Friday, 3 January 2014

Alien Trees - Tutorial

By: Umpapa

Many people have asked how I made the tree visible in the pictures.


1. chose the colors : purple (instead of brown) and orange (instead of green) with blue detailing. It goes well with my beloved fur of Kilrathi / Kzin /Felids .
2. Find (preferably in late summer) tiny cones.
3. You may try to put the additional steel nail to the bottom of  bottom of bigger of cones.
4. Push gently 2 cm steel nails into spraying board.
5. Hot glue nails and cones.
6 Spray the cheapest strong color, may be automotive, in my case - orange, only the side and top, not too much - make sure the paint does not get between the petals cones, so that there is some natural shadow.
7. Optional zenithal highlighting: from the top you can spray a bit of lighter colour, such as yellow.
8. Gently pull the nails out of boards with a narrow pliers .
9. Hot glue nails and cones to weights  - the steel nuts and to some cardboard. Position cone standing vertically on "tuber" glue, nails and bolts. Wait till cool. Take care that weights were at ground level, at the bottom. As a result, trees can be stored in standard containers lined magnetic foil.
10. With glue gun form successive layers of hot glue (preferably colored , but can be transparent): roots , trunk folds, branches. Let congeal on the carton. Once cooled, gently peel-away /cut from cardboard.
11. Optionally you may scratch the surface of the trunk with a file.
12. Paint gluetrunk, f.ex. violet . Lighten. Black wash.
13. Colorize grains of rice or wheat with a contrasting color, f.ex. ultramarine. After drying wet grains in glue and stick between the petals cones, creating exotic fruit or flowers.
14. Lacquer spray.


  1. They look great! I tried something similar with closed cones, painting them a dark blue/purple but it didn't really work because every time I looked at them they'd opened slightly more, revealing unpainted patches! I'll have to try your idea using the open cones instead.

  2. Love it! I may try carving the trunks out of styrofoam. These will be a great addition to my alien trees:

  3. Wow - my humble mumbling get into Dropship Horizon! :)