First finished trees for Port Rowan

Port Rowan - trees
(A tree towering over the billboard on Bay Street completes this scene, which welcomes visitors to the layout. The billboard is my layout’s Establishing Shot)

Recently, a friend on Facebook shared a photo he took during an operating session at my house a couple of years ago. When I looked at the photo, I realized it included several twisted wire tree armatures in the Port Rowan scene. And then I realized that those same trees were still in the “twisted wire armature” stage.

Now, I do like to plant the tree armatures and leave them in place for a while before finishing them, so I can determine whether I like the arrangement and whether they will interfere with operations. After all, crew members have to reach in to the scenes to uncouple – and some will use their left arm, while others will use their right.

But two years is more than sufficient time to determine this, so my friend’s Facebook memory was a call to action. Therefore, I decided it’s time to finish these trees. I started with four trees that are in the foreground of the scene.

This tree – about 10″ tall – is positioned in the meadow, near the apple orchard. It’s in front of the yard throat – but that actually means it’s out of the way of operators, because no uncoupling takes place there:

Port Rowan - trees

A shorter tree to the right of that tall one also has a smaller footprint, keeping it out of the way of operators:

Port Rowan - trees

This tree – also around 10″ tall – is located next to the garage in Port Rowan. It’s across from the station and, again, in front of a turnout where uncoupling will never happen:

Port Rowan - trees
(Note the row of wire tree armatures in the background. Those are next!)

A parting shot – the tree behind the billboard at the end of the Port Rowan peninsula:

Port Rowan - trees

I think the tree and the Airstream trailer nicely capture the mood I’m trying to create.

11 thoughts on “First finished trees for Port Rowan

  1. Need to put you in charge of spring planting operations here in Ocean View — wait a minute these are models not the real thing!

    Great work.

  2. Trees are looking great and appropriately monstrous, Trevor. In your large-ish S scale, they be somewhere between a grapefruit and a volleyball in volume, which makes the wispiness and detailed texture all the more impressive. Correctly sized and distributed trees are one of those elements that makes the difference between ‘trains run through that world’ and ‘there are trees on that toy train set’.

  3. Stop it, Trevor! We’re wise to what you’re doing! Those are NOT photos, they’re exquisitely detailed paintings. So detailed that no one can distinguish them from reality. Nothing can be that perfectly executed and photographed.

    Or, can it be? As in an earlier post when I talked about the art and craft of modeling, that these scenes are fine art.

  4. Very nice trees Trevor. Do I detect Selkirk leaves used in the process? I really like your thinking you are putting into placement as well as looks. Just to orient me, operators can work from both sides of this part of your layout? What side (from photos) is the primary operators position? Really coming along nicely, dare say impressive.


  5. Hi Trevor, Your trees are the most realistic I’ve ever seen in photos or in person.
    Fantastic job. I’m sure they each take time, but are well worth it
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Gord

  6. Isn’t this a benefit of having a manageable layout size?

    You quickly got the tree armatures up, which stopped the layout looking bare. Now you can go back and “bark up” a few trees at a time, and also add foliage, etc, and replant them.

    If your layout was larger, you would probably add foliage nets to those wire armatures, and judge the overall effect to be acceptable.

    With a much larger layout, then puffball trees would be become very attractive to you: the prospect of adding bark and decent foliage would be too daunting to consider.

    Yet another example of why modest layouts are a good idea.


  7. Hi Trevor:
    Boy that is a nice looking tree, good job…but the billboard is awesome…you really did a nice job setting the location of your layout…George

    • Thanks, George!
      I can thank Barry Silverthorn for the billboard. He produced these in S back when he ran Grand River Models, and he helped with the artwork for this billboard. I gave him the image (found online) and the words, and he came up with the perfect font and layout.

  8. And there was me thinking it was permanently winter…..
    Those trees certainly looking stunning, the size helping to give that effect too.

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