Orange trees for Minalittas road module

New year started with creation of orange trees for Minalittas road module.

There is (part) of an orchard on left side of the module with the rest continuing towards the viewer. Orchard is parallel to the road and with that it is at a slight angle to the module itself which gives it more natural look.

Trees are made according to the Bob Smaus article in Model Railroader but there are some other similar methods to be found online. Regular yellow sponge is used and cut with the long sharp knife, first into cubes and then into cylinders. Final shape is made using scissors. It is spherical with flat bottom which will be very close to the ground. Wooden dovel is inserted and glued with white glue to the center of sphere (flat) bottom. After that, sphere shaped sponge is spray painted green using acrylic spray paint.

After the paint has dried, spheres are sprayed with contact cement. I did it in batches of two as I found out that it is enough time for the glue not to over dry. After few minutes when the glue was tacky I applied a Woodland Scenics medium green coarse turf. Some of it stick immediately and some more was patted to the surface of the sphere. All the void was filled and after that sprayed wit liberal amount of hair spray (cheaper the better, because it is stickier). After that, orange fruit (also Woodland Scenics) is sprinkled over the still sticky “tree” and additionally sprayed with hair spray. This has to be done carefully because too much hair spray will turn oranges white (and your fingers orange). I left the trees to dry completely for a day.

Next step is preparation of surface for tree planting in a way that tree can be removed for storage and transportation. Since the surface is kind of fragile (not too much but still so) the care has to be taken about the moving aspect of a module. While the trees were still “bare” i used them to try out their location and mark them on module surface.