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Primo Models Blog

Primo Models Layout- Part 7 How to make a realistic model forest?

Post by: Michal Kmiec #Primo Models

Primo Models - Realistic Model Forest

This article will be a little bit different than usual and instead of a tutorial, it will sort of “Frequently asked questions” regarding using our trees for example to create realistic model forest. I will do my best to update this article whenever new questions appear. I add this article to the Primo Models Tutorials section with the hope that answers to these questions will help you to use our trees in the best possible way to create even more realistic model scenery. 

Question 1

I want to make a model forest on my layout, how many trees do I need to cover space of the size “X”?

There is no specific answer to this question. It all depends on the forest density and the tree types you want to use in it. To help you as much as we can with estimating the number of trees you need to cover the required space, we have updated our product descriptions with each tree maximum diameter. For example, assuming that you have space of 27x27cm that you want to cover with our “Forest Larch Trees 18-20cm” whose maximum diameter is around 9cm each you would need roughly 9 trees to cover the area with low-density forest. Furthermore, in the case of “Forest Larch Trees 18-20cm” you could expect to be able to fit another 3-4 trees to maximize the density of the forest which is around 35-45% more. Keep in mind that these are only estimations as there is no limits to what you can/should do. 

Question 2

Do the trees come with some sort fo wire sticking out of the bottom so they can be easily inserted into the board? 

Almost all of our trees are made of metal wire or wooden sticks and they come on round wooden supports which you can easily take off and place the tree inside previously drilled/made hole for it on the board. Whenever required, you can push in a little bit of bark part as well and regulate the tree hight modestly. 

Question 3

I was thinking about an attractive and effective way of mixing up trees to make more realistic model forest scenery. Should I have a lot of different tree sizes or keep them the same? How dense should be the forest? Should I use a different type of trees or just one like for example “Old Pine Tree 18-20cm”?

First of all, mixing the trees. Unless you are trying to make a replica of a place which does have only Pine trees, I would always advise to mix pine, spruce, and larch trees. They created a more realistic and exciting final composition, even if it is just one or two amongst the majority of other types of trees. In most cases, you cannot go wrong with the forest structure. 

If you want to stick to only Pine trees, I would say to use mostly “young” pine trees in the inner part of the forest and use Old pines for the edges of the woods. Trees on the side of the forest receive way more light, so they are more overgrown while inner trees focus on the very top of their foliage.

When it comes to hight, the inner forest trees should be around the same hight. Inner trees always race with each other for light, so they are tallest in the surroundings. Most of the time the terrain is the main factor that creates the illusion of some forest trees being much higher or lower than others when looked at from far away. The sides of the forest usually consist of the trees in various stages of growth, from seedling through young trees to mature trees, so that is perhaps the best place to mix different tree sizes. I would always recommend to visit close by forest before creating the scenery or at least watch some pictures on the internet. 

When it comes to density, I think that the more and tighter they are, the more “wow” effect there is. As usual, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. 

Question 4

Can I order a custom made trees of any type and size I want?

We always try to do our best to fulfill our customers’ wishes. We can easily make for you any size you may need for the trees that are available in our current offer. When comes to different tree types we can try and develop the way to create the desired tree as realistic as possible. In fact, you could send us a picture of the specific tree you want and we would try our best to replicate it as well as possible. The only unknown for both cases however its time. Our primary focus is on sustaining current product range availability which thanks to fantastic responses from modellers it is harder and harder to keep up with it. For that reason, we cannot promise any specific timeframe within which the customer orders like that could be finished. We will treat each custom order individually and will give detailed information based on the situation at the time of receiving the order. For more information contact us at

Question 5

How else can I use Primo Model Trees?

Nobody asked that question, but I wanted to use the opportunity of this “FaQ” to spread the idea of using our trees as realistic model bushes. You can easily chop off some of the branches or all of them, and use them as beautiful bushes od varying in shape, size, and color. My favorite bushes are those made from our “Birch-Tree Models“.

As usual, I hope you have enjoyed reading the article and it will be helpful for you with building your projects. Please do not hesitate to leave any questions in the comments. 

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