Building model railroad landscapes takes time, patience and creativity. It's a popular hobby among adults and children alike. Building a model railroad allows you to create your own miniature world. It can be based on a real place. or simply a landscape inspired solely by your imagination. Whether you work alone or with other enthusiasts, the final result is vastly rewarding. A good model railroad landscape includes not only city roads and buildings, but also natural features, such as hills, ponds, trees and grass.
Static Scattering Method
Mix the grass scatterings in a bowl or plastic bag. Grass scatterings can be purchased at most any craft store or hobby shop. Use several different colors of grass scatterings to add realism to your grass. For example, using a mixture of dark green and light green will result in a fresh, springtime grass, while using a mixture of light green and brown will result in a slightly dry, summertime grass.
Fill the puffer bottle halfway with the grass mixture. Puffer bottles can be purchased at the same store you buy the grass scatterings at and generally cost less than $5. Only fill the bottle halfway. Overfilling can cause clumping and will prevent the puffer bottle from getting the proper airflow.
Cover the desired area with glue. You can use craft glue purchased at a craft store or hobby shop, or you can use plain white glue, such as Elmer's glue. Use a paintbrush to spread the glue so that you have a nice, even coat. Work in small segments so that your glue does not dry before it is completely covered: 4 inches by 4 inches is a good starting size.
Hold the puffer bottle so that the tip of the bottle is about 2 to 3 inches from the glue covered surface. Squeeze the bottle so that a puff of air and grass scatterings falls onto the glue-covered surface. Repeat this process, building the grass over the entire glue covered surface. The puffer bottle will allow the grass to land in the glue at various angles, giving the grass a three-dimensional appearance.
Blow on the grass to remove excess scatterings and reveal bare areas. Repeat step 4 to fill in any bare areas.
Allow the glue and grass to dry for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
Use a soft bristled paint brush to sweep away excess grass scatterings from the dried grass. Extra grass scatterings can be stored and used for future projects.
Grass Imitating Felt Method
Use a pair of scissors or a craft knife to cut the sheets of grass imitating felt to fit the areas you wish to cover in grass. Grass felt can be purchased at craft stores and hobby shops and is available in many different colors.
Apply craft glue or plain white glue to the back of the grass imitating felt. Use an even coat of glue. It doesn't need to be thick, so long as the entire back of the felt piece is coated.
Press the grass imitating felt to the surface you wish to cover in grass. The glue covered side should be facing the surface. Hold the grass felt in place for a few seconds to ensure a good seal.
Repeat Steps 1 to 3 for each area you wish to cover in grass.
Things You'll Need:
- Grass scatterings
- Plastic bag
- Puffer bottle
- Craft glue
- White glue
- Soft bristled paint brush
- Grass imitating felt
- Craft knife
Use several different lengths of grass scatterings for a rougher, more natural grass field.
Use a combination of grass imitating felt and grass scatterings. Grass felt works well for large, flat areas, while grass scatterings work better for hilly or mountainous areas.
- Avoid vacuuming grass scatterings. To clean, use a soft-bristled brush to gently sweep away dust. Do not get grass scattering wet after the glue has dried. Many varieties of graft or white glue is water soluble and moisture will cause your grass scattering to come loose.
- Use several different lengths of grass scatterings for a rougher, more natural grass field.
- Use a combination of grass imitating felt and grass scatterings. Grass felt works well for large, flat areas, while grass scatterings work better for hilly or mountainous areas.
- Avoid vacuuming grass scatterings. To clean, use a soft-bristled brush to gently sweep away dust.
- Do not get grass scattering wet after the glue has dried. Many varieties of graft or white glue is water soluble and moisture will cause your grass scattering to come loose.
Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.