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Grass and ground over - Grass & Ground Cover - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 01:39 pm
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Passed Driver
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 Hi All. Now that I am catching up with the ground cover, I have come unstuck ? It would seem that I require a better adhesive than the PVA, that I have used for other stuff. I puddled PVA on a test piece and using a tack, I clipped an alligator clip on, but then I noticed that the glue had spread, but, that is what the bloke on the YouTube video had recommended. Would some kind Modeller put me on the correct track to success?Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 02:09 pm
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Hi Kevin, is this question also related to your other recent thread, 'Scenery and ground cover' ?

If so, you must be talking about using static grass and yes, PVA is absolutely the universally recognised way to go and you may have diluted it far too much or have some iffy thin stuff from a less than reputable source.

Try again with just a small patch, using a thin layer of brush applied (2" decorator's paint brush) undiluted PVA (it should NOT run away from you!) and see how it looks when fully dry. 

You can then add some water if necessary, but the PVA will dry clear and leave lovely upright grass, clumps, stalks, etc, depending what stock you're using.

BTW, I just looked at just one youtube video of a bloke completely ballsing up trying to apply static grass. He clearly had not read the instructions and was shaking his applicator over a patch of PVA with the electrode attached to a random section of running rail nowhere near the glue! I've said it before, beware of advice from youtube!

Bon courage,

Bill



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 03:42 pm
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I agree with Bill Kevin there is some very usefull stuff on youtube but there is a percentage of rubbish that can lead you up the garden path or end up costing you through wasted materials and time.
Just remember anyone can make a youtube video there is no qualification in anyway to prove you actually know what you are talking about.

Brian



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 04:07 pm
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Hi Bill.  I used the stuff straight out of the bottle, no dilution at all , and I have used it for Ballasting without problems. Maybe it is getting passed it, a bit like me ? Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 04:13 pm
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Hi Brian. Thank you very much. I don’t like wasting anything at all. The PVA is about three years old from the £1.00 shop, maybe it has had its day?   Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 07:26 pm
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Hey Kevin,
I use it from the bottle, spread it reasonably thin in small ish areas and go from there. I tend now to sprinkle the grass through my fingers rather than the applicator as I can control the flow and position of the grass better. I then go over with the applicator to make it stand on end!

I just get cheap stuff from the bound shop too as it doesn’t actually need to be that strong for most things!



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 09:21 pm
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Hi Chris. Thank you for your reply. I got in a bit of a panic, when the PVA went everywhere . Later I realised my error, I poured out too much, following the YouTube example . Not only that but I was using the wrong flock What a silly billy as I had only purchased the really short one, for weathering walls. I will have to purchase the correct stuff, next time I go to a Model Railway show. Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 10:06 pm
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Hi Bill. Yet another reply. One of the YouTube videos, as you would expect, at least one, was a trade video, with a poster of “ Uncle Sam “ with the words “ I want you to flock “. I have already admitted one error, I used too much PVA and not only that, I used the wrong flock, the flock that is meant for “ Weathering Walls “ very short. Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Mon Nov 19th, 2018 11:07 pm
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This thread seems to have wandered off a bit, with some replies seeming to be talking about sticking flock powders (other media are available) down with glue, rather than static electrically charged nylon tufts with a static grass applicator, although I appreciate that the various methods can produce perfectly acceptable results for different people. 

I think I'll sit back for a while and give my brain a rest!

Cheers m'dears,

Bill 



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 06:28 am
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Hi Bill  . Thank you for your reply. One thread was on the static grass applicator. And the other thread was on the PVA and the statics grass. And the realisation that I tried to apply the grass meant for weathering walls by mistake for ground cover. And I will have to purchase the correct, long, stuff at the next model railway show.  Best wishes Kevin 



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 12:10 pm
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Here is my method for applying static grass. I use a Noch applicator and have been pleased with it.
I use a 50:50 mixture of Craft PVA and water. I apply it with a brush, about 1-2 cm. To be honest I use whatever brush is close at hand.
I paint the glue on to an area no more than about 30cm square. The glue is not applied very thickly and is almost transparent. For the applicator clip I use a nail in the glue. I do a small section of grass at a time. Maybe 15cm square.
I used to mix the various lengths of static grass in the hopper. But now use layering with the cheapest hairspray from the local supermarket as the 'glue'.
Hope that helps
Cheers
Evan

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 12:48 pm
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This layering beats me. OK, PVA and a nail for the first lot, but to what does the grass in the subsequent layers stick?  What does the static nail go in, second time around? If more PVA, how does that go on without wrecking the first lot of grass?  If hair spray, what makes hairspray in tiny particles conductive like the PVA and nail for a second or third layer?  Even Mr. Gravett doesn't explain this in his book, which I have.
Martin



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 12:52 pm
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Hi Evan. Thank you for your reply. I thought that the Noch applicator was too dear for me, cheapskate? and I visited the £1.00 shop, and knocked up one myself. Maybe my mistake was pouring neat PVA straight from the bottle, and ended up with a puddle??? Apart from the fact that I used the short flock in error. Now that I know the, or one of the,correct ways of doing it, it will be a Proper Job next time.   Best wishes Kevin       PS what was the hairspray idea about??



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 10:13 pm
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I hope this answers your questions
For the first layer i will usually use 2mm static grass and make sure the area is fully covered.Give the glue plenty of time to dry before starting the next layer. I know this because...
With the second and sometimes a third layer the nail goes into the baseboard or plaster hills in amongst the first layer of grass.
I found that using diluted PVA for subsequent layers flattens the first layer. Maybe the PVA/water is too heavy. Hairspray (look for something cheap, extra firm hold)acts as a glue. A couple of passes with the spray is enough. I have not tried the layering sprays that are now on the market so can't comment on them.
The second layer can also be 2 mm or 6mm if it is meant to be unkempt. With this layer i make the coverage of static grass a bit more random and don't try for full coverage. In this way you get grass of differing lengths. I may also mix the colours. EG i may add a patch of autumn or winter grass.
Sometimes I will go back and do a third layer if the area looks too even in colour or length.
Good luck.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 10:31 pm
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I'm with Evan on this.  I use 2mm grass as a base, into PVA.  Then I add additional grass using hairspray.  I've found it important to work in small areas at a time and I mix the grasses up each time to give a little variation.  For rough pasture or fields, I scrunch up the first layer, to create some ridges and troughs.  Then go over it all again with 2mm grass, then again, focussing on the ridges, with some longer grasses, each time varying the mix of grass a little for some variation.  But hairspray definitely works as a glue.  Once finished I give the whole area a good spray of the hairspray and it's done.  Rock solid and effective.

I've also experimented with a nicely mown lawn effect.  I make strips of light and dark grass, then attach them in alternating rows to a thin piece of card and voila!  I haven't actually used them on the layout because I am not that far advanced, but it definitely works!

Regards
Michael



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 10:43 pm
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Right, so....first layer is static, subsequent layers are just glued and scattered, sticking to the hairspray speckled first fibres and a little ground.?
Basically the first, static, layer acts as a support structure for the subsequent applications of effectively scattered fibres.

Martin



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 10:59 pm
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Not exactly, my fault in my explanation.  First layer is static into PVA.  Subsequent static layers, using an applicator, are on top, fixed with hairspray.  The hairspray attaches the subsequent layer to the fixed static grass.  

WarWorld scenics -  wwscenics.com - have some excellent static grass products and videos, which I have adapted to my own style, but follow the same principles.  I have their applicator, which I can recommend, which I bought in their kit, including their glues.  But basically it is PVA and a spray.  I have found hairspray to be as good as their spray and much cheaper.  They claim their glues are chosen for their ability to conduct electricity.  My physics teachers at my school suggest this might be a marketing tool - anything which has a water base will conduct electricity equally!  

But I have definitely found their static grass to be of a high standard and good colour mixes and once applied very realistic.  I've built up a collection of different colours and lengths over time (while I was in planning mode..... so quite a time!) and they haven't let me down, unlike some other grasses I've tried.  But definitely check out their videos, they are very helpful.

Hope that helps

Michael



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 11:03 pm
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Martin, That's right. But just to clarify, I use the Noch applicator for all layers. I have tried to scatter the static grass by hand but I just couldn't make it work.

I'm impressed with Michael's mown lawn effect. What a great idea.

Cheers
Evan

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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 11:12 pm
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Thanks, chaps for confirming what I'd assumed had to be the case.  I've been using hairspray on model trees and hedges and even my favourite lint grass since I was about 13!  I learned it all at the Ilford and West Essex club back then. All our grass was lint, not the type that is stuck down and ripped up, that's pointless, but stuck down after dying and locally coloured up, then tufted or rolled or shaven or trimmed and wild flowers added from a toothbrush with a knife drawn across. All those techniques. Only the static first layer is really new.  I still prefer lint for shorter grass, but static seems to work well for longer, rougher stuff and clumping/tufts.  Also seems to work very well on trees.
Here's some lint on my 8" square set-piece of Paglesham sea wall


Cheers,
Martin



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 Posted: Tue Nov 20th, 2018 11:18 pm
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What I nice little scene!  Lint is new to me.... could you explain?

Regards
Michael



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