Best size static grass and ballast for N gauge?

Started by Grassyfield, February 07, 2024, 07:39:02 AM

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What do you all recommend is the optimal size static grass length to fit n scale, also any idea about ballast? i want to buy the correct size the first time.

Thank you so much!


Regards ballast, the finest you can get. Some folks use sand!

I have WS ballast on my layout which I'm quite happy with.

As to static grass, as long as you want it to be, I guess!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.


Tiny. 1mm grass scales to 6" tall. You want very fine ballast. Some use sand or chinchilla dust. Others prefer a bit more scale so it looks like grains rather than just a solid lump.

Shropshire Lad


i actually quite like woodland scenics fine ballast.

I've looked at others but have stuck with it.

The grass I have is 1 to 4 mm but really 1 or 2 mm is right for most scenes in n gauge I think.

good luck



Agree with Colin Shropshire Lad in using ww.scenics. fine ballast is my go to

As for static grass have you seen any videos on youtube to gain ideas ?


I was looking at youtube but couldn't find for n gauge, they were ho i think. Thanks for the advice every one i am very grateful.   :claphappy:

EDIT - Thinking maybe 1mm and 2mm on top of that, or do it all the same length but thinking be better to have longer on top.


Another +1 for Woodland Scenics fine ballast.  I use light grey or buff as I prefer to have a light base colour and weather it down, but it really does depend on the look you want (study the real thing for the area you're modelling as the colour varies).  Stuff that's too fine looks like mud to me, I want to see some texture even if it is overscale.

By TriviaKing at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

I'm still on the learning curve for static grass.  I agree generally 1mm and 2mm length, though I do use 4mm in light straw colour to represent long dry grass.  Try and find brands of grass which aren't shiny fibres.

It doesn't have to be all static grass. Nothing wrong with using other types of scatter, eg. the fine grained foam granules like Woodland Scenics which I used on my layouts for decades (and still do).  When I refreshed my layout's scenery with static grass a year or so ago I deliberately left some parts in the old style, for example this horse field.

Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!


Quote from: ntpntpntp on February 07, 2024, 10:25:33 AMit really does depend on the look you want (study the real thing for the area you're modelling)

This applies to both ballast and grasses. There are no immaculate lawns around trackside so look at your countryside and see where ground cover is longer/shorter. In steam days tracksides used to be maintained more owing to fire risk but it seems not so much these days. As you are modelling UK outline, don't forget to throw copious amounts of litter down embankments etc ;)


Do you all generally go lighter grass then darker, or darker first then light over that?


@Grassyfield again it depends on the scenery you're trying to simulate.  If you look at the real thing, often the short grass is darker than the long stalks so I've been starting with short dark grass and adding longer lighter stuff second. However some effects work better with patches of dark on top of a light base but I think that approach works better in larger scales where you have more layers and depth to the grass.

Watch some youtube videos, eg. WW Scenics has some tutorials. and there are some great videos by military mdellers.
Nick.   2021 celebrating the 25th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!


Epic, thanks heaps, looking foward to laying some grass!!! Cheers every one.


I use mainly 1mm and 2mm static grass, always with 1mm for the basing layer. I have got some 4mm which I just use occasionally where I want a long grass effect. Mine is all WWScenics, as is the base glue and layering spray glue. That combination seems to work well every time.


The key to realism with grass (other than a manicured lawn or bowling green) is variation in length, texture and colour. When static grass first appeared on the market it was seen as the must use product and far too many used just 1 size (invariably too long) with the result N gauge layouts looked more like billiard tables...
Mix the static grass with different materials, mix at least 2 lengths, but most importantly look at the location you want to represent at the time of year you want to represent. The same location could be 4ft high (8mm) and bright shades in late spring but least than 6in (1mm) and mostly brown in the middle of winter.

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