Friday, July 1, 2011

Trees - Part II

My parents have been visiting Longreach this week for Darling Daughter's 5th Birthday so railways have been interrupted, despite being on half year school holidays.  Nevertheless, I have managed to get a few hours in here and there and progress has slowly been made on a couple of projects.

One of these projects has been the tree to show Amity how to do it.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the step between the last picture of Part I and the first of this series but basically you keep twisting the wire down into smaller and smaller branches and then solder them all to provide a degree of stiffness.  I had originally thought about adding some lower branches but in the end left them off.

The first picture of this series shows the finished tree having been washed to get rid of the flux residue (water as hot as you can stand it, soap and an old tooth brush) and then painted with some grey etch primer to give the next step something to key to.

The next step varies from person to person.  My preferred method is to use the product shown in the above.  Not sure what the UK/US or other places product is.  It is a water clean up, flexible filler which usually comes in white, but I discovered about 15 years ago, also comes in brown making it a bit more of an ideal base.  As it is flexible, I don't solder the branches solid as I am then able to make adjustments depending on the final location of the tree - I don't make trees to fit places to order, I make trees as something to do and then use them on layouts so the tree has to be made to fit!

The last photo this time round shows the first coat of filler applied.  It does a good job of filling in the wires and smoothing out some of the more un-typical lumps and bumps of the branches and trunk.  Depending on how well it goes, it maybe enough at this point to then paint with artists acrylics or oils depending on preference.  This one will get a second go of filler before that step.  The filler dries darker than this - I will try and remember to take a picture of the dry before I start with the painting!

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