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"Making bark?" Topic

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1,188 hits since 7 Jan 2013
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 4:00 p.m. PST

I'm thinking of making a "tree city" for Elves and critters to fight in. Platforms, rope bridges, that kind of thing (Ewok city in star Wars eg).

Real wood is out – too hard to work with, too heavy, no easy way to hollow it out.

I can make the platforms and such easily enough. But I need to make tree trunks – perhaps 3 or 4" in diameter – to house rooms and hang all the platforms on.

How would you make "bark" to coat the trunk (I'm thinking of using PVC pipe)?

Best I can come up with is photograph bark reduce and make stickers to cover the pipe with.

Meiczyslaw07 Jan 2013 4:12 p.m. PST

Heh. Probably not what you're looking for, but I figured I'd share anyway because it's so unexpected (to me, at least):


St Anselm07 Jan 2013 4:18 p.m. PST

perhaps use something like noch leaves (expensive though) or fine milled cork.. I think it is used in train set building.. Pva glue..sprinkle on.. paint and highlight.

would give a texture to the trunks??

darthfozzywig Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2013 4:20 p.m. PST

Pumice gel?

timlillig Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 4:39 p.m. PST

You could paint it with crackle paint.

snodipous07 Jan 2013 4:49 p.m. PST

I might try layers of tissue paper and white glue. Let it get as crinkly and wrinkly as possible when you put it on.

richarDISNEY Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 5:04 p.m. PST

If its good enough fer ewoks …
I bought one and need time to convert.
Works good with 28mm…

Mako1107 Jan 2013 5:08 p.m. PST

Some type of clay, wood putty, etc., and then use a fine toothed saw blade to scribe in the bark texture, in multiple directions.

Should work well, and be pretty bomb proof when dried, if you use the right materials and let it set up properly.

Chris Palmer07 Jan 2013 5:16 p.m. PST

I used rolls of craft bark for making Parrotmen houses a while back. I got it in Joanns.


For more photos:

vojvoda Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 5:26 p.m. PST

I forget what the kind of tree we used but the bark that peels off can be cut down to make miniature trees. Birch perhaps?

James Mattes

zippyfusenet Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 6:49 p.m. PST

Hey Mark. Our mutual friend Rich Smethurst has some kind of 'bark tape' craft material that he's bragged on for months. I've not yet seen the stuff. In a couple of weeks we're having a play date where I'll bring over some styrofoam hemispheres that I've prepped and we'll try covering them with the stuff to make a wigwam village. If you can wait, I'll tell ya how it all turns out.

PJ Parent Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 7:38 p.m. PST

Try coating it in watered down spakle. A thin coat should crack all to hell as it dries and if really well painted and looked at from a few feet away it might work.

Gray Bear Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 7:48 p.m. PST

I've found Liquid Nails (the inexpensive basic type) trowelled on with a craft stick into desired contours. It will stick to most anything, takes craft paint well, and remains somewhat flexible. I've had good luck ith it for similar purposes.

CeruLucifus07 Jan 2013 9:57 p.m. PST

I think you're better off with something you paint on.

GW's scratch terrain article for The Scouring of the Shire chapter for the Lord of the Rings made fallen logs out of balsa dowels roughly snapped, and applied bark by mixing spackel with white woodworking glue and painting it on.

There's also a modeling material from Green Scene called Flexi-Bark which is a rubberized plaster with grit, meant for painting bark onto wire tree armatures.

14th Brooklyn Inactive Member07 Jan 2013 11:28 p.m. PST

I used this for wire frame trees:


dampfpanzerwagon Fezian08 Jan 2013 5:21 a.m. PST

Not exactly what you are looking for – but still worth checking out.



A Twiningham Inactive Member08 Jan 2013 6:01 a.m. PST

Crepe paper would seem like a good choice if you can find it in suitable dimensions. link

Skeptic20 Jan 2013 6:18 a.m. PST

Going back a step, have you considered using some of those resin aquarium or terrarium decorations that look like tallish stumps?

Of course, they are usually modelled as being barkless, so you would still need to model some bark.

MrMerkava Inactive Member20 Jan 2013 11:37 a.m. PST

explore your local forests for interesting chunks of dead branches, cut them down to size and sandpaper

use dowels for supporting limbs, perhaps covered with flock or lichens

wood is not hard to work with, you just need the right tools

check out yard sales for files, bits and drills, sanding blocks, sandpaper, and the like

paint only if you dont like the real color of wood, which is very beautiful

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