Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The grass REALLY IS greener

As we struggle out of the EU, perhaps a word to those keen to leave. It seems that the grass really is greener in Europe. At least it is if this stuff from Germany is in any way accurate. I found it in a pile of bits and have since thrown it in the bin.

Why is it that the continentals seem to favour shades of green best described as "nuclear"? 

Do they think that layouts should be visible from space?  


James Finister said...

I spend a lot of my time looking at grass and it has struck me over the years that, as with other things, it becomes the norm to model how other people do rather than by reference to what it out there. Grass is a case in point. We are used to grass on models being either dark or washed out and it looks odd when it isn't. About as dark in fact as the back lawn is at the moment on this rainy morning. The front lawn, less shaded, less weedy and shorter cut actually looks several shades brighter. Still not continental green though, but look at a Swiss mountain meadow in the Summer sun and you begin to see this sort of green.

cklammer said...

You can see this intensive colour on lawn or shortly cut meadows in the early morning or later afternoon on a sunny and clear day in late spring or summer. It the light is more hazy then you can observe it even at noon.

My location is the North-Western German low plain.

And most layouts are modelled for Summer.

Chris Thomas said...

It seems a bit unfair to look at one sample of a product and then infer from it that a whole nation is colourblind. It wouldn't be difficult for a German to pick out some British scenic product from ten years ago and deride it. Some of the most interesting scenic products come from the continent, for example the Sihouette and Mininatur ranges. They seem to be far in advance of us as far as foliage materials are concerned, too, although the Polak range you mentioned recently looks as though we will at last have access to something better than ground foam.

Chris Thomas

Phil Parker said...

I know what you are saying, but the photo doesn't do this stuff justice. Turn your monitor brightness up until it can be seen from space and THEN you get the effect. Should your eyesight return to normal in under an hour, it wasn't bright enough.

Seriously though, colours do vary based on geography. I like to add about 50% beige to anything I build as muted colours work better to my eye. That and I live in Royal Leamington Spa, where beige is the colour of choice for pretty much everything!

Phil Parker said...

Chris - I am making the point for humourous effect. However, in certain countries there is a lot of out of the box modelling and there you see shiny plastic buildings and very bright grass.

I'd disagree that we don't have quality materials though. The Greenscene and Woodland Scenics ranges have been excellent for decades and as new materials have appeared, the former has rapidly included them in the range. It's a long while since our only option was ground up foam that faded in a week.

James Finister said...

The point about the screen image, and adding beige in to mixes is an interesting one. The concept of scale colour says that the brightness fades with the distance from which you are viewing something, so adding a little neutral shade into a colour mix is a good idea. I supect a lot of what we think of as weathering is actually just achieving the same end. Which is why a model of a truly pristine loco model can look odd. Particularly when the modeller has taken pains to get the paint to match the full size workshop specification. The other thing we know, and some good optical illusions prove it, is that the same colour can appear very different depending on the context of the colours around it

Christopher said...

Ground foam? In the mid-1970s in the UK, the green sprinkly stuff was predominantly dyed sawdust. ;-) Which also faded rather badly.

Speaking of ground foam, I was told that one supplier (not mentioned above) would source his foam from the seats of scrapped cars. I do know whether this is true, but I have had some examples change colour in use and become very brittle. (I no longer buy from that range.) I now test any new scenic material with prolonged exposure to daylight (and dust!) to avoid disappointment.

Grass green is often bluer than expected, especially on a British cloudy day. So the lighting makes a big difference, and also the time of year as others have noted.

Paul B. said...

I took my wife to a show a few years ago and one of her comments was something along the lines of 'why is the lawn in front of that house the same colour and texture as the surrounding fields'.
It seems the layout builder had one bag of grassy stuff and used it everywhere regardless, without reasoning that garden lawns and arable fields are quite different.
Observation of the real world is crucial if you want to build a convincing model.

Motorised Dandruff said...

Driving out to work this morning (rural New Zealand) I noticed a padock that had been recently grazed by cows that was not far off this colour.