Yes, it is an old way of making trees.And with a bit of patience, imagination and time one can make wonderful trees. I've used it for a 0n30 layout and also for one 0e. The only point is that if you intend to make big trees, nice done and in some quantity you will wake up suddenly when needed to move the layout. It is amazing how heavy they are. Sure if 1:32.
I discovered a short time ago that very nice armatures can be done from plant roots. It is some work to get the clean but the kind and the amount of branches is excelent even for 1:32 scale. Also the ramifications are much more than in the branches of any plant and they are relatively flexible.They also have much more character in the form.
I seem to recall a technique for making tree armatures from stranded wire, with the strands teased apart at one end in stages to form the branches. Perhaps the technique could be adapted for making mangroves, with the bottom end teased apart and bent to form the arching roots. The original technique was for smaller scales where available stranded wire sizes would suffice; for 1:32 scale, it might be necessary to make one's own bundles of twisted wire to get trees of sufficient size.
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