St. Williams trees (+ “belly barrier”)

My recent work on tobacco kilns has put more focus on the St. Williams scene, and I decided it was time to build more trees. So I’ve also been working on twisting armatures – a great project to undertake while vegetating in front of the television.

I have done 28 and while they still need to be gooped and adorned with a canopy, I can already envision how they will improve the scene:

 photo TreeLine-StW-01_zps5c3471c2.jpg

 photo TreeLine-StW-02_zps8a212dd9.jpg

It’s a fair reach into the layout to plant the trees behind the grain storage building – so to protect the cornfield along the front edge of the scene I cobbled together a quick “belly barrier” from styrene sheet, scrap wood and a couple of clamps:

 photo CornProtector_zps38664893.jpg

It’s crude but it does the trick.

Layouts swallow trees – even big trees like these – distressingly quickly. I’ll need another two dozen trees (plus saplings, bushes, etc.) to complete this area. I can do a half-dozen armatures in an evening before my hands become tired of twisting wire, so I’ll be doing more of these over the coming week or two…

6 thoughts on “St. Williams trees (+ “belly barrier”)

    • As I said, Ian – it works just fine. My belly isn’t that big.

      When I need to lean across the layout, it does a fine job of keeping my torso from crushing the corn.

  1. I’m impressed with your trees and wonder if you could suggest a resource with instructions. I’m interested in wire gauge as well as techniques.

    On the same topic, have you ever used Scenic Express leaf material? I wonder how it compares with the supplier you recommended in another post.


    • Hi Eric:
      If you search my blog for the term “Gravett” you’ll find several references to the scenery books by Gordon Gravett. These are my sources- and by far the best trees I’ve seen.
      I use 22 and 26 gauge florist wire. A bit of 22 in the trunk does wonders for sturdiness, while the finer wire is easier to bend into the shapes I like.
      I have no experience with the Scenic Express leaf material – but I really do like the Selkirk Leaf Co products. In fact, I’ve just ordered a dozen or so more bags for future tree and bush production.

      • Thanks so much! It looks like Gravett’s books will have to remain wish list items for now due to availability and cost in the States. The Selkirk products look great and I will consider them when the time comes. I appreciate the info on wire gauge and feel that I can at least start playing around with some wire with what I know now.

        Thanks again, Eric.

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