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weeding the layout
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 Posted: Wed Sep 29th, 2010 09:08 pm
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W C Greene
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Woodland Scenics' "field grass" makes some wonderful tall weeds but here's a little tip that I learned from military modelers (Verlinden) to make the stuff look more realistic. I "plant" the cut off bits of this stuff in the usual (for me) way-I cut some and dip the cut end in glue (white or waterproof glue) and just stick it down. I don't drill holes for it or try to make it look "just right" until after the glue dries.



These weeds have been glued down, trying to make a "natural" arrangement rather than exactly spaced apart. Then I take my old 60 watt soldering iron, get it hot, and "tease" the weeds which makes the stuff look better. This is the BEFORE photo.



The AFTER view shows how much better and more realistic the field grass looks after some "work" with the hot soldering iron. I have been told that the WS product is real human hair, died in several shades of green, brown, and "natural" as shown here. I have the luxury of doing this outside, the weeds smell like hair burning so if you try this, be aware...somebody will think your hair is on fire!

I have looked at some beautiful layouts and dioramas which have this material used as weeds and most don't go this "extra step" and it really shows up as what it is-sprigs of hair standing up in the otherwise nice scenery. I don't do a large area at a time this way, it is rather taxing on the nerves, but as can be seen the little extra "messing" makes things look pretty good. Now, get out the soldering iron and make those weeds look like something!

                                                    Woodie



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 Posted: Wed Sep 29th, 2010 10:47 pm
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Sullivan
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I kinda always wondered why your clumps of grass looked better than other layout's grass clumps. After your comment earlier there was this "ahh!" moment. This photo evidence really shows the proof of the pudding.

Great technique!

Of course, looking at the track in the background, you also have the benefit of natural falling fodder to help clutter up the area with very natural materials.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 30th, 2010 02:11 am
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Herb Kephart
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Well, if there are such a thing as neat weeds, there they are!

I wonder how a hair drier would work---


Herbie  :old dude:



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 Posted: Thu Sep 30th, 2010 02:58 am
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W C Greene
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Herb-I don't know about the hair dryer...if it gets hot enough to bend and melt hair, then maybe so. I don't know if blowing heat on this stuff will work. Why don't you try it and let our muddled minds know. Maybe if you could "pinpoint" the heat from the blower...Hmmmmm...

                                                    troublesome



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 Posted: Thu Sep 30th, 2010 10:46 am
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Stickboy
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Nice tip, thanks!

Phil



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 Posted: Wed Oct 6th, 2010 08:59 pm
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hminky
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Great improvement!

Harold

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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2012 09:45 am
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Giles
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Woodie – that's brilliant – I think you might have introduced a game-changer......
I'm going to have to play with this one!
:bow:

All the best,

Giles



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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2012 08:15 pm
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Dallas_M
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The "weeds" in the "before" photo just look STUPID! :dope: And, yeah, we've seen 'em everywhere ... :td:

Yer "fix" is "stupidly simple" but produces a BRILLIANT result! :brill: At which point, Abott turns to Costello and says, "fine job, you idiot!" :) (Running & ducking for cover while making a note to actually remember this stupid little fix that works so well!) :bg:



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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2012 08:26 pm
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danpickard
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Nice effect Woodie. Not that I have one, but I imagine a soldering hot air gun might have a similar result, and be a bit more controlled and contained with the heat, as opposed to a hair dryer.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard

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 Posted: Sun Nov 18th, 2012 08:52 pm
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W C Greene
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Another thing that I have tried along with the soldering iron is to use an old BIC or whatever butane lighter, just going "over" the tops of the "weeds" and it will make almost the same effect but you gotta be careful-the weeds tend to light up and burn down! I smoosh them out before that happens and then rub off the burned bits with my fingers. I won't supply photos of this, it would take me to do the job and somebody else to take photos. Just try the soldering iron and BIC on a "test piece" and you'll get the idea.

Woodie



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