Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Static Grass Experiments and Ground Preparation

My fingers were itching to test the new RTS Greenkeeper and between Christmas and New Year I managed to try the gadget and 2 lengths of grass on a few scraps of cardboard. As it was my first use ever of a static grass applicator I was of course very interested if I could get the machine to produce a decent result.

I carefully unpacked the suitcase, fitted 9 V battery to the Greenkeeper and 'loaded' it with one container with a little static grass. I then smeared a layer of my standard unthinned white PVA glue on a piece of cardboard and connected it with the wire from the Greenkeeper. I pushed the little blue button on the top of the Greenkeeper and shook the machine carefully over the cardboard at a height of ca. 10 cm. A thin cloud of grass seemed to be 'sucked' out of the Greenkeeper and drawn towards the cardboard. The grass that landed in the glue stayed perfectly upright. During the proces I heard a low crackling sound and wondered if it came from the Greenkeeper. In fact it was the grass strands hitting the cardboard with such a force as to actually make a sound.
My first try at sowing static grass. The glue is still wet, but the grass strands keep their upright position quite well. For the test I used 2 and 4 mm long grass fibres. 

With the preliminary experiments succesful, I have ordered and received a further supply of grass in lengths of 9-12 mm. In combination with the grass supplied with the Greenkeeper, I hope the mix will provide a good variety for making the unkept and irregular grass around the tracks on the layout.

In advance of the work with adding grass I have begun further ground detailing under the lorry ramp.

First layer of gravel under the loading ramp. 

Embedded into the gravel are twigs, straw and an old torn steel cable.

To achieve a rough surface under the vegetation I covered the areas outside of the gravel with used ground coffee. I dry a portion on an old newspaper and glue the coffee in place with undiluted white glue. As the coffee is much too dark in colour, I flowed a diluted mix of lighter earth colours over the coffee areas to lighten up the colour but still making it darker than the gravel areas.

A supply of RTS-grass in 12 and 9 mm lengths and jars of glue of differing thickness; 'cremig' and 'flüssig'. 


  1. Great, I'm sure you'll pick this up quickly. While PVA works, the grass basing glues take longer to skin over so remain usable for longer once spread. This allows larger areas, or for a second pass to thicken or add shorter/longer grass. I use the Peco glue.

  2. An excellent piece of advice, Michael. I've read about the swift skinning of PVA and had a few jars of RTS-brand static grass glue delivered with the long grass fibres. I expect the glue will work well for the purpose. I have no large areas, but I plan to apply several lengths of grass in the same grassing session, so a long drying time will be beneficial.

  3. Spændende! Jeg glæder mig til at høre dine erfaringer med det lange græs. Jeg har prøvet med 12 mm græs i min gamle græsmaskine, men den er ikke potent nok til at få det til at stå oprejst! Er det 35 eller 55 kV-udgaven du har anskaffet dig?

  4. Jeg har købt 55 kV-udgaven fordi jeg netop har læst/set/hørt at den klarer lange fibre. Det finder jeg snart ud af...