Making model scenery is fun but an intricate hobby that involves careful planning and execution. If you enjoy making model scenery, you have probably considered how best to lay down fake grass. Static grass applicators are an excellent tool to lay down fake grass.
The best static grass applicator for beginners is the TruePower Static Grass Applicator. Meanwhile, the most versatile grass applicator is the War World Scenics Pro Grass Applicator. Finally, the applicator that offers the best value for money is the Eapmic Micro Static Grass Applicator.
In this article, I explore how a static grass applicator works and the factors which make for great applicators. I then focus on three of the best static grass applicators of 2021, explaining how they have various benefits.
For those of you on the run, here are my best 3 grass applicators:
How Does a Static Grass Applicator Work?
To make sure you choose the best static grass applicator, it is helpful to consider how this tool works briefly. A static grass applicator allows you to lay down fake grass material on models you are building.
The static grass applicator charges the material being used to resemble grass with static, causing it to stand up and look more realistic.
While fake grass can be laid down by hand, static applicators can speed up the process and make the overall model look more professional.
Choosing a Grass Applicator: Factors To Consider
There are several factors you should consider when choosing a static grass applicator. Look for one that:
- Works with a range of static grass materials
- Can attach different lengths of grass
- Has an attached mesh to disperse the ‘grass’
- Has a significant amount of power
- It is portable and easy to use
In this section, I explore these factors in greater detail.
Compatibility With a Range of Grass Materials
Most static grass applicators will work with all types of synthetic fake grass materials. However, it’s essential to double-check that the static grass applicator you are considering will work with different grass materials. Some materials that should be compatible with your static grass applicator are rayon and nylon.
Compatibility With a Range of Grass Lengths
Fake grass comes in a variety of lengths. For example, you can find grass that is just 1mm long and 15 mm long. Therefore, when choosing a static grass applicator, look for one that can apply different grass lengths so that you can use it when making different scales of models.
It Comes With Different Mesh Sizes
I have found that the best grass applicators come with several different mesh sizes that can be detached and attached depending on what kind of model you are creating. The mesh helps you distribute the static grass evenly across your model.
It Has a Significant Amount of Power
Static grass applicators work by charging pieces of fake grass, so you should look for applicators with a significant amount of voltage. The best static applicators will be able to operate at different voltage levels.
Ease of Use
Finally, your static grass applicator must be easy to use. Several factors contribute to ease of use:
- Weight. I prefer lighter static grass applicators as they are easier to handle and maneuver. If an applicator is lighter, it is also more portable, allowing you to use it in a range of different situations.
- Instructions. The best static grass applicators will come with a comprehensive instruction manual. The manufacturer should also offer support to users who are struggling to use or assemble the applicator.
- Connectivity. Applicators can be powered by plugging them into a battery or directly plugging them into a wall socket. The best static grass applicators will allow for both options so that you can choose how to use them.
I have used several static grass applicators on the market and tested them against these factors. I explore my picks for different purposes below (all available on Amazon.com).
Best for Beginners: TruePower Static Grass Applicator
This grass applicator model has several features that make it an excellent choice:
- Ease of use. This product comes with manual and easy-to-follow directions. It is also reasonably lightweight, which allows for easy maneuverability. It is excellent for beginners.
- Allows you to use different grass lengths and materials. This works with a range of materials and with grass length that ranges between 2-10 mm (0.08 – 0.39 inch).
- Mesh options. The model has three different mesh sizes – 5 (fine),10 (medium), and 18 (larger). This allows you to use it for various grass sizes and helps you make sure that the distribution is even.
- High voltage range. This model can reach a maximum voltage of 30,000 volts. The voltage can be adjusted by lowering and increasing the amps. Because of this, it’s essential to make sure you are using the grass applicator safely and correctly.
- Dual connectivity. To power this model, you can connect it to a 9-volt battery or a wall socket. This dual connectivity will allow you to use the wall applicator in a range of different workrooms.
- Opportunity to make different terrains. I have found that it is easy to construct different terrains using this static grass applicator.
This static grass applicator is best used for laying down scenic grass on railway terrains. It also works well on velvet surfaces.
While there are several reasons that the TruePower Static Grass Applicator is an excellent choice, this model does have a few cons. Here are the drawbacks:
- Some users have noted that they have trouble using the applicator for higher than 2 mm (0.08 inch) grass lengths. However, this may be because of a lack of user skill and may improve with practice.
- You may have to allow the applicator time to rest after using it for an extended period. If you use it extensively for one stretch, it may overheat, which will affect its functioning.
The main features of the TruePower Static Grass Applicator are as follows:
- Gino Development manufactures this applicator
- The applicator weights 1.05 pounds (476 grams)
- The applicator is 330mm (12.99 inches) long
The applicator is pretty pocket-friendly, which makes it a good choice if you are a beginner and explore how to use a static grass applicator.
Best for Versatility: War World Scenics Pro Grass Micro Static Grass Applicator
The War World Scenics Pro is an excellent static grass applicator if you want to use it for various terrains or models. Its benefits include:
- Ease of use. The War World Scenics Pro comes fully assembled with a detailed manual. Users can also refer to tutorial videos designed by War World Scenics.
- Versatility. The versatility is the most significant benefit of this model; it can be used for grass between 2-8 mm (0.08 – 0.31 inch). It can be used for various model types, including battle boards, model railway layouts, and dioramas.
- Comes with a kit. When you purchase this static grass applicator, you also get basing glue, layering spray, and a range of different lengths and colors of grass.
- It is equipped with a medium sieve head. The attached sieve for this static grass applicator can work with a range of different glasses.
- Support from the manufacturer. Users have noted that War World Scenics provides excellent support, helping some users troubleshoot issues and advising others on how best to use the applicator.
This model is excellent for intermediate and more advanced users as you can use it to work on different designs.
There are a few drawbacks to this model that you should consider:
- Does not offer dual connectivity. This model can only be powered by inserting a 9-volt battery into it. It cannot be powered by plugging it into a wall socket, limiting the amount of time at one stretch you can use the applicator for.
- Does not come with a battery. The static grass applicator kit does not come with a battery – you will have to buy this separately.
- Works better for larger areas. While this applicator is versatile, it works better for larger-scale models. Some users may find it challenging to place grass in the spaces between buildings and other model structures.
Here are the main features of the War World Scenics Pro Glass Applicator:
- WWS Scenery Manufacturer manufactures this applicator.
- The applicator weighs 3.79 pounds (1.7 kilos).
The manufacturer recommends that this should be used by hobbyists who are 14 years and above.
Best Value for Money: Eapmic Micro Static Grass Applicator
This static grass applicator is pocket-friendly and offers excellent value for money. The benefits include:
- Value for money. This model is priced at less than $30, making it a cost-effective addition to your model tool kit.
- Ease of use. This machine is light and extremely easy to use. It has an anti-skid handle, which allows you to maintain a better grip and better precision as you build your models. It also comes with a comprehensive instruction manual.
- Works with a range of different grass lengths. This applicator works well with smaller grass lengths – it is excellent with 2mm (0.08 inch), 4mm (0.16 inch), and 6mm (0.32 inch) grasses.
- Best suited to smaller models. This works with smaller grasses; it is suitable for smaller models or finer details for large models.
- Transparent hopper. The container in which you put the grass materials is transparent, which allows you to see how much grass you have left and plan for your model accordingly.
- Protection plan. Along with this model, you can purchase a protection plan which acts as insurance, allowing you to replace it if it is faulty.
This model is inexpensive compared to the other two models on this list but has some significant drawbacks:
- Does not come with batteries. This applicator can only be powered by batteries, which do not come with the kit and will be an additional purchase.
- This model does not have a sieve which impacts its dispersal capability.
- While the model comes fully assembled, some users have noted that the wires lose when the model first arrives. You may have to gently push the wires into the machine (make sure it is unplugged) before it begins to work.
How To Use Your Static Grass Applicator
Once you have selected and purchased a static grass applicator, make sure you read the manual for tips on how to use it. In this section, I break down the steps to laying down static grass for the best results.
- Choose your grasses. Before even filling your applicator with grass, consider which grasses you would like to use depending on the model you’re trying to build. Some popular brands that I look to for synthetic grasses are the War World Scenics Starter Kit and the Yalulu 6 Pack Mixed Model Grass, both from Amazon.com.
- Cover your baseboard with glue. Once you have selected your baseboard for your model, cover it in static grass basing glue. This will give your grass something to adhere to.
- Fill your static grass applicator with the grass. Fill your static grass applicator tank with your shortest grass length. Be careful to switch out the static applicator sieve if there are different sizes to fit your chosen grass length. I prefer to begin with 2mm grass for my base as it looks most realistic.
- Use the applicator to apply the 2mm grass. Hover the applicator over the areas you want to apply the grass.
- Use a layering spray. Spray a layering spray over the 2mm (0.08 inch) grass you have laid, and then empty your static applicator. If you are using a detachable sieve, change it to suit a longer length of the grass. Then, fill your static applicator with longer grass and run it over your board.
- Repeat until complete. Once you have finished laying down the long grass, swap out the applicator sieve, spray your board with layering spray and then lay down the following length or color of grass. Repeat these steps until you have finished laying down the grass.