Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ballasting and static grass laying

Brave new world. Ages ago an acquaintance who was giving up passed me a box of scenic materials half of which was static grass and a puffer bottle. Dury's Gap seemed like a good small area on which to try it. There were three or four colours and lengths so I tried small mixes to see what happened. I'm still not sure. On the plus side it's very fast to put down, on the minus it is tricky to work it onto more vertical surfaces and it doesn't smooth out my rough paper mache ground work as well as the ground foam. Another layer of other stuff will follow.
The ballast is another slight change; Dury's Gap's back story is a late 19th century built freight only line on the Sussex/Kent coast, so probably left with the SER's shingle ballast. Therefore a mix of real Camber sand, some playpen sand and the usual magnesium ballast is being used, stuck down with the usual PVA dropper method. Lot's of new things  - we'll see if it all works in time for the Wealden exhibition in March. I don't have long.


  1. It works quite nicely if you put a layer of ground foam, ash, sand etc underneath the static grass if that works better for you.

  2. Ummmm...having first used static grass in the 1980s (I remember buying a Noch puffer bottle and grass from Robertson's in Hailsham some time in that decade) I still remain to be convinced. Whilst I have used it both then and more recently, I don't reckon that it's the "instant realism" panacea some would have you believe. Certainly some of the colours leave a lot to be desired (the only time I've ever seen grass with orangey bits in as supplied in a bag with the puffer bottle was when the verges at work got hit with weed killer); even with more subtle colours, the overall effect is often that of a load of dead straight fibres all pointing in different directions like Sid Vicious on a bad hair day.
    Emperor's new clothes?

  3. Whereas I swear by it. I always mix the colours and keep them as muted and faded as possible. Poisonous green is for toytown. I've never tried a puffer bottle but make applicators from a cheap fly-zapper and a pound shop sieve very easily. I'll knock one up for you if you want to experiment.

  4. Definitely needs some groundfoam etc underneath and a mixture of lengths. I have an electric teastrainer you're welcome to. Brian C