Bob shows us how he makes his excellent grass cover for his HO scale layout:
“I wanted to put some tall grass on my layout so I started out using paintbrush bristles, and created some muddy water.
It turned out pretty well, but I really wanted to create the grass that grows around the wetlands in NY and NJ. I never knew the name; but a nursery owner told me it was Pampas grass. The photo is a stock photo to show the real stuff. The wild variety is somewhat taller and browner.
I tried to add a spot of glue to the existing grass and drop some ground cover on it. The result was disastrous. The bristles couldn’t hold the weight and fell over. Not to be deterred, I thought about what I could use for stronger grass. My straw garage broom came to mind and I promptly gave it a haircut.
The materials needed were the broom bristles, some carpenter’s glue, and ground cover.
I drilled some 1/8 holes in the board and proceeded to dip a straw in the glue, dip it in the ground cover and turn it over a get a small amount of glue on the bottom and insert it in a hole.
Note: If you’re inclined to do this, do it before you lay down any ground cover. The reason that you see a drill bit sticking up is because when the drill was pulled out, the ground cover tended to shrink back and cover the hole. This made the job very tedious.
I was happy with the interim outcome but not the time spent. It took me 1 ½ hours to complete this section.
Since I had about another foot to go I wasn’t eager to do the job.
I came up with a solution that I think worked very well. I took a block of scrap wood and used my drill press to drill some pilot holes.
Then I tacked in 1 ¼” nails into the block creating a puch with randomly placed nails.
Then I cut a strip of cardboard to fit between the two roadbeds and to the length that I needed. I then proceeded to punch out the cardboard.
I then started the original process of dipping in glue and ground cover. I used needle nose pliers to guide the straw into the holes. When I was satisfied with the amount of grass I used some ¾ inch screws to fasten the cardboard over the exiting groundcover.
I then used scenic cement spray to create a base for more ground cover. I sprinkled in the soil and grass. Then I hit it with more spray followed by some realistic water.
I let everything set for 24 hours and then applied thick mud and more water.
I am going to add more mud and water before I call it a wrap. Here’s the outcome.
A big thanks to Bob – he’s come up with a really nice effect there for his grass cover.
Whenever it comes to grass on a layout, I’m always reminded of John’s How to add grass to your model railroad post.
Now on to Hall of Fame member, Dangerous Dave.
After Mike sent in his woes on track cleaning (which is at the bottom of this post), Dave has put this video together:
“Hi Al..After reading the comments from Mike’s post with the problems of dirty tracks and wheels, I thought it was time to show a video with a few ways of keeping tracks and wheels clean.
I hope this shows how important it is to keep the tracks clean, and done on a regular basis , for smooth running.
Latest ebay cheat sheet is here (still going strong).
That’s all for today folks. A big thanks to Dave and Bob.
Please do keep ’em coming.
And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide, if today is the day when you stop dreaming, and start doing.
Remember, it’s the start that stops most people…