Luke Towan
November 30, 2017
5 min read

Static Grass Applicator Version 2

So you're thinking about building your very own static grass applicator to take your model scenery to the next level...

You've come to the right place!

There's no better way to take an average looking scene and transform it into an ​amazing master piece that will leave you friend speechless!

Over the last few years static grass applicators have dramatically reduced in price however even though you can buy cheap applicators for $30 you'll be hard pressed finding a better more durable and versatile static grass applicator than building your own using the instructions I show in the video tutorial.

The updated version includes a number of features that are far superior to the previous model.Some of the features include:

  • Smaller profile enabling it to be used in confined spaces like shelf layouts,
  • A more robust connection between the high voltage output line and the wire mesh, reducing the possibility of the connection breaking,
  • Due to the applicator being more compact the internal electronics are more stable when using the grass applicator,
  • DUAL POWER SUPPLY! The ability to use the applicator using a 12v power supply from a mains outlet or for improved portability you can use the applicator with a 9v battery,
  • An easy to install/remove battery holder ensuring the battery is very secure when using the applicator,
  • LED power indicator showing you when power is applied to the applicator as well as indicating which power source is being used,
  • A low profile rocker switch for turning on the applicator, using a rocker switch with a low profile improves safety by reducing the chance that the grass applicator could accidentally be turned on.

The aim of the tutorial is to arm you with all the knowledge you need to successfully build and use your own static grass applicator, with a basic understanding of the components required you'll be able to create your own improved versions that will fit in with your own needs and requirements.

As demonstrated in the video one of the requirements I needed was a portable power supply (9 volt battery) however I wanted to keep the reliability of a mains power supply when required.

Whether building a large model railroad that fills the basement or when building a small diorama no bigger than your hand like that shown in the diorama above, a static grass applicator will dramatically improve your scenery!

I've used static grass in just about all of my model dioramas and model railway scenery and without static grass they would look nothing like they do today.

Once the main structure of the static grass applicator has been built you can start on the more difficult part.... wiring.The process of wiring the applicator is not fully demonstrated in the video due to the intricate nature of working with small circuitry. Below is a diagram showing the specific wiring and the components that make up the circuit, provided you follow the diagram you should have no problems getting your applicator to work.

In the video you'll notice I tried my best to make the applicator as compact as possible, because there was a lack of space available in the handle of the applicator I had to carefully wire the grass applicator up in a very small and confined space. If the overall size of the static grass applicator handle isn't a major design requirement for you, then you can allow yourself extra space in the lid and handle of the applicator to give yourself more room for wiring.

If you carefully look at the image showing the inside of the lid assembly of the static grass applicator you can see how the components are carefully and compactly fitted around the three rocker switch spade connectors.

Another consideration to take into account when wiring in such confined space and additionally due to the nature of the static grass applicator that will be shaken during operation is to have the wiring sufficiently spaced in order to avoid short circuits.

Static Grass Applicator Components:

Static Grass Applicator Components:

Where I did my shopping....

​Bunnings is a hardware store located all across Australia

Woolworths is a supermarket located throughout Australia

Big W is a chain department store located throughout Australia

Jaycar is an electronics store located across Australia

Oatley Electronics is an online electronics store and they post worldwide is an online electronics store located in Victoria

The Body

  • 40mm PVC pipe - $4.48 1m length (Bunnings)
  • 40mm PVC pipe cap - $1.38 (Bunnings)
  • 40mm PVC pipe connector Female - $4.29 (Bunnings)
  • 40mm PVC pipe connector Male - $5.92 (Bunnings)
  • Sistema 530ml Breakfast Container - $5.15 (Big W)
  • Metal Kitchen Strainer - $6.00 (Woolworths)
  • 18mm x 18mm Pine DAR – $4.38 1.2m length (Bunnings)
  • Bolts & Nuts x1 38mm long - $3.95 pack of 25 (Bunnings)
  • Wood Screw x1 4g x 9mm long - $3.98 pack of 50 (Bunnings)


  • 12v Negative Ion Generator - $14.00 (Oatley Electronics)
  • 9 volt battery - $8.00
  • 9 volt battery connector – $1.30 (Jaycar)
  • ON - OFF - ON 12v Rocker Switch – $4.95 (Jaycar)
  • 2.2 kΩ Resistor x2 - $0.55 each (Jaycar)
  • 1000v 1amp Diode x2 - $0.80 each (Jaycar)
  • 3mm Orange LED x2 - $0.50 each (
  • 2.5mm Bulkhead Male DC power connector - $2.95 (Jaycar)
  • 26mm metal alligator clip - $1.50 pack of 2 (Jaycar)


  • Dremmel or similar
  • Soldering Iron
  • Drill (could use dremmel...)
  • Small hacksaw
  • Scissors
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Soldering station third arm
  • Sharp hobby blade
  • sandpaper
  • Breadboard - used for testing the electronic circuit
  • Multi Meter - used for testing the electronic circuit


  • 5 Minute Araldite
  • Solder
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Small weights for weighing down

DIY static grass tufts

Now that you have successfully built your very own portable static grass applicator you can now create some awesome static grass tufts!By following the tutorial videos below you'll be able to make some great wild grass tufts as well as the perfect flowering grass tufts.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the website and videos. I wish you luck in building your own static grass applicator and I'm sure you will enjoy the amazing results you will get from using a tool like this.


Download the files associated with the project. All files are included in a zip for convenience.


Suggested Reading: