Experiments with static grass fibres have continued now a batch of Silflor MiniNatur early and late fall/winter colours has arrived. I am impressed with the Grassmaster-2; it works brilliantly with all of the static grasses I have tried so far. It takes some getting used to, and my first grass applications with Woodland Scenics light green were not totally satisfactory. The process has become more of an issue of choosing the right colours than anything else. I have gone back over the area I worked on initially (shown in an earlier post below) and added a second layer of grass using a 4:1 mix of Silflor Late Fall (winter) and Early Fall fibres to try and obtain the dead grass with some wisps of green for highlighting the texture I am looking for.
I would be reasonably pleased with the result had I been looking for a late summer effect. However, I am not wanting a late summer and Autumn effect. My choice of colours was not that good for a late winter effect. To be honest, not good at all, although the 2mm Silflor Late Fall will suit the MRL layout quite well. I also wondered if the second application has not overdone the job – that grass looks long and has covered other grass detail added earlier.
The thing to work through is the process by experimentation with colour mixes and layers. It’s difficult to gauge the different grass colours from photos on online stores, I have bought several different packs to play with. I thought about the process too: Apply the static grass first before adding other fibres or add some ground foam and individual clumps of grass before doing the static bit? I think the first is better because static grass just covers everything, loosing the change in textures gained by adding small individual clumps of grass. What do you think?
Another application I tried with the fibres is to add them to slopes with tweezers so they fall flat as much dead grass in winter is wont to do before a slight drift of static applied grass is added to create some standing grass. The picture above shows this before the addition a wisp of static grass – note that the glue is still wet when the picture was taken. This has resulted in an interesting effect so far. Once the inevitable brambles are added to the slope, the steepness of it, caused by the tight confines of this compact layout, will be mitigated. However, the colours are not quite right for my preferred season.
It’s a steep learning curve and static grass is worth experimenting with. I have still things to work through for DHY for winter grass including how to make upstanding clumps of dead grass look less uniform. Placing them and then trimming the tops with scissors at an angle is a possibility. All this experimentation and buying pounds and pounds of different colours of grass may seem wasteful and time consuming. No so, I feel; there’s that big MRL N scale scheme to work on and I want my grass techniques just so before starting wholesale scenery on that!
Lessons learned so far: Don’t over do it, protect the surrounding track and scenery from the fibres and experiment with different colours. Don’t rely on photos of the grass to gauge the colour other than as a rough guide!
To that end, I have ordered a batch of Woodland Scenics ‘Wild Honey’ and will look at mixing some with Silflor Late Fall. Then follow up by introducing longer fibres to represent taller dead weeds using the Anita Decor long fibres shown above (which are non-static) placed through the static grass together with some areas of flattened grass as seen on the picture of the embankment above. In the meantime, the grass seen in the picture above will be cleared and repairs made to my dirt road before having another go!