Sunday, 6 August 2017

DIY static grass applicator for under GBP 5

Hmm, May and June were a washout for any progress - I managed to get the US Airborne figures prepared and based - then added fine sand to the bases - but holding off showing pics until I get some 'actual' progress...

'When' I do finally get the US Airborne painted up, I'll be basing them to reflect mid-summer, Northern European grasslands. To get the effect I'll be using static grass of various lengths, so I've ordered some from eBay - then I looked at some YouTube videos and saw the various applicators. Nice, but pricey - happily though there are plenty of tutorials to make an applicator for under £10 (GBP) / $10 (USD)...

So here we go... This isn't a comprehensive step by step as plenty of YouTube vids, but a brief description...

1x electric bug zapper (powered by 2x AA batteries) - cost £2.99 from The Range (I bought two, the second will be used for a bug zapper surprisingly)
1x small (7cm) metal sieve / tea strainer - 80p from Wilko's
Length of wire

Specialist tools: 
Soldering iron and solder

Basic instructions: 
Dismantle the bug zapper, cut the wires to the three wire mesh panels - these will no doubt come in useful for terrain pieces at a later date.
Cut the strainer handle down, then cut the plastic frame down so that the strainer fits and it looks nice and neat.
Given this zapper had three pieces of wire mesh, there are three wires - the wires going to the outer mesh are connected to the sieve (I actually cut one of the wires off, so just reused the other wire to connect to the sieve), the third wire I de-soldered from the control board and replaced with a longer piece of wire - this will have a crocodile clip added once I get one.

Basically all you do know is reassemble the zapper handle, with the sieve slotted in - I added a shaped piece of plywood to give the sieve a snug fit and reduce any movement when using the applicator.

There you go, a couple of hours work and we're pretty much done - just need to add a 5 amp crocodile clip (I have 25 in the post for £4.25, or 19 pence each... Will also potentially fill the end with some silicone sealant to give a neater finish. So total spend is £3.98 (not including batteries and wire that I already had).

Once I get the static grass I'll give a test and see how effective it will be...

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