8 May 2013

Tree Armatures a step by step guide.

In my recent post on making woods I got asked how I kept the foliage on the trees. Now I could have kept this knowledge to myself as it took me a lot of hard work, and many hours to perfect the technique so the trees did not defoliate on a regular basis when gaming.

However, I shall share my method of making trees using woodland scenic's excellent armatures.

Before I start you need to have the right equipment as shown below:
You will see I am using foliage clusters (not clump foliage) for this demonstration, the reason for this is the clusters are denser and don't fall apart so easily at the start. I'm using three colours for variety. As an aside clump foliage can be used but it needs a treatment ( of which I wont impart the knowledge) before use to give it similar properties to the clusters. You need a tube of SUPER GLUE GEL nothing else is really good enough  believe me I have tried many different types of glue. A tin of extra strong hairspray, a can of clear matt varnish and finally the use of a hair dryer.

cover the entire branch on short stubs or down to the divide on longer branches.
Break a lump of foliage of and make some smaller chunks, make them rough.
Wrap a chunk of the foliage cluster around the branch and hold until the glue has set.  DON'T GRIP TOO HARD or you will be attached to the tree.
Work one set of branches at a time from bottom to top, and work the main trunk section last.
You should end up with trees like this now, but the job is only half done. If you want this stuff to stay put then a little more effort is required.
Give your trees a really good spray with the hairspray staying about 10 to 12 inches away from the trees, this should soak into the foliage and any small pieces that are not attached will fall off at this point.
Now give them a good dry using a gentle heat from a hair dryer. It is at this point once they are dry the foliage should feel stiffer.
Repeat the hairspray and drying process again.
Finally give them a good coat of clear matt varnish and leave them to dry. They are now ready for gaming with or in my case completing the woods.
Next I use a special mix of flock and apply to the tree base and the woodland board. I leave a rough edge to the outer rim of the wood board for the flock that matches my tables.
Finally I apply flock to the outer edge to complete the woodland base.


  1. Hola
    Gracias por el PAP.y todo los pasos fotográficos
    un saludo

  2. Seen you make these.

  3. Nice one. Great idea with the hair spray and dryer; haven't tried it but I will.

  4. Nice one! Good idea with the hairspray, and thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Great, inspired work, thanks for sharing!!

  6. Thanks for sharing. I have a few pre made trees that are shedding so bad I am afraid to use them. I'll try the hairspray. I don't have spray varnish so I might spray them with scenic cement or see if i can daub on matte varnish.

    1. Sean dont use scenic cement it makes the shedding worse. Put a third coat of Hairspray on and let it air dry and they will be quite solid for months, then you can add a light misting of hairspray every 6 months or so to retain the foliage

  7. What a fabulous 'how-to', thank you so much.

  8. hair spray, wonder why I have never seen that substance in my house.....
    Peace James
    the folically challenged one

  9. Very good Andrew. I have used the hairspray trick for some time, especially getting static grass to stay on large terrain boards!

  10. Great tutorial, must agree about the super glue gel. It is the only thing I've found that works for trees, but I must try the extra coat of hairspray (being a complete slaphead I'm sure I'll some funny looks shopping for it in Poundland).


  11. I have trees with the clumps coming off of them. I can use this method to get them back on and to keep them on.

  12. Here I go to the wife's cabinet...

    Well done with this tutoral! Very useful!

  13. Thank you Andrew, I will have to give it a go. Scary to think what is in hairspray, I had no idea.


  14. Great tutorial Andrew and they look fantastic!



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