If you're looking to step up your game in the model scenery community then you'll most certainly want to build a static grass applicator! Every one of my scenery dioramas involved the use of my home made static grass applicator.
Commercial static grass applicators are much more affordable these days and some are actually cheaper than the one I build in the video however it can be very rewarding building your own and the benefit of building one from scratch is you'll have a thorough understanding of the tool and you'll be able to adjust and modify it to suit your needs.
For example, this static grass applicator went through many different iterations before this version that is demonstrated in the video! I changed it over time to better suit my requirements one of which was being able to use it without having a mains power point available and also to keep the overall height of the unit to a minimum so it can fit into tight spots.
All of the scenes above featured in their own tutorials and all of them include the use of the home made static grass applicator shown in the tutorial in one form or another as it has changed over the years.
For more information be sure to check out the 'Static Grass Applicator' article HERE. I've included additional information as well as the wiring diagram that you can save and use as a reference as well as a components list that includes prices and the stores where I purchased all of the components.
Who would have thought melting metal could result in such an amazing amount of detail... The process of using acid to etch metal objects has been used for hundreds of years and it's perfect for creating ultra detailed parts for our models.
In this tutorial I'll show you how to use the Micro-Mark Pro Etch Photo Etch System to create awesome brass and copper details that can be used as additions to improve and add detail to models however you can also create one off stand alone pieces as well.
In the Pro Etch kit you'll receive the chemicals required however if you live outside the United States then you'll have to source your chemicals locally and this can be problematic for some...
They use Ferric Chloride as the etchant in the kit however for me obtaining Ferric Chloride at a reasonable price is something of a mission! So as a substitute I used the following chemicals at a ratio of 2:1. The Hydrochloric Acid is available from the hardware store and Hydrogen Peroxide is available from the supermarket of chemists.
As for the developing solution I simply used Washing Soda which is easily available from the supermarket.
By watching the video tutorial you'll have everything you need to know to successfully make your very own photo etched parts. It's a lengthy process however after you've tried it a couple of times it will become second nature and you'll be making photo etched parts without even batting an eyelid.
This kit is available from Micro-Mark and you can save 10% of you shopping cart by using the promo code 'boulder'.
Just remember that if you do purchase an etching kit to order the correct kit as they cannot send the corrosive chemicals outside of the US.
Boulder creek railroad is a YouTube channel that is partly supported by the fans, if you too would like to help support the channel and receive some of the perks I have for supporters be sure to check out my patron page.
I’ve previously built and filmed the making of a great static grass applicator however over time I have seen the opportunity for improvement.
Portability and reliable power are two areas I’ve been looking into as well as size and durability. When it comes to tools and equipment we often think that small should mean cheaper and less effective however, what I’m after is a smaller stronger and more effective tool.
Thus the static grass applicator mark 2 was born…
It’s certainly not the cheapest method for building an applicator but I can bet you it will last a lot longer and give you fantastic results wherever you decide to make your scenery.
These results shown are specifically using the 9 Volt battery only. When using the external power you will get slightly better results although the difference is not immediately noticeable however you will notice that when using the external power and a 12 Volt supply you can hold the applicator further away from the surface and are still able to have the grass fibers easily stand on end.
If you are planning on building one of these applicators just be aware that the heart of the applicator is the Negative Ion Generator and this will determine your results! There are some cheap generators available on eBay however just be warned that these are cheap for a reason… mainly due to the fact they have a much lower output voltage and that is what determines the effectiveness of the static grass applicator.
Most cheap generators have a nominal voltage between 4-6kV however the applicator I’m using has a nominal voltage of 15kV when powered with a 12 Volt power supply so the results will naturally be a lot better.
I purchased mine from Oatley Electronics or you can order from eBay
I’m currently in the process of writing an eBook on making and operating this static grass applicator and I’ll keep you updated once it’s finished. If you’re serious about scenery then making or purchasing a static grass applicator is a must!