Spilled Grain

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TomPM, Jul 29, 2005.

  1. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    As I am now entering the detailing phase on the Grain Elevator Diorama I have to come to the spot where I need some help. One of the details I would like to model is spilled grain along the tracks and in the area where the grain would be filled into the cars. Anyone have any suggestions as to what I could use in HO?

    I was thinking colored sand that kids use in craft projects. Or maybe sand and then color it myself. How would I color it?
  2. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    go to a sams club if you can and get a big container of granulated garlic right size and color .
  3. babydot94513

    babydot94513 Member in training

    I like the idea, but it raises a question.

    How do you deal with the granulated garlic when you apply a water/glue mix so the garlic adheres to the layout? Seems to me that the garlic would disolve.

    Other than that, the size and color should work.


  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    left mine loose but dull coat might work to keep in one place.
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I would avoid anything that is organic, unless it is really, really well dried/preserved. Garlic (if I recall correctly) can go rancid, even in dried/granulated/powdered form due to the oil content.

    Coloured sand seems a good option, or maybe some of the WS fine buff-coloured ballast?

  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yeah, I agree with Andrew and JD. One other reason I wouldn't use garlic powder that if it gets wet it will make your layout room smell like an Italian restaurant...for a looong time...

    What color are you looking for? Seems to me that there should be a shade and size of sand that would work.
  7. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    What I have seen around grain elevators out in Saskatchewan is not the actual grain spill but the fact that the grain starts to sprout so there is some light green colour around and between the tracks. Any grain I have seen is a golden beige colour.
  8. Loggingkid

    Loggingkid New Member

    you can use fine ground foam and color it what ever color you want it works great!!!!!!
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    How about corn meal?
  10. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    One thing I remember growing up in a rural agricultural area and being involved in many harvests is that if you see a lot of grain spilled around an elevator it will not be in business for long. Grain is too expensive a product to waste any of it. Granted there will be some spillage but not as much as you might expect. What you will see a lot of around elevators is the chaff that is raised like a cloud of dust when grain is moved and then, depending on the prevailing winds, will settle around the area.
    I would suggest something more like a collored powder dusted around. Ralph's cornmeal if sifted through a fine mesh, like a nylon stocking, might do the trick. There again though, you are dealing with an organic substance which probably will react with the glue/water mixture. Chalk dust might be a better choice.
  11. TomPM

    TomPM Another Fried Egg Fan

    Thanks everyone for the great and varied suggestions!

    I was at Mitchells Hobbies in Wilmington, DE tonight and came across Woodland Scenics Fine Turf - Yellow. This looks like it might work.

    Now all I need are some stunted HO scale corn stalks to model the grain that sprouts.
  12. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    A much safer choice. Something that you don't have to worry about when you glue it in place.

    Post a picture when you get it done.:thumb:
  13. KATY

    KATY Member

    Been lurking around here for several months now, gathering great info from all the fine members, but I have to finally chime in on this one. I've worked in grain elevators for 35 years and know something about this stuff.

    Yes there is always grain on tracks around an elevator, particularly on an approach track to a loadout shed or spout. Cars are supposed to be cleaned out prior to loading and always contain some residue which gets deposited on the track. But in a very short while, this stuff turns putrid black due to rain and heat. It eats away the ties and is a general mess. Weeds are more likely to grow and be green more so than any grain ever will.

    Plan to do something similar with the elevator I've got going on my N scale layout, but haven't decided how to do it yet.
  14. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to posting at the Gauge Katy, Thanks for providing the spilled grain info. I don't think I would like to be prototypical and have a black mess near my grain elevators. Where abouts in the country did you work in grain elevators?
  15. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Welcome to the Gauge. Glad you decided to lend your exepertese to this subject. Hope to see you participate more in the future.

    Yuck, that doesn't seem to me to be something one would want to model exactly though.
  16. KATY

    KATY Member

    Robin, I work for Cargill in Kansas City. Still plugging away at it and enjoy working around the major rail yards here. Get to see some interesting stuff sometimes. In the last year the UP switch crew gets to run the biggest model of them all with their remote control switch engines. Still can't get used to the site of two switchers going by, bell sounding and horn blasting with no one in site!
  17. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    how about fine sawdust from a sander bag?


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