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Colour dye and wondercloth/hairy grass - Grass & Ground Cover - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 04:37 am
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Marty
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Experiments with colouring the "hairy dishcloth" to make grass for the model railway.

I've used the hairy dishcloth grass on the Pentrecourt Diorama but it only comes in bright yellow or shiny light green.

The green's not bad and I've used gouche water colour paints to add some variation to the colour and to try and tone down the shine.

In the photo below there are patches of the grass scattered about the field, along the tops of the bridge retaining walls and just behind the bridge near the halt.



I thought that I might be able to use clothing dye to change the yellow cloth to green and pottered out the the local supermarket for some clothing dye.
When I used to work in supermarkets... um...some decades ago, we used to carry all the colours in the range, I was lucky to get Navy Blue.

I was looking for green, and have now given T a mission to find me some green.

However, keen to see if colour dye will work my high school colour mixing said yellow PLUS blue make Green so some hot water and a cap full of dye sloshed into the mix gave me...



Navy Blue grass!!!

OK, time for some scientific application.

With a smaller test strip, 125mls of boiling hot water and 4 DROPS of navy blue dye in one tray and then 125mls of boiling hot water and 6 DROPS of navy blue dye in another tray produced...



GREEN... ish...

Good enough with a lighter application of the gouche water colours for variation I reckon.

 



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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 05:28 am
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Sol
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Marty, in the days when we had lawns ( before water restrictions), it was guaranteed to get a green stain on clothing if one slid around on damp lawn/grass so why not get a small container of water, race down to the WACA, wet the grass & slide your yellow "hairy dishcloth" around & see what happens.

I am sure they willl let you in to test this scientific experiment:exclam

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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 05:51 am
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Marty
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You may be onto something there Ron, natural dyes... spinach makes green too... hmmm, I'll keep you posted.
cheers



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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 07:19 am
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MikeC
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That's getting towards a decent dead/winter grass look, I reckon. Do you have any artists pastels? They help to dull it too.

Mike

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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 07:41 am
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Marty
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I do Mike, thanks for the hint.
I'm trying to get a lusher summer green, more experimenting required.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 09:45 am
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Ken
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Marty, where do you get these hairy dishcloths - which are obviously suitable for N gauge - as I've never seen any like that in the UK?  Also, Sol's idea is very good and would definitely work but depending on what the cloths are made of; they look to be nylon and if so I don't think this would accept the natural grass stains.

Ken



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 Posted: Mon Feb 2nd, 2009 09:49 pm
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Sol
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Ken, if they are nylon, that is a good reason why Marty cannot get a good colour change with dye.    Now if he used enamel paint :hmm

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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 06:05 am
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Marty
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Ken wrote: Marty, where do you get these hairy dishcloths - which are obviously suitable for N gauge - as I've never seen any like that in the UK?  Also, Sol's idea is very good and would definitely work but depending on what the cloths are made of; they look to be nylon and if so I don't think this would accept the natural grass stains.

Ken


Ken,

Here in Perth they are on the supermarket shelves where all the other dish cloths and detergents are. Cheap too, a twin pack for about a pound.

... and you are right about the natural dye vs synthetic fibre matchup, especially as the cloths are designed NOT to stain.

After Ron's suggestion I was keen to try it out...



Chopped up lawn (Sir Walter Raleigh - Buffalo grass) popped into an old baking tray donated to the cause with a covering of water and a dash of salt.
Turn on the BBQ (too hot to work inside) gave it 40mins of boiling on it's own, added the dish cloth and let it simmer for an hour. Remove and dry.



Different lighting for this photo, sorry, the floodlight was on.

The right hand strip is the recent natural grass dyed one.

I'm now looking for a synthetic green dye. :cool wink



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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 07:34 am
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MikeC
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 So much to learn on this forum. We even have cooking now :Happy

 Mike

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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 07:51 am
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Sol
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I thought that too when he added a dash of salt, expecting to see mashed potato & snags as well.

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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 09:40 am
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Marty
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I offered to cook some rice up with it but T wasn't keen.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 10:42 pm
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henryparrot
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Im not sure but this does look a lot like Mike and Martys wonder cloth and this is available in the UK

http://www.naturefriendly.co.uk/epages/es112788.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es112788_es121512533845/Products/009

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 10:50 pm
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MikeC
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Brian they look very similar indeed!

Mike

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 Posted: Tue Feb 3rd, 2009 11:50 pm
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Marty
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A better quality version of what I'm currently using HP. :thumbs

I've got a couple of varieties on the go at the moment, the cheaper ones tend to shed a bit.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 9th, 2009 05:58 pm
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Petermac
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MikeC wrote:  So much to learn on this forum. We even have cooking now :Happy

 Mike

Hope he doesn't invite me for dinner !! :shock::shock::shock:



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 Posted: Mon Feb 9th, 2009 05:59 pm
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Petermac
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henryparrot wrote: Im not sure but this does look a lot like Mike and Martys wonder cloth and this is available in the UK

http://www.naturefriendly.co.uk/epages/es112788.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es112788_es121512533845/Products/009

cheers Brian

Brian - at £13 for 5 maybe it would be better to use grass seed !!!



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 Posted: Tue Feb 10th, 2009 08:59 am
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Marty
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It would taste better :roll:



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 Posted: Tue Feb 10th, 2009 09:41 am
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Petermac
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:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Certainly wouldn't taste any worse Marty ;-)



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 Posted: Tue Feb 10th, 2009 02:34 pm
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Petermac wrote: henryparrot wrote: Im not sure but this does look a lot like Mike and Martys wonder cloth and this is available in the UK

http://www.naturefriendly.co.uk/epages/es112788.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/es112788_es121512533845/Products/009

cheers Brian

Brian - at £13 for 5 maybe it would be better to use grass seed !!!


Peter, you can actually buy just one cloth for £3.00 plus £1.50 postage (just click on ".....all products").  I emailed them twice last week requesting the size of the cloths but no reply which perhaps doesn't augur well?:roll:

Ken.



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 Posted: Tue Feb 10th, 2009 05:04 pm
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henryparrot
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Petermac wrote:

Brian - at £13 for 5 maybe it would be better to use grass seed !!!


Peter im sure you pay at least £3 for a bottle of coloured water you drink a lot of.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

cheers Brian

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