In this video, Lance Mindheim, modeler of the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville model railroad will demonstrate how to make model grass. Since grass covers so much area on a railroad, it’s an element of scenery that is worth taking some time on. Over a traditional ground foam, Lance uses static grass. The first step in how to make model grass is applying glue. He uses traditional white glue and sweeps it on with a brush. The grass is then applied in three to four coats. Shaking it right out of the bottle is Lance’s prefered method. If the grass gets bogged down in the bottle he might add a bolt to break it up. The next step is an important one. The reason static grass is called static is that it reacts with static electricity.
To stand the grass up, he charges up a piece of foam with electricity by rubbing it on his forearm and holds it a couple inches above the grass to attract it upwards. The charge doesn’t last too long, so he must keep repeating the step. Next it’s onto adhesive to keep the grass in place. At this stage after standing up the grass, it is important to use a very light adhesive. A water and glue mixture would be too heavy, so Lance actually uses hairspray. He adds more layers of grass and repeats the process. He goes on to show the finished product. To learn more scenery techniques, visit the Model Railroad Academy archives.