Friday, April 3, 2020

We Want A Shrubbery!

click on the picture

       Once again the surfeit of free time intersects with the dearth of opportunity to buy simple items that I would normally use and force me into a position wherein I have to make things by hand. Exhibit One; normally I would simply buy railway shrubbery and get on with the job of adding vegetation to my terrain. This not being possible for two reasons; all the local brick and mortar joints are closed and I lack the patience to wait for Amazon or Ebay to bring me the goodies. Thus I was forced to fall back on skills that I had acquired many ages back, before the internet and ready-made Chinese junk. I was going to have to craft the shrubberies by hand. It is stupidly simple but terribly time consuming (time being the only resource that I have a lot of right now it seemed a good match).

      All that is required is a ball of twine or sisal string (jute might work), some wood glue, a pair of scissors, some Woodland scenic Fine Turf (dried tea leaves will work in a pinch) and either spray paint (green or brown) or some hair spray.......and a few hours of time.

crucial tools and supplies

cut the string into roughly 2" bits

squirt out some wood glue and mix it 2 to 1 with water

the popsicle sticks aren't really needed
 but they make the whole process a little easier to handle

dip the lower 1/2" of string into the glue mix
 and stick it onto the popsicle stick so about 1/4" is attached 
now go away and read for a couple of hours while it dries

you will return to find this, you can leave them attached to the stick,
 I prefer to pop them off and handle each strand individually,
leaving them on the stick is probably easier

twist the string in the opposite direction of the twist
the strands will pop apart like this

now take each strand and twist it again, the fibers will separate and then you can pull them apart with your fingertips or a pointed tool like a bamboo skewer of knitting needle

you can trim the lengths of the individual strands for a more irregular look

I usually leave the thickest strand long and trim back the narrower strands

creating a pleasingly uneven shape

90 minutes of this and you have gobs of shrubberies 

this is where I should have left them on the sticks
to get some color and cause the fine turf to stick you have to hold them 
while you spray either paint or hair spray onto the fine strands

a blast of green Krylon camo green and....

....a sprinkle of Woodland Scenics fine turf

bingo! shrubberies
thank God there aren't any herring in Afghanistan!


  1. HOLY... just wow!

    I know! You construct a weapon. Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?

    That’s you Anton to a tee, quote from movie Galaxy Quest, when guy tells Jason how to fight the rock monster.

    1. Galaxy Quest, a much underrated movie, I love it

  2. Galaxy Quest!!! I must have watched it soooo many times the DVD is paper thin and the whole family (who all love it as well) knows all the catch phrases.
    Great tutorial Anton.

    Right, I´m off... to see if there´s a pub.

  3. PS, Never give up, Never surrender!