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First Look Review
Bare Deciduous Trees
X-Large Deciduous Armatures 5 Pack 9”-11”
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Sweetwater Scenery

Model trees by Sweetwater Scenery are well known and sought after in the model railroad community. These natural wood armatures create some of the most authentic looking trees on the market. Each armature is unique. These trees look great for all but the smallest scales.

Sweetwater Scenery also offers other high quality structures which includes aspens and pine tree structures and kits, in addition to branches, grass and ground cover. While Sweetwater Scenery is best known for its Deciduous Armatures and Field Grass, we offer a wide variety of other realistic products. The Sweetwater Debris and Sweetwater Deadfall have been very popular for realistic ground cover.[1]

X-Large Deciduous Armatures 5 Pack 9”-11”

These model hardwoods are cut from natural sagebrush. As such they have incredible detail. Sweetwater Scenery claims this allows them to support 2 to 3 times as many branches and limbs than other structures on the market. You do not have to risk piercing your fingers bending wires because there is no metal in the wood (except for the planting spikes).

I will not try to describe this product in detail because a picture is worth a thousand words; the photo pixels will do better than my text!

While this review is of the pack of five trees, these armatures are sold individually. The are packed in plastic bags sealed with a cardstock label. This does not seem like much protection but my bag has traveled over 3,600 miles in the past three years with minimum breaking and shedding. The planting spikes are stuck into Styrofoam pieces to prevent tearing up the bag. However, the branches do become intertwined--use care taking these out of their package!

Tis the Season...?

Though these are bare trees they can be made for any season. They can be used for dead trees or trees in winter. With branch material and foliage they can model broadleaf trees in their summer glory! Being wood their gray appearance can be painted or stained to the color of whatever tree species you desire.

Which Scales Are Appropriate?

Many species of deciduous trees soar 90 to 120 feet (27 m to 37 m) high when mature. These X-Large Deciduous Armatures are 9 to 11 inches (23 cm to 28 cm) tall. Nine inches equals the following heights for these common model scales:

* 26 ft / 8 m in 1:35
* 36 ft / 11 m in 1:48 ( O scale)
* 54 ft / 17 m in 1:72
* 65 ft / 20 m in 1:87 (H0 scale)
* 90 ft / 28 m for 1:120 (TT scale)
* a stately 120 feet / 37 m in 1:160 (N scale)

To demonstrate how these trees look with different scales, these models in common scales are used for perspective:

* 1/35 Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger I
* 1/35 Fallschirmjäger
* 1/48 T-34
* 1/48 Brewster Buffalo
* 1/72 Pfalz D.XII
* HO (1/87) Sdkfz 251/10
* HO house with Ford F-850 grain truck
* HO reefer.


You do not have the option of twisting wire armatures to your aesthetic taste because these are not made of wire. Sweetwater Scenery X-Large Deciduous Armatures simulate real trees because they are real wood. The bark has natural texture authentic for many genera. The boughs do not tapper much; this is not noticeable if you add foliage.

Sweetwater Scenery Deciduous Armatures afford modelers of all genre great looking trees for all but the smallest scales. Highly recommended!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on the KitMaker Network.

[1] Sweetwater Scenery Website

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Natural wood armatures in unique shapes. Great bark texture.
Lows: Thick boughs.
Verdict: These great looking trees are suitable for all but the smallest scales. You can effectively model dead and winter trees, or apply foliage to create trees in their summer glory.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 204-5
  Suggested Retail: $57.95
  Related Link: Sweetwater Scenery Gallery
  PUBLISHED: Mar 21, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States

About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright ©2020 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


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