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Elephant Grass

Schutztruppe in elephant grass

Long grass can be made from broom bristles, which can give a more dried out and scraggy appearance than that produced from this plastic grass method. (It is also a bit more time consuming).
HLBSCo Schutztruppe patrol emerge from dense elephant grass.


Broom bristles

Model elephant grass

Cutting the bristles
The broom bristles are surprisingly hard to cut. The easiest method I found was to hack them off with a scalpel - watch your fingers, do this away from your body and grip the broom head on the opposite side to the direction to your hacking.

To make them look more realistic, cut them to different lengths by cutting through a clump of misaligned bristles.

Sticking the clumps down
Poke holes in the sand covered foamcard with something sharp and metal. Then fill the hole by squirting in PVA with the nozzle over the hole to really force the glue in.This way there will be plenty of glue to secure the bristles.

1) First paint the top of the bristles with a pale cream colour. You can be fairly casual about this, but if you don't do it then the grass will turn out a bit dark.

2) Once this has dried, the bristles can be coloured. I put a spectrum of the following colours on a palette.

  • Pale Green - 50% GW Camo Green, 50% Oatmeal
  • Mid Green - GW Camo Green
  • Dark Green - 50% Black, 50% GW Goblin Green

These were then applied to the bristles with the darkest at the bottom fading to the top. In places the brown of the original bristles was left to show through.

Dock stalks

Model elephant grass

Docks are a common UK plant. They grow to about 3" high and in Autumn they go a dark reddish brown. They are covered in tiny seed pods. The pods can be easily removed by running the clump through your hands, then cut the stalk tips off with a pair of scissors . The seeds leave behind clusters of tiny stems on the main stalk, which add pleasing detail.

The dock stalks are fairly brittle, so I tend to glue them to the base in between the broom bristle clumps for some protection.

I left these completely unpainted, but you could use a light drybrush to add definition and weathering.

Model elephant grass

2002. All rights reserved.