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Artificial Tree

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by Randy, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. Randy

    Randy Huntin Chamios on Mount Cook, New Zealand

    I need to make an artificial tree. I was thinking about making an armature out of wood, PVC pipe or something else. Then I would make a mold from latex or other material. I then would make a layer of all game, fix all or some other medium and stamp a pattern on the armature.

    I have never tired this. Any suggestions.

  2. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    I do it with paper mache. Works great but any mediums will work but make sure your armature is strong and build our close to your thickness with foam ( if needed) then mache

  3. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Sturdy armature, spray foam core and possibly, depending on the type of tree (like some pines), lay on sections of actual bark fitted together.
  4. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Someplace on here I had a crude tutorial on that method. Form yout armature of PVC and the wrap it tightly with "chicken wire" lay out a thick sheet of plastic. Mix (thoroughly but quickly)about a half pint of foam and pour a "puddle" of it evenly on the plastic. Let it start to foam up. Carefully cradle the plastic sheet to your armature and wrap the expanding foam around it. Use the plastic to move and level the foam underneath. When the foam cures, peel the plastic sheet off and reuse it with subsequent applications. When complete, use a rasp, Surfoam, or Stout Ruffer to refined the shape. With mine, i painted the shaped foam with 2 heavt coats of white latex paint and then stained it. If you desire a specific bark patter, your Apoxie sculpt sounds like a great idea.
  5. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    This product is very good for recreating the outer bark textures. Habitat Black is essentially an epoxy putty. A simple silicone impression of the real bark you are trying to have can be used to press the patterns onto your foam tree which was just described by George. I know you are in New Zealand but maybe there is something similar there to experiment with.

    Fallenscale likes this.
  6. Jimmy Rimrock

    Jimmy Rimrock Yeah, they come to snuff the rooster

    Sort of depends on size, it will determine how "beefy" your armature needs to be.

    I built a tree limb, approx 6 feet long, about 8 inches in diameter. 6 inch PVC pipe slid over a 2x6. It held a standing leopard. I used the method Mr. George outlined above. I shaped the foam to get the limb more crooked and natural looking and then put a skim coat of fast set mache on and then stamped it with a couple silicone mold pieces I cast off firewood; some bark, a knothole, etc. You do a section at a time and you guessed it, it takes some time. Then a couple paint washes and dry brush color and more time. In a perfect world, I would know how to post the pics I took throughout the process.
  7. Randy

    Randy Huntin Chamios on Mount Cook, New Zealand

    Thanks for the advice. I ended up using some tree limbs with a trench cut the length of the limb with my saws-all ( about 1" deep and 1" wide). The trench was cut in the limb from end to end. I screwed the limbs together to make the tree and limbs to the desired shape. I bent 5/8" diameter all thread and fitted the steel inside the grooves of the tree limbs. Don't use re-bar, it bends easily. Once I got the correct position and shape I mixed bondo and fiber glass and filled the grove in each limb. This gave me the shape wanted and the steel gave me good strength. I then took a latex rubber mold of a tree in my yard that gave me the outer texture I was looking for. I then used bondo and my rubber stamp. Mixed the bondo hot and pressed the texture on to the limbs. Once the tree had the outer texture covering over the entire tree, I used water based paints that were thinned down and sprayed it with a spray bottle. The tree looked great and was plenty strong.
    Now I have a nice tree that supports 3 nice mule deer shoulder mounts with nice curved and leather backing. Looks great. I can do the next one in 1/2 the time by all the learning and experimenting that I went thru.
    I will get a picture!
    Thanks for all your advice. Randy, Hermiston Oregon