Model Rail (UK)
STEP BY STEP
Small twigs can be collected from the garden or on a countryside walk. Straight twigs are the most useful and, for ‘OO’ gauge, a diameter of between 2mm and 4mm is optimum.
Use a sharp craft or trimming knife to cut away any offshoots. The knife may also be used to cut the twigs to length. If the knife struggles to cut across the twigs, don’t force it – use a razor saw or junior hacksaw instead.
Another method for cutting smaller twigs into tree stumps is to use a pair of sprue cutters. These will give a nice clean cut and can be less labour intensive than using a knife, in particular.
My stumps were around 1.2cm in length which gave enough depth in the ground to hold them firmly in place.
If your landscape base is foam or any other lightweight material, holes can be formed for tree stumps with a bradawl or even a pair of scissors. Other substrates may require the drilling of a hole.
The cut piece of twig can be just pushed into the hole made by the tool. Aim for a tight fit, so that the tree stump does not just fall through the hole.
A little white glue will hold the twig in place and, to blend the stump into its surroundings, some scatter material can be sprinkled over the glue before it has dried and turned clear.
I found some fallen pieces of real tree bark on a woodland walk and used an old pair of sprue cutters to chop up the bark into tiny pieces.
The bark is ideal for forming typical debris around the tree stumps and the general areas where the forestry workers have been active, including around stacked logs. It can simply be fixed in place with small dabs of PVA glue.
Busch ground cover scatter material contains a varied assortment of forest floor colour scatters which are also useful for fixing to the ground around felled trees.