As with the many other individuals involved with cottage industries serving the model railroading industry, I had a need for a really nice product—in my case great looking conifer trees—but could not locate any that suited my requirements. I wanted nice small ones, eye popping big ones with tons of detail, as well as dying and dead trees to complete the realism I was striving for in my forest scenes.
The answer I came up with was to make ‘em myself. Now, I could skip forward quickly by saying, “the rest is history,” but I am writing this at the end of 2004 and nearly nine years is a long time to be making model trees. (Pete here: It’s 2015 currently – over 19 years, Wow!)
I decided back in 1996 to do it right, so I embraced conifer trees by observing them closely through all four seasons, taking photos of them, climbing them (Yup, that’s work for an artist! I have a lot of respect for loggers!), taking samples back to my studio to copy the colors of the bark, foliage, and lichen under indoor lighting so they would look as natural as possible. I still observe trees of all kinds and take photos whenever I travel to get ideas for my DeepWoods ™ and DeepWoods ‘Uglies’ ™ creations. The results of my research I think show in the finished products.
Very early on, people asked if they could buy my trees—and NOW the rest is history. With the help of my wife, Barbara, we traveled to shows, then later with the help of two special friends, Charlie and Dan, we were able to take our show online so the world could see what we do. Now Canyon Creek Scenics trees are in a lot of places: much of the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, India, South Korea, and South America.
They Are in The Movies too!
We have met the greatest people in all scales of model railroading as well as the military modeling hobbies, the movie industry, and the world of architecture. It is truly amazing what these very talented people have done with our trees. They delight us by sending photos of their work. One customer in Belgium sent us an entire movie on DVD—what a surprise! Nice looking, large model forests take a long time to complete, but we plan to keep making trees as long as the Good Lord allows, so there is time to grow your forests slowly and steadily until they are completed and are so gorgeous that, as Charlie Comstock once suggested, “You can hear the little animals scurrying through the underbrush!”
Happy Modeling! Acknowledgements
We have been told many times that Canyon Creek Scenics trees are the finest of all; enough times that now we believe it may be so, and we have several people to thank for that. This website of forest scenery products was originally designed by my friend, Charlie Comstock. The webmaster duties have shifted to another talented friend, Dan Moss. My wife, Barbara, organizes the tangle of details that seems to grow exponentially with a business, keeps raw materials purchased and the bills paid. She is the artist behind much of the business stuff you see (like the logo and various business forms) and not only makes some of the products, but sees to it they are packed nicely and shipped to the customer.
I have a group of model railroad buddies who are mentors in many aspects of the hobby: Bill Metzger, who, when he ran the Evergreen Roundhouse, was our first customer—thanks, Bill! Then there are Len Bruening, Fred Page, John DeCamp, Terry Shellenberger, Ken Jackson, Dave Nottke, Jim Barta, Jerry Sheffield, Dan Moss and Charlie Comstock—every one a superb model railroader. These are the guys I bother to answer much of my model railroad and computer questions.
And when it comes to logging modeling I had Lyle Noah and Hal Peterson, both now deceased, to get advice from. Big loss there. Also gone are Ralph Livermore, Steve Kelsey and Dick Yager–miss them all.