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Paul Brown

DIY static grass applicator

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How to make your own static grass applicator. I investigated this after seeing a static grass demo at IPMS Rivenhall by Mike Mawhood. Mike had invested in proprietary equipment, with the cost running into three figures. I like the idea of being able to make a base with realistic looking grass but without quite such a big lump of cash involved in the equation, so I did some surfing and found a DIY solution. It's a setup that works, but I must stress, it cannot match the real deal in capability and ease of use. 

 

To get started you need a battery powered bug zapper and a metal tea strainer. I got both from ebay, the zapper cost £3.86 (posted) and a set of three stainless steel tea strainers was £1.98 (posted).

 

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Unscrew the zapper handle and snip through the cable connections. The paddle parts can all be removed and binned/re-cycled. Be careful not to lose the button.

 

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The live cable from the multiplier is soldered to the tea strainer, which can then be positioned in the handle. No mods are required to the strainer, I fitted it into the handle and fastened it in place with a big lump of Milliput. You could use any suitable glue or resin glue for this. You only need a single cable for grounding to earth, so the spare cable is removed. I used a longer piece of cable connected to the short yellow piece, with a copper nail soldered to the free end. It could be any type of nail for grounding. 

 

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The handle was screwed back together and the nail was wrapped with some insulation tape so that it can be held without getting a jolt from the circuitry. Test it out by fitting some batteries (a couple of AA cells) holding down the button, then place the nail against the strainer and you should get a satisfactory spark that goes off with a fair crack. You could always test it with a bare finger, but believe me, you will get enough of a jolt so as to avoid doing it again. After testing I filled up any gaps around the strainer handle with more Milliput. I was going to paint it black to match the rest, but haven't got a round tuit.

 

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To use the applicator you will need to get some loose static grass (obviously) that can be fixed with some dilute PVA. Paint the area to be grassed with a generous layer of PVA. Fill the strainer with some grass, charge it up, then hold the nail into the wet glue whilst simultaneously giving the applicator some gentle shakes to sprinkle the grass around. To build up a luxuriant layer of grass you will need some layering glue that can be sprayed onto the base layer for repeat applications until the required amount of grass is glued down. I bought layering glue in a pump spray bottle off of ebay for about a fiver. There you go, budget static grass.

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