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Author Topic: Fake Fur Grass Experiment  (Read 14198 times)
marc_reusser
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« on: March 13, 2007, 11:23:17 PM »

This is my first try at this method, and there are a lot of things I should probably have done differently.....but for better or worse.....here it is.

Some things are not repairable...and some I may try and touch-up...we'll see......but then this project was all about experimenting.

The grass is made from cheap nylon/polyeter or something fake fur I found at a fabric store.....I was looking for one that was a nice beige color, but all they had were patterns.....luckily this ones pattern was open enough where I could cut useable sized pieces of beige out of it. Then I used my electric razor/trimmer, and electric nose hair trimmer to cut uneven lenghts.

I had two colors of "Setacolor" transparent green fabric dye (Moss Green, Pernod Yellow) that I had once purchased at a Michaels art store; these were applied usining a brush (the colors were randomly dabbed/combined on a pallete before aplying). This this was then set aside to dry......but being impatient I started combing it out......and trying to dry it with a hot hairdryer....combing it more (damn stuff didn't want to dry)...then when it was almost dry, I used a wery wide soft feathery brush and applied some MIG "Allied Green Fading Pigment"....combed and brushed it out some more.....then rinsed it under some cold water.....threw it in the hot dryer...and combed it out one last time. Then trimmed some of the Fuzz with the clippers and some small scissors.

The piece was then cut into smaller pieces...cutting from the back, so as to cut only the backing and minimize cuting the fibers. These pieces were then glued in place with yellow carpenters glue ..NOTE: when gluing the pieces down, do not press on them with your fingers...the glue will penetrate the backing, and glue down the fibers.....I used a toothpick, and with the point, pressed the backing into the glue.

Then the samller dark green tufts of grass were added to the base. These are from Silfor.

Next came the dirt and rocks...these were glued down using Liquitex Matte Medium. ...unfortunately the matte medium wicked into the Silfor pieces, which caused sand and rock grains to stick in it (AAARGH!).....they were to hard to remove, so I painted some of them with Naples Yellow oil paint, to represent small flowers  .

Once dry the shading was added to the ground around and under the plant edges using diluted washes of alcohol and Tamiya XF-51 Khaki "Drab".

And that was as far as I got.


* MR_Pzt_GrassFront.jpg (65.37 KB, 600x462 - viewed 815 times.)

* MR_Pzt_GrassFTop.jpg (74.37 KB, 515x600 - viewed 679 times.)

* MR_Pzt_GrassRight.jpg (48.26 KB, 600x447 - viewed 670 times.)
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MikeC
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2007, 08:40:04 AM »

This is one of those scenery techniques that has never worked well for me. I first read about using fake ("teddy bear") fur several years ago in either RMC or MR and thought I had to try it right away. Of course, the first problem was getting the fur. (If you want someone to stare at you like you have celery stalks growing out of your ears, go to Walmart's fabric department and ask the lady if she has teddy bear fur. That's all it takes. Shocked) Anyway, once I located the material, I tried following the steps outlined in the article. The results were less than satisfactory. Then I tried a couple of different things, including spraying the patches of fur with various "ground color" shades of Model Master paints, adding light coats of extra fine ground foam, etc. Another problem I had was getting the edges of the material to blend in with the dirt and other surrounding ground covers. I finally gave up on the idea altogether.

It looks like you've had far better success with the material than I, Marc. In spite of your tribulations, the results look pretty darned good. Thanks for outlining the steps you took in putting the scene together.

Oh yeah.... I still have the better part of a square yard of teddy bear fur. Now, if only I could find someone who makes teddy bears......
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Chuck Doan
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2007, 11:52:02 AM »

Hmmm...Probably should see this in person. Not sure if the pics are doing it justice. Kinda still looks like fur to me. I like the coloring, but something is bugging me;not sure what. It seems a little shiny maybe? The rocky bits are excellent as is your concrete of course. I'm just not loving the grass so much.

CD
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marc_reusser
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2007, 01:53:53 PM »

Thanks for the comments guys,

I agree with you that it's doesn't look quite right....it is just too fuzzy looking. Some of that may well be my doing also, because of my impatience I overwoorked it with the combing and brushing....but some is inherent in the product.

I am happy with the coloring.....there is some nice verigation when seen in person, and using the beige fur adds the look of how real grasses often are tan/yellowed towared the base....but the shineyness is an issue. unfortunately thats the fabric.  Roll Eyes It could be mitigated with some dusting with powders like the Mig or Andrea colors.

I probably won't use this  technique again for larger areas....but I can see where it might be suitable for very small areas around ofr under detail parts...where whispy grass peeking through or growing around something is needed.


Marc
« Last Edit: March 14, 2007, 01:55:49 PM by marc_reusser » Logged

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Hitchcock
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2007, 07:00:32 AM »

I have used that method from another source. The instructions were quite different .
I also noticed the sheen from the fur as well .Trimming the fur was a mess if it trimmed at all. Used some, but trashed the remnants.
I had a problem creating the color/shade of grass I wanted. Perhaps with lots of practice satisfaction could be achieved.
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marc_reusser
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2007, 10:09:30 PM »

I read the method posted by Harold Minkey on his site as a basis, but because of scale (and my own curiosity) aproached it a bit differently, I think the biggest issue downfall  for me with this experiment/results was, in the end, the scale factor. I think had this been 1/48, 1/64 or 1/87,...and as you mentioned..... with some practice, a pretty good effect would have been acheivable...especially if combined with some other scenic grass/foilage materials.

Marc
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rfmicro
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2007, 09:39:37 AM »

Here is the web site that I found from the RR line forum: http://www.pacificcoastairlinerr.com/fur_grass/article/

Regards,
Trent
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2007, 11:00:09 AM »

Marc, have you ever looked at the "tufts" by Scenic express?
I just got some.
After I drybrushed the green with some yellow ocher and tans they look real good.
I will be using them on the grist mill.
-Marty
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finescalerr
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2007, 12:06:22 PM »

So where is the photo? By all means keep us posted! -- Russ
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Krusty
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2007, 03:35:26 AM »

Marc, I've also been unable to get rid of the fuzzy, not-quite-right look of fake fur grass, despite trying all manner of colouring agents and application methods over the years. From what I've seen of other people's efforts locally it seems to be inherent in the material. Even S-scale examples don't look very convincing to me. If I can get it to work (the forum software doesn't seem to be very Safari-friendly) I've attached a photo of a quicky 1:35 photo diorama I knocked up a year or two back to show off a friend's forest fire engine model. The long grass in this is fake fur cut off its base and glued onto the model as individual clumps. It probably looks a bit better than applying it in sheets, but still isn't anything to write home about.


* nzfs_fire-engine.jpg (56.3 KB, 300x224 - viewed 675 times.)
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Kevin Crosado

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Hector Bell
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« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2007, 04:53:40 AM »

Hi, I've been thinking about clump grass and the other day my wife was brushing the underhair out of our Bear-coat Shar-Pei and filled a carrier bag.  The beauty of hair is that it's naturally irregular, unlike fur fabric.  I've purloined it and will get back to you on any successes.  If it works, you can get it from any doggy parlour. maybe not Shar-Pei, but it could be that different dogs give different types of grass.  I know Rich R. was looking at his dog too with the same idea. I can see it becoming a race!  Cheers, Hector
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marc_reusser
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« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2007, 01:53:11 PM »

@ Trent

Thanks, I am familiar with Harold,s site. And though it seems to work OK in 1/48 and probably HO, it doesn't really do so in 1/35. Not to take anything away from Harold and his efforts/techniques, they are averall stylistically a bit more "model" appearing....which is fine when everything is built at that level...it works great because everything blends well. I unfortunately am striving for a bit more detail/realism.

@ Krusty,

I think by mixing the material with other types of foliage and breaking it up you have created a nice look, you have succeeded more than I did; it is definitely something for me to experiment further with.

@ Marty,

I have tons of all the scenic express stuff (I use the Silfor).....but have not been happy with the rolling long grassy meadows...it's to "scrubby"....works breat for most things.....I just feel it misses for the soft grassy look. But I am really interested in what you are planning to do with it. I asure there will be an Idea or two I can steal  Wink.

@ Hector,

Dog!?  Grin.......I don't think mine would stand for that. Plus one is black...makes it touygh to dye.....and the other is Half Coyote...has hair like a Boar....could use it for HO fence posts.  Grin Grin

Cheers,

Marc
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« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2007, 02:21:36 PM »

Years ago somebody wrote an article in RMC about using human hair to represent grass. He got sweepings from a barber shop floor, cut the hairs to varying lengths, cemented them to his ground cover, and airbrushed them. He was modeling in 1:48 (On2) and, as I recall, the basic strands looked pretty good. The challenge, as Marc points out, was coloring; to my eye the paint was insufficiently realistic. I suppose if we limited ourselves to dying white geezer hair or blondes there's a chance .... -- Russ
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marc_reusser
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« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2007, 12:30:52 AM »

This little scene was posted on another forum, and since we have been discussing grass options, I thought I would post these here. This little scene was built by Aron Vrbovszki. He utilized Plumbers Hemp (the stuff plumbers use to seal pipes) for his grass, and natural materials for his reeds. Though I am not thrilled with the coloring of the grass or its randomness/"pokey-ness"...this might be a material worth experimenting further with. The vines are Photo Etch.





Has anyone else used this stuff?


Marc
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 12:36:06 AM by marc_reusser » Logged

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Hector Bell
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2007, 09:41:59 AM »

Hi Rich, I think you've got it in one there.  The armour looks good because he appears to have learned that the Verlinden technique doesn't do it, makes everything look dead.
But the grass has no direction.  I think what we're all striving for is the colour of grass as it's blown in the wind reaching for one prevailing direction.  Now what we have to be so careful of is that those of us used to the green, green grass of old England, don't judge the colouration of, say, Aussie or North African or even American grass.  Then we need to know what kind of grass it is.  Is it unkempt garden grass or couch grass or something more akin to cereal stalks?  I'm looking at some rough, but short garden grass full of clover here, but next door is an uncultivated paddock of very flat-blade grass all waving to the Nth. East.  But when it turns it changes colour.  The point is it all turns more or less together.  lastly, it is rareley longer than 8-10 inches max, but can be nearly 1/2" at it's base wide, where it is darker.  From 1/35 or 1/32nd up, you have vegetation which is big enough to be scaled like everything else and that's the challenge, not to make it look toylike.   For the shorter stuff, I'm sticking with dog (thanks Gypsy)  Cheers, Hector
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