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> Grassy fields
Delaton
post Sep 22 2004, 11:56 AM
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Another article, good for a Naboo picnic or a Gungan/Droid battleground.

Grassy fields


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Ashley
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darthschroeder
post Oct 24 2004, 01:34 PM
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Del,

this link comes up dead for me.

doug
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savrip
post Oct 24 2004, 03:27 PM
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It's a dead link.

HI DOUG!


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Delaton
post Oct 24 2004, 05:50 PM
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Must have been a temp article...


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Ashley
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NoMercyJoe
post Oct 10 2005, 05:51 PM
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3 out of 4 people have trouble with fractions......go figure!
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fine for me.


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my favorie thing is when RED paint gets splattered on my x-acto blade.

Why do SO many people not know how to type or use their brain as a spell-check?
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Jesse James
post Oct 12 2005, 04:14 AM
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Should be able to open now, as it did for me, but for those curious I'll copy/paste it just incase it disappears again:

QUOTE
Splendor in the grass
Modeling knee-deep grass with a new material and methods
by René Gourley




As a youngster I spent many quiet afternoons sitting in a trackside field about a mile from my home while the breezes rustled through the tall grass. The rails shimmered brightly in the afternoon sun while birds soared overhead and the field resounded with the sounds of summer insects. Ultimately my patience was rewarded when the blare of a distant air horn brought me to my feet so I could see the oncoming train.

The tall grass along the right-of-way never saw a mower so some of the plants tickled my chin when I walked through them.

Over the years, I've attempted a number of techniques to duplicate these high grasses in HO scale using fake fur, twine fibers, and ground foam. Unfortunately, ground foam evokes leaves and foliage better than it does tall, vertical grass, and fake fur comes on a woven backing that's too dense.

In 1998, I received a German model railroad magazine which had some superb photos of scenery with tall grass that made me look twice. The article indicated that the scenery was made using products from Silflor, a German manufacturer of scenery materials.


First sample



Silflor's grass comes in short bristle spring, summer, and winter colors. The autumn mat has the longer bristles to simulate tall grass. Other mat colors and textures simulate forest ground cover, moorland, pasture with weeds, and pasture with long grass.


Silflor makes a variety of grass materials. My first sample was a square of winter pasture. This mat represents grass that's been standing for some time so the leaves closest to the ground are still green, but the tall blades have been bleached by the sun. The fine nylon fibers are tightly packed, providing an excellent representation of a densely planted field of standing hay.

Turning the sample over, I found the grass is woven into a backing of heavier fibers. You can pull this substrate apart to produce a scattered, irregular field of hay. The grass never gets sparse, but clumps spread farther apart until they detach completely. As the clumps pull apart, some of the grasses fall over, but enough vertical blades remain to represent late season grass.

Being nylon, the blades of grass are shiny so they reflect light in a distressingly unrealistic manner. Fortunately, this sheen is easily remedied with a fine spray of matte medium. I use an airbrush to keep from gluing everything together in a big mess. I can apply this dulling spray before or after planting.


Planting procedures



As delivered, Silflor's grass is too dense for the scrubby growth along the right-of-way. Pull it apart until the grass begins to look more realistic.


Set the mat on the wet glue and press it down with tweezers to prevent matting. Adjust the clump positions as needed with tweezers. Trim off any excess grass after the glue has dried overnight.


Use fine sifted dirt, worked into the grass mat with an old toothbrush, to hide the substrate fibers. Then flood the area with wet water and diluted white glue.


The photos show how easy it is to duplicate the coarse grasses and undergrowth common along the railway right-of-way with the Silflor grass mats. It takes a little time, and the materials are somewhat more expensive than dyed sawdust.

Begin by stretching and teasing the mat as far as it will go. Then cut it to fit the space. The spaces in the mat require application over a painted surface or one that has a soil texture so an appropriate color shows through.

Full-strength white glue is the primary adhesive for this grass mat. Spread the glue liberally in depressions and anywhere you plant the grass. The white glue soaks in and dries transparent, making a permanent bond that holds the grass fibers upright.

Use tweezers to press the grass mat into the glue. Avoid the temptation to press with your fingers as that results in a matted jumble. The tweezers also comes in handy to make minor adjustments. Don't worry if the edges of the mat overlap the glue area as they can be easily trimmed once the glue has dried overnight.

To hide the substrate fibers, pour the finest dirt you can get over the area. Use a retired toothbrush and your fingers to work the dirt into the grass and pull the blades of grass back into view. Flood the area with water wetted with a few drops of dish soap, followed by diluted white glue to secure the soil.

The next morning, or when the first glue dries, add some fine dark green ground foam and a few bits of chunkier light green foam and glue it down to represent some of the other plants mixed into the grass.


Patience rewarded



Once the mat has been teased out, it's glued down to a layer of soil using white glue. Some of the soil will show through between the clumps of grass.


These steps take a few evenings to accomplish, although it goes fairly quickly when I work on several areas at a time. It's a small price to pay for the chance to go back to those youthful summer afternoons of lying in the grass listening for the first sounds of a train.


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Delaton
post Oct 12 2005, 08:45 PM
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Model railroading is a great resource for diorama building. They've been at it a lot longer than SW fans have.


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Ashley
a.k.a. Delaton

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delaton@customizerscookbook.com
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