Sagebrush for tree armatures.
Here are a couple of pictures showing how well sagebrush works for making trees. After trimming the sagebrush to the desired shape, I either use clump ground foam (woodland Scenics) and a glue gun. It is a little time consuming, but works well. You can also use polyfiber. Stretch it over the sagebrush in small areas. I then I use the finer ground foam. What works for me as an adhesive is the cheapest hair spray, I have used Spary Net, and after spraying, I shake the desired color of foam onto the poly fiber. Spray again and add more foam is needed, and after the tree looks the way you want it, a final spray to seal it all up. To set the tree, I use a short piece of brass rod. I drill a hole in the center of the bottom and super glue about a half to five eights length of rod into the base (trunk) of the tree, and then drill a hole into the scenery where I want the tree. I prefer the brass rod because if you accidentally bump the tree, the rod will not snap off. If you need to get into an area to do work, the trees are easily pick up and moved out of the way, and then replaced when the work is done with no damage to the trees. The sagebrush give a great impression of bark on the tree. They're a bit of work, but worth the trouble. Fortunately we have an abundance of sagebrush here in Montana. I have shipped it to friends all over the country.
I've always been amazed at the realistic texture of sagebrush trees. It makes the ideal tree armature. Sadly for me, there's not a lot of sagebrush floating around here in the Hoosier state.
Nice work! I use to live in Livingston and had an abundance of sagebrush just driving minutes away from my house. I'm a few hours away from any of that since I moved to Oregon. Perhaps when I'm stuck in a siding meeting the fleet I could step off and get a big bag of it and take it home with me.
Does it get brittle over time or does it hold up well?
I had a good friend who used to be maintenence supervisor for Burlington Northern in Livingston. It can get a little brittle over time, but nothing I can't live with. A few years back I had two big requests for sagebrush, one from the owner of a large layout, and the other was a large model railroad club. No problem finding sagebrush out here. Filled up a 30 gallon trash bag in no time.
Originally Posted by h8_1601
Last edited by montanan; 08-15-2012 at 09:50 AM.
I have a pretty much unlimited supply of it. It makes great kindling. I will have to try some out to see how it works.
Last edited by blvdbuzzard; 08-30-2012 at 08:52 PM.
Reason: having a hard time spelling
For us non-westerners, we have ScenicExpress.com. They offer the stuff in bulk at a fairly reasonable price. For added variety, try varying the material you use for the leaf canopy. Finer grades of ground foam work, but try using Noch leaf foliage for a more-defined leaf structure.
Here are some helpful links:
SuperTree brand sagebrush - bulk
The Noch foliage can be viewed here
I have had very good results using these products.
Here is a shot from the layout which has some trees and vines made using both of these materials -
Last edited by PApat; 10-05-2012 at 06:26 PM.
I do vary what I use for foliage, and have used some of these products. I just wish that I had a decent hobby shop close by. Nothing for hundreds of miles that is decent. I had a pretty good stock of Woodland Scenics products, but do order some items from internet hobby shops when I can find one source that can supply everything that I need.
Originally Posted by PApat
I recommend the ScenicExpress.com site. I was referred by others, and they have worked out well for me.
Will have to check them out.
Originally Posted by PApat
I have used bare sagebrush as a winter tree thusly: