My first home-made model tree

Die Keinnamebahn has, so far, used plastic trees obtained via eBay, from Hong Kong. Though cheap they are no very realistic and are only about 4 inches tall, a scale height of approximately 28 feet in 1:87 H0 scale and all looking the same with not a very good representation of leaves. I wanted to have a variety of trees of various sizes and types and I came across the following YouTube video by Markin of Sweden via a post on

Following the instructions in the video I first made the metal armature for a tree using 0.6mm stainless steel wire.

The armature was then liberally coated with PVA glue and dusted with a clay-based chinchilla dust (obtained from a local pet store) to bulk out the armature to form the trunk and main boughs.

When dry the trunk was painted with a dark grey acrylic paint mix. When the paint was dry super-glue was used to stick clumps of green polyfibre to the ends of the branches.

Armature coated with fibre on super glue

Having left the super-glue to set overnight, the polyfibre was wetted using a misting garden spray with water.

Granules of Polycell wallpaper paste were then sprinkled over the tree, including the underside of the branches.

Wetted tree coated with Polycell powder

The Polycell was then wetted liberally with the water spray and this causes the Polycell granules to swell and become sticky.

Polycell wetted before adding Noch foliage

Noch leaves were then liberally sprinked over the whole tree. both from above and below, and left to dry.

This is the final result, a tree approximately 150mm tall which is approximately 50ft tall in 1:87 scale.

Completed tree coated with Noch leaves.


Using DAS clay to thicken the tree trunkAfter making the tree I was not satisfied with the base of the tree, it appeared too thin and tapered inwards towards the base. I decided to thicken the base by using DAS modelling clay. I coated the lower 2cm of the trunk with PVA and then pressed and moulded the DAS onto the trunk. I smoothed the DAS with wetted fingers then coated it with more PVA before adding chinchilla dust to blend the texture in with the rest of the trunk. When this has dried for about 48 hours I will paint the lower trunk to match the rest of the tree.

Addendum 2

I was not too happy with the base of the tree and so modified it again by using more DAS modelling clay to widen the trunk up to the lowest branches. I also added some ‘roots’ to the base of the tree before coating it again with more chinchilla dust. The tree leans a little but that is OK as not all trees grow verticallly! A coat of grey/brown acrylic paint to the trunk and a little more paste and Noch/Gaugemaster leaves on patches missed on the first coating finished the tree.

Tree trunk thickened using DAS modelling clay