• Using fake fur to simulate heavy weed growth between rails

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Has anyone had any luck with this method of simulating heavy weed growth between the rails? How does one tease the fake fur to make it appear to grow "up" between the ties?

-otto-

  by WANF-11--->Chaser
 
Not sure if you're laying a strip of fur under the ties or not but if so perhaps you could try a shop vac to suck the fur through the ties and then use a hairbrush to "comb" it?

I've never used that method but that might be an idea for you.

  by Xplorer2000
 
Railroad Model Craftsman did an article on this some years ago, IIRC, But It was to simulate weeds and grass alongside the tracks, not under them/up through them. I'd suggest using a fine/tiny brush or comb,to tease strands up between the ties, but I'd be hesitant to it do too much , lest it get caught in locomotive gearing.Maybe a little hair spray would stiffen it to resemble clumps of weed

  by Otto Vondrak
 
Yeah I seem to remember some articles in RMC and MR back in the 1980s describing this method. Also seems to be the method of choice in many Model Railroading project layotus.

I think maybe the fake fur needs to be trimmed down some... maybe with a razor? And then the trusty shop vac will help raise the fur up between the rails. Well, sounds like it's experiment time!

-otto-
  by march hare
 
Some suggestions for weeds–I haven’t specifically tried this between the rails, but it makes much better weeds elsewhere, and I’m pretty sure it will work for weed grown track as well.

Go get yourself a piece of cat tail!

Hmmm, before you get scratched too badly, maybe I should be more specific–what you need is a Cattail, the common wetland plant that puts up a puffy, brown, tubular seed stalk at the end of each summer. A half dozen of them will do the weed sections for a good sized layout.

Peel the cattail apart, and it unwinds in your hand. At this point, you have a whole bunch of parallel fibers, coarser than fake fur and much more weed like in appearance. You can plant them in a puddle of white glue (better yet, my favorite is liquid latex) and LEAVE THEM ALONE until the glue or the latex dries. That will be at least overnight.

Once dry, pull out or brush out any fibers that won’t stay put. Pretty much the same deal you work when planting any fibrous scenery material. But here’s a difference–you can singe the heads of the grass you just planted with a cigarette lighter to create a variegated, late-summer dead grass effect. A lot of the weeds you see along RR tracks are only green for a month or so in May-June, and then appear in various tones of brown the rest of the year.

Best technique is to rub a damp paper towel over the surface before hand, to keep the whole clump from burning. And obviously, you remove any other fuels such as solvent cement, etc. before lighting the ciggy lighter.

Try this on a small scale, on a test piece of wood, and I think you’ll be impressed. Especially if you dye the latex with a bit of earth-toned acrylic paint first.

  by keeper1616
 
Theres a one paragraph article with a picture in this month's N-scale magazine (don't ask why I got one, I don't know) about using fake fur in great quantities for hillsides. If it works in N-scale, I'm sure you could at least use it to some extent in HO scale.