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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I am not at the 'tree' stage yet on my layout, by any means ... but am wondering, as I know dense woodland is an excellent way of hiding all sorts of evils (and, yes, of gathering dust) what the thinking out there is on trees. Most of the 'OO' stuff available commercially is risible - a 'tree' three or four inches tall is, to scale, more a shrub than an actual tree (and these models are damned expensive) A typical park tree here in London is about 50-90ft tall, which means a model of at least 7-8 inches in height. So should I be looking at O-gauge trees (just as, I am told, i should be using N-gauge ballast) or should I be making my own? And if the latter, how? Is there a quick-and-dirty way of making several hundred realistic trees that are the right height?
 

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The problem with scale height trees (& other tall things such as lamposts) is that when in true scale they tend to dwarf everything else round them, including the trains.

Many people (us included) make the trees about 75% of scale size to look better - sometimes "wrong" is "right".

The station platform lamps on SL are "N" gauge ones - the HO ones just looked too large.
 

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QUOTE (Mike H. @ 28 Nov 2008, 21:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Most of the 'OO' stuff available commercially is risible - a 'tree' three or four inches tall is, to scale, more a shrub than an actual tree (and these models are damned expensive) A typical park tree here in London is about 50-90ft tall, which means a model of at least 7-8 inches in height. So should I be looking at O-gauge trees (just as, I am told, i should be using N-gauge ballast) or should I be making my own? And if the latter, how? Is there a quick-and-dirty way of making several hundred realistic trees that are the right height?

*** I agree. Our MASTERscene trees are available up to 220mm high, which is still under scale for an elm or mature Oak, but is at least a real tree, not a big bush like most. We do several species to that size - Ash, Oak, Elm, Conifer and a more generic "large deciduous".

The problem of going much bigger is, as Brian said, that they become overwhelming - but at 200~220mm, they are still very substantial!

QUOTE (Brian Considine @ 28 Nov 2008, 22:14) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The problem with scale height trees (& other tall things such as lamposts) is that when in true scale they tend to dwarf everything else round them, including the trains.

Many people (us included) make the trees about 75% of scale size to look better - sometimes "wrong" is "right".

The station platform lamps on SL are "N" gauge ones - the HO ones just looked too large.

*** Brian we agree on the tree size in that about 75% of real potential height is about right for the larger trees.... Re the lamps being too big, I think that in fact the fact the buildings are too small contributes... ie, the windows and doors may be scale, but the footprint is often undersized!

Thatnotwithstanding, if the N scale lamps look OK on an HO station... surely they MUST be overscale N scale lamps to start with....

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 28 Nov 2008, 13:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thatnotwithstanding, if the N scale lamps look OK on an HO station... surely they MUST be overscale N scale lamps to start with....

Richard

They must be, but they do of course gain a little height by being on the platform.
 

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Trees are an interesting topic.

I bought a lot of "bottle brush" trees for a start, but they all looked the same and after much reflection just didn't do it for me, so I eventually sold them.

I now make my own trees using the flower stems or ornamental bamboo plants and woodland scenics foam.

I also think that placement is very important. A single tree does not look right. They need to be in clumps and not terrifically uniform in shape and height. IMHO a lot of European layouts get it wrong, as although there may be hundreds of trees on the layout you can distinguish every tree, rather than it looking like a forest, and they all look the same in terms of height and shape.

Here are some pictures of what I have done to give an idea as to what I am talking about.
The old style trees



New (improved?) homemade trees







This is what I aspire to.





John
 

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Woodland Scenics and Hornby now produce good hardwood trees but height will be critical. Remember that most woodland tapers down towards the edges, the effect of wind and exposure reducing the growth rate of the outer trees.

60134
 

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The Model Railway Hobby is all about managing compromise and adjusting scale and perspective to fit what you want into the space that you have.

Most layouts are viewed from above so adding scale trees is going to impair your view as you will be looking through the leaf canopy.

Some ideas:
- You can scale down your trees until they fit better but before the loose their identity and majesty.
- You can open up forests to give the impression of plenty of trees, but allowing you to look though and see what is on the other side.
- You can use forced perspective, putting smaller trees higher up and away from the viewer. This creates a depth of view.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Many thanks for the advice. I was thinking that yes, in some places, scale-height trees can obscure the view but in other places this may be desirable, adding visual interest by having, say, a train popping in and out of view, a bit like it was going through a series of short tunnels. Is there anything to be said for my theory that a lot of the beauty of a really well-designed layout is what you DON'T see and have to infer ..?

So, how do I go about making a job-lot of reasonably decent 22cm-high deciduous/conifers without spending ££££?
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 28 Nov 2008, 15:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** I agree. Our MASTERscene trees are available up to 220mm high, which is still under scale for an elm or mature Oak, but is at least a real tree, not a big bush like most. We do several species to that size - Ash, Oak, Elm, Conifer and a more generic "large deciduous".

The problem of going much bigger is, as Brian said, that they become overwhelming - but at 200~220mm, they are still very substantial!

Richard
But are they Ship-able to Europe?
 
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