Ztrains: New Article... The Grassinator

Raildig Mar 2, 2008

  1. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

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    Hi,

    We've just posted our new "Grassinator" static grass applicator article up at Ztrains.com. We've set the article as a step-by-step build for beginners, as well as using simplified wiring diagrams for the more experienced users. It really is a neat little device.

    Enjoy this new article!

    John Cubbin
    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
     
  2. JR59

    JR59 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi John, that's an interesting step by step article. To bad I've allready a NOCH Grassmachine so I don't need another one but I'm sure a lot of Hobbiest will use your guide. Maybe it would be good if you publish the guide also in the N and HO Forum.
     
  3. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Ok, I got my stuff and I made myself a grassanator. Well, maybe I did something wrong, but I am not very pleased with what I am getting. Maybe I using the wrong grass or something? I cut sections of woodland scenics feild grass, and it just seems like it is all clogged up before I can even turn the machine on. I do seem get a few sparks if I hit the metal screen to the nail with the aligator clip. Sometimes some grass comes out, only a few strands and the rest just clogs up like a fur ball behind the screen. Anybody else build one? Any suggestions. I really hoped it would work like that video but I am kinda dissapointed.
     
  4. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

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  5. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

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    What is "static" grass? Thanks.
     
  6. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

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    Static grass is a special fiber material that responds to an electrical charge. When a charge is applied, the grass will stand up. In mass, it looks very much like the grass you see outdoors. The small fibers come in various colors, mixes, and heights. This way, you can create a tall dry prarie, or lush spring meadow.

    One good source of Static Grass is Scenery Express. Here is a link to the page showing some of the options:

    Scenery Express

    Rob
     
  7. HOexplorer

    HOexplorer TrainBoard Supporter

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    Woodland Scenics makes a Static Grass in about 5 different colors. I use it right out of the shaker. I suppose this is the answer we are searching for. Scenery Express also sells a static grass. Cheers, Jim CCRR
     
  8. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks John and all of you for the responses . I wondered what the heck was going on. I have to say I felt like a kid that just opened a christmas present only to get a pair of socks. :( Kinda dissapointed after all that work. Glad to hear it is something I can fix with just a purchase of material. :D Ok, I'll check the local hobby shop and see if they have it, if not I'll order off the interenet.
     
  9. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

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    Glad to help Joe,

    Don't want to see your work result in frustration (or socks!). Here's a quick photo I just took of Woodland Scenics static grass next to their field grass.

    [​IMG]

    John
    Ztrains.com
    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Trains
     
  10. J o e

    J o e TrainBoard Member

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    Still trying to get the super macro mode on my new Olympus camera to work right but here's a few shots of the grass I did with my homemade static grass machine. Hopefully I can get some better pictures, because it looks way better than these pictures show.

    If you zoom in on the pictures you can see the grass strands standing up.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Good looking Pictures Joe! I had to order static grass on line, my local hobby store didn't have any. Now I have to wait...I really hate waiting. John those comparasion pictures really show the difference. I hope my mistake teaches others out there!
     
  12. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    Ok, I got grasses and used this thing. First off it does work. :) However, there is a learning curve with it. For instance, I've learned you have to put less grass in the holding container if you use longer strands like 6 mm for high fields. Otherwise it will still clog slightly and you will have to shake or tap it. However, be carefull, because if you do that, grass will sometimes just shoot out everywhere! Sometimes if you give it a tap it feels like the grass is literally being sucked right out of thing! John is absolutely right, those stray strands are unslightly with the camera when taking shots. I feel like I got a very nice looking field, however, I am still picking up strays with tweezers. Hopefully in a few days, I'll have most of them cleaned up and post some pictures. Regardless it is a great tool. :D I want to thank John again for posting the how to, it really makes a huge difference in the appearance of the layout.
     
  13. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

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    Joe,

    I agree there is a feel you need to develop for this tool... it's very similar to the NOCH unit in that respect. One thing I'd suggest is to use a relatively thick adhesive... I'm using the NOCH Grass Slime (sold by Scenic Express). What I do is keep a small vacuum near my workbench... it's actually a small Shop-Vac. After waiting just a short time for the static grass and Grass Slime to set up, I run the vacuum over the surface... maybe 4" from the grass tops. This does a great job of picking up the stray fibers while not really affecting the grass you want to remain. The tweezer thing is a killer... I know!

    I'm glad you're seeing good results!

    John
    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
     
  14. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wonder if you could place newspaper around the glued area to catch the strays?

    Figures I finally decide to order the parts and the ion generator is sold out...
     
  15. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Guys

    I built my own grassanator from the post about a month or so ago, and i have a few tips i can offer.

    John is on the money with the mini shop-vac. I vacume my whole layout pretty often. It finds out which parts of the scery are glued down well in a hurry!!! But cleaning up after static grass application sessions is easy work. I let everything dry overnight, and then go to town with the vacume.

    Another tip is to mix your different grass fibers to varry the color and size of the grass. For farm fieilds, a single hieght grass looks right, but in native areas, a mix of 2mm and 4mm looks more realistic especially if you mix he colors a little to.

    The scenic express silphlor fiber is very nice to work with, but has a slightly shinny look in certain light that makes it look artificial. The Noch static products don't have this problem, and look the best for my purposes. I have the woodland scenics material as well, but prefer to mix it with the Noch otherwise it looks to monochromatic.

    For glue i'm making my own matte-medium by mixing elmers glue and water at a 1:1 ratio.

    My first prototype unit had a big screen in it and a large bowl. i found it to be to sloppy for Z scale work, so i re-did it. My current prototype uses a McCormic spice container and a screen i cut out of a tea bag strainer. This smaller unit with its finer screen lets me work in smaller areas without wasting material in areas without glue.

    Hope this helps folks out, and i would definatly recomend building one of these units, the results add another level of detail that will make your modeling even better!!!

    Tony b...
    Wasatch Z Club
     
  16. Raildig

    Raildig TrainBoard Member

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    I emailed Electronic Goldmine this morning regarding the negative ion generators being out of stock and they wrote back:

    "Yes, we are expecting additional inventory in late April."

    John
    Ztrains
    Ztrains: Z Scale (1:220) Model Train Layouts
     
  17. david f.

    david f. TrainBoard Supporter

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    interesting. is this a round plastic spice bottle or a squarish tin? i would think the tin type might work against you. would appreciate your clarification.
    dave f.
     
  18. zmon

    zmon TrainBoard Member

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    Hey Dave

    Its the small round plastic spice container, NOT the other....

    Whats new in Co.????


    Tony B..
    Wasatch Z Club
     
  19. RGW

    RGW TrainBoard Member

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    John, any plans for MTL to issue GP-9 in other livery? CNW perhaps?
     
  20. Cleantex

    Cleantex TrainBoard Member

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    "Yes, we are expecting additional inventory in late April."

    Thats good news, so could be interesting to have some here
    over.
    Perhaps some other guys, Torsja?, Jürg?, Andreas?, xxxx?,(me),
    in old Europe would also want to build one.

    Goldmine dont make export, but if we make collection from need
    here, somebody could perhaps send and we make the distribution
    on site....
     

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