Tuesday 4 November 2014

Now trim the bush

And the bit I like. The main shift on the upswing to 7mm is the scenics. Ground foam won't do. I've not had the cash or incentive to enter into the sticky-up grass movement so beloved of the Model Rail/Hornby/BRM brigade (if I was a beginner today I'd be brow beaten into the static grass/airbrush/DCC/Photoshop model method which they all religiously promote) but being me I'll stick to the cheap bits of rubbish that I've always used. Here the rough grass low bank at the rear of M. Stanley has been covered in a mix of tea (builders and green) carpet underfelt and horse hair. Only the latter was directly paid for. This is pre-trimming and tidying with a pair of nail scissors.


  1. Oh, Lordy, someone of my own heart. These methods worked well before, they still do. I have seen some impressive work with static grass, but it does tend to look a bit samey after a while, I think. DCC, waste of time on a small layout with only one loco visible at a time. Airbrushes? Any ,but the external mix types (Badger, Humbrol, Revell, Paasche) are a waste of money as the sharp needles don't stay that way and they won't work otherwise.
    Oh, don't forget your died or painted lint to go with the tea leaves and horse hair. I have used all those things to do scenery. If it was good enough for George Stokes, it'll do me, ta.
    These comments are NOT meant to be taken as "ironic", ...I mean them!

  2. The comments weren't meant as an attack - I'm very admiring of the work of certain modellers who use these methods very well. What I don't like is the way that in some quarters these are pushed as the only way. I'll generally look back to Stokes/Gill/Ahern first and then to the newer boys for technique inspiration.

  3. I can only agree with Odds. Perhaps it's me age, but I just can't raise the enthusiasm to meddle with static grass doo-dahs, airbrushes or DCC. When I see how well a layout like Pagham, or even your Edge looks and runs, then compare it to one of those fancy all-singing all-dancing efforts, I know which I prefer.

    I saw a a huge American roundy-roundy at Uckfield and was stunned by the vast array of stock in the not so hidden sidings. It was all straight out of the box and must have cost thousands. It would have been been impressive seeing great long scale trains trundling round, but the scenery was really bland. Also, I had to giggle as the two operators (also huge) were slumped in chairs clutching tablets which controlled the trains. There didn't seem to be any engagement with the punters or even each other. It all looked rather solitary and sad. So much for modern. Give me old fashioned DIY any day.

  4. Not much cash required for static grass. I've said in person and in print many times that the essential tool is a £4.50 puffer bottle - it gets grass in to corners that the electric tools can't and will do field sized spaces, just more slowly. I'm a relatively recent owner of a Grassmaster and only bought it because it speeds some jobs up for me - but then I'm not a typical modeller.

    I did use teased out hanging basket liners from the pound shop sprinkled with flock on a 7mm layout and was complimented several times on their effectiveness. Horse hair - used that in 4mm earlier this year for hedges, again, very effective. These techniques are being used and promoted, but not everyone wants to believe this.

    And DCC on a small layout - pointless unless you want sound. And I don't.