Skip to content

A New Era of Model Scenery Dawns – Fields are Finally Reailistic

October 9, 2008

It has taken 70 years of model making to finally develop what has to be the absolutely perfect scale model of realistic tall field grass. The best thing is that it’s related to but not that overpriced German “Silflor”, it’s available at Michaels craft stores for $2.99, enter: The Pot topper.

Pot Toppers before scenery was added around them

This inexpensive 6″ round disk of realistically uneven green field grass can be removed from it’s coarse redwood chip backing by pulling the top from the bottom steadily, causing the polyfiber inside to stretch and detatch itself. You can use the polyfiber insides later for bushes and such after airbrushing it a more realistic color. You can even make polyfiber trees as seen in this tutorial.

It’s just what the model railroading community has been waiting for so we can devest ourselves of plain groundfoam grassy fields, like this:

Groundfoam Texture

To the Astounding realism of the Pot Topper’s grass, interspersed with natural rocks, dirt and clumpy ground foilage.

Realistic Field Made with the Pot Topper


The grass is Ideal for HO scale, but would also work suitably for O scale, and S scale.

Although I haven’t tried it, I’d Imagine you can change the overall color by airbrushing it, so you could have this product work in a late spring/early summer and have that charistic “golden grown” color to the grass.

To reinforce the fact that my layout is set in spring, I added the orange and yellow “flowers” sprinkled atop the grass.

To install the pot topper for maximum realism, tear the grass top of the pot topper in half or smaller bits and, using liberal amounts of carpenter’s glue or plaster of paris/sculptamold, push it into a base scenery layer that has soil alread sprinkled down. Then apply your soil (* I use decomposed granite available from a landscape supply place) around the edges of the grass patch and glue down with 50/50 whiteglue/water mix. Then finally add small branches of SUPERTREES for low scrub brush and then sprinkle rocks and coarse lumpy ground foam around the areas not covered with grass and there you have it!

I hope you try this cutting-edge technique for scenery. Send me photos of your attempts and I’ll post them here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tim Robinson permalink
    October 9, 2008 9:37 pm

    I am thoroughly enjoying your site. Have it hooked to Google so I don’t miss anything. Thanks for that heads up.

    The pot toppers are amazing. Ran out to Michaels and bought one to play with. Very promising.

    I look forward to reading many more articles from you. Keep up the good work.


  2. October 10, 2008 2:11 am

    The pot toppers are incredible! I need to pass this article along – are you the first to do this, or did you get this idea from another source?

    Either way, quite a revelation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: