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Poly Fiber trees

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  • Member since
    February 2017
  • From: Harrisburg, PA
  • 646 posts
Poly Fiber trees
Posted by hbgatsf on Sunday, December 10, 2023 8:15 AM

MANY years ago I read an article on creating a tree covered hillside by using poly fiber.  I am finally getting to the point of using that technique and have a question about the material.

Micro Mark sells it in black and what I would describe as a garish green.  Woodland Scenics has it in a lighter green/olive color.  Since you put another layer on top of it the color of the poly fiber is adding depth.

What is the best color to use?  Is there another supplier to consider?

Rick

  • Member since
    June 2008
  • 117 posts
Posted by PennsyLou on Sunday, December 10, 2023 11:30 AM

I just finished rolling a bunch from the Woodland Scenics material - you really don't notice the poly fiber below the leaf layer, but I would go with either the WS olive color or MM black and avoid the "garish green".  I would imagine there would be a subtle difference in how the black vs. olive turned out so you might want to do both for variety.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 21,442 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Sunday, December 10, 2023 12:42 PM

I do static grass, and one thing I think works very well is always working with a variety of colors and lengths.  So, I'd agree with a mix of colors, and even a bit of that "garish green" around the edges or at the tops of some trees to indicate new growth.  It's a highlight, not a base color, but real forests have highlights.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 4,565 posts
Posted by cowman on Sunday, December 10, 2023 7:27 PM

I'll go along with Mr B, use a variety. To add to his reasons different kinds of trees and a variety of weather and soil conditions can cause different shades of green.  Mother Nature uses her full color palette.

When I did my puffball trees on my first layout, I used several of Woodland Scenics colors.

Have fun,

Richard

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • 209 posts
Posted by reasearchhound on Sunday, December 10, 2023 10:55 PM

A fellow club member and myself have been making fir tree out of the coarse natural fiber furnace filter pads you can get at HD. The stuff is kind of a greenish blue but the color is immaterial. It comes in 4x3 sheets about 1".  I cut strips of various widths from 3" down to 1". Then I remove the screen backing from the one side and the cut the strips into squares. Those in turn get cut in half so you result in two squares, 1/2" thick from each single piece. I then round the edges and then cut notches around it to get something resembling a four leaf clover. 
Starting with the 3" squares I thread two or three on a 10" long piece of 1/4" wood dowel which has had one end sharpened to a point, and which has been scraped  lengthwise with a hobby saw (to rough it up) and then has been stained with craft paint. The sections of cut furnace filter are dabbed with glue to affix the pieces to the dowel. I work up the "trunk" until ending with one or two of the 1" pieces at the top. 

At that point, the entire tree is given a coat flat brown paint (trying to avoid painting the trunk further by holding it in a gloved hand). After the paint has dried a bit, hair spray is applied and the the tree is flocked with Woodland Scenics dark greens. A final coat of another different green flat paint ( I like the Rustoleum camo green) is used hit and miss to apply a bit of a variation. 

I can knock out about ten trees (without the painting) in an evening while watching TV if I have a precut supply of the furnace material and dowel tree trunks. The truck is not to be too regular in the notching of the rounded pieces or even when flocking. The more irregularities in the cutting, the better the end products look.

Of course, smaller dowels with smaller notched sections glued on can pretty much result in any size tree you want.

 

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 2,560 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, December 11, 2023 11:55 AM

I buy big bags of white poly fiber because I need a lot and it is a lot cheaper than buying the precolored fiber. I bought mine at a Ben Franklin store but I would bet most craft stores would carry it. I spray it a hunter green. When the paint dries, use a spray adhesive to attach the foliage. 

It's an extra step to painting the fiber but it's like just about everything else in this hobby. You can spend your more time or spend more money. Which is more valuable to you?

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • 86 posts
Posted by U-3-b on Thursday, December 21, 2023 9:29 AM

We tried both colors at our our club and decided black was better as the garish green can show through and the balck looks like shadows.  We have made thousands of trees this way.  

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Nashville, TN area
  • 712 posts
Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, December 21, 2023 11:24 AM

A few follow-up questions...

What type of glue do you use to:

  • Attach the poly fiber to the trunk and branches?
  • Apply the foam "leaves" to the polly fiber? 

Unscented hair spray, spray-on Mod Podge, other?

Jim

 

  • Member since
    May 2010
  • From: SE. WI.
  • 8,253 posts
Posted by mbinsewi on Thursday, December 21, 2023 3:09 PM

I used the poly fiber, as I bought a bag of it, white in color, used to stuff small pillows.

I use light coats of 3M spray adhesive to attach the fiber to the tree amature (selects sticks from different bushes), then I give each tree light coats of brown and gray camoflouge paint, when that's dry enough to handle, I use light coats of the 3M to attach the foiliage.

I would think if your doing the "puff ball" trees, you wouldn't have to go through all those steps.

Mike.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: west coast
  • 7,642 posts
Posted by rrebell on Friday, December 22, 2023 8:27 AM

I used matt medium and cheap hair spray after the folage was on and dried.

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