Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Hay/straw bales

5246 views
20 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 25 posts
Hay/straw bales
Posted by robsmith_nc on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 3:05 PM

Ok, this is rather specific. Does anyone out there know how to make or where to buy realistic looking hay/straw bales for HO scale? I'm looking for the rectangular kind, not round. I have a farm scene and I can find just about anything else, except bales that look decent. I've found a few that don't look very convincing and I haven't come up with a good way to make them myself. Any thoughts?

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • From: southern NH
  • 495 posts
Posted by ollevon on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 3:28 PM

Hi Rob,

 I made my own bales of  hay. Here;s how I did it.  I first cut foam to the size I wanted in rectangular  shapes. Then I took some woodland scenic field grass and cut it up in tiny peaces let it fall in some sort of a small cup or box. I then covered my foam cubes with Hobby-Tac & waited about 15 min. for the H-T to dry somewhat and then roll the foam cubes into the cut-up field grass. That made some very convincing looking bales of hay.  

  Good luck

  Sam

  • Member since
    February, 2011
  • 117 posts
Posted by BobH13 on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 3:40 PM

Michaels craft storse sell hay bales very cheap. These are much  too big for HO but you  take the straw and just shake it lose and then apply to foam, balsa etc with contact cement. 

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 4,991 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 4:29 PM

Eh... The LION was going to tell you to just use a spoon sized Shredded Wheat, but alas you are looking for square bales! And if you used the sugared ones you could model a winter scene!

Ach! EAT that Idea! Stick out tongue

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: Clinton, MO, US
  • 3,421 posts
Posted by Medina1128 on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 8:01 AM

I would be hesitant in using ANY food products on your layout. Critters will find them quite tasty.

  • Member since
    November, 2002
  • From: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1,316 posts
Posted by Seamonster on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:07 AM

ollevon

Hi Rob,

 I made my own bales of  hay. Here;s how I did it.  I first cut foam to the size I wanted in rectangular  shapes. Then I took some woodland scenic field grass and cut it up in tiny peaces let it fall in some sort of a small cup or box. I then covered my foam cubes with Hobby-Tac & waited about 15 min. for the H-T to dry somewhat and then roll the foam cubes into the cut-up field grass. That made some very convincing looking bales of hay.  

  Good luck

  Sam

That's pretty much how I did it in N scale.  I got the dimensions of square and round bales from a farmer friend and I happened to have some square and round strip wood very close to the right sizes.  I applied the yellow WS field grass as Sam described.  After the glue dried, I trimmed the bales as they were looking quite hairy at that point.  My farmer friend said they looked pretty good to him.

 

..... Bob

Beam me up, Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here. (Captain Kirk)

I reject your reality and substitute my own. (Adam Savage)

Resistance is not futile--it is voltage divided by current.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 4,991 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:22 AM

Medina1128

I would be hesitant in using ANY food products on your layout. Critters will find them quite tasty.

And the problem with critters is what?

 

The mascot of the Broadway LION, he stands at the end of the railroad on Broadway at Van Courtlandt Park. His name is "Aslan" and there will be a small park there with some spruce trees and a gas lamp with one of the ladder bars missing. The other beast (below) is Ramu a fine tiger of my acquaintance.

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    March, 2009
  • 109 posts
Posted by g&gfan on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 9:34 AM

The question is what size square bales? The small ones (14 x 18 inches x ? length) or the large ones ( 3 feet x 3 feet x ? feet long, 3 feet x 4 feet x ? feet long; or 4 feet x 4 feet x ? feet long).

The small ones can be made by laminating two .188 x .060 styrene strips to the outside of a .188 x .080 strip. Once completely cemented, cut into lengths about 3/8" and round the ends. You could also file some small grooves in the ends where the joints are. This would give an impression of the twines. The sides (and top) could be scored/sanded to indicate the individual flakes. Any flash created may be left to make a flare that sometimes appears.

The larger ones can be made from wood blocks of the appropriate size and cut to a length of 3/4" to 7/8" long. This works out to about 5-1/2 feet to 6 feet 4 inches which is close to the popular sizes of 5 feet to 6 feet long. Although commercial hay growers will make bales up 8 feet long for long distance transport.

These HO "bales" can be left square as the bales are tightly commpressed and don't tend to round off at the edges.

The hay bales can then be painted a drab olive green and drybrushed with some brighter green or tan/brown to highlight certain areas.

Straw bales could be painted a golden  to pale yellow.

 

Hope this helps.

Steve

P.S. Occasionally on ebay some bales come up from a seller/maker from Quebec.  

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 2,112 posts
Posted by chutton01 on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 10:08 AM

BroadwayLion
The mascot of the Broadway LION, he stands at the end of the railroad on Broadway at Van Courtlandt Park. His name is "Aslan" and there will be a small park there with some spruce trees and a gas lamp with one of the ladder bars missing.


Odd, I have used the 242nd Street (#1) station many times over the years, and cannot recall that subway station ever looking anything like the old Revell Passenger Station (the reality is a bit cooler looking I think). 
Also, I can't seem to recall any connection between the 'Chronicals of Narnia' & Riverdale/Kingsbridge, except maybe some paperbacks being sold at that corner 'candy' store across Broadway from the McDonalds - perhaps you can enlighten me, "Lion".  Perhaps Stella Dora or the beverage center had something to do with it?

Back to the Hay - The OP is correct, BTW, I looked on-line for premade Hay Bales (because I was wondering myself), and the offerings I found looked either like Plywood Crates or torn-up  sponges - Not very realistic, which is odd for this hobby nowadays.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 4,991 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 11:02 AM

chutton01

 

Odd, I have used the 242nd Street (#1) station many times over the years, and cannot recall that subway station ever looking anything like the old Revell Passenger Station (the reality is a bit cooler looking I think). 
Also, I can't seem to recall any connection between the 'Chronicals of Narnia' & Riverdale/Kingsbridge,

The LION is CHEAP, and uses whatever he has at hand. That Revell station is red, and the IRT station is red. That is about as close as I will get until I get to really detailing that part of the layout. But if you must know then I will tell you that the timbers used in the original Kingsbridge (below) were indeed original from Narnia and lend a magical mystical aura to the neighborhood. And as you well know, there *are* LIONS in the Bronx!

 

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • 2,112 posts
Posted by chutton01 on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 2:02 PM

BroadwayLion
The LION is CHEAP

Yeah, I had gathered that from your SubChat postings.

That is about as close as I will get until I get to really detailing that part of the layout

Then you darn well better forget that Lion park and remember to include that row of single story stores along the West side of Broadway, which at least in the mid-1980s (when I was attending the "Home of Leisurely Learning") included no less than 4 bars (I didn't drink much, but it was 'the' social scene, at least until the year of the New York State 19-21 drinking age two-step - also don't forget to include the crappy pizzeria (for some reason we called it Joe's, perhaps that was even the name) where I used to stop and get a slice before heading home.

But if you must know then I will tell you that the timbers used in the original Kingsbridge (below) were indeed original from Narnia

Ummm, yeh....

Kingsbridge's "Kings Bridge": The King's Bridge, erected in 1693 by Frederick Philipse, a local Lord loyal to the British Monarch.

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 100 million copies in 47 languages. Written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954, illustrated by Pauline Baynes and originally published in London between October 1950 and March 1956,

Sorry Lione, this is not SubChat, I ain't buying it

as you well know, there *are* LIONS in the Bronx!

Jaspers and Rams, sure - Lions...that's the 2 & 5, not the 1.

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: North Dakota
  • 4,991 posts
Posted by BroadwayLion on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 4:12 PM

Then you darn well better forget that Lion park and remember to include that row of single story stores along the West side of Broadway,


Yes, I have photographed those buildings. The problem with putting them on the west side of Broadway on my layout is that there is no west side. That is where the viewer is standing. I am debating if I should take license to put them on the east side, and probably will, I will then let VCP appear a little further north.

In any event, and to stay on the thread topic, here is the tree that is just west of the tracks and east of the buildings.

 

And... I *told* you there were LIONS in the Bronx!

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,415 posts
Posted by cowman on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 8:20 PM

Welcome to the forums.

Steve is correct on a small square bale being 14"x18" and if you make them 36" long they stack very nicely.  Of course in real life the baler may make them a little over if you are really pushing it, but not usually enough to make enough difference to show in scale bales.  Some folks do make them shorter, either because they are lighter to handle or they just tumble them into the barn and do not stack them.

The large square bales are in many sizes, never delt with them.

Just for info, for anyone thinking round bales.  My baler makes the smallest round bales there are these days, 3' diameter 4' long.  (There used to be round balers in the 40's and 50's that made ones about 3' long and 15" in diameter.)  In the northeast the most popular large round bales I have seen are 4'x4' with 4'x5' then the largest I know of is 6'x6'.  Haven't dealt with them either, no equipment big enough.

Have been planning to make some for my farm scene.  Planning to use wood strips as the base.  Like the idea of field grass.  The hay would lay pretty straight in the 18" direction.  Now to figure how to make the cut sides look right.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 25 posts
Posted by robsmith_nc on Friday, September 09, 2011 11:05 AM

Richard,

I am going with the 14 x 18 x 36 bales for their ability to be stacked. My layout will be set around 1950 and I think the large, round bales popular today, were only just starting to be experimented with. Even when I was a kid, growing up in the Northeast in the 60's and 70's, rectangular bales were about all I ever saw.

I'm not sure how to deal with making the sides look cut either. Perhaps that is too fine of a detail to be worried about, but it's one of the things that bothered me about the limited selection of commercially available bales. I still can't understand how you can't just buy decent looking bales. There are so many other little, obscure details you can just buy, but the common old straw bale didn't make seem to make the cut, so to speak. What are the scale cows and horses supposed to eat and sleep on?!

Anyway, one thing I have tried is cutting plain old braided rope into small lengths to represent loose, cut straw. It works pretty good and is REALLY cheap! I have also thrown some of the cut strands into a small jar, added a little green weathering powder and after shaking it around ended up with some pretty believable looking loose hay. Way more affordable than the Woodland Scenics field grass!

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I will let you know if I come up with anything else.

Rob

  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: Central Vermont
  • 3,415 posts
Posted by cowman on Friday, September 09, 2011 6:13 PM

Rob,

You're right, large round bales were not around in the 50's.

Have been thinking about this since I read your post.  I think that gluing field grass, untwisted rope or in my case, baler twine, flat on the sides of the bales.  Then using a similarly colored fine ground foam on the cut sides.  Haven't had a chance to check out colors yet to see what kind of color match I can get.

Since I haven't found an appropriate baler for the era, I think that I will put several rows of bales in the field,  I would have a tractor pulling a wagon with the start of a load on it, plus a couple of folks getting their exercise.  I sure liked that kind of exercise when I was 50 years younger.  Kept me tired and out of trouble.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Good luck,

Richard

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,205 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Friday, September 09, 2011 6:34 PM

Hi, Rob, and welcome.

I have used Woodland Scenics' (WS, to us modelers) field grass (in the yellow color, although the light green would work for the freshly-cut stuff) to make a haystack and loose hay in a feeding rack.

I made the haystack the same way as Sam suggested:  covering a Styrofoam shape with small pieces of the field grass.  I'm sure this would work for the bales as well.

I agree that the commercial models I've seen look cheap and plasticy.  That could probably be cured by a light wash of gray paint, but I still think you'd get better results with the foam (or wood) cube and field grass.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • 46 posts
Posted by AlpineModeler on Saturday, September 10, 2011 7:39 PM

One of my favorite resources for specialty scenery products is Miniature Planet. I've included a link to their best rectangular hay bales:

http://www.miniature-planet.com/30-hay-bales-straw-bales-ho-scale-model-trains-railroads-scenery.html

 

  • Member since
    May, 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
  • 3,205 posts
Posted by CTValleyRR on Saturday, September 10, 2011 9:44 PM

AlpineModeler

One of my favorite resources for specialty scenery products is Miniature Planet. I've included a link to their best rectangular hay bales:

http://www.miniature-planet.com/30-hay-bales-straw-bales-ho-scale-model-trains-railroads-scenery.html

 

Thanks for that source!  His stuff really looks good, and reasonably priced.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 25 posts
Posted by robsmith_nc on Sunday, February 26, 2012 12:26 AM

Ok, I haven't given up on this yet. I've tried a few approaches with varying degrees of disappointment, but may be getting close on this most recent attempt. A few links to pics are attached (assuming the links work). Aside from the shoddy lighting, staging and overall photo quality, any thoughts on the straw bale?

https://picasaweb.google.com/robsmithnc/ModelRailroad#5713307225756548210

https://picasaweb.google.com/robsmithnc/ModelRailroad#5713307226541555458

https://picasaweb.google.com/robsmithnc/ModelRailroad#5713319342818501298

 

 

  • Member since
    August, 2011
  • From: New Zealand
  • 1,829 posts
Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, February 26, 2012 2:39 AM

Gidday Rob,

Looks like the genuine article to me, am getting a sore back and blistered hands just thinking of stacking a few 1000 or so, though unless the bales had thistles in them, straw was lighter and easier to throw about than good hay. The only difference to this part of the world that the baling twine was natural green fibre. I guess that it wasn't till the early 80s that it changed to black or a dark red synthetic.  

Keep up the good work,

Cheers, The Bear.

 

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

  • Member since
    January, 2010
  • 25 posts
Posted by robsmith_nc on Sunday, February 26, 2012 11:24 AM

Thanks for the reply. I'll be sure to watch out for the thistles, since I'll end up doing all the baling and stacking myself. That guy in the pic, next to the bale, never seems to do anything but stand around and stare off into space.

I agree on the twine, my prototype is too dark (I'm modeling around 1950). I'm going to use a more natural jute colored thread when I start this year's harvest. I'm thinking the yellow might be a little too bright as well. I'll likely tone that down a wee bit.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook

Loading...