. Do this while holding the tree by the washer or base.

I suggest using leaves here, as they will give you the best result. Both Heki and Noch make excellent leaf products.


Once again, sprinkle the flock from the top. Don't go as heavy as you did on the thicket and allow some bare branches to show through. Real trees are airy and see through in spots. Nothing looks worse than a tree packed so densely with flock, that the tree looks like it's wearing a hat!! Let's avoid that.

Repeat as necessary, but go lightly at first. You can always add more flock later.
I would not spray any more than twice. After the first pass, shake off the excess and allow the tree to stand for a bit.

Check it out. Does it look good, as is? Does it need a full second coat, or just a dusting in spots? Use a toothpick to move branches around and to remove unwanted pieces of flock.
Let it sit and dry while you move onto something else. Come back in an hour or so and give your trees a second look. You be surprised how good they turned out. If not, back to the hairspray.

If they look good, remove the paper from the trunks and drybrush the trunk with a light gray acrylic paint. Another light touch is needed here. Make sure that you have wiped off as much paint a possible, before drybrushing.

Once you've finished drybrushing then you are done. Admire your beautiful trees and congratulate yourself on a job well done!






Offline Neunfinger

  • bookworm
  • Posts: 96
Re: Thicket Tutorial Part 2
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2018, 05:13:52 PM »
Thank you for sharing this wonderful technique. I just tried it and it works really well. I found that you can also use Islandic moss for low thickets using the same technique. Again, thank you for the great tutorial, I had a great time trying it out.

Offline kingsmt

  • scientist
  • Posts: 323
Re: Thicket Tutorial Part 2
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 03:33:31 AM »
Great to see that someone got some use out of it.

Offline FifteensAway

  • mastermind
  • Posts: 1843
Re: Thicket Tutorial Part 2
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2018, 03:23:36 PM »
Be sure you use ODORLESS hairspray!!!!!!!   That stuff's odor, the scented kinds, lasts for decades! 

Offline kingsmt

  • scientist
  • Posts: 323
Re: Thicket Tutorial Part 2
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2018, 07:50:14 PM »
AquaNet super hold, UNscented hair spray is the best brand to use.