Poly Fibre (aka teddy bear fluff) as a scenery material

 
  Railnthusiast Chief Commissioner

Location: At the computer
Hmmm, search doesn't seem to be working. Or perhaps I am not using it properly.

Hi All,

I just thought I would start a thread about Poly Fibre (aka teddy bear fluff) as a scenery material.

I have bought a massive bag of the stuff, and I have been experimenting with it for quite some time.  I just can't seem to get it to take colours, and look natural as foliage for trees.

What have others done, and how can I  make this bag of Poly Fibre 'work'?

I look forward to hearing your experiences, and thanks in advance for your advice.

R

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Ah do you mean the stuffing or the actual fur material. The Teddy bear fur material can be used as crop fields etc or if cut down for other things. However the filling you have might not be usable for this kind of think as most of these fillings used here are stain and moisture resistant remember these Teddy Bears are made for kids, very young kids and spilling their Ribena or something on the bear you do not want it to absorb it in the stuffing of the bear, so it is made that way. Also it helps when washing the bear is needed as the moisture is simply surface moisture and easily washed away and also dries quickly when it gets moist.

For tree foliage and the like you might want to try something else that will absorb moisture or paint more easily. I dont know what to suggest though!
  a6et Minister for Railways

You really need some proper poly fibre similar to the Heki Fleur stuff.  The Heki stuff is expensive but great to work with & if you have patience easy to expand to around twice the size at least, of course you then need to add more flock to it.

Depending on where you live, MRRC at Blacktown sell a product made by Bachmann, called Poly Fibre http://shop.bachmanntrains.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=469_475_477  its almost the same stuff that Heki uses but minus the flock/foam.  It comes in packs when opened you peel it in half making two large mats & then ply it out like the Heki product.

Micro Mark make a similar item in bags not sure if its available in Oz though. I have tried to use it & do not like it as it seems to shrink when spray glue or hair spray is used for the foam covering.

Having tried different types of poly fibre such as the teddy bear stuff I found it hopeless, & its very hard to work with, as it comes mostly in white, & very hard to colour, the cheapness of it is lost owing to the amount of work needed to try & get it to work.

In the end, I recommend the Bachmann product as it does expand to a large degree, its easy to work with & readily takes spray glue & hair spray as an adhesive without problems.  The Heki product is excellent but expensive & worth trying to ply it in order to try & expand it, don't be scared to try & go too far with either product.

Bachmann/JTT trees also make some nice foams, but also some terrible ones, ok for the U.S not so much for here.  MRRC does have a good display of them & other foams & ground cover flock material in the larger containers.
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
Yanks spell it "fiber", lots of info to be found if you google using their spelling (try "making poly fiber trees quickly model railroading" https://www.google.com.au/search?q=poly+fiber+trees&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=ZE3BUqTaCsfckgW5oIDwAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAA&biw=1366&bih=528&dpr=1#q=making+poly+fiber+trees+quickly+model+railroading&revid=206607746). The stuff does not like dyes to colour it, cheap spay paint (brown, grey, black) is a good way to achieve all over coverage. Spray adhesives then work well to attach ground foam or other leaf materials.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Yanks spell it "fiber", lots of info to be found if you google using their spelling (try "making poly fiber trees quickly model railroading" https://www.google.com.au/search?q=poly+fiber+trees&source=lnms&sa=X&ei=ZE3BUqTaCsfckgW5oIDwAQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAA&biw=1366&bih=528&dpr=1#q=making+poly+fiber+trees+quickly+model+railroading&revid=206607746). The stuff does not like dyes to colour it, cheap spay paint (brown, grey, black) is a good way to achieve all over coverage. Spray adhesives then work well to attach ground foam or other leaf materials.
Poath Junction
Many of the links on the search no longer seem to exist.  Looking at some layouts, especially the ones that have modelled the tree side scenes like found in some of the U.S mountains as seen here look exceptional, also some good tips included.
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=22650&whichpage=2  The thing is that looking at the treed hills both real & modelled are certainly something not really seen in many, if any areas in Oz, especially with the denseness of the canopy seen up close like on that forum link.

Sure there are some areas such as along mountain ranges, but few seem to have such a heavy treed blanketing, that could really be modelled in the sort of Puff ball method used here, a shame really as the U.S layouts do look nice. What I see of much of the dense treed areas here is of larger trees of varying heights, without much uniformity, & getting into the bush areas, the underbrush is also quite dense, & at least for me not easy to recreate.

Coming back to the various methods used on those links that are highlighted & a couple of others, it is certainly seems a messy job, & having tried the Micro Mark fibres in black, I have to say, that after using around 1/4 a bag, I gave the rest away, I used both hair spray & spray glues which both mediums seemed to just tighten the fibres & they seemed forever sticky, likewise I never really was able to cover the sprues, spray them & have the fibres retain their shape.

So much so, that I am now progressively removing that fibre & redoing using the Bachman product.  The other aspect that I did not like so much with the Micro Mark product was the black colour of it, meaning that when the fibres shrank by the aerosol affect, no matter how hard I tried to cover the black fibre it would not completely stick, even though the fibre remained tacky to touch, it also meant you can readily see the black fibre under the foam.

I do know others who swear by it though, while others prefer to swear at it.

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