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Scatter Material


Scatter material.

We all use it but what are the differences if any?

I use 4 main types that I have tried to categorise, I have named them thus:

Foam
Static
Wood
Sponge

As you can tell I have named them based on what they appear to be made of.
I have written a rough review about each type and tried to explain what I use each type for.

It is of course only my opinion and you may well think I am talking rot!

But for those out there that are new to modelling or not aware of the scores of types of scatter materials out there it may prove useful.
I have avoided naming manufacturers but will gladly tell you if you ask!

[u]Foam[/u]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/foamgrass1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/foamgrasszoom.jpg[/img]

This scatter has an almost foam like quality.
I used this for a chap who wanted some bases flocked to be all the same colour but not too featureless and dull looking.
It will adhere to a wet painted green base without having its colour altered.
(It does not soak up the paints colour)
In the zoom picture you can see that each ‘flock’ is uniform and almost square.
Its appearance is not affected when PVA is used to seal it.
It is quite easy to apply by sprinkling on by hand.

I feel it is the most universal of all the types that I have used.
£2.00 per pack

[u]Static[/u]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/staticgrass1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/staticgrasszoom.jpg[/img]

This scatter has an almost plastic like quality.
I use this as the final thin layer on my bases and my terrain tiles.
It will not adhere to a wet painted green base as well as the others.

In the zoom picture you can see that each ‘flock’ is almost hair like.
Its appearance is affected when PVA is used to seal it as I find it flattens it down.
This is also quite easy to sprinkle on by hand.

I feel it is best used on 20mm scale projects an above.

Prices vary but I have seen it as cheap as £4.95 for a massive bag.
Be careful as lots of people charge a lot for this.

[u]Wood[/u]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/woodgrass1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/woodgrasszoom.jpg[/img]

This scatter has wooden / sawdust like quality.
I use this for all my dirt/earth flocking.
It will adhere to a wet painted green base as well as the others but it is very likely to suck up the paint and change colour.

In the zoom picture you can see that each ‘flock’ is random, there are thin bits, thick bits, small bits of untreated wood in there, it is the less well finished but that is why I like it so.
In the bottom of the bag you get a really fine collection of the flock, which is almost dust like in quality, great for fine detail especially as I do 6mm.

When it comes to sprinkling by hand it is fine but it does stick to the hands a bit.

Its appearance is not really affected when PVA is used to seal it.

Prices vary but I have seen it most often at about £1.95 a bag.

[u]Sponge[/u]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/spongegrass1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i138.photobucket.com/albums/q264/angelbarracks/spongegrasszoom.jpg[/img]

This scatter has a foamy spongy like quality.
I use this as my base coat on bases and put the static grass on top.
It will adhere to a wet painted green base well but it is easily discoloured as it is after all sponge like.

In the zoom picture you can see that each ‘flock’ is almost like a minute torn piece of sponge
Its appearance is affected when PVA is used to seal it as I find it pulls it down and hardens it.
This is the most messy to sprinkle by hand, it sticks to the skin and gets a bit damp almost.

I have seen this commonly at about £2.95 a bag.

Conclusions?

I will generalise as we all do differing scales.

The static grass is good value and best as a final layer.

The foam is a good solid all round performer.

The wood is good for small areas of detail only, as it does look quite wooden.

The sponge is the most versatile but the trickiest to use.

If you have any specific questions/comments then please fire away.

Michael.


Nice information that I will archive.

However, could you please say which manufacturers they are from (unless you have some specific reason for not doing). The reason I'm asking is that in my experience, most model shops stock just one type, two if you're REALLY lucky. (I'll eat my hat if you got all those from the same shop.)

It's also a fact that while most on-line stores have pictures that give you an idea of colour, very few have a photograph that gives you any idea about the texture.

Thus I think it would be really useful to TG members if we had some pictures to show what the different brands are like.


'Foam' is made by K&M.

[url]http://www.peco-uk.com/Products/kandm.htm[/url]

[url]http://www.angelbarracks.co.uk/html/angel_barracks_-_scenery.html[/url]

'Static' is made by various people, though NOCH are the masters of it, it can be found here:

[url]http://www.kallistra.co.uk/Shop/Scenics2.html[/url]

'Wood' is made by Hornby
'Sponge' is made by Woodland Scenics, both of which are stocked at Hobbycraft.

I hope that helps.


Cheers.

I was guessing Games Workshop Static Grass or Javis Hairy Grass for the second one. Both look very similar.

Javis flock looks a lot like the third one.

As for the fourth, I guess that's Woodland Scenics Fine Turf?

I've recently obtained some Plastruct stuff from EMA. Looks nice but I haven't used it yet. The fine stuff looks like the Woodland Scenics Fine Turf. The coarser stuff looks like Woodland Scenics Clump Foliage but is softer/spongier.

If other members can add info and photos to this thread (not to the gallery please) then we could turn this into quite a comprehensive article.


Nice eyes,

Woodland scenics fine turf, green grass.


@AndySlater: I have (or can get) pics, brands, and names and some pictures of stuff in use, but not necessarily any info on the quality, how to stick it down, etc. that angelbarracks had for his pics. If you still want it though, I'll give you what I have.


I've been thinking about how we might do this so that various members can provide images of what they have in a consistent way, and I came up with this:

Take a sheet of white A4 and draw 4 lines as show:

[img]http://www.lunaticantics.com/forumpix/flock01.jpg[/img]

Each pair of lines are 2 and 3 inches from the side and edge this producing a couple or 'tram lines' that are dead easy to draw and create a 1 inch square there they intersect. This mini photographic backdrop can then be used to create images like this:

[img]http://www.lunaticantics.com/forumpix/flock02.jpg[/img]

The image above shows a teaspoon full of Javis flock placed next to the square to square to give us an indication of scale. NOTE that I haven't been especially tidy with the placement of the heap such that grains of the flock are spilled away from the main pile thus allowing us to get an see what they look like.

Of course the would mean asking angelbarracks to rephotograph his stuff but I figure that this would allow us to build a really useful resource.

As for information about the products just supply whatever information you have about it BUT please supply information that comes as a result of your own experience rather than what you've read somewhere. That way we can be sure it's 100% correct. Wink


hmmm....ok, I can do that, but It'll take me a few weeks, because I'm going on vacation, and will be away from my terrain stuff for about 2 and 1/2 weeks. If anything is still needed by then, I can certainly help.

btw, what about pics showing the product "in action"? For example, I have a few fairly good, very close up pics of a diorama base I did, and you can plainly see the use of static grass (sticking up, looking cool, etc.) Are you interested in pics of the stuff being used, or JUST the product?


I love playing the martyr, no problem.

Are we going for makes of flock or as many types within makes, ie all the woodland scenics with product codes etc?

The full on catalogue would be the best I feel.


To be honest, I'm not entirely sure how I'll use the information until I see it.

I don't think that there would be much point in showing lots of similar pictures. So, for example, the static flock in angelbarracks' picture is Noch and I commented that I thought it might have been Javis or GW. There's not much point showing all three UNLESS, when we look at pictures we discover that the strands in one brand are much longer/shorter than in another. If they do look the same then I would be inclined to show just one picture, say what it is, and comment that the others look very similar.

As far as colours are concerned I don't think there's any point trying to show all of the colours in a range. Most manufacturers/suppliers already attempt that on their own sites. The colours are never spot on and there's no reason to think that we can do it any better.

On the other hand I think that it would be worthwhile for us to show the different textures so, in the case of Woodland Scenics, we should show turf, coarse turf, clump foliage, etc.

As for pictures of the stuff in use, I don't think they'd be appropriate for this article but if you've got good pictures of the stuff in use please add them to the gallery (with appropriate descriptions).

I see this as an article for the reference section. I can then create a glossary entry for "flock" and link it to the article. I can then arrange it such that articles that talk of "applying flock" or "applying scatter material" then link to the glossary entry.

Incidentally, article links to the glossary are currently put in place manually however, one of the things I have planned for the future, is to automate that process. When I've done it, new glossary entries will be automatically linked from old articles without me having to do anything.


Deal!!

I will re-photograph over the weekend.#
I am quite looking forward to this.


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