I have now finished another batch of trees for Simon, AKA Bigredbat, having used some new products and gained new knowledge in the process, eg soak the Seafoam for ten minutes before use, which makes it easier to handle, especially when I use my tree making method of tying them like I would a fishing fly. I found that I could, after securing a small frond, do a figure of eight to separate the two stalks to look like two branches.
There are two products which I have used for the first time, Flexi-Bark and Scatter Grip, and I must say that I enjoyed the experience. Having soldered the trees to a coin base which I built up with Milliput, forming it into what looks like a root system, I finished off by adding some Flexi-Bark at the base of the trunks and along the roots which hides the transition from trunk to base. This product is also great for thickening up the smaller branches.
I finished the trees by giving them a good spray of dark green, a coat of brown, then a light spray of greenish grey. The bases were painted a dark brown as per instructions from Simon who is going to finish them himself to match his terrain.
When it came to adding foliage, I didn`t want to spray as I would do for trees with tightly packed branches like the olive trees, as I didn`t want to get scatter on the branches and trunks, so I bought some Scatter Grip, and was surprised at how quickly I was able to finish the foliage, and I was a happy bunny at the result.
For the haystacks I made a master from Claydium from which I made a mould using RTV101 rubber, the same stuff I use for casting white metal figures. It`s not the best type of rubber to use for a peel off mould, but it was all I had at the time and I thought it would be OK as long as I kept it fairly thin. On taking it off the third cast, it tore, so I had to make another. I used car filler as the casting medium, a big blob into the bottom of the mould, squish it about a bit to coat all the inside, then leave it hanging in a jar to cure which doesn`t take long as I tend to go heavy on the hardener for that reason. I use the same to make the roofs for buildings.
I made some smaller stacks from a couple I made and cut down, making a small mould from the first one, because, who knows when I may be called upon to make some more. All were given an undercoat of black, dry brushed with yellow ochre and finally yellow ocre/white mixed (see photo).