Furnace Filter Trees
You will want to make up several of the trunks prior to starting the branch stage.
I save all of my "dead" paint brushes, most of them are already a tree trunk shape.
So grab all of your potential tree trunks even the broken ones.
Branches - Conifer Type A
Pull apart the layers of the coarse filter to separate small thin layers of branches. Again, make up a bunch so you don’t have a lag in your production run. You want fairly small and sparse branches.
Remember that they don’t have to be perfect as you will be trimming them later. Plus if you trim them after the flocking is on, you will have some great looking dead fall for around the base of the tree when you mount them. It is also good for doing repairs as the colours in the flocking will match.
You will only need a very small amount of the fine filter material for each tree; approx. the size of a dime.
Starting with the small piece of the fine material, pierce each piece of the filter material onto the trunk.Build up the tree using small pieces into the basic tree shape. Putting larger branches on the bottom and the smaller ones near the top.
Working in nice fairly close layers will produce a spruce tree. Alternating a larger piece then a small piece with a fair amount of white space will give you nice pines. Experiment a bit before the glue stage. You can also stop part way up and finish the top half using the sisal method in the next chapter.
The branches will be quite loose at this point, so once you have them all where you want them, holding the can pretty close, spray some glue onto the trunk and give the tree a slight spin rolling the trunk between your fingers. This will ensure the branches are glued to the trunk. Let them all dry overnight.
Although they are all very fragile at the starting stage, they will be much stronger after the paint and subsequent coatings of glue, flocking and lacquer are applied.
Now that the Glue has dried, you are ready for paint. Prior to this stage I do only minor trimming of the branches, they are much more useful to you for dead fall, ground cover, small bushes, etcetera, if you trim them later on. Sometimes you need to spot glue another branch in place, but then again irregularity in your forest will make it look much more realistic. Let any touch-ups dry before you paint.
Having always been somewhat backwards in life, I start with the flat black spray paint first and coat the whole tree black. I let that dry, then I use my brown primer over top. Sometimes I go thin to show more of the dark under coating, and sometimes (depending on the actual colour of the primer) I spray it thicker. At this stage the trees look almost exactly like a pine bark beetle infestation has gone through your forest.
I now use what ever detailing colours I have to finish it off. Sometimes one is lucky to find a suitable spray paint, sometimes you have to use a paintbrush and your acrylics over top for more detail or for doing touch-ups.
A tip though; when all is finished, looking up from the bottom of the tree, the branches need to look bare and brown. The flocking stage will cover the top part of the branch. Just like real trees you want your needles to be where the sun shines and the underside bare. So make sure you cover the underside of everything with paint.
If you read this all through before you started you’ll notice a fair amount of glue on the newspaper left over from spraying the branches.
Read the next section and have your toothpicks and some sisal ready.
Then have two separate pieces of newspapers spread out; one for spraying glue over and one for flocking.
That way you can use your cut sisal and do some salvaging of the glue.