Hobby Focus: The use of static grass

Legion of the Damned trooper

The use of static grass is one of those things most of us do, but few of us put any real thought into. I add static grass to my models all the time, but I don't think I do it well enough. Sure, I can get it on there, but am I getting the best effect with how I apply it to the base?

Going through the blog rolls this week, I stopped by this post by The Weekend Painter talking about his Legion of Damned model. As soon as I saw the model, I was drawn to the base more than anything else. There's nothing wrong with the model, but it's the use of the static grass on the base that really caught my eye.

The static grass is there, but it's not in huge clumps that might seem out of place, it's a few TINY patches of it that would fit perfectly into the environment portrayed by the rest of the the basing material.

For me, that's perfect. It adds to the base overall, but doesn't stand out or seem out of place there. It's just enough that it provides some variety in texture and color.

As much as I try, I seem to fall into the "big pile of grass" category. I'm a bit heavy handed with the glue which translates into lots of grass. That and I use the bright greens stuff. I need to stop that or blend it with some dead grass to get a more natural look.

I did pick up some "dead grass" recently that I may use on my Heroes of Armageddon model. You can be sure that I'm going to be careful how much glue I use too. Like most other details, you want it to emphasize your model, not detract from it.

Related Links and Additional Content from comments:

Silflor Scenery Products
Woodland Scenics Ground Cover materials
1. Mix a tiny amount of green grass into the dead stuff for realism.
2. Lightly drybrush yellow over green grass for effect.
3. Some Dire Wolves by Wojna w miniaturze
4. How it looks between rock outcroppings by Mordian 7th Reg.
5. Use an empty shaker bottle to spread your material.
6. Apply glue with a toothpick to get tiny dots of glue.

Make sure to check out the other Hobby Focus Articles too!

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Hi Ron the best way to get that effect is to use Silflor products where the grass comes pre clumped in different colours for different seasons and types of grass. Have a look at some of my pictures on my blog for a guide. Cheers

  2. Something to consider, particularly with the dead, yellow static gross: cut it with a bit of green static grass. You'll find the result looks much more natural and convincing.

  3. Ditto what Black Bob said- Silflor tufts are AWESOME. I started using those about a year ago, and I haven't looked back. Dead easy to use, and they look more realistic than clump static grass. Definitely check it out when you can.

  4. I use a fairly green static grass (when I use it) and then go back and lightly dry brush the grass with a yellow color. Adds some depth/detail/variety.

  5. Black Bob: have you got a specific post in mind? Send me a link of what you've done with the stuff and I'll add it here with the other stuff.

  6. Yep, static grass looks much better if used "in-tone" with a miniature theme or feel of the army...
    *shameless plug here*

  7. Inkub: Shameless plug gladly accepted, your Dire Wolves look great and make a good example of creating a feeling to your basing. The smaller tufts of grass really do the trick.

  8. Interesting stuff! I've never heard of the little clump static grass, but I'll have to give it a go - it looks great! In my static grass tub I have about a 70/25 mix of green/yellow grass, with the remaining 5% being a little bit of extra-fine talus/gravel. Of late my bases have a mix of exposed ground/gravel which is painted with Graveyard Earth and a drybrush of Kommando Khaki, after which I go in with an old brush and just dab a wee bit of PVA glue in areas that I think grasses would be able to thrive in a 'real' setting (tucked up in corners of rocks, in small depressions, etc.). There's an example of the final result here:


    When it comes to static grass I've often been told 'less is more'. A few little clumps here and there seem to draw the eye more than an entire base covered like a putting green. :)

    Great article Ron - keep up the great work!

  9. Its all about different elements that tie in together to at a glance look like a meadow, an ash waste, etc. but upon close inspection are rich with detail and variety, try looking at pictures of what certain environments look like in nature to work out appropriate colours. A nicely layered and painted base looks great but with scattered and varied grass/clumps/etc. it looks natural.

  10. Ron-
    My favorite stuff is Woodland Scenics FL634 light green in the giant Costco parmesan cheese 32 oz shaker I got it for 11 bucks at a model train shop, more than enough to last forever and do some terrain and the color is kind of greygreen and looks realistic without any painting.

    Santa Cruz Warhammer

  11. Oh yeah the above grass also works very well with Super Secret basing sand, which since the driveway has been repaved is now OOP and very collectible.

    Santa Cruz Warhammer

  12. Mordian: Thanks for the link, I see what you mean about putting it between the rocks.

    Crosser: How very true. You want to get the right kind and amount to create the feeling.

    SC John: What a killer idea putting it into a shaker bottle! And would you believe I have some of Super Secret Basing Sand. I use it very sparingly since its limited availability.

  13. A great way to get small clumps using normal static grass is to put superglue on the base with a toothpick, then just put the grass on that. To get it to stand up, use a hoover or similar.

  14. SpeedyFrenchy: I never thought about using superglue. Maybe because the stuff I use is almost like water and it would not stay a small drop... it would spread out.

    Maybe if I had a more "gel-like" superglue, it would work perfectly.

  15. i jsut use white glue applied with a tothpick. It works grest to get nice small clumps right where you want them.

  16. A little late to the party, but I swear by 'less is more'. Some selective spots here:


  17. Rusty Dice: I agree completely. Less is more when it comes to this kind of thing. Nice job on those bases too.

  18. I just picked up some of the mordheim grass patches from GW and am actually really happy I was looking for a few dead clumps of grass next to melting snow and these worked a treat

  19. Darkenedsquire: I've yet to try the "patches" of grass you can buy from stores, but I have seen some that look really good.

    I think the biggest thing for me is that it adds some variety to the grass and you're not stuck with just one size/height of grass on your base.


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