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Static grass fibres


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I thought I had asked this before but it seems I haven't! Although there appear to be quite a lot of different makes on the market - see July Model Rail, they don't all seem to be available in the UK. Furthermore, the 'illustrations' aren't all that helpful. From the photos that have been posted on RM Web a lot of people are using them very successfully. It would be great to know who's using what (make, colour, length, etc.), it could save me a lot of time (and money) chasing my tail round the internet which is doing my poor head in! Oh and its raining at last which means the real grass will grow like mad and I will have to spend valuable time cutting it when I could be playing trains!

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I agree - having just purchased my first EBay 'grassmaster' and some basics from International Models a bit of advice would be wlcome. From the UTube videos it wouold appear that these homemade grassmasters have to be nadled very close to the baseboard - is there any improvement with different types of static grass?

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From my limited experience (small area on my first test-track, a few small areas for photos, and now most of my current larger test-track), they're all equally good in terms of how they work. For me, what matters is the colours, and whether those are appropriate to place and season. Some examples of grasses are already a mix or blend, others are a solid colour throughout. What I usually do is mix a few together - just drop them all in and run your fingers through them a little, no point going for "fully mixed", random more-like-A, more-like-B patches within the area are a desirable result. Similarly, if long grass is permissible (rough areas), I'll mix long and short together.

 

You have to judge colour for yourself, pics in catalogues or online are unreliable and anyway we probably all see shades differently.

 

If this is going to be an important feature of your layout, maybe try some test areas first. If it's just "summer, I need some grass on my layout", go with whatever is easily available to you. I tend to be more interested in the scenery than the trains, but even I recognize it's only a small part of getting a running layout.

 

ĸen

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Found this on another site and wondered what poeple thought

 

 

While you wait for Noch's UK distributor to wake up and get hold of some 'GrasMasters' , there is a very simple, cheap and obvious alternative which works, well, nearly as well!

Do you remember those long ago days of childhood when a party balloon, having been rubbed on your clothing, could be 'stuck' to the wall as if by magic? Well, that's static, and if you pass a suitably rubbed balloon half an inch or so above your static grass immediately after you have dispensed it, hey presto the grass stands up! Don't forget to say some magic words though!

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Hi,

I haven't personally used the cheaper alternative to the grassmaster, but I've seen some excellent results from traders, at shows.

 

I did borrow a Noch, for use on my min-space O gauge (Clarbeston North) and it worked very well indeed!

I found it to be much better with an aperture narrowing cone (avail as separate attachment) on the front.

I found that the cone concentrates the fibres and the charge better.

 

However, with the "strainer" type device - this would obviously not be possible......

 

For my O gauge layout, I preferred the longer fibres, but these may be a bit too long if near the rails in 4mm.

I usually opt for dead grass colours around railway embankments - but I found it best to mix a few colours (and makes!) together, to get a nice un-evenness to the tone.

 

The main problem I found was in the glue used to stick the fibres down.....

Some say that PVA can leave a sheen on the ground under the grass.

I did find this, but different glues will have different effects.

Maybe best to experiment on a bit of rough board first!

 

Woodland scenics do a glue which is supposedly made for this job,

but I personally found this glue didn't grip the fibres as well as PVA....

Have since bought a pot of glue from green scene, which I haven't yet tried...

the sales rep said it was the best on the market for this particular job :rolleyes:

 

I used a very cheap (cheaper the better) hairspray, to fix it all down a bit more firmly.

I think this has worked pretty well.

 

I've also added some very fine scatter - some really overbright, lurid colours too,

but not going too over the top! And a bit of a dry-brush over, with acrylic yellow paint,

sparingly, to represent really dried-out, parched grass tips.

 

I think static-grass is fantastic!

Hope you get on well with the device.

Post some piccies when you can.

 

Marc :D

post-2973-12779778397_thumb.jpg

post-2973-127797785009_thumb.jpg

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I've used both the Heki and the Woodland Scenics fibres. My first comment would be that you need to check the colour under whatever lighting you intend using over your layout. I abandoned the Woodland Scenics product as it had a slight bluish tinge under my halogen lighting which the Heki did not. Now it may be that a blue tinge is ideal for your (distant) hill top and the Heki would be put to one side so start with small packs if there is a choice and try them out. You can of course blend different colours, I've used 'winter grass' mixed in with 'spring grass' where there is a need for the sort of vegetation that looks a little moth eaten, cracks in concrete or growing alongside buildings. You may also want to experiment with the colour of the underlying surface, most of mine is either on grey emulsion or uncoloured PolyPlasta. As far as I can see the make of fibre doesn't matter but you will need to experiment to find colour combinations that work for you.

 

Tony Comber

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I used horse hair that was cut by hand in some of my experiments with static electricity. It added a touch of randomness, because of the different lengths.

 

This ought to be renamed, the hairy mole page:

http://ardleybridge.fotopic.net/c1412580.html

 

Those big shed/fence brushes have fibres which can be charged. They are a £1 a go in Poundland (well they would be!!!) There is a lot of fibre on one brush. Might be worth a consideration

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Found this on another site and wondered what poeple thought

 

 

While you wait for Noch's UK distributor to wake up and get hold of some 'GrasMasters' , there is a very simple, cheap and obvious alternative which works, well, nearly as well!

Do you remember those long ago days of childhood when a party balloon, having been rubbed on your clothing, could be 'stuck' to the wall as if by magic? Well, that's static, and if you pass a suitably rubbed balloon half an inch or so above your static grass immediately after you have dispensed it, hey presto the grass stands up! Don't forget to say some magic words though!

 

Hmmm, might give that ago tomorrow!

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Have you guys see this on ebay, very cheap@ £12.99, Might be worth a go ?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110549325902&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

You could probably make this for yourself at half the price, I made my own applicator following instructions found on the net and it works just fine.

 

Colin

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You could probably make this for yourself at half the price, I made my own applicator following instructions found on the net and it works just fine.

 

Colin

 

Did you remove the resistor to make it more powerful?

Interested cos I'm thinking of trying it.

I fond the one I made needs to operate VERY close to the earth nail, and we all know what happens of you accidentally touch it..

I wonder if removing the resistor would allow it to be used further away?

 

Cheers

Chris

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  • RMweb Gold

Although it's the most expensive option, my Noch Grassmaster bought on offer from International Models, has turned out to be the best scenic investment that I've ever made. As to fibres I have found the 'MiniNature' grass flock in 4.5mm and 6.5mm lengths to be the best. I particularly like the winter and autumn colours in preference to the rather bright 'nuclear' spring and summer shades, even used when portraying spring and summer scenes. They appear much more muted and natural than the brighter shades.

 

One very useful extra that comes with the Noch machine is the cone attachment which has proved very useful for limited tight situations and for grassing linear areas.

 

Still a bit more work to do in the snap below, but it's proved very useful for this sort of thing.

post-6728-127835736805_thumb.jpg

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Did you remove the resistor to make it more powerful?

Interested cos I'm thinking of trying it.

I fond the one I made needs to operate VERY close to the earth nail, and we all know what happens of you accidentally touch it..

I wonder if removing the resistor would allow it to be used further away?

 

Cheers

Chris

I didn't remove the resistor, however I allways make sure the batteries are freshly charged.....this seems to work for me OK.

 

Colin

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The main problem I found was in the glue used to stick the fibres down.....

Some say that PVA can leave a sheen on the ground under the grass.

I did find this, but different glues will have different effects.

Maybe best to experiment on a bit of rough board first!

 

 

The problem that I found with using PVA was that it wasn't sticky enough. About half the fibres would always fall over into the PVA. I now use a new very sticky glue available from http://www.green-sce...ts.htm#flocking (It doesn't seem to be on their new website yet) I bought my first lot from one of their exhibition stands. It works extremely well for me.

 

A good vacuuming after it's all dry helps a lot.

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Although it's the most expensive option, my Noch Grassmaster bought on offer from International Models, has turned out to be the best scenic investment that I've ever made. As to fibres I have found the 'MiniNature' grass flock in 4.5mm and 6.5mm lengths to be the best. I particularly like the winter and autumn colours in preference to the rather bright 'nuclear' spring and summer shades, even used when portraying spring and summer scenes. They appear much more muted and natural than the brighter shades.

 

One very useful extra that comes with the Noch machine is the cone attachment which has proved very useful for limited tight situations and for grassing linear areas.

 

Still a bit more work to do in the snap below, but it's proved very useful for this sort of thing.

 

Looks great, are you working in 7mm? Where did you get your MiniNature grass flock?

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Have you guys see this on ebay, very cheap@ £12.99, Might be worth a go ?

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=STRK:MESELX:IT

 

Thanks for the tip off on these* - I ordered one Tuesday and it fell through the letter box yesterday. I had been quite dubious that it'd be any good for the price, but after a little playing I'm really pleased with it. I ordered a selection of grasses from International Models* and only used the Winter one, the others to me look far too garish (although admittedly I like very muted tones with greenery). There's a photo below of what I've done so far, I'll probably add a few greeny tones with an airbrush later on.

 

update1.jpg

 

On word of warning though - if using one be very careful. If the strainer and the croc clip touch while you're in contact with either, it gives a hell of a jolt. I don't know if it's genuinely dangerous but I can't imagine it'd be good for those with a weak heart.

 

*Usual disclaimer.

 

Pix

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Got the Noch Gras Master today...not impressed at all...my first gripe is that i can only use it with the cone attached since it was shipped without the locking ring and the other screens for use without the cone..so only very small areas can be done. Furthermore it doesn't seem to increase the "stand-up" of the static grass anymore than the Noch Static Puffer bottle ($12)...so in my humble opinion the Gras Master is an over-priced gimmick...save yourself some money and use the bottle...same results for $100 less cost.

 

Cheers

Gene

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Those big shed/fence brushes have fibres which can be charged. They are a £1 a go in Poundland (well they would be!!!) There is a lot of fibre on one brush. Might be worth a consideration

 

Has anyone else experimented with alternatives to bought supplies of static grass? In this thread we have mention of horse hair and fence brushes.

 

Did these work well?

 

Are there other materials that would provide a cheaper alternative? (I appreciate basic colouring becomes an additional cost - seems a lot of people spray "highlights" into their grass anyway.)

 

If static grass is rayon or polyester fibres, where does one source them?

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Got the Noch Gras Master today...not impressed at all...my first gripe is that i can only use it with the cone attached since it was shipped without the locking ring and the other screens for use without the cone..so only very small areas can be done. Furthermore it doesn't seem to increase the "stand-up" of the static grass anymore than the Noch Static Puffer bottle ($12)...so in my humble opinion the Gras Master is an over-priced gimmick...save yourself some money and use the bottle...same results for $100 less cost.

 

Cheers

Gene

 

Send it back and get a complete one without all the missing bits because you need those to make it work. Those who have used it here rate it very highly. Below, a mix of 6mm Mininatur and Noch autumn/winter grasses from either Gaugemaster or Interenational Models for that dry summer look.

post-6681-127940200419_thumb.jpg

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The shop owner called from across the continent, apologized profusely and said he'd get the missing parts into the mail asap. Hopefully thats sorted and I'll be a convert in due course.

Cheers

Gene

 

 

Send it back and get a complete one without all the missing bits because you need those to make it work. Those who have used it here rate it very highly. Below, a mix of 6mm Mininatur and Noch autumn/winter grasses from either Gaugemaster or Interenational Models for that dry summer look.

post-6681-127940200419_thumb.jpg

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