I’m very sorry it has taken me two months to post, but I had to put crafting on hold for work and school, both of which have thankfully just calmed down. Expect more posts as the blog catches up to my crafty exploits :-).
As always, spoilers…
I wanted the mill’s terrain to look more like the Shire and less like the neighborhood from Edward Scissorhands (which is what dollhouse grass sheets remind me of). That meant dabbling again in the worlds of model railroading and wargaming, fearing for my safety, and making an epic mess in the process.
I’d seen the lush grasses that model railroaders had in their scenery and wanted that for my little house. But how did they get it to stand up like real grass and not look flat or globby like a kid’s glue and glitter project?
The answer, my friends, is static electricity. (Muah ha ha Science!)
Now, there are people who pay lots of money for a localized electrostatic field, but then there are the intrepid (and slightly crazy) DIYers out there who improvise with a bug zapper. I called upon my electrician father to help me build one on the cheap this past Father’s Day. Mine looks blobby because I really didn’t want to get shocked, and I had some silicone-based Sugru sitting around that I used for insulation. I’d read that these electric flyswatters change the voltage from the 3V coming from the batteries to 1200V, which I didn’t want to meet even if the amperage was low. I never shocked myself to verify this, but others who have say that it hurts like the dickens…once the area regains feeling. I did manage to accidentally touch the metal cup to the alligator clip a couple of times, and it makes a very impressive spark.
I call her Ghettolicious.
Ironically (and a large reason for the delay in this post), I thought mine wasn’t strong enough based on my initial results. I ended up purchasing one from ebay, but after trying it, Ghettolicious was running circles around it. So I experimented with mine a little more and got a lawn I was satisfied with.
I confess I went with the nice German Silflor static grasses in their late summer and spring green, and added some pre-made tufts from Army Painter. The Hobby Scenics and Scenic Express stuff that is plentiful in the US just looked too bright to me. And the person who made this comparison of colors is a god.
The verdict? It takes skill, patience, and a bit of courage to apply the grass, more of each than I had at the time, but I don’t think the verge turned out half bad.