1⁄35Home Made Ground Cover
Thanks to a model railroaderThis is a tip I learned from a good friend of mine, Marvin Koehler, a fantastic model railroader who has probably forgotten more about modeling then I will ever learn. So I want to thank him for being such a good friend and mentor.
IngredientsFirst lets talk about what you will need. First you need leaves. I try and collect as many different colors as I can find and, once you have them, sort them out into like colors and put them into different zip lock bags.
Next you need a blender, a cookie pan, a sifter (1 or 2 different sizes is best), a cheese cloth or, in my case, one of my wifeís old stockings, an oven and a few bowls.
BlendingAfter you have collected the leaves take a batch and place them into the blender about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Next fill the blender about half full and cover tightly. Turn on the blender to beat/whip on low speed. Let the leaves be chopped up for about 30-60 seconds. Turn off the blender and check to make sure there are not anymore large chunks. If there are large chunks left, then repeat the beat/whip cycle another 30-60 seconds. If there are no large chunks turn the blender onto puree for about 30 seconds but no longer than 45 seconds or else you will end up with mush. The puree stage will give you some very fine grindings once it is dried out. Once you are satisfied with that there arenít anymore large chunks in the blender, take the lid off and place your cheese cloth or stocking over the opening. Turn the blender upside down, holding the stocking in place, and unscrew the cap that holds the blade on. Run water through the opening to get all of the leaves out.
RinsingOnce you have all of the material out of the blender and into your stocking, let the water run over it to rinse some of the dirt and grime out of the leaves, usually about a minute will do. Turn the stocking inside out over the cookie pan and scrape out as much as you can, donít worry about what is left inside of the stocking, just hang it out to dry and you can scrape out the leaves once they have dried.
DryingNow spread it out evenly around the cookie pan. Turn the oven on to bake at 175-200 degrees, and place the cookie pan inside. Turn on the timer for about 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes have passed, take out the cookie pan and use a fork or spatula to stir the leaves around to aid in the drying. Put them back in for another 20 minutes and repeat the process until they are completely dried. Depending on how much leaves you have it could take anywhere from 40-80 minutes.
When the leaves all have dried, take the pan out and let it cool off. Once cooled take the smaller size sifter and a bowl and place the mix into the sifter over the bowl, shake the sifter until you are satisfied that the smallest particles have all come out. Take the sifted material out and place into a zip lock. Next place the mix into a larger sifter and do the same thing. I have 3 different size sifters and so I am able to get three different sized leaves.
Now if you want you can repeat the process using the other colored leaves. I have also bought a bag of dried leaves from Hobby Lobby for about $2.00 that were a more green color. I mixed these in with some of the lighter brown to give more color to the groundwork.
Done!And there you have it... home made forest litter. Now the rest is up to you. I find it best to mix this material with other types of ground work, especially the type of dead leaves that Bryan Gray (ex-royal) just wrote a review about. There are a lot of possibilities with this mix and, best of all, it is free. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Copyright ©2020 by Robert Beebe. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of AeroScale, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2005-06-09 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 63290