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How to model freshly turned sod in HO scale

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mam
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How to model freshly turned sod in HO scale
Posted by mam on Thursday, September 2, 2021 9:21 PM

Dear Folk,

Haven't found this anywhere. I want to create freshly turned (plowed) sod for my HO Woodland Scenics Farmer, horse, and plow. How can I make that?

Thanks,

Mike

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Posted by PennCentral99 on Friday, September 3, 2021 9:22 AM

Well, a couple of things come to mind. You can use Vallejo Diorama Effects or you could find some latex or acrylic paint that matches the color of a freshly plowed field, then add some texture (fine sand, grout, etc) and apply to your mounds of dirt. Depending on how "fresh" you're looking for, once the paint dries, you could try applying some gloss (pledge floor finish) or semi-gloss material.

For the mounds, you could apply a bead of caulk (they even come in brown), and shape to your liking before drying.

Terry

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Posted by snjroy on Friday, September 3, 2021 9:41 AM

I am curious to hear from someone who actually did this. I have not.

If this was my layout, I would use real dirt or sand, and glue it in place using a similar method used for ballasting track (using an eyedropper, apply alcool, then apply scenic cement). The glue will give it a dark color. The tricky part is getting the right shape of the soil for the look you want - freshly plowed. I would try using styrofoam, punch in some lines, and cover it with dirt. 

Simon

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Posted by BATMAN on Friday, September 3, 2021 10:18 AM

Do you still have your corduroy pants from elementary school in the 1960s, then again maybe you are not that old.Laugh

You can get some corduroy at the fabric shop, it comes with the bumps and valleys in different widths. The finer the better for our purposes. You can take your plow to the fabric store and buy a corduroy where the grooves match the blades of your plow.

Glue it down and start experimenting with the cheap Walmarts acrylics, greens, browns, blacks..... The best one I ever did I covered the fabric with either tile thin-set or grout shook the excess off and hit it with black and brown spray balms. I then started dabbing the greenery on ( the paints) in the end it looked really good. Placing the little John Deere with the plow on it finished the scene.

Brent

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Posted by Lakeshore Sub on Friday, September 3, 2021 10:59 AM

Along the same lines as Brent, I've used thin carpet squares that were shaded a blue/green and then painted brown with various shades of black/brown over the top, leaving some the green show through to look like grass.   I'll post some pictures later.

Scott Sonntag

 

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Posted by NVSRR on Friday, September 3, 2021 11:00 AM

The one method the create plowed rows is using the inside of cardboard.  That correlated piece works well to shape the field.   Some sanded grout or dirt  to cover it.

my thoughts for a different plowed field,  get colored  sanded grout and spread it in a layer over the field.  Once it gets stiff, take a soft bristle brush and lightly drag over the area.  That should rough it enough but not tear it up and leave plow marks from the bristles.

 

shane

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Posted by 7j43k on Friday, September 3, 2021 11:07 AM

mam

Dear Folk,

Haven't found this anywhere. I want to create freshly turned (plowed) sod for my HO Woodland Scenics Farmer, horse, and plow. How can I make that?

Thanks,

Mike

 

 

You can BUY it:

Walthers part numbers 483-701 and 189-7192.  Both versions will need to be painted.  I have no idea how good they look after installation.

 

I have not made a plowed field, but I've done something close in doing run-off texturing in dirt hillsides.  Based on that, I would EXPERIMENT with using a slow setting sheetrock mud (mixing your own from dry seems to work better), spreading it out in a layer, waiting until it's dried "just right", and then dragging a multi-blade "plow" through it.  You want to catch it midway between runny and set.  More towards "set", I think.

If I wanted such a field, I would do the job off-site until I got just what I wanted, then install it in place.

 

Ed

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Posted by York1 on Friday, September 3, 2021 11:53 AM

mam
Dear Folk, Haven't found this anywhere. I want to create freshly turned (plowed) sod for my HO Woodland Scenics Farmer, horse, and plow. How can I make that? Thanks, Mike

 

Mike, while it looks like you've been a member of the forum for a while, it says this is your second post.

If that's true, welcome!  I hope you can post a picture or two, and tell us more about the layout.

I imagine quite a few of us would like to see your results if your field turns out looking good.

York1 John       

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, September 3, 2021 12:16 PM

I've never made a plowed field, but has anyone tried either fresh coffee or coffee grounds?  I would thing the color and texture would be a good starting point.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, September 3, 2021 12:54 PM

Hello All,

MisterBeasley
I've never made a plowed field, but has anyone tried either fresh coffee or coffee grounds? I would thing (SIC) the color and texture would be a good starting point.

I recall seeing a thread or article about making ground foam from used coffee grounds.

The author baked the used coffee grounds at a low temp 150ºƒ, if I recall correctly, to dry them out. They did this to avoid mold growth during storage.

Then they added the used, dried, coffee grounds to the latex paint color of their choice to add texture to the paint.

I could see how this technique could be adapted to model furrows, minus the latex paint.

NVSRR
The one method the (to) create plowed rows is using the inside of cardboard. That correlated (corrugated) piece works well to shape the field.

Using corrugated cardboard as a base or form could produce the results you are seeking.

Another advantage of using the cardboard as a base will allow you to experiment in small sections until you get the look you want.

I would also paint full-strength glue on the carboard to avoid making it soggy through traditional ballasting techniques using "wet water".

Hope this helps.

 

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Posted by NorthBrit on Friday, September 3, 2021 1:06 PM

In a piece of cardboard is a ribbed piece sandwiched between two thin pieces of card.   Gently peel the thin card away leaving the ribbed card.   There is your ploughed field.    Cheap and effective.

 

David

 

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, September 3, 2021 1:36 PM

Hello All,

Lakeshore Sub
Along the same lines as Brent, I've used thin carpet squares that were shaded a blue/green and then painted brown with various shades of black/brown over the top, leaving some (of) the green show(ing) through to look like grass.

Not to disparage your modeling technique, but...

This past April "She Who Must Be Obeyed" and I visited the Chicago Museum Of Science And Industry.

While viewing the HO model train display; depicting the modern BNSF line between Chicago and Seattle, 

jjdamnit
The modelers of the display use squares of textured carpet painted to represent various crops in the plains states.
When "She Who Must Be Obeyed" saw the squares of carpet she commented, "Look, they haven't finished their scenery either..."

I had to explain to her modelers' license.

Her comment was simply, "Well, it still looks like carpet samples."

I hope your technique is more detailed than what we saw on the CMOSAI display.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by BATMAN on Friday, September 3, 2021 1:45 PM

Brent

It's not the age honey, it's the mileage.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, September 3, 2021 1:56 PM

Hello All,

Those are far more detailed than what we saw on the museum display!

Great work Bow Bow Bow!!!

I don't think "She Who Must Be Obeyed" would have had the same comment had their fields look like yours.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by York1 on Friday, September 3, 2021 2:36 PM

From the "For What It's Worth" dept:

Living in the middle of corn country, almost all corn fields are planted with 30 inch wide rows.  I'm not sure how wide cardboard corrugations are, and what they would translate to in HO.

There is a move to narrow the rows, but it's still unusual for anything except 30 inches.

York1 John       

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, September 3, 2021 2:48 PM

A first time broken field will look quite different to a re-ploughed field. They called it sod busting for a reason. If your plan is to display the field being plied from turf for the first time, say with the plough and ploughman in mid operation, some unbroken ground and some already turned over then you want solid looking ridges with curved tops and maybe a little grass peaking out here and there. The colour will be darker the fresher the furrow is, I.e. Closer to the plough the tops of the furrows will look quite dark. 

After sod busting a field for the first time the farmer may replough or just harrow because the first turningover isn't really going to produce much. So fields regularly ploughed will have a crushed or broken look all along the ridges of the furrows, quite different to freshly turned sod. 

Also, where you are would affect the look. In deep soils the ridges will be quite high whereas in dry country often the field will more likely be shallow ploughed to avoid reaching the subsoil.  

A quick google freshly ploughed sod:

https://smallfarmersjournal.com/the-science-and-art-of-plowing/

Who knew?

Alyth Yard

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, September 3, 2021 3:08 PM

I accually did a feild on my last layout. Thried many things but what worked best for me was to do my standard zip texturing and then took my scale discker by SS Ltd and plowed the fields while they were still wet, even the turn around details. Added some extra details where needed and when dry added any extra color needed. Worked out great and looked nothing like carpet squares. I mean you need the turarounds etc. to make it look relistic.

mam
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Posted by mam on Friday, September 3, 2021 7:03 PM

Dear Folk,

Thanks for the ideas. I think I was not clear enough on what I'm wanting to model.

I'm trying to portray a grassy or field of dried corn stalks, that is just being turned (plowed) by a man, horse, and plow. I do not want neat clean rows of dirt. I need to portray sod with grass or stalks that have just been turned over. The dirt behind the plow will be a row of rough "coils"? of sod grass or stalks on one side, and solid smooth earth on the other. Seems some sort of sculpey, caulk, etc., tooled to look like it was turned by the plow might work, but I'm ignorant of how I can actually do this. Is that clearer?

Thanks,

Mike

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, September 3, 2021 11:59 PM

mam
Haven't found this anywhere. I want to create freshly turned (plowed) sod for my HO Woodland Scenics Farmer, horse, and plow. How can I make that?

Mike,

If you want to go the easy route, and the area where you will model the field is failrly flat, Busch #7182 is a row-plowed field. The product is actually just exposed corrugated cardboard with brown sprinkles glued to it, but it looks pretty good when installed.

This is the actual, unmodified product in a photograph. For how easy and inexpensive it is, this might make your Woodland Scenics farmer, horse, and plow feel right at home.

JR Miniatures makes a flexible plowed field. This field is a bit more colorful, and has some plant bits on it.

I think it looks a little better, but it is much smaller than the Busch field.

This the JR Miniatures plowed field in a photograph.

Just food for thought... if you want to model a wheat field "quick and easy", nothing beats a TRAMPA from Ikea.

This is what a Trampa looks like on a layout:

I hope this helps.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, September 4, 2021 6:34 AM

I used Woodland Scenics Fine Earth to make my plowed farm field. Sprinkled it into place, applied a white glue mix and ran a kitchen fork through it before it dried.

You could also use WS Earth Blend, either Fine or Medium texture. Toss in some WS Ground Cover if you want some green in the plowed field.

Rich

DSC01986.jpg

Plowed-Field.jpg

Alton Junction

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Posted by Steven Otte on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 9:20 AM

Try thin (sock-weight) yarn or thick (button) thread of the color of dirt. Spray it with spray adhesive and sprinkle on a small amount of green ground foam for the grass and tan static grass fibers for longer stalks. Not too much; let the brown show through. Then cut the string to length and glue it down in rows on your brown earth.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 12:08 PM

Steven Otte
Try thin (sock-weight) yarn

Good to hear from you again Steven, and with a great suggestion as well.

Hope to see you around more.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 12:30 PM

mam

Dear Folk,

Thanks for the ideas. I think I was not clear enough on what I'm wanting to model.

I'm trying to portray a grassy or field of dried corn stalks, that is just being turned (plowed) by a man, horse, and plow. I do not want neat clean rows of dirt. I need to portray sod with grass or stalks that have just been turned over. The dirt behind the plow will be a row of rough "coils"? of sod grass or stalks on one side, and solid smooth earth on the other.

Thanks,

Mike

 

This grassy or dried corn stalks in a field, would they have been left with the dried ears on them or picked by hand? Would you be plowing them under in late fall of current year or maybe the next spring? Would a horse team and plow turn over tall rows of dry stalks? I never watched that closely. I have seen corn stalks bundled together, shocks, in the fields. This is a interesting subject to follow.  

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 1:24 PM

I'm no farmer, but my understanding is that corn fields are plowed in the spring, after the corn stalks are first cut down after being left in the field over the winter.

Here is a video which gives a good look at a freshly plowed field.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMxsWBiZzP0

Rich

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Posted by York1 on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 1:40 PM

richhotrain
I'm no farmer, but my understanding is that corn fields are plowed in the spring, after the corn stalks are first cut down after being left in the field over the winter.

Only some do spring tillage.  Many till in the fall.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either, and farmers have varying opinions on which is better.

York1 John       

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Posted by Deane Johnson on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 4:49 PM

You're pretty much correct Rich.  Occassionaly someone does fall plowing which allows the winter moisture break up the soil a little bit.

I'm posting this from memory after leaving the farm following H.S. graduation in 1953.  I believe farmers today might have far different techniques than I remember.

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Posted by jjdamnit on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 5:49 PM

Hello All,

Many responders, including myself, have focused on motorized methods of plowing. 

I just re-read your post.

mam
Farmer, horse, and plow.

What era are you modeling?

rrebell
...then took my scale discker by SS Ltd and plowed the fields while they were still wet, even the turn around details.

Great point on the turnaround details, no matter what era you model.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

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Posted by basementdweller on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 6:54 PM
I had left over dark colored grout, almost a coffee color. I spread the dark grout and then cut some styrene with pinking shears and used that to make furrows. Once I was happy with the field layout (point rows and a headland) I then misted with alcohol and dripped on white glue mix. Don’t over do it or it will washout the furrows.
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, September 9, 2021 11:01 PM

jjdamnit
Great point on the turnaround details, no matter what era you model.

Question on the plow turnaround details.

I can see that in the horse and plow era, no doubt. I can also understand it in odd shaped plots of farmland.

The only farm fields I see getting plowed and prepared are the sugar cane fields in the Florida Okeechobee water basin. These fields are hundreds of acres each, perfectly rectangular, flat (laser pan leveled), and surrounded by access roads on all four sides.

When these fields are plowed, the equipment is turned on the road, then sent straight back across the field. There are no turn around patterns in the soil. All sugar cane is planted in perfectly spaced, perfectly aligned, and perfectly straight rows.

All this preparation makes mechanical harvesting very quick and efficient.

From what I have seen of corn and wheat, the fields seem to be prepared in a similar manner, but I have never witnessed it closely. Judging by how corn and wheat are harvested, I would think that the equipment is also turned off of the field.

What types of fields (modern) should have plow turn-around lines?

-Kevin

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Friday, September 10, 2021 7:57 AM

Grain fields are ploughed using satnav based automated equipment. Self driving tractors if you like. It isn't really self driving because the operator has to teach the equipment the best route. Done once the machine remembers....just like experienced plough horses....

This equipment works best going around the field so from above you may see a modified spiral following the outline of the piece of land, most usually a square but larger operations arent bound by squares and any ground not suitable for cultivation is ploughed around automatically. A quick look at google earth sat view shows a wide variety of ploughing patterns (technically, cultivation patterns since not much ploughing is done around here). 

Nobody uses roads to turn equipment for any one of a number of reasons from there being no roads (only road allowances around each section) to there being no room to turn and the need for edge of field weed control.

Take note that modern cultivation and seeding equipment makes ploughing unnecessary and even undesirable in many locations. Dry land farming leaves last year's stubble in place and seed is sometimes just drilled right in next spring. Discing and harrowing are often all the cultivation required even if dry land techniques are not used. Result will be much reduced furrowing appearance, harrowing in particular pretty much leaves a flat looking surface.

The OP wants to display a field being broken from sod though, by horse and plough.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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