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Lichen and it's place in scenery

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  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 29 posts
Lichen and it's place in scenery
Posted by Ghost River Valley on Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:43 AM

Is anybody still using lichen to model scrubs, bushes and greenery?  Has it fallen out of favour what with modern products such as ground foam?

I  have a supply of it,  could I use it in the background? Any ideas on how to enhance its look? Can it be use in conjunction with ground form?

cheers,

Fred

  • Member since
    January 2010
  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:21 AM

Ghost River Valley,

I have used It back in the day,,,mainly because,that is all that was available,,but one very good reason,it has fallen out of favor,is the simple fact,that it dried out over time and became brittle and crumble,when touched,,even with a sealer on it,,,Foam is a much better choice..

Cheers,  Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: West Australia
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Posted by John Busby on Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:26 AM

Hi Ghost River Valley

Expect the number of different answers to be the same as the number of respondents.

Scenery is one of those areas where there are a multitude of correct answers and a heck of a lot of nearly correct answers.

The only reason I have not used any Lichen on my current layout.

Is because I don't have any at the moment.

You can use it any where on the layout front back anywhere.

Just don't get a really bright green one. 

It can be used with the ground foam or scatter or on its own I find it particularly useful for hedge row's

 low wild bushes and hiding joins in farm fences where a bench work joint is.

A lot of our realism particularly relies on a wide variety of textures and natural colours.

It all literally comes down to one thing what Techniques, tricks and material works best for me.

Regardless any considerations of is it old fashioned if its safe and it works then its right for me.

regards John

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Posted by stebbycentral on Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:37 AM

zstripe

Ghost River Valley,

I have used It back in the day,,,mainly because,that is all that was available,,but one very good reason,it has fallen out of favor,is the simple fact,that it dried out over time and became brittle and crumble,when touched,,even with a sealer on it,,,Foam is a much better choice..

Cheers,  Smile

Frank

Me, I'm also from back in the day when lichen was all there was.  And yes, it does dry out.  But unsealed it can be revived with a dropper or two of glycerin as the contemporary articles in MR and other publications advised.  On my first layout I couldn't find any pure glycerin and wound up having to treat the lichen with a glycerin/rosewater mix.   Sure made the scenery smell nice!

I have figured out what is wrong with my brain!  On the left side nothing works right, and on the right side there is nothing left!

  • Member since
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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, September 19, 2013 6:53 AM

stebbycentral,

Don't get me wrong,,,I'm well aware of some of the fixes for it,,God knows,I have used them,,but given the choices,we have now,I'll opt. for something else..Just like cheapo,hairspray,for trees,,,hopefully,unscented..Laugh

Cheers, Smile

Frank

  • Member since
    October 2001
  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:04 AM

Lichen..A old school item that still has limited uses.Nothing wrong with using it.

I use Woodland Scenic products and Lichen isn't on my list even though they(WS) still  list it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Frank:Just like cheapo,hairspray,for trees,,,hopefully,unscented

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Frank,Maybe if the spray was apple or peach scented it could be used on apple or peach trees..Surprise

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

  • Member since
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, September 19, 2013 7:45 AM

Laugh Laugh,,,I can see it now,,,a woman walking around,in the 60's,with a ''Bee-Hive'' hair due,with,apple or peach scented hair spray,,you could not get near her,for the fly's...

Cheers,Clown

Frank

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  • From: US
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Posted by steamage on Thursday, September 19, 2013 9:19 AM

I use natural lichen that is tan or brown in color purchased from a craft store where I get more material for my dollar. I model California tumble weeds and dry brush along the right of way.  The Southern Pacific use to run weed sprayer trains so the dead looking color to the brush looks good.

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Posted by jerryl on Thursday, September 19, 2013 9:38 AM

Really went the way of dyed sawdust & grass mats as the go to products, but if it works for you then use it.  It would look great on a retro layout around the tree.  Foam also deteriorates & fades...sort of like all of us!

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Posted by B&O1952 on Thursday, September 19, 2013 11:31 AM

Lichen still has its use on our layout along with ground foam:

I was hoping to see a photo of a layout that doesn't use lichen or ground foam, that must be pretty nice!

-Stan

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  • From: Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Posted by oregon shay on Thursday, September 19, 2013 2:03 PM

Fred,

You can color me old school as well.  I like the texture and body of lichen, and although sometimes the colors are a bit bold, they do mellow with age.  I use ground foam, dyed ground sawdust, and ground dried leaves, too.  No one product can duplicate all texture effects.  It's your railroad - you should use what looks best to you.

Wilton.

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  • From: Chi-Town
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Posted by zstripe on Thursday, September 19, 2013 2:24 PM

As A side note: tumble weeds are dirty,dusty and will crumble,when moved around and they are excellent fire starters..

Cheers,

Frank

  • Member since
    October 2001
  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Thursday, September 19, 2013 4:16 PM

zstripe

Laugh Laugh,,,I can see it now,,,a woman walking around,in the 60's,with a ''Bee-Hive'' hair due,with,apple or peach scented hair spray,,you could not get near her,for the fly's...

Cheers,Clown

Frank

 
Frank,The shampoo for women folk comes in apple,strawberry,orange,peach and other fruit smelling scents.
 
I would not be surprise if hair spray came with the same scents.Surprise
 
 
 

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

  • Member since
    November 2007
  • From: Utah
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Posted by shayfan84325 on Thursday, September 19, 2013 10:48 PM

I still use it, but differently than years ago.  I use scissors to cut it into small pieces, no more than a about 1/8" long, then I crumble it and scatter it on the "ground" on my layout in combination with ground foam.  It adds texture that I think resembles broken branches, bark fragments, and other bits of natural debris.  I glue it down with scenic cement.  I think it keeps layout turf from acquiring the "golf course" look.  Here's a picture:

Phil,
I'm not a rocket scientist; they are my students.

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  • From: Redmond, Wa.
  • 171 posts
Posted by glutrain on Friday, September 20, 2013 12:24 AM

I use the commercial lichens to add a softer appearance to the natural mosses and lichens that I air  dry and intermingle to create underbrush. Add bits of ground foam and cushed tea leaves and now the uderbrush is sprouting out of natural appearing forest duff. Try stripping a piece of lichen down to a single strand, twist it and glue in place to resemble vines. The key is to just keep layering in different ways, because every type of landscaping exists in an almost infinite amount of variety. Real world scenery has very few spots that are either bare or identical to each other.

Don H.

 

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Posted by John Busby on Friday, September 20, 2013 3:25 AM

jerryl

Really went the way of dyed sawdust & grass mats as the go to products, but if it works for you then use it.  It would look great on a retro layout around the tree.  Foam also deteriorates & fades...sort of like all of us!

 

I still use grass mat for domestic lawn in residential area can't find anything that does the job better but gave away dyed saw dust.

But if I had a valid use for it I would use it.

No such thing as a retro layout only the layoutWinkBig Smile

Even then they are all the same but different.

regards John

  • Member since
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  • From: New England
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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, September 20, 2013 5:00 AM

Lichen can be made to look much better by adhering ground foam to it. The lichen (sprayed gray or brown) resembles the intricate branch structure of bushes, and the foam replicates the leaves.

Modeling the Baltimore waterfront in HO scale

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Posted by ssgauge on Friday, September 20, 2013 6:44 PM

I have lichen on my layout that is "recycled" from at least three previous layouts.  Depending on what sort of vegetation I'm trying to depict, I coat it with ground foam fixed with a water/white glue solution.  It has held up quite well.  Of course, time will tell;  I'm retired and my wife and I are in our "final" home so my current layout will likely be my last and, if it's the Lord's will, I will be in good enough health to operate it for at least another 20 years.  That should be a good test of the lichen's durability!

  • Member since
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  • From: Anaheim, CA Bayfield, CO
  • 1,829 posts
Posted by Southwest Chief on Saturday, September 21, 2013 2:28 AM

I use lichen for desert bushes on the HO layout. 

Although the lichen I use comes from our place in Colorado.  I pluck it off the pine trees.  Very realistic color...but I guess it would be since it is real lichen Stick out tongue

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
Click Here for my model train photo website

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