How-to make ground cover...

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by RonP, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    Ok I have seen the question many times and wanted to prove something to myself and now you.

    Ok this isn't a question it is an answer. Ok we made the ground cover with Sawdust. We used acrylic and water and a coffee can. Detailed instructions in the link. however for those that don't want to go it is terribly easy and I could not seem to screw it up.

    Full article here

    Attached Files:

  2. ulf999

    ulf999 Member

    Eagerly waiting for more! :thumb:
  3. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    you got it I hope you find this useful
  4. ulf999

    ulf999 Member

    Thanks! :thumb::thumb:
    How does it compare to Woodland scenics foam?
  5. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    only difference I can see is the smell of wood. It is fluffy and doesn't get crusty at all like you would expect.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Good stuff Ron!
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    This may be a throwback to the earlier days of model railroading, but the colour and texture definitely shows it to be a step forward. A very useful and money-saving technique. :thumb::thumb:

  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That first photo shows a better foliage texture than most foam scenery, to my eyes anyway. 1950s techniques still work!
  9. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I like this. I can see the technique being quite helpgul in the near future.
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    I've got a bunch of sawdust that I dyed a long time ago using Ritz powdered dye. It didn't turn out nearly as good as what you've done. The colors I came up with didn't look natural, yours do. I really like your idea using watered-down acrylic paint.

    A great tip.:thumb: :thumb:

    Oh, you've convinced me to throw away all that old stuff that I have been hesitating to use, and try it your way.:wave: :wave:
  11. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    That's definitely a return to the old school. For that matter, from the 1920s through probably the 1950s, Lionel used to sell dyed sawdust as ground cover, but it didn't look like that (when they were going for realism, Lionel's layout builders used something else).

    The sawdust you made looks really, really good.
  12. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    That's 'cause Ron uses only scale wood to make his sawdust. ;):-D:-D

  13. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    My scale table saw is in the shop, the shopkeeper is giving me problems but i have always had problems picking on the little guy.
  14. Go Big1

    Go Big1 Member

    This stuff looks great! Have you put it on a layout yet? I'm wondering how well it worked during the install, with using "wet" water and glue.
  15. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I'll take pictures, I combined it with other styles of ground covers. To be honest it looks different, and i need more time and use of it to give an opinion on that.
  16. mojoman

    mojoman New Member

    Thanks for that - Im just about to start on the scenery, so it's great timing
  17. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing the old school tecnuque. I havent done much with sawdust in years, although I do take peat moss, run it through a blender to get my forest floor material.

    the acrylic paint is a big improvement on the rit dye, which even if you get the color right, will fade over time. .

    Bill Nelson
  18. screen48

    screen48 New Member

    RonP- the thread is an old one but I am interested in the article.
    The link does not work for me. Can this be updated?
  19. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    old school method.

    This was the way we did it before there was ground foam. My Momma taught me how to do this when I was eleven or twelve, working on my first sceniced layout. At the time Momma had me use Rit dye. this worked well, but the colors faded over time. Next time I have time, I will try to reproduce the method, only using acrylic paint to make up a stain, and see how that works.

    A former co worker of mine used to get big blocks of foam packing, chew them up with a grinder with a wire wheel, and then spary paint the ground up pieces with and air brush. I never saw the results, but he claimed it looked teal good, and he worked in the body shop, and could paint a car, so I have no reason to doubt him.

    I have a big pile of sawdust saved from the last time I refinnised a floor in my 130 year old farmhouse. perhaps the next time I get involved with a scenery project I'll do some of it old school, and share photo's. Ground foam is great. the sawdust is cheaper (if you have sawdust); and more importantly, it has a different look and texture, and the more textures we have on our pallet, the more convincing our results will be.

    Bill Nelson
  20. I used to do the same in for my diorama in primary school long time ago! Before internet :) Good ideas are timeless :) Thanks for reminder

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