Creating Realistic Model Railway Trees

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Duration:   2  mins

Allen Keller describes Dick Elwell’s scenery as “state of the art.” Unlike most modelers, Dick doesn’t use sawdust, zip texturing, ground foam, or poly-fiber to create model railway trees. He has advanced from these techniques and uses 90% wild oregano for the foliage on his Hoosac Valley model railroad layout.

Creating Realistic Model Railway Trees

In part four of the 10-part Hoosac Valley series, Dick Elwell gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to create model railway trees using wild oregano. Dick uses oregano on all of trees on his layout, but in this video he demonstrates how to specifically create a foreground tree.

The materials needed to assemble these model railway trees are wild oregano, wood or water putty, thread, a metal pin, an X-Acto knife, India ink and various types of paint. You will need to combine several pieces of oregano to form a tree and bind them together using regular thread. Once the bundle is formed, Dick demonstrates how to paint the oregano and provides information on the best type of paint to use for this step. Next, Dick applies the water putty to the trunk with his hands. He suggests some tips for executing the best application. You may have to cut the trunk to size after the putty dries. After, you will drill a hole through the bottom to place a metal pin. The pin will help hold the tree in place in the scenery. After the putty dries, Dick demonstrates how to scribe the product using an X-Acto knife to resemble a trunk. The last step is to paint the trunk and to add India ink to highlight the scribing.

Creating model railway trees is just one of the tutorials Dick offers in the Hoosac Valley series. As it continues on, Dick provides more tutorials on weathering and detailing. His tips and tricks will help you develop your model railroading skills so keep watching to learn more from Dick.

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