Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Static weeds

I played around with the weeds in the yard tonight in a small patch to see what I could do.  I got some mixed results.

I started out between the tracks first and added a mix of 2mm & 4mm.  I cut out a small disc of paper and sliced off one edge of the disc, and placed it in the hopper screen to act as aperture to help regulate the amount of grass so it didn't all fall out right away.  I got this idea after thinking about buying one of the PECO Micro applicators.  The WS Static King has a screen about 2" in diameter.  It worked,  but I may need to make the aperture a little larger?

Before applying the glue and grass I covered the tracks with strips of 3/4" masking tape to protect the tracks from any dribbles of glue.  This was more cautionary than needed I think?  Next I grabbed the 1" foam brush and dipped it in the glue mix that I used for the ground foam.  Once I had a good coat of glue I started to apply the static grass.

Well the paper aperture worked, but like I said it may need to be a bit larger?  I also think I'll need to use thicker glue. When the grass hit the glue a lot of it seemed to lay over. I think this was because the glue mix, being too thin had a capillary effect and pulled the grass down into the ground foam. 

I did hit the area again a bit later and it seemed to stand up better, I also used a small vacuum to suck up the excess, which also helped a bit to pull the grass up.  This is why you do a little at a time to test things out, right?

The tape worked good to keep the tracks clear of weeds, but since I wanted weeds between the rails, the tape may be an waste of time?  

I made a bunch of tufts and strips in the last post with the thought of cutting them to length and gluing them between the rails, but before going down tonight, I seen a guy using a small paintbrush and apply glue between the ties!  Although he was doing it with HO I figured I could give it a whirl on N scale.  

I poured about half a teaspoon of full strength Modge Podge and added a couple drops of water with the hopes that it would flow a bit better but not suck up the grass?  (I may try full strength next time?)  Anyway after dabbing the glue between the ties in a couple areas I then applied one area with 2mm and the other area with a mix of 2mm & 4mm.  Then I ran the vacuum over the area.  The thicker glue seemed to help a bit.  In the images below you can see the results.

2mm between the ties:

2mm & 4mm between the ties:

Overall area:

While the 4mm looks better to me, I'm afraid the 4mm may wreak havoc if the gears in the loco trucks pick it up?  The 2mm looks too short, but at least you'll will see weeds between the rails, so it might just have to be a trade off.  As far as between the tracks, I'll use a mix of 2mm & 4mm.

I'm still planning to cut and glue the weed strips into place to see which I like better.



  1. The stiffer(tackier)the glue the better for me Allen. I also have the WS applicator and use the power adapter not the 9 volt battery as I found that useless. I also threw away that ugly bit of metal and use T Pins to attach the lead to. I then use my shop vac with an old bit of stocking stuck in the tube to vac up and save and excess static grass. Layout looks very good.

    1. Yeah I think that's going to be the key there Rod, thicker the better. Same here Rod, I use AC PS as well, the battery doesn't seem to have the kick and it always seems to be dead when you go to use it. We think alike Rod, I've used small pins and nails and I also have a small dirt devil to retrieve the excess grass. Thank you!

  2. Great idea using paper to reduce the amount of grass coming out! I have one of the old flyswatter static applicators and it's hard to control the rate, especially in small areas.

    1. Thanks Tanner! It worked ok but I’ll have to play around with it some more. I thought about buying one of PECO micro applicators, but for $90+ I figured it was worth a try.