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Wire Tree Scratch Built The Twist One Friday evening as we played Batman: Talisman I twisted a tree to life. Formed from 13 strands of wire of approximately 12-inches in length, the tree takes shape by folding them in half and twisting the loop created into the trunk of the tree. The loop created is cut into the roots and the longer tendrils are twisted into limbs and branches to form the crown of the tree. As you can see in the picture, I used one of my Armstrong sample tiles to make a base for the roots and glued it in place with some Loctite Gel Glue. The idea is to form irregular surfaces to cover and create the illusion of a real trunk, roots and limbs. The crown will kind of solve itself when the canopy is applied later. The Ground and Bark Once you have a "skeleton" for the tree, it's time to add the skin. To do this there are a number of ways. You can use liquid latex. You can apply green putty or green stuff. I chose to do the super glue and baking soda method. You've probably seen my work with this insta-cure method before on Frulla Krung and other Frost Giants. I use super thin, insta-cure cyanoacrylate (super glue) that allows it to run well over the wires and base and then coat that with the baking soda. The squeeze bottle, shown in the background, allows me to apply it as a wind blown sediment or just to dust it over the glue. The opposite can be done where you make a pile of baking soda or fill the crevice you want covered and apply the super glue carefully so you don't get an impact crater. Of course, maybe you want impact craters. As you can see above, the effect is quite "chilling." Be careful of fumes. It's still super glue. And super-thin super glue runs everywhere so I suggest putting down something you don't care about. I use box lids. The Crown Once you have the coating applied to your liking, it's time to finalize the branches and make the crown. Here's where random is your friend. Twist the strands into limbs and then twist off the limbs into branches. You can create burls and broken limb ends by adding sharp turns with your pliers. In this case, I left the crown relatively open. It's a small, young tree after all. You can see another much older tree in the works behind it below. Our specimen is primed as well. I added curlicues at the ends of the branches to eat some excess wire and for extra hook points for the canopy. The Canopy The next step after this is to paint the trunk. I used a pair of FolkArt Pickling Washes to achieve this. The first was a dark gray, FolkArt Stormy Sky. To add body to the paint in order to help fill some of the wire gaps, I mixed in some Liquitex Matte Medium. Once the basecoat was applied. I drybrushed the trunk, roots and limbs with FolkArt Cottage White Pickling Wash mixed with some of the Stormy Sky mixture. This gave me a nice light ashen color to the bark. The canopy is made from Woodland Scenics Tree Canopy Green and Yellow mixed with essentially some static grass I got off of Wish. I mixed them into my Hamilton Beech Grinder and ground them down further. You'll prolly have noted that there are some wires visibly still. This has been noted. I ran out of mixed canopy. I will be making another batch shortly to finish it. I used a spritz bottle of glue from Dollar Tree to apply the canopy. It worked really well. Once it was set, I used my favorite finish coat to solidify the canopy, Testors Dullcote. What's Left That's where it's at as of now. As to next, I will be doing a wash of the canopy to add shading to the tree. That will carry down the trunk and roots. Then I will apply an umber paint to the ground and a mixture of cork and bark, ground down in my grinder, over that. Stay tuned, Stay Well and Enjoy