Now this is something that can potentially cost the manufacturers, and you will probably like it.
Personally, I love tufts. I really do, but I always felt robbed buying them.
That's why I make my own, and this is what they look like
Step 0 - things you need
- Static grass applicator - unfortunately it is a must. You can buy one on a riduiculous price from Noch or the wise modeller makes his own. There are plenty of sources on the internet in English, google it. I used a Hungarian description, this one. All the necessary parts cost less than GBP 10 combined and the machine takes about two hours to assemble.
- White glue
- A punctured piece of 1 mm plasticard
- Static grass - in this case Noch's wildgrass - mittelgrün
- A piece of sheet copper, brass, aluminium etc. shaped like on the picture
- A piece of plastic foil, sturdier than a plastic bag or foil wrap
- I forgot to include a few clips on the picture
Not much, is it?
Step 1 - Fill the cup with static grass
In this case less is never more. You can always recycle the excess.
Step 2 - Prepare the appliance
Stack the plastic foil on top of the copper sheet and then put the punctured piece of plasticard on top. Clip the sheets together. Attach the alligator clip of the static grass applicator to the little ear on the sheet of copper. Turn the applicator on.
A little explanation: in all other static grass tutorials it is said that you should push a needle in and attach the alligator clip to it. Wrong! It is clumsy and not very efficient. I have found that the electrostatic field is much more even, but not less effective this way. The punctured piece of plasticard helps to treat those pieces of grasss that would inevitably lay down otherwise.
Step 3 - Apply white glue
I use it undiluted. I like my tufts a little irregular, but you can make them perfect circles if you like.
Step 4 - Apply grass
Apply it by gently by tapping and shaking the reservoir from a height of around 1-2 centimeters. I held the applicator a bit higher so that I could take the photo.
A bit more is applied...
Let it set a few minutes (but not too long).
Step 5 - Final stages
Carefully remove the clips, and the piece of plasticard. By lifting the plasticard you raise those pieces of grass that may be laying.
Now place the tufts someplace warm to set completely. Then behold your creation:
Looks professional, huh?
- You can experiment with different lenghts of grass, and different colours. I have very nice tufts made of beige and green leaves
- Spray or airbrush the tufts with matte varnish. While the tufts are sturdy, varnish makes them hard and quite durable.
- Varnished tufts can be drybrushed with Bleached Bone, Iraqui Sand or any suitable colour to imitate dryness in the leaf ends for even more realism.
- you can experiment with other types of adhesives
Ask questions, and share your experiences with tufts!
For those of you who are too lazy or motivated, tufts of your choice are available for sale: you get 100 tufts for GBP 5, USD 8 or EUR 6 +PP.