Author Topic: Silflor (Ground cover) Review  (Read 6329 times)

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tom mann

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Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« on: February 13, 2006, 09:09:06 PM »
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Taking close-up photos is a great learning tool.  Seeing modeling up close trains the eye to spot what looks good and bad from normal viewing.  When I felt pretty good about my weathering, I moved on to track.  Now, I'm on ground cover.

Two things bothered me about ground cover:  Texture and color.  The texture of foam based products looks ok as a flat surface, but as modelers, we tend to use ground foam for small bushes and shrubs and tufts of grass because of a lack of anything better.  Fine from a distance, but not too great close up.  Colors are mostly too green and vibrant, too.  In real life, colors take on a more muted appearance, especially summer and fall grass colors.

I decided to try this product called Silflor, available from scenicexpress.com.  These look like what they're supposed to be (tufts of grass) as opposed to merely an approximation of what they represent (like a pile of groundfoam masquerading as grass).   

To install, you pull them off of backing and glue them down.





The dirt is a mixture of Highball dirt and Highball brown ballast.  I dusted the track with Polyscale 'dirt' to tone everything down.  My goal was to match some photos I have of unkept MILW trackage.

The Silflor products are expensive, but judicious use in some scenes or the front of your layout will keep the costs managable.  Scenic express has a ton of great looking "premium" landscaping products, including some Heki products which look like Silflor knock-offs.

Comments? Let's do trees, next :)

cv_acr

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 09:32:45 PM »
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Sweet.

I saw another guy's album on railimages who used this stuff for gras patches beside the tracks, between ties, along edges of buildings a open spaces. It looked awesome, especially next to handlaid HO track.

Ian MacMillan

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2006, 10:36:15 PM »
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Waiting for mine! Waiting for mine!!!!! Best $70 spent!

UPS man keeps driving by...no stopy... :'(



Very very nice Tom!
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

GonzoCRFan

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 11:33:37 PM »
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DAMN, that stuff looks nice.

Too bad Athearn kinda botched that gon. The lowest numbered CR coil gon I've seen is 600465. And I've only seen one CR gon that the old MDC gon approximates actually in coil service, 608765. But you can always just pull the load and use it in another car, so it's not a huge error.
Sean

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 11:38:55 PM »
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Yeah, removing the loads is really easy too. Just look at the car funny and it'll fall out.

They're not really attached by anything at all.

Chris333

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 03:05:48 AM »
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I just bought some Silflor tuft's  a few weeks ago. They are great! I got some 4mm and some 2mm, I need to get the brownish color that Tom used here though. I think you get a nice amount for the money and even though it is pricey I didn't feel "ripped off".

These are probably the railimages photos that were mentioned:
http://www.railimages.com/albums/jeffkraker/anh.jpg
http://www.railimages.com/albums/jeffkraker/ang.jpg

They have a sticky bottom, but like Tom I glued mine down just in case. They are soft enough that you could maybe run trains over grass between the rails with no problem.

Here is some on my layout:


Oh and about those trees, bought some Silflor tree netting too ;) 

sparky

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 03:16:39 AM »
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I've been wanting to order some Silflor since I first saw it in the Scenic Express catalog.  SE is one of my favorite vendors.  I think the 4mm green stuff would be great for a swampy area... I wonder how bad Envirotex would wick up between the strands though.  That would pretty much spoil the effect of the airy texture of the Silflor.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2006, 04:04:24 AM by sparky »

cv_acr

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 04:26:10 PM »
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DAMN, that stuff looks nice.

Too bad Athearn kinda botched that gon. The lowest numbered CR coil gon I've seen is 600465. And I've only seen one CR gon that the old MDC gon approximates actually in coil service, 608765. But you can always just pull the load and use it in another car, so it's not a huge error.

Yeah, Conrail's coil-assigned gons were in the 6xxxxx series, 5xxxxx were regular mill gons for every other service. But most model manfucturers _especially_ MDC don't know anything about specific commodity assignments for various car series, and usually don't bother to check/research either.

Chris333

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 05:56:11 PM »
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Tom,
Exactly what lights did you use to take those photos?

I have been trying to take pics for an hour now with all sorts of settings and different lights.

Maybe I should just carry the thing outside :-\

tom mann

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 06:50:16 PM »
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Tom,
Exactly what lights did you use to take those photos?

I have been trying to take pics for an hour now with all sorts of settings and different lights.

Maybe I should just carry the thing outside :-\

I'm using this technique for lighting:

http://therailwire.net/smf/index.php?topic=8693.0

It's a 100w dayglow light facing up so the scene is only indirectly lit.  F8, ISO50, 8-15sec open shutter.  I discovered the lighting technique after trying to minimize light reflection off of nscale ties. 

Chris333

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 07:10:03 PM »
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I know nothing about photos, but guess that the bulb itself won't do much good if I cannot change my shutter speed.

Edit:

OK the daylight bulb worked great and I even got off my butt and sent out some E-mails looking for a new ribbon strip to get buttons on my camera working again. Anyone have a spare Coolpix950 laying around  :P

So here is new lighting and Silflor:

Some of the 2mm is at the bottom of the steps.

I love the shadow of the lamp  8)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 06:19:53 AM by Chris333 »

tom mann

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2007, 07:00:46 PM »
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Anybody else start using Silflor within the last year?  Photos?

Chris333

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2007, 06:21:13 AM »
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Night of the living dead post return.  ;)

I edited my above post to get rid of the red X.

randgust

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2007, 07:47:31 PM »
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Who has a good idea on color selection for this stuff?

I need a sage color and a dry grass color, preferably shorter stuff, me thinks.  Here, in a nutshell, is the problems.

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=175107

I have the color right with Woodland Scenics foam, but not the texture.  There's a lot of high grass out there in July.  It's not green, really - more of a sage color and some yellow.  With Silflor (sp?) I assume you better like the color the way it comes....?

Thank God I have a small layout!

tom mann

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Re: Silflor (Ground cover) Review
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2007, 08:03:18 PM »
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The stuff in the background is pretty tall, so I would get the 4mm silflor.  Their autumn color would be the closest.