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Grassy/soily areas - Grass & Ground Cover - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 12:44 am
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MikeC
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  Here's how i'm going about representing a soily/rubbly area interspersed with patches of grass.

 Because of the way my layout is constructed - white polystyrene foam on top of doors - this technique might need some adaptations to work on a hard surface.

 To start things off, the bank I'm working on here has pieces of surgical lint glued down on the white foam with PVA, then painted with any old earthy colours once it's dry. This gives a tough surface with a bit of give.

 My grasses are made with Edco cleaning cloths - cheap, fine fibre cloths from the supermarket.  These I paint with acrylics and pastels. I use them for grass tufts and patches. After hacking little bits out of them I end up with some bizarrely shaped remnants that are absolutely ideal for representing the random nature of grassy patches.



 I snip off a nice piece and try it on the layout. When I find a likely home for it, I daub some PVA onto it and press it down.



 Then I use a small screwdriver and a skewer to ram it home, piercing the tough lint and forcing the grass edges down into the surface





 For soil I like to use air-drying clay. This is cheap stuff from the craft shop. I leave some chunks out for a few days, then pound it to powder, leaving a few bigger pieces for variety.
 I carefully daub some glue onto the surrounding areas and into the holes in the grass, then sprinkle on the clay. If some goes onto the grass, that's fine. The only thing I don't want on the grass itself is glue.



 The clay is gently patted down, then I add a variety of powdered pastels - raw umber, raw sienna, burnt sienna and grey, this time.

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 12:52 am
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MikeC
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grrr  lost the second half of it.

The clay is gently patted down, then I add a variety of powdered pastels - raw umber, raw sienna, burnt sienna and grey, this time.




  Scrape them directly onto the grasses and soil. Again this is all gently patted and rubbed with the fingers, taking care to avoid getting glue onto the grass.



 The bigger pieces of clay add variety. They can be glued down if they missed the initial gluing, and they can be painted if required.

 I might add more rocks at some stage. They would need to be painted to make them belong there.


 

 Obviously you could paint your cloths any colour you want.

 I see some edges just right of centre - an easy fix with the screwdriver.


 I hope someone finds this helpful.

Mike

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 01:00 am
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Sol
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Mike, your comment:-

I hope someone finds this helpful.


I am someone that finds this very helpful.

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 01:19 am
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Marty
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Yup :thumbs



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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 06:00 am
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gordons19
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Many thanks Mike for an excellent tutorial.  First class stuff....:thumbs

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 06:18 am
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ddolfelin
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It's that good I expect that's how the prototype was made.



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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 07:13 am
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Alan
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Speechless, are you God by any chance ;-)

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 08:11 am
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owen69
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that is brill Mike, I know how to do mine now.

:thumbs:lol::lol::cool:

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 12:10 pm
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Wayne Williams
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Thanks Mike, that was very useful. Now if I could only find the Edco cleaning cloths here. Not had much luck yet, but now as I'm typing this I had a thought. I do have a fine fiber cloth that just might do the same thing. It's blue in color, but as you say, it can be painted.

I'll let you know.

Wayne



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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 12:14 pm
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phill
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Thanks Mike i shall put that into practise when i start my new bit on my layout, its going to be a nope i shall post in my layout thread when i recieve certain items.

Phill

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 06:20 pm
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pnwood
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Mike , that's excellent, not my colours I'm afraid but a very useful technique.

Do you just leave the pastels and rely on the glue to fix them or do you fix them in some other way afterwards?



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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 10:17 pm
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MikeC
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Glad this could be helpful!

Nick you could spray it with a fixative if you wanted to, but I find the pastels survive very well without it, because the clay and lint ground cover are very receptive. So is the grass, once it's painted.

Speaking of the grass, Lesley bought me some Chux cleaning cloths yesterday, and they seem almost identical [not the old blue Chux - these are fine fibre cloths much like fake fur]

Mike

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 Posted: Thu May 6th, 2010 11:20 pm
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Neil Wood
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Thanks for the tip Mike, very useful.

 

cheers

 

Neil



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 Posted: Fri May 7th, 2010 10:38 pm
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Ianbo
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Not alot more to say is there:wow



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 Posted: Sat May 8th, 2010 04:28 am
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Petermac
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It's amazing what can be done with a few household items and chalks in the hands of an artist !!!

You make it look so easy Mike but I've said before, it's your ability to "see" things that most of us just don't register as being there and replicate them in minature that is really impressive.

Now all we have to do is copy it - can't be that difficult !!!! :shock::shock::shock::cheers



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 Posted: Sat May 8th, 2010 09:53 am
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Robert
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Yet another for the Forum Index. Thanks Mike.



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 Posted: Sat May 8th, 2010 10:10 am
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phill
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Petermac wrote: Now all we have to do is copy it - can't be that difficult !!!! :shock::shock::shock::cheers


Now steady Peter, we dont want you getting all confused and mising the show due to it :mutley:mutley

Phill

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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2010 02:35 pm
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Les
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Just caught up with this thread Mike and it is superb. May I ask a couple of questions?

Are your microfibre cloths a neutral colour to begin with? (Heaven knows where I'll get some though)

How do you paint them i.e.Do you spray them or just go over them with a brush?

You say you use surgical lint. This is as rare as hens teeth both in Spain and the UK but I have hung on to some from a previous project/technique. Did you tear this into pieces before sticking it down or just lay it in sheets? (I presume it is the green stuff under your dyed microfibre cloth).

I'm experimenting with real soil which I have dried and pulverised and wondered if you had tried the same method?

Sorry to be a bore but you know how much I value your opinion in matters like this.

Les



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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2010 07:43 pm
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sparky
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A bit of old flannel might do the job Les.:mutley:mutley:mutley



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 Posted: Tue Jun 15th, 2010 07:51 pm
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henryparrot
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Reg
Hes got plenty of old flannel already:lol::lol::lol:

Les teddy bear fur
the wifes mink coat
In fact a lot of furry type fabrics covers would do use a wire bush to tease the fibres up
Brian

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