From the Ground Up

Even when it’s nothing more than a base layer of scenery, seeing bare benchwork turn into a real-world representation is both cathartic and gratifying. My methods on The Hills Line are nothing ground breaking and follow well-established practices in the hobby.


My base material of choice is Scenic Textures Farm-Pasture Blend, available from Scenic Express. By itself it’s nothing special, but I’ve found that it serves as an excellent ground layer for future scenic enhancements.


To apply the grass, I use my well-worn but lovingly-maintained Grasstech II Flock-It Rocket from Grasstech USA.


Since most static-grass applicators have the precision of a shotgun, I lay down paper towel strips over areas where I don’t want the grass to collect, usually the track. A little irregularity on the edges helps translate to a more natural look when the material is applied.


Adhering the flock and turf requires nothing more than white glue. A slightly-damp foam brush helps spread the glue around into all the nooks and crannies of my foam board subroadbed.


Apply the ground probe, power up the applicator, and shake shake shake until it’s green. A few passes back and forth, keeping the applicator screen close, helps ensure that the fibers land on their ends and stand up properly.


To both seal the scenery and attach second layer, I use the cheapest non-mousse hairspray I can find. The cheaper the better. Just make sure it’s unscented.


For a little variety, I’ll sometimes sprinkle in a few dashes of a contrasting color to the Farm Pasture Blend, such as Spring Green. But don’t overdo it. This is still the base layer and any significant scenic elements will be added in later processes.


For now, it’s a good start… and a sign of things to come on The Hills Line.

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