How to make simple Palm Trees.

View previous topic View next topic Go down

How to make simple Palm Trees.

Post  ShawnGehling on Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:41 am

Remember there are numerous types of "Palm Trees"... This is more like the coconut
palm tree seen in the tropics...

Making Palm Trees in 1/35th scale

Step one: Gather the items needed to make the trees. The following is what I use and you can modify this to your own needs.
1. Wooden dowels (various sizes).
2. Floral tape (green) one (1) inch wide.
3. "Squadron green putty".
4. A pair of scissors (Don't use the wife's good ones).
5. "Elmers" white glue (or a reasonable substitute).
6. "Exacto" Razor saw (or one like it).
7. Picture hanging wire (available at any hardware store).
8. Paint: ("Pactra" X-29 flat battleship grey) or any green-grey mix.
9. Paint: A slightly lighter green.
10. Paint: Clear coat flat (any brand).
11. Paint: Any wood color of your choice (for damaged or broken trees).
12. Paint: Thinned black (black wash).
13. "Exacto" pin vice drill and small bits (or any similar small drill and bits).
14. "Super-Glue" or another fast acting multi use glue.
15. "fine" grit sandpaper.

Building the tree trunks:

Step two: Cut the dowel starting with the largest (I start with 1/2 inch) for the base. This should be cut approximately 2-3 inches long, with a slight taper at one end. This will give your palm tree a slight bend. (Look at pictures of palm trees, they don't grow very straight).

Step three: Cut the next dowel (I use a 5/16 inch). This should be cut approximately 2-2 1/2 inches long, with a slight taper at one end.

Step four: Cut the next dowel (I use a 3/16 inch). This should be cut approximately 1-1 1/2 inches long, cut straight on both ends. (I usually cut three or four trees at a time, this way they can be put together at the same time, and won't all look the same, as you can vary the size and angle of your cuts).

Step five: Glue the three pieces together (for each tree) and let them dry. I stand them in an old piece of styrafoam, but you can use what you want? (See figure 1).

Building the palm fronds:

Step six: Take the picture hanging wire, cut it into sections approximately 2 1/2 inches long. Unravel it, so you have single pieces of wire. There are five strands of wire in the stuff I use, so you can make five fronds from each section of wire.

Step seven: Cut floral tape approximately 3 inches long. Place the wire (centered) on the tape approximately halfway down the middle of the tape (leave the wire a little bit short of the halfway mark). Fold the tape over onto itself. It will stick to itself but nothing else. (Now you should have a square of tape with a stand of wire sticking out of the center of it). (See figures 5 & 6).

Step eight: Take the scissors and trim the tape to the desired shape of your palm frond. Now cut notches in the sides of the palm frond, making sure that you don't cut all the way through into the wire. (See figure 7).

Back to the tree trunks:

Step nine: After the glue is dry, take your tube of squadron green putty and cover the dowels. This will give you the bark for your palm tree. (See figure 2).

Step ten: When the putty is dry sand the tree trunk as needed? Go top to bottom, bottom to top, not sideways, this will give you some texture if you feel you need it. Palm tree bark is reasonably smooth, but does show some cracks.

Step eleven: Paint the tree trunk with your green-grey paint. (Look at palm trees and see they color that you want). Some are more tan than grey-green, but it is up to you.

Step twelve: After the paint is dry, take the tree and roll it in the notch of a pair of scissors. This will give you the growth rings that show on the palm trees. Make the ones lower on the tree wider (spaced apart) than the ones closer to the top of the tree. (See figures 3 & 4).[/img]


Step thirteen: Next, take the black wash and paint over the entire tree. Wipe the black wash paint off, so that it only stays in the recessed areas and the growth rings. Give the tree a coat of flat clear.

Step fourteen: Take the pin vice and drill out holes in the top of the tree. If you are ambitious, you can even drill a few holes diagonally in the side of the tree right near the top to add more palm fronds. (See figure Cool

Step fifteen: Cut the wire only enough wire is left to place in the hole that you just drilled.

Step sixteen: Super glue the wire in the holes. (I always start with the holes farthest from the center, so the top most palm fronds cover the wire of the ones closest to the edge. (Make sure that you use the longest ones closest to the edge or down the side, as they would be the older ones and shorter ones closer to the center, these should go from left to right and so on to cover the other palm fronds). After the super glue dries, you can bend them into the shape you like. (Since the palm fronds have wire in them, they will hold whatever shape you put them in). I try to place 7 to 10 palm fronds in the top of each tree. (Use more if you are planning to drill in the sides). I always make extra palm fronds as you might want some placed on the ground.

Step seventeen: You can give the palm fronds a coat of paint or leave them the natural green color. I often give the palm fronds a black wash to blend them with the tree.

This (palm frond method) can be used for ferns also. I use the 1/4 or 1/2 inch floral tape for the ferns that are also on the jungle floor.

You now have a finished tree. (See figure 9)

Here is an old LVT Dio that I did for the USMC (Currently on display at the AMTRAC
Museum at Camp Pendleton California.

Enjoy and Happy Modeling.

Platoon Commander
Platoon Commander

Posts : 1037
Join date : 2009-05-11
Age : 56
Location Location : Langley, Washington USA

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum