Fun stuff to do

Realistic grass for your models

meadow_4.jpgThe blade-like texture of grass and weeds is one of the most difficult effects to re-create on a diorama or model railroad.

But a little felt will produce grass that appears to grow out of the soil.

meadow_1.jpgYou can buy felt at a fabric store in 9-by-12-inch squares or by the yard in 6-foot widths. Use dark green, or buy beige felt and paint it with green ink (from an art supply store). The beige felt can also be used to simulate dried grass for winter scenes.

Use scissors to cut the felt to fit your project. Use plaster, papier-mâché or insulation board (like Styrofoam) to create the shapes for the hills you will cover with grass. Apply a thick coat of water-based contact cement and press the felt into the still-wet cement. Let it dry. Wash your hands and the brush.

meadow_2.jpgNow the fun part: Get dirty! Sift some real soil through a door screen to remove debris and larger stones, then pour it through a fine-mesh tea strainer. Shake the strainer to distribute the soil onto the felt. Try to cover about three-fourths of the felt.

meadow_3.jpgUse a wire bristle brush such as a pet brush to stroke the felt so loose strands fluff up.

Sift on more soil as needed. You want the individual fibers of teased-up felt protruding through the soil, just like real grass. Trim excess with scissors.

When you’re satisfied with the scene, spray the area with a mixture of five parts water to one part Artist’s Matte Medium (available at art supply stores). Add a drop of detergent to the mixture to help soften the fluid so it doesn’t puddle as easily.

You’ll need to spray on enough of the mixture so the entire area has a white cast. It will turn the soil and felt a darker shade. Let it dry for about a week, and the original colors will return.

Comments about “Realistic grass for your models”

  1. Troop16er says:

    cool next step make a model

  2. pozy says:

    thank you so much for putting this on

  3. models rock says:

    it looks cool i want to try it

  4. the dude says:


  5. Davey The Railroader says:

    Wow! I almost thought it was real grass at first!
    I like that tank, too. We used ground parsley for grass on our diorama.

  6. scoutman a1 says:

    I bet it will make my boy scout train look good!

  7. ????? says:

    great for my my world war 2 models!

    • govguy says:

      ya i luv it, and i otta try that! i like 2 make ww3 models. :) and i use barbies for civilian causlties. lol.

  8. dtlux says:

    Looks good for model trains I love trains. :D

  9. Antique Collecter 5 says:

    Awesome! Used it for one of my projects. (got an A+) :)

  10. Rambo II says:

    that is really neat u could use it alot

  11. dago says:

    i love the texture and coler.if i had a bet between this and and grass blades on how reilistic it is, i would put my money on this.

  12. dago says:

    awsome it would really help me put together a scene of d-day! thank u!

  13. trooper says:

    awesome!!! can’t wait to try and make a scene for my 1:72 sherman tank!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I want to use it because I’m macking a WW2 model

  15. T19 boy scout says:

    love the idea!

  16. iakobos says:

    Excellent article. Simple to do. Cheap to do. And easy to do. Thanks.

  17. Dr. cool says:

    i made it and i like it really looks life like toy

  18. Dr. cool says:

    it looks so cool i want to make it

  19. FISHY3 says:

    COOL but my mom wont let me do it[!?]

  20. Vortrey says:

    Useful for my wargaming!

  21. Me says:

    Do you have to use felt? Can you substitute it?

  22. tofu monkey9898 says:

    wow thank you soooooo much this will help alot on me and my science partners african savanah project ill probably use more sand for the land scapeing though any idea how to place realistic trees?? anybody comment back for this ??

  23. revrev 769 says:

    perfect for my warhammer 40k models

  24. Anonymous says:


  25. w man says:


  26. dvd says:


  27. darth vader says:

    if you are reading this TRY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. darth vader says:

    i should try it

  29. tofu kid says:

    i us it all the time like my civil war and world war II modle.It makes it look so realistik and life like.Also I hope this is annoying you.So I will contin you.I like it.

  30. Lone Ranger says:

    Wow, amazing

  31. Natitonic says:


  32. TOFU KID says:


  33. cool guy says:

    My Hummvee model iz broke. It was cool while it lasted.

  34. cool guy says:

    looks cool

  35. irish says:

    use a glue stick to get dirt on

  36. person says:

    P.S. Use a spray can to spray it on.

  37. person says:

    Now I want to make a model!

  38. irish says:

    it sounds fun and ezey

  39. agent doolin, C.I.A. says:

    i don’t know why i don’t do it

  40. larry3090 says:

    thats cool but how do you spray on the mixture(i dont have an airbrush)

  41. realdarthvader says:

    SO SWEEEEEEET!!!!!!!! I should try this at home!!!

  42. Forrest says:

    Good for Civil War battle scenes. Cool!

  43. karl franz says:

    wow this is a great idea for my warhammer models i collect

  44. warriorstx says:

    way awsome you can use this for an airport!!!!

  45. corky says:

    sweet ill try it

  46. Da Boss says:

    wow cool

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