Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Scenic test

I've been mulling over how to represent the ground cover on Tredethy Wharf. One member of the local group has been recommending teddy bear fur, dyed and then cut to shape and length. While it can give good results I have been using static grass for for my war-gaming bases for many years and wondered how I might use this material in larger areas.

Above is a 15mm (1:100) British Napoleonic command stand that uses static grass. I use a substance called Basetex as ground cover on my wargaming bases, dribbled with some brown ballast to give added texture. A wash of Raw Umber is roughly applied and the brown ballast highlighted by dry brushing, after which the static grass is applied. This procedure was the starting point of my thoughts about how I could use these techniques on Tredethy Wharf.

In my opinion field grass is not uniform length nor is the ground flat on which it grows. Thoughts about applying a layer of 2mm static grass onto a flat surface would only achieve a uniform covering so this made me decide to construct a test block to do some trials.

A block was created using offcuts of Styrene which was then covered with Mod-Roc.  I then applied a thin layer of Basetex to one section but when dry it cracked and was easily chipped. Hmmm... Next thought was to use Artex plaster with a little PVA and some sand added for texture. I mixed three different batches of plaster, each with a different ratio of builders sand. These mixtures were then applied in three bands separated by a band of uncovered ModRoc and stippled to give a rough ground cover. A wash of Raw Umber was then applied and allowed to dry.

I applied 2mm and 4mm lengths of static grass along with a small section of flock on the uncoated ModRoc as a control to help me appreciate the difference between the types of ground cover. Then, in an attempt to represent tufts and different grasses, I applied different lengths of static grass (2mm, 4mm and 6mm) onto previous coverings.

The above photograph does not show the result very well but I think I'm starting to achieve the result I'm after. Although, I'll probably have a little more practice before starting on the layout.


Flymo said...

Well, I'm impressed with that result. If you feel that you need more practice...

It looks excellent to me, and a good mix of rough grasses. I've yet to try out one of those static flock machines, so when I do I may be asking you for tips!

David Smith said...

Embankment grass in late summer can be tall and straw coloured. We achieved this by mixing in 6mm barley/straw flock from Realistic Modelling. The header photograph on our blog shows the effect.

Yan said...

Thanks for the comments.

I do take your point David about tall grass that is dying back in late summer early autumn. I have small pack of some very long strands in stock. It's not that obvious in the photo but I have tried to represent a small clump of late summer grass. The problem is it has to be trimmed before/after applying. To do a long embankment would be a real pain. I'll look out for some shorter lengths (6mm or slightly longer) of straw coloured static grass and give it a go on the embankment and in and around any hedging.

Thanks again