Grass can make or break Western scenes. It is hard to find
anything in the hobby store that looks like Western grass to me. Mostly
because the colors are too limited and the it doesn't stand up right.
The static grass doesn't look right to me at all and the foam type of
grass is too short and the wrong texture. All over California, Oregon,
Utah, Wyoming, Montana and Nevada, you see lots and lots of golden,
tall grass. Getting the grass right instantly says "Western scene". The
two ways I like to make grass are with faux fur (upper-right picture) and with Silfor
(lower-right picture). The fur, which I buy from Michael's craft stores, needs to clipped to make it shorter. This needs to be
done so that you get random lengths about 1/8 to 1/2 inch long. Then
you need to add color. I take cheap craft paints in the golden and
brown colors and mix them till it looks right. Then I spray this color
into the grass with an airbrush. If you don't have an airbrush you can
paint it on the fur, but then you need to unmat the grass after it
dries with a comb. Cut this into a random shape with scissors and then
glue it down with white glue to the layout. Add bit of green foam to
represent weeds. To hide the edges I use Silfor painted the same color.
is easier - you just peel it off the backing sheet and stick it down.
Like all scenery make it permanent with scenic cement. Again the colors never seem right to me but I have found to color it
all you need to do is dab some thinned paints onto it until it looks
right. This has the advantage of breaking up the monotone color that it
comes in. Buy the lighter colored and add color and you will only need
to buy one color. A new version of Silfor, called buffalo grass is especially nice for modeling the bunch grass that occurs all over the west.
What about static grass, you ask? I finally bought one of those static guns and lots of colors of static grass and applied it to a 3 foot section of the layout. Took me all day to glue it down and all day to vacuum up the extra grass that got all over the room. Now I am thinking of replacing it all because it looks like polyester fiber (standing on end) stuck to the ground.... My advice, save your money unless you want to make a manicured lawn.
Faux fur grass
Another good product is made by Busch and called a "Thinning Grass Pad" in the Walthers Catalog. This is grass fibers glued to a cler backing that can be easily cut and pulled to shape. It glues down nicely with white glue of matte medium. I like to trim the grass to random lengths with a pair of sharp scissors before I glue it down.