How to Make Model Railroad Trees for Your Background

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The process of creating clusters of trees for your model railroad landscape scenery doesn’t have to be painstaking; in fact, it can actually be enjoyable if you use the proper methods. With the right techniques, you can build an entire wooded area of Aspens and other deciduous trees in just a few hours. In this lesson, we teach you how to make model railroad trees with ease and at little cost, so you can spend less time worrying about building forests and more time on the focal points of your scene.

How to make model railroad trees in no time

To help you take the cost and stress out of buying and planting commercial trees, expert modeler Doug Tagsold demonstrates a simple method he utilized in his model of D&RGW Railroad, which you can use to make bunches of inexpensive scale deciduous trees. The trick in learning how to make model railroad trees for a low price is to purchase cheap materials and improvise. In this case, Doug teaches you how to use sugarbush as a stand-in for the thin, towering Aspens that are found throughout Colorado and many other parts of the country.

Sugarbush is a tall shrub that can be purchased at any hobby or craft store for next to nothing. Doug shows you how to make model railroad trees using a few pruned branches of sugarbush by intertwining the stalks and bunching them together with masking tape. The goal in learning how to make model railroad trees with sugarbush is getting these bunches to look as natural as possible without overstressing their realism. After all, these trees will be used in the background, and not front and center.

Once you’ve created multiple Aspens from the sugarbush, Doug explains how to glue them together and properly paint over the taped areas so you end up with simple, attractive trees that can be used to fill out your next landscape scenery. Learn how to make model railroad trees with Doug’s technique and you’ll never have to pay for a commercial tree again!