Salt Bush Tree - Tutorial Notes

Building technique:

  • Use a large trunk section,
  • Use smaller twigs to create the branches that branch of the main trunk,
  • Try to angle each small branch in an upwards direction as if it is growing towards the sunlight,
  • Using something like a ‘hands free soldering arm’ will greatly help in building the tree.

Applying the branches:

  • Mount the trunk on the soldering arm,
  • Use regular super glue or gel super glue and baking soda,
  • Apply glue to the tip of the branch or the trunk in the spot you want the branch to be positioned, use a liberal amount of glue,
  • Press the branch carefully into position and hold,
  • Whilst the branch is in the desired position at the desired angle continue to hold it steady and with the other hand sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the glue, the glue will cure instantly and you can then let go,
  • Now the branch is held you can let go of the branch and finally finish sprinkling soda around the rest of the branch where it connects to the trunk,
  • You can then immediately blow away the excess soda and continue the process of adding branches until you have the desired coverage.

Coloring the tree:

  • With all the branches in position lightly airbrush the tree with a light grey/brown focusing on the areas where the small branches connect to the main trunk,
  • Only apply a light covering of paint in order to help blend the branches and trunk whilst also covering up the glue and baking soda

Adding foliage:

  • For a sparse tree, lightly apply spray adhesive to the branches and dip the tree in a tub of course ground foam, continue spraying and dipping until the density is to your liking,
  • For a full tree, using poly fiber carefully tease the fibers out until they are extremely thin, place the poly fiber over the tree focusing on the areas you want covered in foliage. Now apply the spray adhesive and lightly sprinkle the course ground foam over the top of the tree. Continue spraying and sprinkling the course foam until you get the desired density and coverage.

Additional detail:

  • For added detail you can give the tree a final coating of a leaf product. Noch leaves, MP Scenery Products Leaves or Treemendous leaf products are a few that I have used and like,
  • To add simulated sunlight you can either add a light sprinkling of woodland scenics fine turf over the top, I generally use ‘Burnt Grass’, or you could mist the very top of the tree with a flat yellow paint either from a can or your airbrush being sure to only hit the tree from the top down and be sure to only apply a very light coat. It’s always easier to add more but if you need to remove it you’ll need to pull all the poly fiber and foliage off again,
  • You can also add graffiti that has been carved into the base of the tree using a pin, hobby knife or a fine tip marker pen,
  • A tire swing or rope swing is another interesting detail that can add life and character to your tree.

Downloads:

Download the files associated with the project. All files are included in a zip for convenience.

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