Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Need suggestions for flocking large area

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    Hi, I’ve been sleeping on this for two weeks and I’m still stump.

    My experience with flocking large area is even watered down PVA tend to dry around the edge and patches leaving thin or bald patches. Plus, I want to flock is uneven so there will be pools and the raised area will probably dry out first. Apply glue as I go along doesn’t quite work because I want to have a network of paths in different color and by the time I’m done with the paths, glue would probably dry elsewhere.

    This is what I had in mind. I can split it into top and bottom area, but it’s still daunting.

    Life's too long.


    Could you do a mixture of caulk, paint and flock?


    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games

    Maybe try “spray mount”?  It stays tacky for a long period, and once you have the flock down you can do an overspray of watered down PVA from a cheap spray bottle to keep it all on.  If you’re using foam as a base it may not be a good idea though, as most spraycan propellants will dissolve the foam.

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


    I used to build a lot of roadway models for use as trial exhibits.  The models would range from about 18-120 square feet, with between 60 and 90 percent of the surface area being flocked.  Scale ranged from 1/1200 to 1/12.

    I always used artist’s matte medium, usually Liquitex brand as the “glue”.

    First texture and paint the surface of the terrain.  I usually used some combination of latex and/or acrylic artists paint, though suspect that it doesn’t really matter.  I would then lightly draw out the boundaries of flock colors or features on the surface of the model in dashed lines.  Things like roads and driveways would be painted base colors, and possibly striped with markings and weathered prior to application of the flock.

    You need a lot more flock than will actually stick to the model, like at least 4 times as much, this allows for rapid application of the primary color in a heavy layer.  90 percent of this will brush off, when done.  Have your flock in easy to access, easy to apply containers.  Shading colors can be in shakers, primary colors should be in large containers; plastic bowls, gallon cans, buckets, etc and applied by hand.  When we did these models, I might have a few gallons of flock available for big models.

    Try to do it on a day with high humidity to slow the dry rate for the matte medium.  If the air is real dry, the matte medium will give you a lot less time to work.  If need be, you can by a cheap menthol vaporizer from a drug store and run it prior to starting the flocking.  The size of area that you cover with each pour and spread of matte medium is directly dependent on the ambient humidity.

    For application of the matte medium, I would have about four brushes available.  A three inch household paintbrush would be used for most of the application. A similar 1 inch brush might be used to control application around drives, parking lots and roadways.  A small 1/4 to 1/2 inch artists flat brush would give even finer control in tight areas, and finally a small round artists brush of maybe 1/8 inch for really fine application where needed.  My guess is that you will only need the first one or two of these for your terrain.

    To apply the matte medium, pick a corner, pour out a four inch diameter pool and spread with the big brush into a flat, even, kind of thick coat, maybe 1/32 of an inch thick or a little thicker.  You don’t want super thin areas, or you will have dry streaks of bare paint after flocking.  Keep it wet.  If you notice medium drying during application of medium or flock, re-wet the area with medium.

    Spread out your pool into a fairly consistent coat, you will cover maybe a square foot of area, sprinkle contrasting flock on the area quickly, and lightly, patches of lighter grass, darker grass, etc can be applied.  Generally you don’t want a solid coat of this, but a partial covering, such that the main color can be applied over it, blending the two colors, when the excess is brushed off.

    Dirt paths and walkways may be painted only, or flocked, depending on your preference.  They should be painted prior to application of the flock. If the painted surface will be the final product, you can apply matte medium directly over them, it won’t hurt the final product, but I would suggest avoiding that, as flock could be accidentally applied over a painted path, where it was not wanted.

    If flocking the path, sprinkle contrasting shades lightly, then apply the primary cover in a heavy, solid coat.  Paths and other detail areas, are done in sections as successive batches of medium are applied.  Apply the path colors, then the grass colors, using the same method of contrasting shades, then the main covering.

    You do not apply flock to the entire area of matte medium.  Leave a two inch boundary of medium without flock, between the flocked portion, and the surface without medium.  You will now begin a “wave” type application of of medium pouring a bead of medium, just beyond the perimeter of the previously applied and unflocked medium.  Spread the medium out maybe 4-6 inches wide, adding medium as needed to get this width, re-wetting  the medium exposed from the first application.

    You now have a 6-8 inch “stripe’ of matte medium extending from the boundary of the applied flock.  Apply more flock as per the first application, first extending paths, then applying the grass areas.  Leave the 2 inch boundary of exposed medium, then apply the next “wave” of medium.  Keep applying until you finish the project or run out of flock.

    As you go through the process, you apply medium in a sort of ripple effect, expanding outward from the original application.  As new ripples or waves are applied, they will become longer as the perimeter expands, so will need to get narrower with successive applications.  You will have to determine the dimensions of these new applications, based on the drying rate of the medium, and rate at which you work.  remember, your drying time is a constant; you can only flock a certain sized area in the time before the medium starts to dry, regardless of its shape.  Exposed medium dries way faster, than flocked medium.

    If you don’t have enough flock to cover the whole piece in one application, you should give the last application of matte medium an irregular, jigsaw puzzle edge, to avoid having any sort of visible seam in the flock.  Once the last of the flock is applied, let everything dry.  Depending on humidity and thickness of the flock, this may be 20 minutes or the next day.  Usually 3-4 hours is enough.

    Once the matte medium has dried, brush off the excess flock for re-use.  My main color of flock is always a mix.  I might start with a Woodland Scenics green grass blend, putting aside a small sample at the start of work for color matching later.  After application and drying, brushing off the excess, compare it to the sample.  If the main color has changed shades from the addition of the shading colors, add color as needed to get back to the original color.  Usually, there is no detectable shift in color.

    Pick up where you left off and continue the flock application until done.

    After everything is completely dry, gently brush off all of the excess flock, recovering as much as possible for future use.  After that, tip the terrain on edge and tap the underside to remove what has been missed, and then brush the surface while it is on edge.

    If you have bare spots, those can be touched up by applied a thin coat of matte medium, and applying flock to blend into the prior work.  As you develop your technique, you won’t have much, if any touch up required.

    If you want to apply areas of fine and other areas of coarse flock, they can be done in different stages if you prefer. Fist applying the thin, letting dry, then applying the coarse.  This will allow your to maximize the recovered flock.  You will develop a method based on your own skill set and style.

    Particularly for gaming, I use almost exclusively fine flock, and I usually make two applications of the flock.  This will result in a very solid coat and coloring of the flock, no painted dirt will show through the two layers, but it may work for you, depending on your preferences. For a second coat, the surface of the prior application of flock needs to be wet, but doesn’t have to have the thick layer of matter medium.  This application may take a bit longer to dry , than the first.

    If you do two layers of flock, the first coat only needs to be a base color for paths, grass, etc.  The second coat will consist of the shading application and then main color over it.

    When all is dry and finished, you can apply a spray seal coat if you like, maybe a flat spray paint of your choice.  I don’t usually do this, but have on occasion, when I know the model will have a lot of handling.

    I’ve never had issues with the matte medium running or pooling, but generally am applying it to surfaces with a 1 to 3 rise over run or less.  I have had a few occasions where the surface has been 45 degree slopes or more, and didn’t really have any problems with it.  I did work with smaller areas at a time.

    The main thing is that you are working quickly with a rapid succession of small areas.  Stay consistent, and organized.  Give yourself space to work,  don’t get in your own way, and it moves along fluidly.  If you have a helper, make one person a painter, applying the matte medium, and the other a “flocker”.  It will go very smoothly in that case.  Just be sure to instruct the painter not to get too far ahead of the flocker, as he will need to keep re-applying matte medium, which is 3-4 times more expensive than glue.

    Shop around for sources of matte medium, some venders, such as Prizm in the American midwest sell it for around 30 percent below retail. I have used other brands on occasion. Royal seems to have similar properties.  One, maybe Grumbacker, was thinner in consistancy, which I didn’t like.

    DO a test piece first,  maybe a 1 foot square that can be a throw away if need be.  Particularly if this is all new to you.  We all have different technical, modeling, and artistic skills.  Some things willbe harder for one person, than the next.

    So that is one method, I could show you in five minutes, and it would seem a lot less intimidating than all of this text will seem.

    Best of luck, and hope this might be helpful.





    Not sure if this is what Darkest star is referring to,  but when I’ve been in a jam for time, I have used spray adhesive, which will work.  It can be messy with the over spray.  lay down newspaer for 4-6 feet around your work area.  If the foam is well painted, a couple of coats, you will probably be okay as far as the chemical reaction with the foam.

    I’ve  used to 3M Super 77 spray adhesive, but the solvent in it now attacks EPS foam, paint will protect it though.  This I know from experience.  3M also sells a craft foam version of spray adhesive that I use to laminate layers of blue foam.  It doesn’t attack the foam at all.  I suspect that it doesn’t give as strong a bond, and it sprays in a sort of figure eight pattern that is kind of stringy.  It will probably add a texture to the surface of the foam is used for flock.

    If I were going to use a spray, I would go with the Super 77 after two coats of paint on the foam.

    Matte medium will last for at least 31 years, spray adhesive probably 5-10 years, though maybe longer if coated with a spray sealant.



    I didn’t know acrylic and spray had usable life.

    Liquitex medium sounds promising, especially if it’s water proof.

    Life's too long.

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