Saturday, April 4, 2020

Quick! Someone fetch me a herring!

hardly King Arthur, but you get the idea

        Not satisfied with just one bad Monty Python reference I had to go one step further and build the "mightiest tree in the forest" Essentially it is just an expansion on the shrubbery concept but with a few enhancements.  For starters I had to add some wire to stiffen the trunk of the tree at it will stand well over eight full inches in height; second, as this is not part of the Afghanistan project, it will be based individually. The base is a soup-can lid (I have one of those nifty can-openers that gets the lid off of the can without making a sharp edge) I weighted this by hot-gluing a 2" fender washer to the underside. Then I twisted up an armature from some florists wire.

Hobby Lobby purchases from long ago on an entirely different project

the stem wire is wrapped in some sort of textile-like material
 which makes gluing a lot easier

I bent the stem wire near the middle and the two foral wires at about a third
this will give you branches of uneven lengths

loop them over a sturdy dowel, it helps to have a vice
 to lock the loose ends in, otherwise use good pliers

now twist them together as tightly as you can

bend the loop at the bottom off to the side for gluing to a base
 or leave straight if you are going to be building this directly into the terrain 
bend the loose wires at the top out to form branches

I hot-glued the bent end to my base 
then hot-glued a strand of my twine to the main trunk from the base to the top of the tree

continue adding strands of twine until you have at least one running along each branch,
 leave the ends long and free from glue, due to my propensity toward burning 
myself with Satan's Minion I switched over to gluing the twine on with Titebond 
after that had sat overnight I teased out the loose end of the twine to give me smaller branches which I then soaked in Titebond to stiffen (and of course this lead to more waiting)

once the glue had dried thoroughly I once again tempted fate and fired up the hot glue gun,
I find it easier to put a dot of glue on the clump foliage then attach it to the tree,
I only managed to burn myself three or four times, I did add more glue to the base,
after everything had cooled I sprayed the entire tree with a 50/50 mix of wood glue and water to further attach the clump foliage

then I touched up the trunk and base with some Honey Brown Americana paint and then highlighted it with some Barn Wood color from the same source, notice how cleverly I picked out the hot glue on the base to look like roots, such an artiste I am!

then I filled in the base to blend the roots in and hide the rest of the glue

a quick dash of flocking and we are off to the races

realistically this is just an average sized tree, around 40-50 feet tall, 
hardly massive by any standards, where's that herring?

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