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6 Garage Line Scenery (2)

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Here you can see grass "planting" in progress on module no.2.

The grass is coconut fibre sold for thatching dolls' houses. I first dyed the fibre using cold water clothes dye. It took several weeks by the central heating boiler to dry out thoroughly! I experimented with several shades and also tried natural coloured fibre for areas of dry grass. The main problem was trying to get a light shade of green because of the natural brown colour of the fibre - but it looks quite convincing as coarse reedy type grass.

I then glued slices of "Oasis" - an absorbent foam-like material used in flower arranging - to the areas to be "grassed".

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You can see the edge of the Oasis slices at the top of the left side of the cutting. The slices need to be about 1/4" thick - otherwise they tend to break up when "planting" the grass.

A solvent based glue such as UHU is needed to stick the Oasis as it just soaks up anything water based.

A clump of "grass" is held between thumb and forefinger and cut to required length from the dyed fibre. The trimmed end is dipped in diluted PVA. The coconut fibre is stiff enough for the PVA'd end to be pushed into the Oasis supporting the clump allowing it to stand vertical. The PVA soaks into the surrounding area.

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It is important to complete a full section before the PVA dries - as once dry the Oasis hardens around the clumps and can no longer be penetrated by new coconut fibre.

Here, you can that the left side of the cutting has slices of "Oasis" in place ready for grass planting.

The signal lamp has a grain of wheat bulb which shines through the coloured lenses on the arm.

The signalman/crossing keeper is already on duty. This is one of a range of 16mm figures from Jon's People, Lamport, UK.

The photographs and text on this page are copyright (c) Paul Backhouse 2001 and may not be reproduced or distributed without the owner's permission.

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