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Thread: Static grass applicator comparison

  1. #1
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    Default Static grass applicator comparison

    I bought a static grass applicator a few years back and used a new one in the last few days. There are some interesting differences between the two.

    My original applicator is by Grass Tech and sold by Micro-Mark as an economy applicator, $40.
    IMG_7102.jpg
    The applicator works as advertised, does a decent job, easy to use, good value for the buck. I had a few issues with it. One is it has a fine mesh on the screen. I imagine there are advantages to it but it makes the application process rather slow. I had a minor issue with a Noch static grass mix that has both fibers and chunks (possibly green-dyed sawdust); the chunks won't go thru the mesh, not a big deal. The more serious issue is that you can't apply grass up to previously installed trees, cliffs or other vertical scenery due to the shape of the wire basket; the trees get in the way and the grass is deposited mostly under the center of the basket.

    This season I'm faced with "grassing" some large areas of my layout. After reading posts here on nscale.net about better, higher voltage applicators, and with the above in mind I bought a WWS Pro Grass Precision Applicator on Amazon for $80. This particular WWS model specializes in small areas, having a very small basket and hand unit.
    IMG_7103.jpg
    There are interesting differences between this and the Grass Tech model. The GT will throw a spark if you hit the pin while shaking the basket; I imagine the basket is wired directly to the voltage supply. The WWS OTOH has no connection between the two. You can see an electrode in the handle on the left; the basket is in the plastic sleeve on top of the power supply unit and there is no wire to it. No sparks. Another difference is that the WWS model produces ozone which you can easily smell during use. This is good (it indicates that the circuit is powerful) and bad (health hazard). The screen mesh is also larger than the GT and those Noch chunks pass right thru.

    The WWS is clumsier to use than the GT; the power supply is in a separate unit, the wires are stiffer and harder to control, and the on/off button is not in the handle. It is clearly more powerful, sailing grass fibers to objects near and far. The compact size of the hand unit works as advertised; you can apply grass right next to vertical objects.

    As a result of the compact size, though, you can't load the basket with much fiber and it takes even longer to cover a given area than the GT. So, in the right of the photo you can see a mod that I hacked together that works quite well. Ingredients are a 1/2 inch PVC tee fitting (
    Turns out 1/2 inch PVC fittings fit tightly on the handle)
    , a dollar store strainer, and Gorilla Glue. Using a band saw I hacked the handle and "ears" off the strainer, cut off much of the flat tee side of the fitting and shortened it's arms enough to fit into the strainer. I also flattened the strainer screen out to get it's center the same distance from the electrode as the OOTB basket's screen. This mod works better and faster than the GT and will be my go-to applicator.

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  3. #2
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    thank you for the comparison, and the mod

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    Would it be possible to see some photos of grass done with the two different applicators? I have the Grass Tech model and would be interested in seeing how the end product compares.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Would it be possible to see some photos of grass done with the two different applicators? I have the Grass Tech model and would be interested in seeing how the end product compares.
    Yes but off the top of my head, the applicator is only one factor that might affect success, along with technique, length of fiber, humidity, stiffness or stickiness of the glue. Add to that the use of different grass and different density when comparing. From a few years back using the Grasstech:
    DSCN2564.jpg
    With the modified WWS:
    DSCN2565.jpg

    Both look good at low angles. From higher angles there seems to be more grass lying down with the Grasstech, but it could be due to any of the above factors.

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    Thanks! They both look better than my best efforts.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    @NtheBasement that ballast looks really nice - any info?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    @NtheBasement that ballast looks really nice - any info?
    That's Woodland Scenics fine light grey.

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