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"right adhesive spray for horsehair trees" Topic

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473 hits since 7 May 2018
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Wealdmaster07 May 2018 7:23 a.m. PST

I'm making some horsehair trees and after I spray the trees with fixative/adhesive and apply Noch leaves, so many of the leaves don't stick and just keep falling off making a mess of the game table. I'm using Elmer's fixative adhesive spray. Was thinking of trying another brand, or using a spray varnish that came in matte. Any ideas?

BTCTerrainman Supporting Member of TMP07 May 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

Any trees you make that require handling by gamers must be sprayed with a fixative solution that will more permanently glue them in place. I prefer watered down matte medium. Woodland Scenics sells some easy to use stuff and sprayers called Scenic Cement. You may find that you need to spray trees down more than you thought to keep them from shedding.

nevinsrip07 May 2018 1:38 p.m. PST

Yes. Use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive. It's the best sray stuff you can buy.

Are you sure you're spraying correctly?

I spray underneath first. Give a light dusting with a darker color

Then rotate the tree as if on a spit. Sprinkle your main color here.

And finally from the top down. Use your lightest color here to add highlights.

Let that dry a day, then blast the whole thing with Testors Duccote. That will lock everything in.

zoneofcontrol Inactive Member07 May 2018 7:38 p.m. PST

I agree with BTC on the Woodland Scenics cement and sprayers as well as his comment: "You may find that you need to spray trees down more than you thought to keep them from shedding." I use them as well. (But you take his word for it, he is much more experienced than I.)

I've never tried the 3M spray that nevinsrip mentioned but very much agree with his process. Think in layers much like painting, not just material but the adhesive as well.

Wealdmaster09 May 2018 7:25 a.m. PST

Great stuff, got a can of 3M and will post some results soon.

nevinsrip09 May 2018 7:59 p.m. PST

Coupla more tips for you.

Buy GLASS salt and pepper shakers at the Dollar Store. Usually two for a buck. Fill them with your leaves and fine turfs.
Use them as if you were shaking salt onto a piece of corn on the cob. You will have more control and get a better spread pattern, than if you just threw a handful of leaves onto your tree.

The glass allows you to see what colors are inside and the metal caps have bigger holes than the plastic shakers. Buy Pastic if there's no choice, I just prefer the glass.

And second, I use WS fine turf for the undercoat leaves.
"Burnt Earth" and "Weeds" are my go to colors. Not too much, just enough to fill out closer to the trunk. There are plenty of colors to pick from.

Hope this helps.
Looking forward to pix.

Wealdmaster10 May 2018 7:35 a.m. PST

Thanks, I've got noch leaves and also the leaves which are a little different looking but also quality from scenery express. The new noch leaves are not as big as the old ones which is a bit dissappointing.

Wealdmaster11 May 2018 8:17 a.m. PST



Two photos of my first go at horsehair trees

Wealdmaster11 May 2018 8:18 a.m. PST


Trying to get larger image, sorry.

Wealdmaster11 May 2018 8:19 a.m. PST


This is the noch leaves with elmer's adhesive. I'm going to try the 3M adhesive with the advice I got above and will post more soon.

nevinsrip11 May 2018 10:40 a.m. PST

Your horsehair is too thick. Thin in out more. Much more.

Wealdmaster12 May 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

I'll try to thin it, I've made the mistake of cutting it with a scissors when actually it should be pulled apart by hand and this acts as a way to diffuse it.

nevinsrip13 May 2018 8:32 p.m. PST

That type of horsehair usually has a netted skin on the back of it, that needs to be removed. Make sure you do that before pulling the horsehair apart.

Try using two pair of pliers to pull it apart.

nevinsrip21 May 2018 9:28 p.m. PST

Any progress?

Personal logo Flashman14 Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2018 3:10 a.m. PST

Testers Dull Cote to lock it in? That's got to be the most expensive option possible? Don't the crafters have a cheaper and more effective solution?

Baranovich22 May 2018 10:34 a.m. PST


His horsehair is too thick? Huh? Why? They look like real trees!

They look like full-foliage spring/summers trees with full leaf coverage. The thickness of the horsehair provides that solid illusion of multiple layers of leaves.

Seriously, I know you can thin it and use it that way too but using it thick is just fine!

I'm looking outside my window right now at trees that have nearly completely filled in with their spring leaves and you can't see through the thickest clusters of leaves, it makes an opaque layering that there'z zero visibility through.

Here's a project I just did of a forest of tall pine trees using horsehair, and this is horse hair at full thickness. You wouldn't want it thinned out because you can't see through thick pine foliage. You want it to be thick!




Just for some obvious reference, here's trees in nature:








…just saying, but these all look pretty thick to me. And they look exactly like the model trees above in this thread. :)

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