Friday, August 31, 2012

Reeds & Long Grass

Reeds & Long Grass

Gary James created the long grass in these pictures using 'Field Grass', a commercial product from Woodland Scenics.
Field Grass is actually coarse, dyed hair that comes in a variety of colours. To use it either put a blob of PVA glue onto the base of the model and stand the field grass in it, letting it set before squashing it a bit and roughing it up to get a more natural clump, or stab a hole in the terrain, fill it with PVA glue and push the Field Grass in with a small screwdriver. I did this to add all the grass to the Lizardman temple.
The second picture above also features a piece of lichen to represent a bush. Lichen is a natural plant, dried and coloured. Either glue it straight onto the base or glue a stick to the base and push the lichen on to it, with glue, if you want a higher bush or small tree.
Gary also suggests (alas no pictures) dipping the ends of field grass in glue and then flock to make bullrushes.

An alternative is to use bristles from a brush. In the photo to the right Andrew 'Kishkumen' Nelson used bristles from cheap paintbrushes which he attached with blobs of glue. Andrew found that they tended to tip over so he braced the whole scenery piece upside-down on a couple of paint bottles so that the bristles to hung down and stayed reasonably straight while the glue dried.
Andrew has a also used lichen for bushes. He cast the tyres from a latex mould that he made himself.

Gary James also makes reeds and long grasses from natural rope fibres as on the river bank in the picture to the right. Basically you take a length of thick, natural rope and fray the end a little. Snip off about 15mm of the rope strands and glue them to the river bank with a blob of PVA glue. Leave the strands stood up quite straight until the glue sets. Then rough the strands up a bit to spread them out into a more natural effect.
The easiest way to colour the rope reeds is to use inks rather than paint. I mix a little Citadel green ink into some yellow to get a light green. Fill a fat paint brush with it and dab it onto the rope strands, which will soak it up and turn green.

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