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Starting the Scenery Part 1 - Grass & Flock

James Hickman

JAMES HICKMAN shows us what we can use to add ground cover to our layouts.

When we say 'scenics' in the model railway world, nine times out of ten we mean the green stuff. Grass, plants, trees, all the natural parts of the layout. That said, it doesn't always simply mean the rolling hills. In this article I aim to highlight some helpful products, as well as give new life to some of those sometimes forgotten products. Let's start by looking at what ground cover is available.

Scatters

These products are the traditional ground cover. Although these are still a very popular product for a budget layout, they tend to give an old school look to the layout when used as the primary ground covers. These are represented in the Gaugemaster Range under references GM101 to GM110 .

Grass and Flock

GM101 Scatter - Meadow Green (50g)

GM102 Scatter - Mid Green (50g)

GM103 Scatter - Dark Green (50g)

GM105 Scatter - Spring Green (50g)

GM108 Scatter - Earth Brown (50g)

GM109 Scatter - Black (50g)

GM110 Scatter - Red/Brown (50g)

Flock

This is a more modern take on the scatter. It is normally made from a synthetic foam, cut into varying degrees of fineness. This gives a more natural looking cover to that of the scatters. Both Gaugemaster and Faller produce a nice range of flock, however the Faller range is more diverse and can be found here.

Grass and Flock

FA171308 Premium Terrain Flock Very Fine Dark Green (45g)

FA171409 Premium Terrain Flock Fine Olive Green (45g)

This ground cover is good for giving a bit of height to your fields, bringing the scenics up from being simply a flat 2D landscape. Because of the nature of the product, it also clumps, meaning small bushes can also easily be created with this product.

Static Grass

Well this one kind of explains itself - it's grass that is static. When applied it represents varying lengths and colours of grass and similar plants. It can be applied in small areas using a puffer bottle or in larger areas with use of an electrostatic applicator like the Noch Grass Master.

The grass is available in the majority of scenic ranges, however for those starting out there are a couple of assortment packs in the Noch range with varying colours under the references N07066 and N07071. All the variants of grass in these packs are also available separately from Noch in varying lengths of fibres and pack sizes. There is also a static grass introductory pack available in the Gaugemaster range under the reference GM196.

For more information on using static grass take a look at my previous article on the subject.

Grass and Flock

N07091 Wild Grass 6mm Beige

N07092 Wild Grass 6mm Light Green

N07093 Wild Grass 6mm Bright Green

N07094 Wild Grass 6mm Dark Green


N07110 Wild Grass 12mm Meadow

N07111 Wild Grass 12mm Beige

N07112 Wild Grass 12mm Light Green

N07114 Wild Grass 12mm Bright Green

Grass Mats

These are essentially preformed rolls of the static grass. They come either backed on paper, or for longer fibres a mat that can be teased apart, you can see the Gaugemaster offerings here. Other colours of mats are available in both the Noch and Faller ranges.

Grass and Flock

GM20 Scenic Mat - Spring Grass (100cm x 75cm)

GM21 Scenic Mat - Summer Grass (100cm x 75cm)

GM22 Scenic Mat - Autumn Grass (100cm x 75cm)

Lichen

An 'old-school' method of ground cover, lichen is naturally occurring and dyed. Although some may see it as more of a budget range product, lichen can form the base for some of the more detailed bushes and hedgerows.

Grass and Flock

GM164 Lichen - Light Green (80g)

GM165 Lichen - Dark Green (80g)

GM166 Lichen - Assorted Colours (80g)

Leaves

Although mostly used for trees and bushes, leaves can also be used as ground cover. Whether they have fallen, or are growing on small bushes, they can be used to great effect. Gaugemaster offer a set of three colours of leaves, and Noch offer a couple of sets as well.

Grass and Flock

Now we know what products are around, let's have a look at how some of the can be used.

GM156 Scenic Leaves - Light Green (50g)

GM157 Scenic Leaves - Mid Green (50g)

GM158 Scenic Leaves - Dark Green (50g)

The Old Barn

This small diorama depicts an old barn near the end of its useful life.

Grass and Flock
Grass and Flock

Autumn Scenes

Grass and Flock

This scene makes uses of many of the products listed above. Check out how this scene was made here.

The same process was used for this other autumn scene:

Grass and Flock

The Abandoned Engine Shed

If you visited out shop some while ago you may remember this model was on display; 'The Abandoned Engine Shed.'

Grass and Flock

I hope reading through this brief article on scenics that you have seen that there are a lot of products on the market, but not all are required for a good effect. Part Two of this article will be looking at trees and bushes, however I hope to look at some of the products listed above in future RIGHT LINES articles.

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