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Static Grass Applicator - General Model Railway Discussion. - Other Areas. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Mar 9th, 2020 12:37 pm
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Ed
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Just tried out the static grass applicator I bought last year from a war gaming site (nearly £25), and my static grass isn't!

Just as I was finishing applying all the grass, I realised the light on the handle was intermittently flashing on and off.

Probably a bad connection, but basically nearly all my grass is flat.

I believe it's possible to apply another layer of static grass with spray adhesive, but I need to get another applicator.

I know it's possible to make DIY versions, but I was wondering what others have used.

Prices on some retail ones do seem a bit extortionate.



Ed



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 Posted: Mon Mar 9th, 2020 06:49 pm
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Campaman
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Started off with a fly swatter conversion which I still have and it sort of works, just needs extra help after use with a balloon rubbed against cloth passed over the semi erect grass. Recently got a wws scenics applicator, really good results, you pay you money and make your choice, personally wouldn't pay for the noch device.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 9th, 2020 07:23 pm
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Ed
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The Peco PSG-1 is looking favorite at the moment.

https://railsofsheffield.com/products/31556/peco-psg-1-any-scale-peco-scene-psg-1-pro-grass-micro-applicator



Ed



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 Posted: Mon Mar 9th, 2020 08:02 pm
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Longchap
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Hi Ed,

I have the Peco unit myself, although it as yet waits to see service, having been sourced for when needed.

Looking forward to seeing your results and hoping it goes well.

Bill



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 Posted: Mon Mar 9th, 2020 09:22 pm
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col.stephens
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The Peco unit is the WWS item with different branding on it. The WWS proprietor is actually demonstrating the Peco unit on the promotional video.

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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 12:15 am
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I too started out with a fly swat conversion, which was ok. Now have the WWS version, which I am pretty happy with.  Be aware that not all  so called static grass is equal.  Some take the charge much better than others.  It also depends on what sort of look you are going for.  Building the grass up in layers is better than trying to get a single covering all in one go, in my experience.
I still have to get the vacuum out occasionally to get a good upright appearance.. 

Michael



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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 07:15 am
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Ed
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WWS ?




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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 08:32 am
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The Q
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Ed wrote: WWS ?




Ed
https://www.war-world.co.uk/

This might help

https://www.kathymillatt.co.uk/blog/2017/02/02/how-to-make-static-grass-look-amazing/



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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 08:35 am
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Ed
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The Q wrote: Ed wrote: WWS ?




Ed
https://www.war-world.co.uk/

This might help

https://www.kathymillatt.co.uk/blog/2017/02/02/how-to-make-static-grass-look-amazing/
 
'https://www.war-world.co.uk/' doesn't work, already tried, unable to connect message.



Ed



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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 10:22 am
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Colin W
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FWIW and please excuse the ramble, I bought a Fly Swat for $6 (~3GBP) from "Arthur Daley's Emporium" in Central Melbourne, the locals may know it. At their core they're all the same, some electronics to take 4.5V battery potential and boost it to several KV via a transformer. I coupled that with a suitably sized / shaped small sieve on a handle for $2.80 from Daiso; they have lots of shapes and sizes; it must be a Japanese "thing", a kitchen tool for every possible need.

With a bit of extra design input e.g. making sieve removable from base unit it would be possible to have a very flat sieve for broad application and a more pointed one for fine area applications.

I was careful to choose a sieve with suitably sized holes and shape to ensure smooth delivery for my needs and that worked a charm doing all W-H layout. It may help here that our low humidity (usually) means less leakage. I've measured the spark on shorting at > 0.5cm and since AFAIR the resistivity of dry air is ~10KV/cm mine is punching at a fair rate.

I could get a serious charge (10KV) from running down 4 flights of nylon carpeted stairs in our Boston Apartment as a post-grad before the 1973 energy crisis (funny now that we have the reverse!) In those days homes were kept ridiculously warm and with sub-zero temps outside the humidity was v low. Used to short myself to the doorknob via a key or I got quite some jolt!

Limitations of my grassinator are purely volume related and on a large layout a bigger device would be warranted. I can't see why this can't be home built rather than spending lots on what is one little bit of basic electronics kit. All my grass these days is Peco and I find it works very well.







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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 11:26 am
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Campaman
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https://www.war-world.co.uk/ works for me.

I also use their static grass as well.

As said above the Peco is just a badged WWS one.



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 Posted: Tue Mar 10th, 2020 11:34 am
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Ed
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Works now, site must have been down.

Looks interesting, I've bookmarked it.

Thanks


Ed



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 11:43 am
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pnwood
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I managed to do all of the static grass requirements for Much Murkle more years ago than I care to remember now with a self converted fly swat. I wouldn't contemplate using it now on a new layout. They do not have the power, or load capacity to apply large quantities of fibres and struggle with any fibre length over 4mm.

I am one of the tutors for Pendon Museum's "Detailing the Scene" Adult workshops and as part of that course we explain to participants the capabilities of a number of different applicators and get them to try; Puffer Bottles, flyswats, the likes of Greenscene's Flockit, Noch Grassmaster through to a German made device, the name escapes me, that costs in excess of £200 and is powerful enough to make 12mm fibres stand up (perhaps longer). Participants are encouraged to bring their own devices if they have them to use and compare with the offerings that we have. Many who do have bought flyswats or ebay versions of the type marketed by Peco, Greenscene, WWS et al. They invariably are disappointed with the performance of their own device.
The type / size / capacity of the machine does affect the length of fibres that you can apply and how big an area that you wish to apply them to. You need to be able to complete the job quickly as glue doesn't stay receptive forever and you certainly do not want fibres laying flat on the glue because they have insufficient charge to stand up. You should however keep applying fibres until they lay flat on top of those standing up. That's a good sign that you have good coverage.

One other reason that people fail to get fibres to stand up consistently is that they are probably not using the correct technique. The applicator should be held as close to the glue as possible certainly no more that an inch away. The action should be to rotate the wrist to agitate the machine and not sweep backwards and forwards from the shoulder. Nor should you plunge the machine up and down.
As a guide; if you only want to use 2-4mm fibres in small quantities then a flyswat could be ok
4-6mm in larger areas then one from Peco, Greenscene, WWS etc should be where you look
The Noch should be good up to 8mm but anything you are going to need something with a lot more umph.

Layering Sprays are an excellent way of using shorter fibres to build up the height and colour variation of grasses.

There's an old saying "Ya pays yer money and ya teks yer choice". I haven't tried the Peco machine yet so for me the Greenscene Flockit is currently the weapon representing best performance at a sensible price for now.

If anyone is interested in the course you can find details HERE



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 01:23 pm
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Ed
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The Q wrote:
This might help

https://www.kathymillatt.co.uk/blog/2017/02/02/how-to-make-static-grass-look-amazing/

In this video, Kathy attaches the crocodile clip to some adjacent track

https://youtu.be/IiR83CikHoo?t=303

but in other videos I've seen and the in the instructions that came with the Peco PSG-1 I've just bought, it says attach the crocodile clip to a screw or nail inserted in the wet glued area.

confused again  :???:


Ed



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 03:28 pm
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Ed
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Think I've found the answer.

https://youtu.be/5jkLhq2Q39s?t=87


Ed



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 07:58 pm
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pnwood
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Ed wrote: Think I've found the answer.

https://youtu.be/5jkLhq2Q39s?t=87


Ed


Quite right Ed but we find it easier to push a nail / pin in somewhere close to clip the wire to leaving your hand free. Having the pin in the glue is one BIG myth.



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 08:07 pm
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Yes, quite a few myths - I have even seen glue for static grass marketed as being "better at conducting electricity"!
I find, as with most things, patience and building up layers to be more successful than trying to get a finished result in one go.  I am sure there are a few tricks people have discovered.  When building one of my practise boards, I was trying various ways of modelling grass, including fake fur.  I just couldn't get it to look like grass..... so I sprayed it with glue and went to work with my DIY fly swat over the top of the failed fur grass - results below





Michael



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 Posted: Thu Mar 12th, 2020 09:24 pm
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TeaselBay
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Hope you get it sorted! How annoying. 
I must say tho, I tend to apply the stuff different to others! I apply pva, and then sprinkle the grass and mix different shades/heights as required. Only then will I use the static thingy-me-bob over. Most the time I only need a single layer, but sometimes I’ll add a little more glue and repeat. Occasionally give it a tease with some pliers to catch bits. 

This way allows me to change the colour of the grass depending on its location close to fences/cliffs/etc etc. 



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 Posted: Fri Mar 13th, 2020 11:58 am
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Using the fake fur as a base has worked very well Michael - that really does look like a field of "rough grass".  Even excellent I'd say.  :pathead

I'm slightly intrigued by your method Chris - doesn't the PVA "grab" the grass too hard for the static generator to pull it up vertical - or are you using a 3 Phase 100 kVA applicator ………………….. :roll: :lol:



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 Posted: Fri Mar 13th, 2020 03:16 pm
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Petermac wrote: I'm slightly intrigued by your method Chris - doesn't the PVA "grab" the grass too hard for the static generator to pull it up vertical - or are you using a 3 Phase 100 kVA applicator ………………….. :roll: :lol:

Not that I've found. Maybe its because I use kids PVA from poundland.... I've never had issues with this method, with longer or shorter grass..... I think with the longer grass just to be sure I ran the static generator over the glue to "pre" static the area so they were repelled a little on scattering... but I've only done that on longer strands...

Below was a mix of smaller grass applied first and generator applied and then a once a dry a few dabs of pva and the longer strands + generator, but this may be a bad example as I didn't want them all to stand to attention! 






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