Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A Palm Tree or two.

       In the Australian country side we frequently find a lone palm tree planted by a homestead
     (farmhouse to all non-Aussies).
      Well, I checked out the HO palms available on the net, some of which are quite nice. In
 the end I decided to attempt to model some myself .The first thing to find was a suitable trunk.

In my garden I found the dry flower stalks of the Red Hot Poker (Kniphofia),

which seemed a good likeness (1). I found some plastic fronds in my local $2 shop among
 a small arrangement. It made a quite acceptable palm.

 Some time later I came across an avenue of 'Monkey Puzzle' Trees (Araucaria), which
         had, it being  Autumn, just dropped their (what I assume to be) either spent flower stalks or shed foliage (2).
These were filled with  acrylic 'No More Gaps' and painted with acrylic 'Burnt Umber',
         then dry brushed a fawn colour.The fronds were glued around the top of the trunk (clamped, 
one by one). The finished top was then dipped in hot water and shaped downwards and
  finally painted appropriately.

Araucaria cunninghamii

I am fairly happy with the results, but will be working to improve the palms further. They are basically just generic palms.


  1. They look pretty good Walter.

    Ray P

  2. Walter,
    They certainly look the part. Do you have feel for how they will go over time? I presume that they were fabricated recently. I ask because I have been considering trying the Sedum Autumn Joy as the basis for gum trees.
    cheers Phil

  3. Phil - I think most Oz modellers are now using Sedum 'Autumn Joy' for Gums in one way or another, it seems ideal. It is drying off right now in my garden and I have more than enough, should you need any. Regarding the palms, well, they are going to stay the way they are, the fronds are plastic and the trunks are dry. I am going to improve on the fronds yet,and I will have a pic soon.

  4. You are most welcome, Muhammad. :-)

  5. Nice Post, Thanks for your very useful information... I will bookmark for next reference.

  6. While I don't live in the tropics here in Virginia in the states, that palm tree looks really good. The best part is it is not expensive to create. Store bought trees like that go for $20+ for each tree! Great Job!

  7. Thank you, Shannon, for your kind comments. Down here in the Southern parts of Australia we don't really have a tropical climate, but for some reason the early settlers out in the countryside liked to plant a (often date-)palm beside their homestead - perhaps to break the monotony of the (individually quite beautiful) Eucalypts. I don't really know the reason. - I still would like to improve the look of the palms. BTW, I do follow your interesting blog. Best regards, Walter Hinterberger