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Thread: Bulk Ground Cover Source

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    Default Bulk Ground Cover Source

    I have a moderately large 6x6 layout and want to start with a basic layer of green/brown cover. I would guess that half a gallon of each color mixed together would be a good starting point but want input to a good source of this stuff.

    I'm also thinking of using a small hand sprayer loaded with a 50-50 mix of white glue and water on the baseboard and then a hand ("flour") mixer to sift the material onto the wet glue. Comments as to whether there is a better way to do it or not appreciated.

    My first shot out of the barrel and don't have a CLUE what I am doing .

    THanks,

    Jim

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    For the paint, I would stick with an earth brown of some kind. At Lowe's or Ace or Home Depot there is always a shelf with returned mixes at half price or less. A quart should be more than enough for a 6x6 layout, unless you are measuring by yards or meters.

    As for the garden sprayer, I would be interested in how that turns out. Just be sure to mask your track very well, and your roads, and anything else that is on the layout. I especially like the idea of using a flour sifter.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    For brown cover you can use sifted dirt. Just grab some from your yard, garden or whatever. The best part is it's dirt cheap! Go to Dollar Tree and get some strainers/sieves for sifting it.

    Get an aluminum pan there too and "bake" the sifted dirt on your BBQ grill or in an old toaster oven. You can use your wife's oven, but that is probably a BAD idea unless you really want to make her mad and question your sanity.

    Baking the dirt kills organics like seeds and insect eggs so you don't get any surprises. You can also skip baking it and 99.9% of the time you'll be fine, but you ARE taking a small risk.

    White glue and water in a spray bottle work okay for applying glue but you can get "craters" in your scenic materials from drops. It's probably better to get a ketchup bottle or like me I use my used saline solution bottles and drizzle it on rather than spray it. You get more control that way. If you use a spray bottle make sure you wash the glue out of the sprayer or it will clog and be forever unusable again.

    TONS more info on this if you do Google research and search YouTube.

    eNjoy!
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."

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    Check out this guy videos for some ideas on ground cover, dirt covering and mixing your own glue.



    https://www.bouldercreekrailroad.com...ete-guide.html

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    I've gotta agree with @Bronman, dried and sifted dirt is the cheapest way to go for brown.

    As for the sprayer, I use something a little smaller than a full blown garden sprayer but it works on the same principle: once you pump it up it stays pressurized for a while, saves you from hand cramps that you get with those spritzers. People use them for house plants.

    71FPuebydTL.jpg

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    Check out the stuff from Scenic Express. They have a huge variety of interesting textures and various colors. I should think just a couple shakers would be enough to cover your 6x6 area. Though I recommend a wider variety of colors and textures, and then layer them on unevenly to simulate differences in vegetation type and the kind of sun and water different areas get.

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    You need this book: https://www.amazon.com/Build-Realist...62976059&psc=1

    Dave Frary is a recognized expert in the hobby in regards to scenery. His techniques are easy to understand, implement and repeat, and you'll have predictable and satisfying results every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    For the paint, I would stick with an earth brown of some kind. At Lowe's or Ace or Home Depot there is always a shelf with returned mixes at half price or less. A quart should be more than enough for a 6x6 layout, unless you are measuring by yards or meters.

    As for the garden sprayer, I would be interested in how that turns out. Just be sure to mask your track very well, and your roads, and anything else that is on the layout. I especially like the idea of using a flour sifter.
    Where did I say anything about paint or garden sprayers? It is already painted baby$#it brown, I just want to add some material to give it some depth.

    Jim

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    Well, Jim, you never mentioned that it was already painted (at least not in your first post). When someone mentions "start with a basic layer," it was natural to think you meant paint.

    As for the garden sprayer, mea culpa, you said hand sprayer and I simply visualized the wrong thing. It is Spring and much time is spent in the garden. Though I thought it an interesting idea for large areas, especially in combo with the flour sifter.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    Where did I say anything about paint or garden sprayers? It is already painted baby$#it brown, I just want to add some material to give it some depth.
    Whoa, dial it back a bit, @jweir43. Save that for some other forum. You asked for help, said you didn't have a clue as to what you were doing, and you jump all over someone's well-meant advice. Not cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    Where did I say anything about paint...?
    ummm.. in your initial post?

    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    I would guess that half a gallon of each color mixed together would be a good starting point but want input to a good source of this stuff.

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    Im sorry guys , but he never says paint and never says garden sprayer . In my reading of his OP , i never got the impression of paint or garden sprayer . I understood he was after bulk ground cover as the title says .
    Sorry to say , but i think he is getting heat he doesn't really deserve

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    In my reading of his OP , i never got the impression of paint or garden sprayer . I understood he was after bulk ground cover as the title says .
    You're right, Steve. I just think Gordon got chided a bit harshly by the OP for no apparent reason.

    Then again, it's not as if my photo is in the dictionary next to the definition of "tact" or "grace" either.

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    You may be right Paul , but its hard to read in emotions into a text . Going against the grain here , but im giving him and the entire thread the benefit of the doubt

    Steve

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    Hey, Gang, we can give Jim a pass I think. I misunderstood his initial post, though my misunderstanding gave me food for thought. If I can't take a barb now and then, I shouldn't sling any.

    By the way, Jim, welcome to the forum!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
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    Quote Originally Posted by jweir43 View Post
    I have a moderately large 6x6 layout and want to start with a basic layer of green/brown cover. I would guess that half a gallon of each color mixed together would be a good starting point but want input to a good source of this stuff.
    I think you have gotten some good advice here with the pointer to scenic express.

    They sell solid colors along with a bunch of blends. You can get it in several sizes ( up to a 5 gallon bucket! ).
    http://www.sceneryexpress.com/Flock-...products/1034/

    My personal go to blend is the late summer static grass ( http://www.sceneryexpress.com/2MM-BU...ctinfo/EX8923/ ). But I have a static grass applicator, and I am doing a lot of rural scenes.

    I'm also thinking of using a small hand sprayer loaded with a 50-50 mix of white glue and water on the baseboard and then a hand ("flour") mixer to sift the material onto the wet glue. Comments as to whether there is a better way to do it or not appreciated.
    I think there really ar two general approaches. One of them you describe above. I sometimes use a brush and paint full strength glue ( Matte medium actually.... ) onto the surface. ( You can also do this right after painting the ground color. This is called zip texturing, and it uses the paint as the glue...)

    The other method puts the base scenery down first, then you spray it with ”wet” water ( water with a little dish soap... ) followed by diluted white glue.

    Incidentally, I don’t ever use a sifter for any of this. I use the shaker bottles for large areas and a plastic spoon or smaller ones.

    Oh, and don’t expect everything to stay put forever... I loose a lot of scenery material when I turn a module over or on its side the first time. You can use a ( preferably clean )vacuum cleaner to recover some of the loose bits.


    Paul
    For decoder installation and JMRI services, please visit http://www.bentraildigital.com
    For n-scale intermodal information, please visit http://nscaleintermodal.com

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    Mea culpa, gang. I would have SWORN that I posted an image of the top layer. Upon reflection, I posted the image when somebody was asking about laying track on foam over in Trackage. Here you go.

    JimIMG_0881.jpg

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    Nice shot, Jim! Now that you posted it here, I remember seeing it in the other thread. I see what you mean by "baby $#it brown." Great description!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    http://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Then again, it's not as if my photo is in the dictionary next to the definition of "tact" or "grace" either.
    Yeah, sorry gang. I've spent nearly all my life in elected politics and have come to understand that I don't call a spade a spade, I call it a f(k!n@ shovel. I hope to wind that down in retirement.

    However, I will never suffer fools graciously. Against my basic persona.

    Thanks,

    Jim

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