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Groundwork Grasses

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade/Accessories' started by Chrisr, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi All,

    What groundwork grasses do people use, and where do you buy them from?

    I used bits of the old hay bale binder twine, but now plastic is used to make the twine the old fibre type, which cut to different lengths made a good longish grass, is no longer available.

    Regards
    Chris
  2. Graham PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    In vehicle modelling the use of ‘Teddy Bear’ fur fabric is used to good effect. Can be snipped with scissors to get random lengths and coloured by rubbing in a tiny amount of acrylic. For individual clumps old paintbrush bristles can work.

    This little base I made some time ago uses fur fabric

    540C4A4F-D800-4E27-83E5-9DCBC595870E.jpeg
    DaddyO and Chrisr like this.
  3. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Thank you Graham. Hadn't thought of that.
    Regards
    Chris
    Graham likes this.
  4. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I use twine, too. The garden and kitchen twine I buy is still a natural fiber. And I save pieces of hemp rope and rope made from other fibers, for just such purposes.

    You could also look for the cheaper kind of paint brushes, with a width of two inches or more. Many are made with bristles glued to a piece of cloth backing, and then this is wrapped around the end of the brush and secured with the metal ferrule. You remove the ferrule and roll out the cloth backing-instant grass. At least, here in the States, we can get brushes like that at hardware and craft stores.

    I hope that helps!

    Prosit!
    Brad
  5. polyphemus Well-Known Member

    Dyed deer hair, usually available from angling suppliers.

    Geoff
  6. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Many thanks Brad and Geoff.
  7. John Bowery A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    I use a lot of items bought over the years at various shows. I used to buy a couple of items at each show and soon I had a great big box of supplies.
    http://www.scenicexpress.com/
    I also use the above for several items like tufts of grass. If you purchase the tufts, I find that giving the sheet a coat of Testors Dullcoat before using gives you a jump start on having flat shine grass.
    I use all the different grasses like static grass field grass (Brushes) and foam pieces.
    The best gravel is the gravel in the gutter at the end of the street after a rain storm and already prewashed:D and cheap.
    Cat litter placed in a folded newspaper and hit with a hammer will also give rubble and dust.
    Cheers
    John
    Mike S. and theBaron like this.
  8. JonH Active Member

    Hi Graham.
    Tell me all about teddy bear fur fabric! Like where do you find it etc. It looks very effective with the tractor.
    Jon.
  9. Graham PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    It can be bought on cloth stalls in markets, craft shops etc. The stuff I used is from a groundwork supplier in the UK at http://www.treemendus-scenics.co.uk/
    JonH likes this.
  10. megroot A Fixture

    Country:
    Netherlands
    I buy it.
    Reality in scale and Fredericus Rex have some amazing stuff.

    Marc
  11. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Yeah, the fake fur is common among toy soldier collectors, too, for that purpose, making large, grassy fields. There are hobby vendors who sell the product labeled for modelers, but as a couple of guys have noted, you can get the same thing from fabric or craft stores.

    Following on John's comment about gravel, I'll say that I do the same thing. I collect the fine gravel that accumulates along the edge of the street in front of my house. Another good source for natural gravel is seasonal-in the winter, when streets get plowed, piles of snow are plowed up. Around here, we'll have it piled up at the end of our street, but also in various parking lots around town. I will fill a bucket with the dirty snow. When the snow melts, I pour off the water and let the sediment dry. Instant gravel.

    Prost!
    Brad
  12. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Thank you to all who have replied. Your information is greatly appreciated.

    Regards
    Chris
  13. elgreco Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
  14. DEL A Fixture

    Country:
    Scotland
    Hi Chris. All of the above is bang on so I can really only add a little more to the discussion.
    I've found the most effective results are when artificial and natural products are used together.
    For example if you are doing a scene where you want a fallen bit of tree trunk as part of the groundwork here' s how I'd go.
    Embed a suitable twig and some small stones about halfway into putty base then using one or more natural mosses build them from ground onto the trunk. Add some artificial tufts of various lengths and finally painted deer hair for the tall grasses. The trick is to achieve harmony so choose your colours to enhance the individual elements whilst blending into the whole scene. Use washes to blend without killing the colours.
    With tall grasses I fix them on before adding any shorter clumps, that way it looks like it's growing through and not just stuck on.
    Cheers
    Derek
    theBaron and Chrisr like this.
  15. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Many thanks Derek. Very sound advice, and much appreciated.

    Regards
    Chris
    DEL likes this.
  16. theBaron A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Yeah, yard work always yields good materials to stash away for use on bases or in dioramas. I had to dig out some evergreens a couple of years ago, old yews that had died. I got a good haul of roots for making shrubs. Here is a quick base I made once for a Prussian ger:

    [IMG]

    I took a piece of a root, brushed with white glue, and sprinkled old tea leaves over it, to make the bush.

    Prost!
    Brad
    blaster, oldtrousers and Chrisr like this.
  17. Richie A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Chris,
    When it comes to grass I have always sided with mother nature. I use horse & hog hair as used in upholstery, it takes undercoat, acrylics and other mediums no problem. Attached is a link showing it in it's natural state. You get loads for you money, easily cut, shaped and affixed with P.V.A.
    In my personal opinion always looks better than the artificial stuff but each to their own.
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Horse-Ho...352002?hash=item2ee60179c2:g:lXAAAOSw~y9ZHqBB

    Here are a couple of projects of mine using the very same stuff.
    cheers
    Richie
    grass1.jpg grass2.jpg grass3.jpg
    chailey, kagemusha, theBaron and 3 others like this.
  18. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Thank you Richie. Something I will look at using.

    regards
    Chris
  19. loosehead Active Member

    Country:
    Australia
    Hi Chris
    I use the Green line grasses from Fredericus Rex . I picked up a couple of packs from Firestorm at last WASMEX show not good for hillside but great tufts then use also course rope and section of seagrass outdoor mat ( old lady was pissed when she found 6 inch square cut from one corner )
    More food for thought also raid the flower arranging section at spotlight interesting what you find small mosses grass matting etc
    Cheers
    Chris W
    (Perth)
    theBaron likes this.
  20. Chrisr PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    Australia
    Thank you Chris. Good ideas there.

    Cheers
    Chrisr
    (Canberra)

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