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"Can Woodland Scenics’ Polyfiber Be Made TO TAKE PAINT?" Topic

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Cacique Caribe11 Oct 2018 2:41 p.m. PST

In other words, can it be painted in browns and made to hold that color?




I'm thinking that browns and dark yellows might be better colors for the material, specially when you are "teasing it out" and spreading it lightly over tree branches. The goal is to come up with something that could be used for making Mesquite, Acacias and other trees that have lots of tiny tangled secondary branches but very few leaves on them.

Here are Mesquite tree branches when they go dry. I've seen even thinner examples, more open (wispy?), on some Mesquite trees here in Texas:


And here's an Acacia:



PS. I once planned to make little tumbleweeds with the material, but the color issue made me reconsider that idea too.

John Leahy11 Oct 2018 5:06 p.m. PST

Check this poly fiber out at Micromark Dan. I have bought 3 or 4 of them. It's a ton of product. link

You can use that on making super trees.

Scenic express has some helpful videos.

YouTube link

They stretch it around the base form thinly wrapping around the branches. They then spray the result with adhesive. Add flock or leaves or whatever you want. There are a lot of videos out there and this works pretty well from what I have seen.

Cacique Caribe11 Oct 2018 5:21 p.m. PST

Thanks John!

It seems they also have it in black, which I had never seen before:


The big question though is, do you know if that fiber material can be painted? If so, which paint(s) work best?

By the way, I think they have the small 6-piece rasp tool set I've been looking for a long while now.

PS. I like how Luke Towan uses the "seafoam" branches very sparingly, to produce a more realistic and "airy" feel on his trees:
YouTube link
It works great for the arid look I'm after. Unfortunately, "seafoam" doesn't seem to be available everywhere, which is why I was planning to experiment with very wispy pieces of painted poly fiber instead.

Bryan at 50 Paces11 Oct 2018 10:03 p.m. PST

Cotton balls might do the trick and can hold paint. Dipped in watered down paint. Ages ago I make smoke markers using a technique I read about online.

Cacique Caribe11 Oct 2018 10:29 p.m. PST

Cotton balls! Why didn't I think of that? Excellent.

Thanks so much.


nevinsrip12 Oct 2018 2:11 a.m. PST

Try this. Michael's sells it. It works for me.
It's professional florist paint. Super fine mist, so no blobs.


Prince Rupert of the Rhine12 Oct 2018 3:48 a.m. PST

I just sprayed mine with a regular can of very dark green spray paint and it took fine. Then I sprayed it with spray adhesive and sprinkled it with flock (old school wood fibre not modern static) sealed it all with watered down PVA in a spray bottle and it worked a treat for my trees.

KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 7:56 a.m. PST

Try this. Michael's sells it. It works for me.
It's professional florist paint. Super fine mist, so no blobs.

Unfortunately Michael's does not carry the full line of these and lots of colors they don't have. Order from Direct Floral:


Paint will color ANYTHING. I use these to color old gaming mats, new mats, old trees and other terrain features as well.

Whats really nice is you can blend colors with the mist spray method. I usually paint Woodland Scenic trees with several colors, starting with darker greens and finishing with olive green and then a very lite yellow mist. These look much better than straight flocking.

These will color the fiber no problem. Several of the browns are glossy so you may need to go back over with matte to tone down the gloss.

Direct Floral price is about half of what Michael's sells them for (what they do carry). I just got an order of a half dozen cans a few weeks ago.

Good luck


Cacique Caribe12 Oct 2018 12:12 p.m. PST

What about this "sterilized" nesting fiber material? Has anyone ever worked with it?



Would it behave like that poly fiber, meaning could it be "teased out" into thin see-through pieces without breaking apart?


nevinsrip12 Oct 2018 11:29 p.m. PST

I found that to be to "loose". It pulls apart without any type of resistance, unlike the Coconut fiber mats. It,s not bound bu anything, it's just loose fibers.

Cacique Caribe12 Oct 2018 11:41 p.m. PST

Ahhh, that's not good then. Well, at least not for this application.



Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 10:11 p.m. PST

KimRYoung -- those spray-paints look great! Never knew about that "Direct Floral" site, thanks very much for posting!

Codsticker28 Oct 2018 11:09 a.m. PST

Hey Dan, a little late to the party but instead of the woodland scenics fibre I use
3M Contour stripping pads. They are made from wire and are very hardy- I pull them apart with pliers to start- amd make a great base for tangled shrubs and something like tumble weeds. As they come grey you don't even have to paint them as I did here; just add flock:

I have a few trees mocked up and one finished:

By leaving the material relatively horizontal, it would make a good representation of an acacia or mesquite tree.

Cacique Caribe29 Oct 2018 8:45 p.m. PST

WOW, I'm really liking that idea!

I plan to add very little flock. I want to show as much of that incredible arid branch understructure as possible.

Thanks so much,

PS. By the way, I gave the cotton idea a shot and I ended up with what looks like the skin of a long dead beast, or the partly desiccated skin if a giant. I'm holding on to it, because I know there's gotta be some use for it. :)

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