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Help with Model Railway Trees

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  onlyonepinman 1 week, 4 days ago.

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  • #1652014

    onlyonepinman
    14131xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I have a question, wondering if anyone can help.

    I recently bought quite a lot of model railway trees from Wish and Amazon (it turns out that Amazon were Essentially selling pretty much the same items as wish because I can’t really tell amy difference in quality).  Being fairly cheap bulk deals In wasn’t expecting perfection and was expecting a little work to need doing, and that exactly what has happened, however I am scratching my head a little as to how I proceed.

    The problem is this.  They are essentially a plastic skeleton that has been dipped in flock and quite a few of them are shedding, quite badly.  I am sure I can fix that hy relocking the branches but I am wondering how can I stop it from happening?  Has anyone had any experience with this?  Is there something I can treat them with, some kind of spray adhesive or substance maybe, that would help bind everything together?

    Any suggestions appreciated

    #1652016

    blinky465
    15131xp
    Cult of Games Member

    From flock to static grass – to keep it in place, flood it with watered down PVA 😉

    #1652075

    demonsub
    4547xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I got a load of Noch model trees which sound similar to your trees I.e. plastic skeleton with foliage added and yep they were shedding quite a bit. I fixed this with spray can varnish ( I used matt citadel as it’s what I happened to have lying around). I must have used over half a can on 15 trees, I was quite liberal. Problem mostly solved now, very little shredding (you’ll always get some).

    But yeah watered down pva with a touch of washing up liquid as a flow aid works. You need a good spray bottle though that will give a good mist and not dribbly stream as I had (hence the us of the varnish instead).

    #1652077

    panzerkaput
    20388xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Hairspray works and then a coat of watered down PVA spray

    #1652078

    jamescutts
    3106xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Not much to add on the excellent suggestions above. My addition would if you have a large quantity try the above methods on a test tree first.

    Flooding it with PVA works great, but it runs the risk of reactivating the glue (as I found out once) make more flock fall off.

    Spray can varnish can also work well, I’d pick up some cheap and cheerful cans of yacht varnish or similar from the pound/dollar store. Again I’d suggest a test piece to see if you like the effect and to see how well it works.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by  jamescutts.
    #1652107

    collins
    12557xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Ive been using 50:50 mix of PVA and matt varnish (eg ronseal varnish…but use a cheaper one) and then watering it down so it sprays. the results I have had are good. multiple coats also don’t reactivate previous layer as viciously as they would do with just PVA so I can do a layering effect to strengthen it further.

    #1652126

    onlyonepinman
    14131xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Some really awesome suggestions.  Because I have so many I kind of need something quick.  I have three trees (by far the worst offenders of the bunch) that I am testing out a PVA mix on and I have also ordered a tin of spray varnish to test out on a couple of others.

    If the PVA works I can probably mix a bucket full of watered down PVA and dip them.  If not then I will hope the varnish works.

    I am interested by the hairspray idea, I might pick up a cheap can from the supermarket tomorrow.  If that works then it could be a possible solution, however I wonder how permanent it would be as my experience is, being personally quite vain, that hairspray is not particularly long lasting and can end up being quite sticky if it gets wet.

    #1652240

    somegeezer
    13441xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I remember Mel the terrain tutor recommding spray adhesive. I have Blu Tack permanent spray though I’ve never used it as I’m a terrible hobbyist

    #1652242

    onlyonepinman
    14131xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I used to be in the Terrain Tutor’s Facebook group but it started getting really argumentative so I left, otherwise I would have asked there.  However I knew the OTT community wouldn’t let me down and I have plenty of ideas to be going on with

    #1652285

    somegeezer
    13441xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I’ve only rejoined Facebook recently and not really done much with it. One to avoid then 🙂

    #1652295

    cuirass
    3837xp
    Cult of Games Member

    Have you thought of using Woodland Scenics scenic cement? It is sprayed on and fixes the flock in place. Probably more expensive than PVA and hairspray but is specifically designed for the job.

    #1652387

    avernos
    Keymaster
    26396xp

    interesting comments, I’ll throw my tuppence in.

    Woodlands Scenic Cement or it’s home made alternative is your best bet it will dry rock solid and matt.

    PVA watered down, next best, you will need to add IPA, washing liquid, or some other surfactant to help it soak in without making a swampy mess and watching all the foilage fall off.

    Spray Varnish/hairspray will give you a thin “shell-like” layer that will hold it on but not robustly

    Spray adhesive, most of these are great for putting on foilage, and poor at holding it on, it often comes out very stringy so you will want to test the spray before you use it on a tree, you will also likely want to dush with flock to hide the spray, think of it as a less effective varnish coat in that it won’t give the same even coverage.

    #1652394

    onlyonepinman
    14131xp
    Cult of Games Member

    @avernos I had a go with watered down PVA on a couple yesterday and it’s sort of worked, but it doesn’t feel as hard as I would like – it didn’t wash any of the flock off but it’s still quite soft in patches.  I have ordered some spray sealant that I am going to test out and I will feed back if it’s any good, I have a feeling it’s going to be very similar to the woodland scenics stuff

    #1652440

    avernos
    Keymaster
    26396xp

    aye if it’s still soft it hasn’t penetrated, that’s why you need something in there to break the surface tension.

    #1652442

    jamescutts
    3106xp
    Cult of Games Member

    I sense a perfect Idea for a “Showing you how to make cheap trees good” episode being formed in this thread 🙂

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