Seafoam Trees & Foliage

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Seafoam Trees and Foliage
While taking part in the Panther/Jagdpanther campaign I used some sea foam foliage attached to the sides of my Jagdpanther build and I was asked to write up a short article on how I did it. This method is simplicity itself and the results in my opinion are very good. This process can be used to make trees, bushes, or branches and because of this some thought needs to be put into your selection of the seafoam as it can be used stand alone, and for trees of about 30ft and taller if used in conjunction with a substitute tree trunk.

• Seafoam
• Scatter
• PVA glue
• Water
• Spray bottle
• Polystyrene/ clay/plasticine/multi-hand tool
• Matt/Satin/Gloss varnish

If you want to stay in the “bosses” good books you will need to have some old newspaper on hand to cover your work space, or do what I did on this occasion and did the dirty work outside.

Select the seafoam that you want to use for your foliage (mine came from Joefix), most packages contain pieces of various lengths and bushiness’. You then need to pluck out any leaves/seedpods that have remained in place during the time the seafoam has dried out as these leaves/seedpods will spoil the overall effect if viewable. To accomplish this task I use a fine pair of tweezers. You can see by the number that I removed from this one piece that you need to look carefully.

This next step is a matter of choice; seafoam when dried is very light tan to red in colour and you may wish to spray paint the seafoam to more suit your colour need. If you decide to paint the seafoam you must allow the paint to set fully before moving on.

You now mix PVA glue with water at a ratio of about 50/50 but this is a matter of choice, you will need to make sure the PVA is thoroughly mixed with the water. Place this solution into a spray bottle, the spray bottles I use are the empty containers most cleaning products are packaged in these days with a trigger operated pump.

Now use a couple of old Chinese takeaway containers or similar and place your chosen scatters into them, pick two complimentary scatters, which for me are a dark and a light shade, or a mixed blend scatter which I feel works best.

You now spray your PVA/water mixture over the seafoam and either dunk it into the scatter or add it by hand, remember to add the dark colour scatter first and the give the seafoam another light spray of the water/PVA mixture and add your lighter colour scatter if using two colours. You now insert the stem of the seafoam into Polystyrene/ clay/plasticine/multi-hand tool and allow it to dry.

Last step for me is to spray either a Matt/Satin/Gloss varnish onto the tree/bush/branch which serves two purposes which are: to set the scatter in place which prevents Autumn taking place on your diorama, and secondly your chosen varnish also gives the impression of a wet, damp, or dry environment or season. Once dry you can put the finished items to your chosen use.

If you want to use this method to make tall trees I suggest using the dried stems from last year’s fuchsia plants which you then drill into and insert the seafoam branches. If you are going to try this remember to only use scatter of the top surface and sides as there are no leaves on the underside of branches.
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About the Author

About Darren Baker (CMOT)

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...


Ola Darren Very good step by step with a very nice result as well. Great job.
JUL 30, 2012 - 10:50 AM
Thank you I am glad you found it interesting and of use to you. Steve; PVA glue is so cheap that I don't really bother ordering specific glues, I do however usually order the glue that Treemendus makes when getting supplies.
JUL 30, 2012 - 12:23 PM
Darren, Found your SBS extremely useful....thanks to ya! What did you use for scatter?
JUL 30, 2012 - 10:31 PM
Really excellent. Scale trees are not only hard to find, but damn expensive!
JUL 31, 2012 - 06:25 AM
Art I use Treemendus Scatters and here is a link to them.
JUL 31, 2012 - 07:30 AM
Thanks Darren...appreciate the link and info!
AUG 01, 2012 - 02:28 AM
Just seen this one, excellent SBS Darren. You make it look so easy! I think this article may help get Treemendus a few more orders, including one from me
AUG 01, 2012 - 05:09 AM
I really like the Treemendus product lines and the owner is always willing to go the extra mile to help you get the most from them. The other plus for me at least is the consistency of the products with the forest floor scatter being my favourite due to the various components in the mix that results in a very natural look when used. These trees/bushes are very easy to produce and its quick and easy to do.
AUG 01, 2012 - 07:00 AM
Very informative article and looks easy to do. I only wish I knew what "seafoam" is and where to buy it.
APR 19, 2013 - 09:40 AM
Seafoam is an all natural product and is the above ground portion of a plant native to the US I believe. The seafoam I used here came from "Joefix" but there are quite a few places where this product can be purchased, I suggest looking at companies that sell flora and fauna diorama products.
APR 19, 2013 - 09:01 PM