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!

Woodland Static King static grass applicator

Read this review from Model Railroader magazine
Woodland Scenics Static King static grass applicator
The Static King components (clockwise from top left): Static King applicator, power supply (sold separately), divided grill, ground wire, hopper divider, thatch comb, screw driver, ground anchor, coarse grill

Woodland has expanded its Field System of scenery materials, adhesives, and tools with the Static King, an easy-to-use static grass applicator. The gadget has a clear plastic hopper with interchangeable screens and a removable divider for applying different colors and/or lengths of static grass simultaneously. It runs on a 9V battery, but a separate, optional plug-in power supply is also available (part no. FS641, $19.99).

Static grass is made of fine rayon fibers that come in a variety of colors from dead-grass tan to vibrant green. The applicator works by applying a static electrical charge to the fibers, which makes them repel each other. A cord leading from the applicator to an anchor planted in adhesive spread on the terrain gives the glue a similar charge. When the charged fibers are shaken onto the surface, the like charges cause the fibers to stand on end, like real grass. The effect can be quite realistic for modeling overgrown fields, weed patches, tufts of grass, and wetland cattails.

In addition to the Static King and an assortment of static grass, Woodland (formerly known as Woodland Scenics) also offers Static-Tac, an adhesive made for static grass (part no. FS644, $9.99 for 12 ounces); Tuft-Tac, a repositionable adhesive for making peel-and-glue grass tufts (FS643, $8.99 for 4 ounces); and Spray-Tac, a mist-on glue for adding floral ground foam, seed tops, or additional fibers to a completed static grass field (FS645, $7.99 for
8 ounces).

What you get. Inside the case is a flared plastic cylinder, about 8 inches tall and 3 inches or so in diameter. Two-thirds of it is black plastic, textured with ridges for better grip, with a power switch, two arched fiber-optic power indicator lights, and sockets for the grounding cable and an optional power supply. The hopper is clear plastic with a metal “crown” at the base (wonder if that’s why it’s called Static King?) and a black plastic grille capping the end.

The device comes with three interchangeable grilles: a fine grid for use with short grass fibers, a coarse one for longer fibers, and a third that’s divided half-and-half. This is meant for use with a plastic insert that divides the hopper in two, for applying two different lengths of static grass.

Also included are a 3.5-foot grounding wire with clip, a metal grounding anchor, a thatching comb, and a small screwdriver for changing the grille.

How to use it. The Static King is a sophisticated device for what seems like a simple task: sprinkling grass fibers onto model terrain. Any leftover parmesan cheese shaker can do that job, you might think. But the Static King really works. I brushed Woodland’s Static-Tak adhesive onto the prepared surface of a diorama, clipped the grounding cable to the anchor, placed the anchor’s feet into the adhesive, and turned on the power. As I shook the 4mm tan and 7mm green fibers from the divided hopper onto the terrain, I saw them stand up on end, just like grass in a meadow.

I’ve seen ads for plain plastic shakers that claim to impart a static charge just by shaking the bottle. For comparison’s sake, I decided to try applying some static grass without the power. Sure enough, it laid flat. I then turned the Static King back on and shook on more fibers, which stood up. The electric charge, not the shaker, is what doesthe job.

I used the provided four-footed grounding anchor for my first test. Since my terrain was uneven, only three of its feet contacted the glue, but that was sufficient. I also tested how the Static King performed when its grounding wire was clipped to an old-fashioned T-pin stuck into the glue. Despite the pin’s smaller area of electrical contact, it also worked.

When finished, the directions recommend wiping out the hopper with a dry, soft paintbrush. Don’t rinse it; you don’t want to get moisture into the electronics.

Give it a try. Modelers who wanted to try static grass used to have to have to choose between expensive applicators or homebrewed gadgets. For the price of a few HO scale freight cars, Woodland’s Static King puts more realistic ground cover within any ­modeler’s reach.
Facts & Features

Price: $99.99
Manufacturer
Woodland
P.O. Box 98
Linn Creek, MO 65052
woodlandscenics.com

Features

  • Battery-powered static grass applicator (plug-in power supply sold separately, part no. FS641, $19.99)
  • Fine, coarse, and divided screens
  • Grounding wire, 42" long
  • Metal grounding anchor
  • Plastic thatch comb
  • Power indicator light strips
  • Removable hopper divider
  • Small screwdriver
  • Works with 2mm-12mm staticgrass fibers

Join the discussion

Read and share your comments on this article
Comment on this article
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of ModelRailroader.com are allowed to comment on this article. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0 comments
FREE DOWNLOAD

FREE DOWNLOAD

Two great beginner layouts.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Model Railroader magazine. Please view our privacy policy