Creating Scale Leaves with Ed Styles

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Ed Styles, member of the Western Hoosic Division’s Lou Sassi’s Tree Group talks creating scale ground cover leaves in this video. Ed uses real dried leaves picked around fall time. He dries them and removes any big stems from the leaves so they are easier to work with. Next he puts them in a blender to grind up the leaves in order to turn them into a scale size. The blender is filled half full with tap water and he usually adds about three handfuls of leaves.

Ed has the blender set on a fairly high speed; the frappe setting works the best. Using a power switch to turn on and off the blender will prevent wear and tear on the switch of the blender. The next step is to run this material through a strainer to separate the leaves from the water. The result is dumped into a t-shirt and he squeezes the water from the leaves.

The leaves are spread back over a cookie sheet. Ed dries them in an oven at 250 degrees with the door left partially open to allow the moisture to escape. Then the leaves are sifted in a strainer to get the final leaves that will be used on the layout. These fine leaves will look very realistic in a model railroad scene. For more tips on making ground cover with leaves, or creating scenery from nature, visit the Model Railroad Academy website.

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