This is the second chapter in my faux fur adventure. The first was published in the March 2005 Railroad Model Craftsman. The extended article is on the web site. This is my second application of faux fur. I found things about the process in this exercise that I didn't know when I wrote the article in November 2004. I have found it to be more versatile than I originally thought.
One thing I found was that there are no bad pelts. The ones I am using in this article I thought were unusable. The pelts once they fully dried were better than I believed in November 2004.
I found when drying the faux fur make ridges with the hair dryer. These ridges when dry appear to be clumps of grass.
Fit the pelt over the desired grassy plain. The cloth is flexible so it will go over irregular surfaces. There will be humps formed but they are easy to resolve.
Where there is a hump cut a small "V" in the pelt. Press the fur down until it lays reasonably flat.
Cut the fur piece smaller than the area you want to add grass. This will allow the border to be blended.
Glue the fur down with a clear household glue. I originally used white glue. The clear household glue is applied to the fur and it is pushed into place. After the piece is in place add a border of grass tufts.
I glue them down with artist matte medium. I cut the tufts from the scraps left over from fitting. Regular scissors can be used but it is faster with curved embroidery scissors. Press the tufts into the matte medium. Make an irregular pattern out from the edge.
When I did the original article I didn't have a chance to explore all the possibilities of the technique. The key question was the addition of low grass pieces into a field.
I decided that the field needed an additional piece of grass. I cut and fitted a small piece. I glued it with an 1/8" gap. I applied matte medium and pressed tufts into the gap.
The new piece disappears into the old piece. The tufting on the edge blends the piece into the terrain.
While experimenting I developed pieces that weren't consistent in their coloring. I was going to fit this darker piece next to the other lighter piece. I cut and fit the piece and glued it down.
I left an irregular gap to make the transition from one piece to the other easier. I mixed tufts from both pieces in an irregular quilt. The difference is not noticeable. It actually looks more natural with less regular pieces.
Tufting will fill large gaps and give a more natural edge. I left a large gap at the bridge.
Fill the gap with tufts at some of the edge with gaps in the tufts. Clump them. This will look like the grass is not one piece.
Taller grass grows in flatter areas. I cut and fitted this piece. The taller grass is easier to work with because the backing is thinner than the felt backed low grass.
Originally I used white glue like this to glue the grass but found applying clear household glue to the fur and pressing it in place worked better. Put a bead around the edge and crisscross the glue beads on the pelt. The household glue sets quicker and holds better.
I have found that curved embroidery scissors work best for tufting. Cut the excess pieces into strips about 1/4" wide. Cut the pelt for the backing side.
Tuft out irregularly from the glued pelt. Clump some of the tufts as individuals.
Add fine ground turf to the fur and hold in place with cheap hair spray. It makes more variety and resembles grain products.
The long fur can be joined together without tufting between pieces. There are at least 5 pieces in this area. It also can be darkened by rubbing undiluted Dye-na-flow to the area. I put it on my finger and rubbed it into the fabric. It is easier to leave the fur long and shorten it in place. I use thinning shears for shortening.
The fur can be colored with felt tip markers. The golden grass in this area was colored to represent fading grass to match the dyed green tufts.
The faux fur grass is more versatile than I originally imagined. It brings a new level to model grassland development.