Monday, August 3, 2015

Modeling an orange grove (Final part)

 This installment completes my orange grove project. Although it is a relatively small spot on my layout, I had to build 50 orange trees. For this grove I only explored two methods of upgrading ready-made trees from Woodland Scenics and Life Like. The cellulose sponge method as described by the Corona Model Railroad Society will be explored on the next grove.

Initially I only had 15 Life Like wire-brush trees, so I needed to add clump foliage to some 35 deciduous trees from Woodland Scenics (# TR1502) These trees are 1 1/4 to 2" tall, but compared to an almost round orange tree, they looked rather bare.

I tried to glue the foliage with carpenters white glue, but quickly found out that it took too long to set and that the foliage clumps did not adhere well, ending in a real mess.
Hob-E-Tac adhesive from Woodland Scenics proved to be the ideal glue for this project. Although it sticks to almost everything, it holds the foliage clumps tight in place.

I already used this adhesive successfully when I covered the San Juan Capistrano depot with vines.

I filled the tree with clump foliage until it had its distinctive round shape

After the adhesive had dried I sprayed the trees with 3M (or similar) spray adhesive and rolled them into a finer grade of foliage.

The final step was an overspray of strong hairspray and then I sprinkled the Woodland Scenics oranges all around.

After the whole batch had dried overnight, they were ready to be planted.

Before finishing the project I continued the orchard on the backdrop, adding one small Woodland Scenics (#TR1501) deciduous tree at the beginning of each painted row

The smaller trees in the left center of the picture above give a bit of distance to the scene. When inspected closer, they could as well be young orange trees.

If I compare the two tree types I would rather use the Life Like trees again, because they already have the round shape needed for mature citrus trees. The filling in of the bare spots on the Woodland Scenics trees takes more time, but therefore gives more variety in the shape of the trees.

Well this resumes my orange grove project. I'll concentrate on finishing my country road and concentrate on another important scenic element for Southern California - palm trees. I have a bunch of ready-made and kit palms, but I'll also try to build some from scratch.

Stay tuned!

Oh, BTW. I thank all my faithfull followers of this blog for their precious help and advice all along this project.