Monday, 30 May 2011

Latest 'borrowed' idea

Just to let you know what I've been doing over the last few days. I decided to make another couple of hills for the soon-to-be-completed boards, (weather permitting of course, but if todays flying wet stuff is anything to go by...?) While I was making one I had another light drizzle -wasn't powerful enough to be called a brain storm- why not make a wooded hill? All well and good but trees in 6mm? Haven't got any. Then a sepulchral voice came into my head, 'Remember Matakishi' it said. Of course, one of the items there was how to make 25mm from skinned twigs and chunks of kitchen scourers, or Scrubbies as I've heard them referred to. I had previously scaled down the idea for 10mm using barbie skewers,(the wooden type not the doll), so now I went a step further by using cocktail sticks.

Now I'm not going to give you a picture step by step because it's self explanatory. Buy scourers and toothpicks costing about £1 for a pack of 4 including a tub of sticks. Paint sticks in your tree bark colour. Pull off decreasing sized chunks of scourer -you normally get 2 trees and about four or five layers per stick. Push largest piece over pointed end of stick and push down until near the bottom. Continue with smaller sizes of scourer until only one is left. Blob some PVA underneath the lowest piece to glue it in place then put a blob on the top of the stick. Push last piece onto stick making sure point is covered. When the glue is dry you can give tree a quick dry brush if required.

Now I use polystyrene bits stuck to thick card and covered with strips of masking tape and PVA and sand to make my hills, so making holes in them was simple enough using a pin vice with the right sized drill bit inserted. Dab of PVA in the hole to secure the tree and Robert is your mothers sibling.

This particular example is about 6" X 4" and about 3/4" tall at highest point. I have included a British Army Warrior for scale.

This third pic shows a copse of just a couple of trees stuck to pre-terrained circle of laser cut MDF with the Warrior again for scale. (Not my best pic this one.)

I am also trying to make some deciduous trees by using cocktail sticks and some clumpy green stuff. The idea worked until I dipped said trees in a PVA water mix when most of the stuff fell off. Not to be deterred I tried again with a little more success. Left them overnight to dry. Found out this morning that there had not been enough PVA in the water and that the foliage was still relatively soft. Bo**ocks! Added some more PVA and had then Devil's own job mixing it...then read the bottle and found that the this particular brand of PVA is water resistant. Senior Moment or what? Eventually got it mixed reasonably well and have dipped them again and left them till tomorrow. Not holding my breath this time to be honest.

In the meantime I timed myself making some more scourer trees. Allowing for the fact that the sticks were already painted it took me no more than 15 minutes to make 6 trees. How simple is that?