On The Work Bench – Scratch Built Wire Tree (part 1)

Figures for my 28mm American Civil War diorama are coming along OK but I am now starting to think about base construction.  Decided I definitely want a tree and thought I would have another go at scratch building one.  I have only ever done one tree before and much to my surprise found it easier than I thought it would be.  It might have been beginners luck though so we will have to see how this one finally turns out.

To start with I wrapped some 0.5mm wire around an A5 pad about 20 times which gave me a loop of wire approximately 9 inches (23cm) long.  Once removed from the A5 pad the loop was twisted several times starting just below the half way point.  This produced a figure 8 shape.  The bottom loop was then cut so that the wire strands all became separated.

The separated wire strands were then grouped into four individual bunches.  Each bunch was then twisted a few times and then separated once again into either two or three further bunches which were also twisted a few times and then separated again until eventually only one strand remained.  Where the remaining strand was to long it was cut off to a length I was happy with.

Once I had done this to each of the initial bunches of wire I was left with the tree’s root system.

Having completed the root system the next step was to repeat the exercise by cutting through the upper loop and creating the branches.

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Once this was complete it was then a case of spending a few moments positioning and bending the roots and branches into a shape I was happy with.  I then mixed up some All Purpose filler together with some PVA glue to an almost liquid consistency and using an old brush applied it to the underneath of the branches first and then to their upper side, the trunk and the roots.  It was then placed to one side to dry.

It might be necessary to add more filler and to scratch away any excess dried filler but that pretty much completes the process for the basic tree.  The next step will be to paint and “dress it”, more of which in a future post.

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