MODELING: Some Layout Progress and Weathering a Reefer

grass loco cargrass three cars

Lee Turner’s weathering articles seem to attract a great deal of attention and interest.  My blog experiences its best days in terms of hits when Lee or Jim Zwernemann’s models are shown.   The visual aspect of their work is breathtaking.   It has served as an inspiration to me and a I assume many of the blog visitors.

grass closeup

My own layout has seen a little progress.  I have been learning how to “grow” grass.  The last couple of weeks has been a learning experience of doing scenery including electrostatic grass application.   I had purchased a Noch application gun a couple years back when they were on sale.  My methodology is basically what everyone else does.  Spread a little Matt Medium or PVA (diluted with water and a wetting agent), ground the unit in the glue area and pull the trigger.  Well, they all don’t stand upright.  Wonder what I did wrong.  Too much glue was one problem I figured out.  Didn’t use a vacuum to stand up the grass.  Oh yes, remember to put a cloth in the end of the hose and capture the extra grass.  The stuff is expensive.   After a few tries, I started to get the hang of it.   I did spend time on Trevor Marshall’s website and reading Gordon Gravett’s “Modelling Grasslands and Landscape Details” (ISBN 978 1 908763 0608).  I recommend you spend time with both sources.


I did these patches the other night but I am not sure it is what I grass dirtwas looking for.   Following the suggestion Gordon Gravett,  I dug out an old coffee bean grinder and gave the fiber a spin.  It did separate the fibers better than trying to rub clumps between my fingers.  The next result was a deluge of fiber came out of the tool.  Now I have a couple of grass patches that look like an old Loden coats I once had.   Never got the lederhosen however but did acquired a taste for German biers.

grass ballastI enjoyed adding grass between the ties on a siding. I few dabs of the glue and a blast of the grass.  Finish up with the vacuum.  I need to go back and do some trimming with a scissor to vary the height of the planted grass.






Lee covered the topic of weathering in previous posts.  I wanted to show you my recent attempt at emulating Lee’s work.  My stuff is not in his league but maybe it will get better with more practice.


Take a look at the Vallejo washes for doing weathering.   I bought a set recently and found a few colors are immediately useful.   It might be better to purchase specific colors rather than a set.  Sepia, Brown and Gray were used from the set.  I used washes to highlight the bolts along the lower side.   Washes were used to accent hinges and door hardware.

vallejo wash


Happy Trails





6 thoughts on “MODELING: Some Layout Progress and Weathering a Reefer

  1. I found that letting the glue soak into the scenery material and not puddling gives the best chance at the grass standing up. I use a 50/50 water with mat medium and a little iso alcohol. Also make sure your ground wire is into the wet material, seems like it works better that way for me. Scenery is starting to take shape and looks good.

  2. I’m not sure how close you at holding the grass applicator to the layout surface. I have found the closer the better. The static field around the screen is not extremely strong and that is what makes the grass stand up.

    Ken Burney

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