I have been looking for a way to duplicate sand in N scale that I was happy with.
I am try to recreate this 1957 T&P Texarkana yard scene for my Bonham yard
I ran across this tip while internet searching (I found others too) http://www.scale-modelers-handbook.com/N-Scale-ground-cover.html and want to give this a try.
Late yesterday and today I have been experimenting.
First a word of caution this technique creates a "fine powder" and play havoc with your sinus, so use a good filtered mask. I am finally getting better today after not using a mask yesterday.
- Coffee grinder (Black & Decker CBG100S Smartgrind Coffee Grinder, Stainless Steel)
- Tree leaves for your choice (cotton wood and catalpa what I had on hand)
- Kitchen wire strainers
- Reusable coffee strainer basket
- various size food / laundry container
I start with collecting leave from the yard (about 2/3 of a tall kitchen trashcan liner) and hand crushing them into a small laundry container. Yesterday a did a small batch of about 1/3 of the laundry container and today about 3/4 full.
Next was to place small batches (1/3 cup) of crush leaves into the coffee grinder, followed mfg instruction here as this was best result for me also.
I pulse the grinder 10 times and then a 10 second continuous grind. Mfg recommend usage was a max 30 second continuous grind.
I strained this thru 1st of 2 kitchen strainers 3-4" diameter strainer.
Initial results after complete today batch of leaves, many batches thru grinder and first strainer
I reprocess the course material on the right above, back thru the grinder and strainer
Next step, I strained the material thru a small 1.5-2" kitchen strainer into the reusable coffee filter/strainer.
After processing thru the reusable coffee filter/strainer. I was left with three grades of material results
Course grade (about 1 or 1-1/2 Tablespoon)
Medium grade (about 3-4 oz)
Fine grade (about 20 oz)
First pass thru grinder and strainer I believe would be good for HO Scale, but the additional filtering thru smaller strainers yielded a better product for N scale in my opinion.
I like to find a strainer between the small kitchen (about .030" openings) and the reusable coffee filter, this I believe would create a better distinction between the course and medium grades.
Time wise, I spend about just under 2 hrs today and 1 hour yesterday. Quantities above are all estimates, forgot to weight empty containers before processing.
Color is not where I would like it, but I think that will take some leaves of yellow and/or red.