Just before lockdown, I took home one of the club model railway boards that I had been working on. As the club was to be closed, I also took a selection of club materials to finish the scenery in all the spare time I (didn’t) have.
The first job was to add some buildings and walls, and tidy up the grassed bank and steps. I also used the club Static Grass Applicator to add some “grass” behind the road:
The next job was to apply “grass” to the rest of the board. I was unconvinced that the club applicator was working properly, and another one that I borrowed didn’t seem to be much better. These work by generating a very high voltage, and using static electricity to attract the “grass” onto a layer of glue, the idea being that most of it sticks up rather than laying flat.
I then used this to make some grass “clumps”. First off, a couple of bits of wood with holes in are clamped to an aluminium sheet, then small dobs of PVA glue added in each hole with the cocktail stick:
Once the glue has dried, these can be popped off the sheet and glued into place on the layout.
I then decided to buy my own Static Grass Applicator so that I could use it on my layout. I found a ‘tea strainer’ sort for sale, but it didn’t seem to work very well. A bit of research revealed that it was a modified electric fly swatter, and didn’t produce nearly enough voltage to move the fibres. With help from a colleague, I rebuilt the circuitry inside to double the voltage output to -3.4KV, and it now works far better than the club one!
Now all the bits are in place, all I need to do is finish the club layout board!