This was the effect I was trying to acheive. I wanted ferns like this for my riverbank.
One entry in my Guestbook from Randy of Redding, California mentioned fly tying materials for scenery items. I "googled" up fly tying and found these, Mini-Marabous. They are from Hareline Dubbin, Inc. They come in several colors. I got Chartreuse and Olive.
The picture in the ad looked promising. I pulled out a feather. It didn't look promising. Further examination showed perfect fern fronds. The feathers looked more like fronds than I expected.
Experimentation produced a real looking O scale fern.
Materials needed for feather ferning:
Clear Plastic Wrap
Piece of Foam Rubber
Small piece of foamboard or wood
Wrap a piece of plastic wrap around a small piece of board. I am using a piece of black foamboard for photographic purposes. Start with a piece about 2x3.
Place 1/8 diameter drops of white glue about a half inch apart.
Click On Images to Enlarge
Put the feather on a piece of foam rubber. Take a sharp razor blade and press down into the feather at the shaft. Cut off about a 1/8 inch long strip of underfeathers. The feathers will be pushed into the foam rubber. Grasp the feather bundle with tweezers.
Push the feather bundle into the white glue droplets. If the feathers are falling over wait until the glue has stiffened and push them upright.
This is a feather fern farm. A large group of ferns can be made at once. Space the ferns further apart than the picture. It easier if there is about an inch in between.
There will be loose feathers. Gather them into oriented bundles. Pick the bundles up. Grasp the bundle with your fingers and twirl the bundle lightly. Then re-grasp with the tweezers and plant.
The glue is dry when it is clear. Roll the plastic wrap back and grasp the dryed glue. It will come off the wrap with a nice little base. Plant it on the layout with some white glue.
Engineer Bill is pointing out how they enhance a river bank. Bill is a 1/43 Preiser figure. Plant the ferns in clumps.