Trunk & base
Cut base to shape
I usually use mounting board, because it gives a stronger join when
the trunk is stuck into it.
To stop the tree falling over so often, it is best to weight the base
down. The ideal way to do this is a metal washer with a large enough
hole in the middle to fit the trunk through, as this will allow you
to stick the trunk down with the stronger 'embedded' method. Alternatively
use a coin (I generally use the UK 2p - which is cheaper than many washers).
The disadvantage of this is that you will have to stick the trunk on
top, which isn't
Stick tree to base (the embedded method)
need to be stuck down at this stage, using plenty of PVA
(or epoxy resin). To ensure that
trees are well stuck to mounting board, cut a rough hole in it with
a scalpel which is slightly smaller than the trunk. Put PVA
around the hole and force the trunk in. This will create a much stronger
junction than just sticking it on top.When the glue has set use a scalpel
to trim the trunk flush with the bottom of the base.
Stick tree to base (the 'on-top' method)
you are using a coin in the middle of the base to weight it, then you
won't be able to embed the trunk. Instead you will have to stick it
on top. Don't use anything other than epoxy
resin for this, including a glue gun.
To get a strong bond, make a grid of fine scratches on top of the coin.
You can strengthen the bond by packing epoxy putty around the base of
the trunk, but this shouldn't be necessary if it has been properly glued.
One option is the arid basing method described
here, but any sort of sand/flock type arrangement is suitable as the
trees are fairly generic.
There are two options for foliage:
is a difficult substance to find, but ideal for foliage which comes
as an inch thick sheet. Tear chunks off, or cut them with a good pair
of scissors. Then tease the clumps out slightly to give it a wilder
look. Put a few large blobs of PVA on the twig and then glue the horsehair
to them. (If you spread the glue too thinly, you won't get very good
It is a yellowy brown colour which is almost useable untouched, but
this effect can be improved by dabbing lots of watered down dark brown
emulsion paint to the tops and sides of the horsehair, before sprinkling
them with flock.
It doesn't have the stiffness that horsehair has, you can drape it
over twigs, but you can't easily make a free standing bush out of it.
It has to be painted, and painting it is very difficult, the paint
tends to come off, leaving obvious shiny areas.
It doesn't have the messy 'bushiness' of horsehair
The disadvantages that steel wool has compared to horsehair are:
Having said all that, it has been used to excellent effect in the
example above, and these larger
trees. It can look good, but it takes more work. To paint it,
you will need to apply several coats of brown spray paint. Then paint
it with PVA and flock it liberally.