Sorry abou the dumb question...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Xaniel, Nov 27, 2002.

  1. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    but what is lichen? Can't find a meaning for this.. What is it's use on scenery building, and can someone post some pics of it being used?

  2. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    It's more well known as: "moss"

    Makes cool looking trees,shrubs etc., on a layout.
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    It is sometimes called "Moss", it is also Reindeer fodder, can be bought at any hobby store and comes in a variety of colours from green to orange.

    Reindeers - they love it, ask Santa Clause:D


  4. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    No offense to Jeff Davis (after all he was one of my favorite Generals during the War of Yankee Aggression :D :p :D ) (Boy do I miss those good ol' days :D :rolleyes: :D ) he is correct about it being a moss or moss type plant. However I wouldn't recommend using it for several reasons. Compared to Woodland Scenics and other products it doesn't look very good, it fades out and loses it's color after awhile (although misting it with a water and sugar solution can prolong the life it doesn't do much for the track :D ) and in a year or two it gets hard as a rock.
  5. Xaniel

    Xaniel Member

    this moss thing I've seen was some artificial moss from woodland scenics, noch and faller...

    Has some ever used it?
  6. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Hi Luis,
    lichen are plants consisting of a symbiosis between fungi and algae which have a moss-like appearance, hence they are also called 'moss of Iceland'.
    The German versions of colored lichen (Faller, Noch) are quite expensive - you probably get big hunks of that stuff cheaper in a garden-center or from a gardener of a cemetery. (Lichen is often used on graves - at least in central Europe.)
    Measured at the standards of today, lichen is very coarse, but it is still is very useful to get great masses of trees (like a forest in the background). Then glue Woodland Scenics foam on top to simulate the leaves of the trees.
    On my old N scale pike 30 years back I used a lot of lichen. It was THE scenic material of the day, but of course today we frown at bushes and trees like these. :eek:

    PS: Look here for some pictures of lichen scenery:
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The firt time my wife and I drive down the river valley to Harrisburg, Pa (Is that the Susquehanna?) we looked up at the valley walls and said "Wow, look at all the lichen trees."
    It's realistic for certain trees and formations -- a whole forest of it is nice but you have to be picky about the bits you use.
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Lichen grows around here in abundance in the woods but it is the home to "chigger bugs", a little red mite that will bite the stew out of you and then burrow under yer skin. :eek: :eek: and make you itch and scratch all over:eek:

    Like Tyson said the WS stuff is so much better, it don't dry out!:)
  9. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    No such thing as a dumb question. I'm glad Ron found a picture of lichen used as trees on a layout. In the 70's when I first started reading model railroad magazines this material was the choice of modelers for representing trees and forests. There was even a part of the US referred to as "The Lichen Belt" where several notable model railroads including the Virginia and Ohio were constructed. I used to see it sold in bags and it did seem expensive, especially compared to material like polyfiber.
  10. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    The South will rise again - just not in my lifetime mark my words.

    Being a natural product, lichen will not last very long and you are absolutely correct about its problems. However, I have seen it successfuly used in "desert" scenes depicting sage/scrub and the one thing you cannot beat is its price - free!

  11. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    The rule was: No such thing as a dumb question.

    Then I joined the board, and they modified it to: No such thing as a dumb question, except for the ones jon asks.

    Heya Ralph, you won't believe what I've got out in my garage, a bag of genuine vintage 70's autum color lichen! Leftover from the last layout (I guess it's been a while, eh?).

    Last spring, MRC had an article on a HOe layout of a Lichen mine in Ohio, with some interesting licheon history, well. as interesting as moss gets. I could relate, I was a mushroom farmer.
  12. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    Jon, and all,

    I, too, have a big box and bag of "fall" lichen from the 70's. If I remember right the last time I used it the colors faded on the "Zip texture" (remember that?) and I had to redo a whole section of that scene. That is why it is still in the box.:D
  13. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Jon: Oh yeah! I remember the Autumn lichen! The red was really red! By the way, I haven't gotten the memo yet about your questions so I doubt that's an official policy. :)

    David: "Zip texturing!" Wow, take me back!

    Xaniel: are you getting the feeling that lichen has lost its favor over the years? :D
  14. t. alexander

    t. alexander Member

    Tyson, I would have thought George Mclellen would be, after all he almost won the war for ya' single handed :D

  15. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Just found some lichen in a plastic bag I treated about 25 years ago - still spongy and soft!
    Here's how I treated that stuff: I bought lichen in fairly big lumps, then I sorted out all the coarse branches, pine needles and other stuff. Never found a rattlesnake there, tough! (At least in the US where lichen can be found in the woods these slitherin' critters enjoy their stay in there - so take care when 'harvesting' lichen! Never found one, Vic?) :eek:
    Back to treatment: I put the stuff into a pot with a mixture of about 2/3 water + 1/3 glycerine. Then I heated the 'soup' for 2 hours to about 50° C (about 120° F). Open the windows - it STINKS! :D The Glycerine replaces the water in the cells. And since it almost doesn't evaporate, the lichen stays soft for a long while.
    Of course, after years in the open air it becomes brittle just the same - but for background scenery, where it isn't touched, this is ok. (My sample was in an airtight plastic bag, so it remained soft.)
    Tyson is right about fading. The screaming red 'autumn' lichen bushes from Faller were worst. They bleached out to a hideous dirty gray-brown-orange. I always hated it. :mad:
    However, IMHO when a background forest is covered with dark green Woodland Scenics 'leaves', the grayish lichen branches don't disturb.
    About zip texturing:
    IMHO together with the Hardshell method still a fine technique for landscaping. I plan to use this method on my new layout again. It's fast and doesn't look bad, especially on nearly vertical cliffs. Of course, later you can come back and superdetail the landscape.
  16. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Heres a picture where I used a chunk of Woodlands Sceneics Lichen(in the circle). I like it for making scrubby looking bushes.

    Attached Files:

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