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Ember

Wire Wound Hollow Spooky Tree Experiment

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For some time now I've been trying to come up with a way to make hollow trees. To date the best idea that I've come up with is to use a real branch/twig and ream it out with a dremel. This is fine for a dead hollow stump, but does not work satisfactorily for a hollow tree that is still alive and growing. Also, in my case, to get the branch to match in with the rest of my wire wound trees the stump would still require coating with plasterers jointing compound and painting. Not altogether satisfactory.

 

Talking to Obsidith the other day he mentioned his wish for a spooky hollow tree on his Darkwoods Rally. He wondered about the possibility of putting an LED inside a hollow tree to produce an eldritch light. This would require easy access to the trunk of the tree. I had a bit of a think, and what may have been a eureka moment. Clear plastic tubing could be used to create a thick trunk in a wire wound tree. Today I figured I'd give the idea a try.

 

So, here begins the documenting of the Spooky Hollow Tree Experiment. Part 1: The armature.

 

Gathered for the experiment. Assorted pliers and cutters. Rolls of wire in various gages. Some clear plastic tubing.

01materials.jpg

The tubing is, perhaps, a bit larger diameter than I originally intended to use, but it was some that I had lying around. I have cut a few lengths of heavy wire (about the same as a wire coathanger). These, together with the tubing will form the skeleton of the tree.

 

02tackedrootbranch.jpg

The wire has been tacked into position on the tubing with some blobs of hot glue. This was just to hold the wire in place so that I could tie it in place with some finer gage wire.

 

04secure.jpg

I've used this light tie wire along the way to hold things in place. This initial wrap will hopefully assist later when it comes to coating the armature in plaster. The bottom wires have been bent out to form some bared roots and make a stand for the tree.

 

05prebranch.jpg

Most of the structure of the tree will be formed in this lighter gage, soft twitching wire. I tend to use lengths folded in half to form a loop at the base. The loops make it easier when tying branches into the tree.

 

06twisted.jpg

Branch bundle twisted ready for adding to the main structure. If I make more of these hollow trees, I'll use multi-strands like this in place of the heavier gage wire. It's just so much easier to deal with and doesn't leave a blunt end to be dealt with.

 

07tiedin.jpg

In the process of tying the branch to the main structure. Because it was quite a long piece, I've added this in down low to form another part of the roots.

 

08moreadded.jpg

Keep tying branch groups onto the main structure. Having the tree free standing on its roots is a reminder to keep things fairly balanced. I try to leave wires as long as possible until the last.

 

09branchlet.jpg

The little bench vice does make life easier as far as getting a tight even twist on branch wires. Not that evenness is particularly essential. This is probably an appropriate place to remind folks that wire is sharp. Alas, I've never been able to work in gloves. So, blood has been shed over this tree.

 

10treeish.jpg

Enough branches added, I think. Some bending of limbs and trimming of branchlets to give the tree its over all shape and personality. At this stage you'll note that the tube in the middle is just that, a tube up the middle of the tree. Time to take care of that.

 

11cuttube.jpg

With scissors or a sharp knife, I've cut triangles out of the top of the tube in an attempt to blend it into the overall shape of the tree. High points will lead into branches. Low points where the branches divide.

 

12tietube.jpg

This hopefully gives a better idea of what I mean. The high points on the tube are tied into the base of the nearest branch with fine wire.

 

13armature.jpg

The finished armature. The splitting and tying of the tubing could probably be repeated on the base with the tube being tied into the roots.

 

Before coating this tree I'll block the top of the tube with paper or something. I intend to leave a hole in the trunk of the tree. As yet, I'm not sure if I should cut a hole in the tube before coating the tree with plaster. Or if I'd be better to mask the area with something, and cut the tube and the binding tie wire after the plaster has set.

 

That's the end of Part 1 of this experiment. Hopefully it sparks some ideas for otherways to tackle this problem. Thanks for looking in.

 

Embs


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Doing a great job there Ember

 

Maybe turn it into the Sleepy Hollow tree

 

Did something similar on the rally track, after the wire taped the whole thing up with 1/2 in masking tape, then covered the lot with wood putty let dry, then paint

 

trees.jpg


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

http://www.facebook.com/Rallyproxy2017

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Meant to ask you last time you posted that photo Gazza, what's the fibrous stuff that you've used for foliage? Almost looks like coconut fibre, but I've never seen it just that shade of green.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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Meant to ask you last time you posted that photo Gazza, what's the fibrous stuff that you've used for foliage? Almost looks like coconut fibre, but I've never seen it just that shade of green.

Pot sourer $2 a pack of ten in the junk shop


Quickly read this post before it is deleted or i turn grey again

Gary

http://www.facebook.com/Rallyproxy2017

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Here's a thought for that "spooky" look.When you cover the armature leave a hole in the covering so that the tube is showing and iff you have a led mounted near the bottom when it is turned on the light should show up in the tube giving a blue-ish tinge through the hole in the trunk covering.

Kevin

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Never did get around to finishing the tree around that armature... I must still have it somewhere.

 

Bob, I tend to use a 'cloud' of polyfibre as a base to hold leaf material to keep the tree canopy as open and airy as possible.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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I like the idea and must give it a go I made just the wire amuture ones and the twisted wire with string fibre for model railways and wargames use this would def add a extra dimension to a scene be it just stumps or for placing a critter or human hiding within....

Bob

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Hmm.... I thought I posted a tutorial on how I made my trees, but it must be in my track build thread instead.


Computers. They'll never catch on.

 

_AM_sig_zps00cdfd1a.jpg

 

Tiny Tyers Targa - The build saga continues - Aging wood - A recipe for staining wood - Don't take a fence - Step by step paling fence - An old shed for my new cars - Wooden garage under construction

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