I am modeling California and duplicating the foliage seen there. In the fall there is dead vegetation and I am trying to reproduce that look. I am using faux fur.
The dead brush in Central California I am attempting to model
I am using white faux fur from Walmart, other faux furs that are marketed as Santa fur can be used. There are other colors but dyed white works best.
The fur will be dyed with Dye-Na-Flow, for this I used the black. I have an article on how to do the dyeing. I mixed a 50% mixture of water and black. and did the iron and blow dry technique.
MYTH: Faux fur will leave particles to foul up locomotive mechanisms. It is teddy bear fur not rug material. There is no shedding it is a fabric not a rug.
After dyeing the faux fur a dark grey, cut pieces off. Do it from the back side with a FRESH single edge razor blade. Just cut the backing to maintain as much fluff as possible.
There is a underlayer of dense fur on the pieces. Take a scriber and pull this layer out into individual strands. This will thin the appearance of the fur piece.
The feathered piece should be light and airy with bushlike branching.
I glued them with transparent household glue. I tried white glue but that was too slow setting.
I glued the bushes up the ridge line. Foliage always follows water paths. There will be more at the bottom than the top. The fur made good dead foliage. Vary the size and put smaller ones away from the main "herd". Suggest that the brush is trying to dominate the terrain. I should have stopped here, to represent dead brush.
I tried adding texture with fine turf ground foam and hair spray but didn't like the look. The fur branches stuck together. It was my usual mess. More pure genius.
My brush no longer looked like the original dead brush look I was trying to achieve. To make up for my usual genius, I then looked through my California pictures. I found these brush pictures.
The pictures showed a more rounded bush. I trimmed them with a pair of scissors.
I rubbed the bushes with pastels to look like the fine leafing. I used the brown in this picture.
Greens,greys and tans give a different look.
I tried using commercial brown faux fur but didn't produce the same results. The Dye-Na-Flow paint-dye gives a bite for the chalk. I also tried dyeing the faux fur brown but black gives it a better background for the chalk.