TimberSurf’s Model Railway
Modelling Tips, Links & Guides for Model Railways
Having done a lot of research and some testing myself, plus some experience in industry with static generators, I have written this guide to dispel some myths about static grass applicators.
WHAT IS A STATIC GRASS?
Static grass is short loose coloured fibres that can be glued to your layout, standing up, just like grass. They come in various lengths to simulate short grass (lawn) and long grass (wild overgrown area’s). If given a static electricity charge in the container and sprinkled over a glued area that has the opposite charge, they will stand up, by being attracted to the applicator.
We can categorize the models available into five categories:-
Puffer - Plastic bottle
Cheap - A fly swatter, either constructed yourself or purchased pre-made from Ebay
Small - Branded small container
Large - Branded large container
Pro - Branded High power
Cost - Circa £15-£20
Voltage - 1,500 volts (1.5Kv)
Supply - 2x AA batteries
Characteristics - The small charge only allows small area’s to be applied and has limited power so will only handle up to 6mm, well.
Different mesh sizes should be used for different grass lengths
A conical nozzle can be fitted to a Large, to allow closer control of small area’s
Use a wire in plastic tube as a hand wand for the negative probe
Remove all DCC equipment before use, as these voltages can fry electronics!
Look at my LINKS page for suppliers
Which should I buy?
Of course it is up to you! If you have a small layout, then a Puffer or Cheap tea strainer/fly swatter will probably do. If you have a lot of grass to do, then get a Small or Large. For total flexibility or a very large layout, consider a Pro.
Much better results will be had with the higher voltages on longer grass and a higher voltage will enable faster lay down over a big area, the lesser will still do it, but will take you longer!
Cost - Circa £45-£60
Voltage - 8,000 to 12,000 volts (8Kv - 12Kv)
Supply - 1x 9v PP3 batteries
Characteristics - The medium charge allows small area’s to be applied and has limited power so will only handle up to 8mm, well.
Cost - Circa £60-£130
Voltage - 15,000 to 25,000 volts (15Kv - 25Kv)
Supply - 1x 9v PP3 batteries or 12v mains adapter
Characteristics - The Large charge allows large area’s to be applied and enough power so will handle up to 10mm, well.
Cost - Circa £100-£200
Voltage - 35,000 to 55,000 volts (35Kv - 55Kv)
Supply - 1x 12v mains adapter
Characteristics - The extra large charge allows huge area’s to be applied and enough power so will handle up to 12mm, well.
Cost - Circa £5
Voltage - None
Supply - None
Characteristics - The small charge only allows small area’s to be applied and has limited use so will only handle up to 6mm, well.
Flyswatter on the right