Model Scenery Tutorials

Comprenshive Tips. Hints And Techniques For Budget Minded Diorama Maker, Model Train Enthusiast And Wargammer

Model Spruce Trees

How to make realistic spruce trees fast and easy using sisal fiber.

Stand of Spruce made from Sisal ready to go into a diorama.

These are often inappropriately called bottle brush trees. If you make them with sisal, they in no way look like something made from bottle brush.







Sisal fiber is also very useful for making branches on many types or realistic scale model trees. This page shows you how to use it to make realistic spruce trees. Other pages in this website show they are used on birch trees, and deciduous trees of all sorts.

You get straight sisal fiber in one of two ways. One is to buy sisal twine or rope, unwind it and then separate the fibers. Here is a link to a page that shows how to extract sisal from twine or rope. How To Straighten Sisal

The second, is to buy ready to  use packets of it. And here is a link to sisal that you buy by the package. Package Of Sisal

Do some research and decide what your finished product should look like.  Take a walk and take pictures. Or use google image and Google maps street view.

Here are some pictures of prototypes.  Enlarge them and note that there is a lot of room between branch layers.


There is a video showing the process at the bottom of this page.  But to help you, here is a summary step by step process.

With sisal in hand, lay it out on your bench.

Then slide some fine wire under it and bend the wire to hold it in place.

Spread the sisal out so that there are not bunches to close together.

Hook the loop to the handle in our ultimate tree machine. (If you do not have one, here is a link to our page that shows you how to make one. The Ultimate Model Tree Machine . ) Twist the wire and form the tree.

Trim the sisal.

Save the trimmings.  They can be used to make bushes, hedges, and micro fibers to add small branches to deciduous trees. See  Scenery Tips And Tricks Using Sisal Fiber

Spray the tree brown or black.  Use one as a base coat and then use a light spray of the other to highlight.

Trim again and then add flock.  One coat of hairspray to add the flock and then other coats to fix it in place.

Here is a video that shows how it is done.

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