Last week I ended by saying I might work on the Blacksmiths building or make a tree. I decided to make a tree.
Although the Mill is a tall building it is based to the left and I felt height and colour were needed to the right of the base for balance. I figured the only way to determine this would be to make a tree and then take a view on things once the Blacksmiths and Barn buildings are in situ. I figured the worst that could happen is I’d make a tree I either didn’t like or wouldn’t use. The thing is I was in the mood to make one and the nice bit about dioramas is you can flit from one thing to another and still be making progress.
First up was making the wire aperture for which I used florist wire bought on eBay. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to make trees and I’ve even done a blog post of my own on the subject way back so I won’t go into all the details on how to bend and twist the wire. However, if anybody plans to make one of their own and wants links to relevant articles just drop me a comment and I will duly oblige.
Having created the wire framework and shaped it into something I liked the look of I then set about covering the thicker branches and trunk in Milliput which, once dried I began to scratch up for texture. Normally I would have wire tree roots too but on this occasion decided to just fix the tree to a very basic base for stability and add roots later when it is properly based.
Next up was adding smaller branches for which I used Seafoam stuck to the various parts of the tree using superglue. The joints were then hidden using filler which is the white you can see in the image below.
Once dried I then began to get the base layer painting done for which I used Burnt Umber acrylic. Apologise for the blurred image below but I’m sure you get the gist.
Base layer paint applied it was then about applying washes, for which I once again turned to oil paints, followed by dry brushing.
The tree I am trying to recreate is an English Oak. In colour terms they tend to lean towards grey rather than brown and they invariably have ivy all over the trunks into the branches. I wanted to create that look and used teased out twine and flock to simulate that as best I could. This was followed by applying flock to the Seafoam branches.
The below images are where I am at the moment. In truth I’m not sure if I am happy with it. I need to think things through and might be able to make adjustments to the point where I am more satisfied. Then again I might just start again and hopefully make a better one. Worst case scenario I’ve wasted a weeks work but the thing with dioramas and modelling generally is, with or without experience, not everything goes quite according to plan at the first time of asking.
For now I’ll give further thought to the tree and while I’m doing that I’ll start painting the Balcksmiths building.