David Trussell

Building Fir Trees on the Greeley Freight Station Museum

David Trussell
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Duration:   6  mins

David Trussell knew they needed to plant many museum quality trees. To do so, they developed their own techniques that fit what the museum required. David has discovered a great way of mass producing trees that he will demonstrate in this video. With wooden dowels, he first shapes them on a sander to a point. They come in different lengths, and you can buy them in groups of 100 and can cut them with a bandsaw, which takes no time at all.

Once a group of them has been cut, he binds them together and drops them into a two inch pvc pipe with a plug on the end that has a dye inside. This dye is made from a mixture of distilled water and four tablespoons of Higgen’s Indian ink. He dunks them in and lets them sit for about two minutes or so, and pulls them out and lets them dry overnight.

The next step is to start adding the foliage to the prepared dowel. For the foliage, he uses a stripping pad that you can find at most janitorial supply shops. It’s a very tough material, so you must take care not to hurt yourself when using it. To protect both pointer fingers and thumbs, David uses little finger covers that can be bought at a stationery store. He tears pieces off the stripping pad and spears them onto the wooden dowel, similarly to making shish kebabs. Once he gets to the top of the tree or point of the dowel, he shapes the stripping pad into a point to create a fir tree like appearance.

To learn how to model aspen trees and oak trees, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.

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