Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Ever used a static-grass applicator?

This topic contains 20 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Darkest Star Games Darkest Star Games 2 days, 15 hours ago.

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  • #117103
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Has anyone here ever used a static grass applicator?  Are they as effective as a lot of videos make them out to be?  And biggest question of all: is it a method that is worthwhile?

    I am wanting to make some 6mm Elephant Grass type fields/patches (very tall, 5mm to 9mm tall grass) for a photo layout and have checked out all sort of alternative materials and ways to try, but static grass looks the most naturalish and I can more control the blend of colors.

    Hints? Tips?  Tricks? Recommendations?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117117
    Geof Downton
    Geof Downton
    Participant

    I have used one of these  with some success, but I seem to have to clean up more than sticks, so I returned to buying various “tufts” or “bushes” (Ooh err missus!)

    For large areas I use a “puffer bottle“, but with  shorter (1 or 2mm) grass than you are planning on.

    Not sure that I’ve been terribly helpful!

    One who puts on his armour should not boast like one who takes it off.
    Ahab, King of Israel; 1 Kings 20:11

    #117121
    Usagitsuki
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    If you’re happy to invest in one then you can get a lot of nice effects. You do need one that is at least 9v, the bug-zapper ones really aren’t worth it. 6mm static grass can be a bit problematic, and you’re probably better off with an applicator that shoots the fibres upwards. Also, I’d say use a tacky glue rather than PVA as this ‘grips’ the fibres immediately and they’re less likely to fall over while drying.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by Usagitsuki Usagitsuki.

    "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Josef Stalin (attrib.)

    #117138
    Norm S
    Norm S
    Participant

    I am at the start of a learning curve with the Woodlands scenic applicator,  a 9 volt purpose built machine.

    I would say that they are more useful for doing bespoke work and larger areas or irregular tufts that are long or ‘s’ shaped etc.

    If doing standard tufts, then I think it could take quite a while to recuperate money compared to just buying tufts. I am hoping to do some river banks and some hillside fields.

    I have tried to make tufts and found that the paper you make them on matters (I am using Tesco silicon baking paper at the moment, but waxier stuff would be better) and the strength of the glue is important and part of the learning curve. I used raw PVA the first time and couldn’t get the tufts off the paper, the next time is was too weak, I did get it right the third time.

    I made a small jig for tufts from a piece of cork tile, drilled out with a 10mm drill. the depth of the cork helps hold the fibres upright while the glue dries, though to be natural, you don’t want them bolt upright.

    Overall, at the moment, I am probably left with the thought that I bought something that I probably don’t need, but I am about to have another, to make long grassy strips that run down the side of buildings … so who knows!

    I’m pretty sure that Woodland Scenics do a Youtube video if that helps.

    Usagitsuki – I love what you have done with your applicator, super visuals.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by Norm S Norm S.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #117238
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Thank you for the info guys!  I do indeed want to do some large areas, so it sounds like I’ll need one of the 9v jobies.

    Usagitsuki- your straw colored fields is the exact effect I am wanting!  Did you use a 9v type to get that result?  Did you have to go in strips or just do the whole field all at one?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117239
    Usagitsuki
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    I used a ‘Flockit’ machine which is a 9v. I got it ages ago, so there are cheaper options now. It was done in one go. Base sizes there are 60mm x 40mm.

    "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Josef Stalin (attrib.)

    #117241
    Mike
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Usagitsuki – I love what you have done with your applicator, super visuals.

    Yeah, they are proper nice.

    #117247
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    For real.  Local shop has some Woodland Scenics “Static King” type 9v and wall plug-in applicators for $75 ($25 less than direct from WS themselves).  I think I’ll snap one up, as if it works well I will use the bejeezus out of it.

    Thanks guys!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117260
    telzy amber
    telzy amber
    Participant

    Report back on your experiences and learning

    #117296
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Report back on your experiences and learning

      Will do!

    Went and looked at the corded type of Static King and after a brief convo with the shop owner decided to order the battery type, should be here in a week or so.  I really like that it has a light so you see it is on and don’t zap yourself…

    I’m going to experiment with a couple of different glues, as one thing I would like is large areas of tall grass that are irregularly shaped on a flexible and nearly invisible base.  Maybe thick PVA?  Guess it’ll depend upon how well whatever grips the grass in the vert position…

     

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117327
    Usagitsuki
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    I use GreenScene flock cement:
    https://www.elmetimages.co.uk/photo_9323727.html

    Or Aleene’s Tacky Glue. That’s useful stuff anyway, so worth trying out.

     

    "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Josef Stalin (attrib.)

    #117329
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Great, thanks.  I wonder what the special element is besides water…

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117819
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Received my applicator order and grass variety pack.  Woot!  Immediately broke it out and gave it a whirl by grabbing the 9v out of my bass (has a pre-amp in it so needs a battery, and there were no fresh batteries to be found).  Used Aleene’s Tacky Glue as I had some laying around and couldn’t locate the Elmer’s (turned out to be on my wife’s counter in the bathroom, still don’t know why) on some wax paper and 12mm spring grass.  Results were not great.  Barely anything stood up and i had to get way too low to the surface for it to be effective.  I am sure it’s because the battery I used had been in my bass for a month or 2, as I noticed the ‘on’ light was a bit dull.  So, will get fresh batteries today and try it again this eve, with both the 12mm and some 6mm.  Hopefully will end up with something picture worthy!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #117823
    Norm S
    Norm S
    Participant

    The official applicator from Woodland Scenic comes with a sort of comb, which is used to ‘comb’ or ‘tease’ the grass back upwards while it is drying – so I think the grass does need some help and 12mm is quite a long hair.

    I did notice that if you put the applicator very near to the grass, it will actually try to hoover the grass back up into the applicator, get this distance just right and you will get an effect in which the grass is ‘encouraged’ to become more upright.

    for tufts, I have made a small jig out of cork floor tile, drilling out 10mm holes. put the jig on wax paper, drop some glue into each hole (touch the paper not the cork) and then let the grass fall into the holes from the applicator, the walls of the drilled out bits help support the grass to stay upright.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #118007
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    So I have been experimenting with 6mm and 12mm grasses from a Noch sampler pack, and thing have not gone as well as I would have hoped.  Certainly nowhere near as lush as Usagitsuki’s fine examples!

    Now, these experiments were based upon several videos and tutorials I have seen where people have made grass beds the size of their hands in just the same manner as they make tufts (though without the jig): by taping some waxed paper to a metal cookie/baking sheet, apply pools of glue (noted that most use Aileens), attach clip to baking sheet and start shaking.  Despite using identical materials and applicators (ok, different baking sheets) my grass ends up going everywhichway but standing upright!

    The 12mm is the worse, of course, laying down almost as soon as the applicator is removed.  I am going to try the “nail in the glue” technique tonight and see if that makes a difference (on a wooden board as opposed to on a metal sheet), and if that fails I may just have to do something like making a stand for the applicator to keep it in position and turned on until the glue dries enough to keep things from falling over.  (that’d be a huge pain in the arse and very time consuming way to do it!)

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #118015
    Norm S
    Norm S
    Participant

    The Woodland Scenics applicator comes with a metal ‘thing’ that has four legs (a leg thicker than your nail) and the alligator clip attaches to the top of the thing. They say minimum two legs in the glue, better to have 3, sounds like this is doing what your nail suggestion will hopefully do.

    http://commanders.simdif.com

    #118020
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Ah, I tried it with only 1 leg in and got zero result, so maybe a larger patch of glue so I can put more legs in…  Or, perhaps put the glue direct to the metal baking sheet…?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #118023
    Usagitsuki
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    6mm grass can be problematic. The fibres tend to stick to each other and form ‘chains’. I think I’ve usually used them by shooting the fibres upwards, rather than shaking down. Maybe try some 4mm grass and see if you still have problems.

    "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Josef Stalin (attrib.)

    #118029
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I think I’ve usually used them by shooting the fibres upwards

    Wild.  What’s the technique there?  Puff applicator?  Or does a static type also work upside down?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #118030
    Usagitsuki
    Usagitsuki
    Participant

    A flockbox shoots the fibres upwards, as does the one sold by WSS. Basically, the flock sits on a plate and you hold the figure base or whatever over the plate and the flock will shoot upwards.

    "It takes a brave man not to be a hero in the Red Army" - Josef Stalin (attrib.)

    #118064
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    I have never heard of such a thing!  I might just have to give that a try, as I really want the grass to be standing up and not just willy-nilly all over the place.  Many thanks!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

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