Most articles about making deciduous trees involve the purchase of "Rubberized horse hair", which is very hard to get a hold of, or lichen plopped onto a twig, or Steele wool stuck on a twig and covered in glue, flocking and hair spray, and they all produce OK or even great looking trees, but they are either really expensive, time comsuming and/or fragile. My trees were inspired by an article for making hedges with scouring pads and thought why not make a tree similar way.
So I went out and picked up some scouring pads (the thin ones I saw used in the hedge article) and made a tree and it looked looked like feces, so I binned it, sometime later I saw some of the thicker pads and was re-inspired. I started with green but they looked really, really greenie so I toned them down with some black spray paint, but it required a lot of spraying, so now, I start with black and lighten with dry-brushing.
Paper/cloth wrapper floral wire (1-2mm thick)
1 thick scouring pads (black preferred) mine were for cleaning a BBQ
1.5 metal washer (for base) Minimum ---the trrees are inherently top heavy
Hot glue gun with glue sticks
Various shades of green and brown paint
Spackle, plaster, drywall compound (whatever its called where you're from)
Flocking or sand
Form tree armature:
Take 6 Pieces of cut floral wire and masking tape them into a bundle leaving ½ to Ύ clear at one end and 2-3" on the other end clear, bend the short end of the bundle out, to form feet. Next bend half of the wire out where the tape ends on the longer end, then bend the remaining wire about an inch above that bend (first picture) . Bend the long straight branches into U or 7 shapes (middle picture).
Affix tree armature to the masking tape covered washer with hot Glue (last picture)
Texture Tree Armature:
Cover the roots of the tree armature in spackle, let dry.
Mix white glue and water in 50/50 mix.
Cover the spackle and the masking tape that covers the trunk of the tree with the water/gule mixture, then sprinkle sand over the white glue/water mix, when it dries tap off the excess sand and cover it again in the white glue/water mix, when it is dry the second time, paint the trunk and branches a dark brown and dry-brush a lighter brown, and the base a Dark green with a dry brush of lighter green(s).
Take the larger bits of scouring pads and hot glue them to the branches (use hot glue) and each other, until you cover all the branches, use the smaller bits (leftovers from the initial trimming) to add variety, be careful to not make the tree to top heavy. When you get a look you are happy with, let the glue harden
(which has already probably happened). Pick off some of the strings of glue and trim the pads a bit with scissors to give a more natural look.
Get your paints ready, and dry-brush a light brown and various shades of green.
Place 1/72nd scale figures around and Voila!
To see how they would look flocked, I covered one with parsley flakes. By first whipping up a
White glue/water mixture and painting it on, then sprinkling the parsley flakes on while it is still wet.
Let dry and seal it. Some people recommend using hair spray, diluted white Glue or even spray varnish.
I used Future dripped on, it dries within a half hour or less and so far none of my trees have shed any of their flocking.
The Future held for a while but friction and time have resulted in some shedding.
In retrospect I would have used either Loose Tea Leaves (not a bag ripped apart) or foam foliage(tm) applied to FULL strength white glue then covered in a diluted white glue concoction, although if I did that, I could do away with the scouring pads and used upholstery foam or sponge in its stead or even Floral foam balls like I did for my smaller trees