Static grass

Mid-west Utrainia is famed for its vast fields of waist-high grass, so naturally I had to model this. A recent innovation in model railway circles is static grass, and after some hunting and researching I set about making some of my own.

The grass fibre

First ingredient is static grass fibre, apparently a side-effect of textile manufacture. I got mine from ebay, from Aussie Scenics. I used their Wheat Fields, Late Harvest Brown, and Desert Scrub flavours. Since ordering they have come out with a new expanded range of dry looking colours which I am keen to try. Another source on ebay is War World Ltd, also on ebay.

The Grass Blaster

The other ingredient is a static grass machine. Mine is a home made one, based on a very simple circuit of power-pack, power switch, negative ion generator, tea strainer. The negative ion generator arrived on the slow boat from Oatley Electronics in Australia, product code IONB2.

Here is the finished grass-blaster-4000:

Low voltage DC goes in one end, and highly charged DC comes out the other. A ground probe grounds the model railway, and the "hot" end goes to the sieve to charge the grass. Note the incredibly important protective plastic sheath over the wand, this thing can bite!

Grassing process

First the scenery shell is made, usually from sifted dirt/sand over a shell of plaster. My dirt comes from various parts of the garden; you want quite a light shade as gluing it makes things darker.

Glue is then applied, a grounding probe put into the glue and fibre loaded into the sieve. Then I shake vigorously and slowly the fields take shape.

Final result, on a clear moon-lit night:

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