8/06/2012

Free* GM Resource: "Dirt" Flocking

Free GM Resource: "Dirt" Flocking
*Too be completely honest, technically this Frugal GM Resource isn't free, but since it makes use of something you'd otherwise throw away, it is effectively a free resource.

Gamers can try to read just about anything out of even the clearest of statements, so this disclosure was necessary....now back to the post!

When basing miniatures, or even terrain pieces, a little bit of flocking can really go a long way in making the finished product look much more realistic.  Most of the commercially available flocking is not only expensive, but just a little too uniform for my tastes.

Have you ever taken a good look at dirt?  Seriously......dirt is seldom uniform.  The dirt in my front yard has a lot more sand than the dirt in my back yard, and most dirt has bits of leaves, twigs, bark and all manner of "other" organic material.

Here is a picture of my dirt flocking straight out of the container I keep it in.  When compared to a google image search of soil the results were pretty good.

This flocking was free and I didn't even have to get my hands (very) dirty to get it.  There is an easy four part step to obtaining this great flocking material:
Step one is to get some ordinary, used, tea bags.  Here I have two "Family Sized" tea bags from a major brand.  I drink a fair amount of iced tea.

Step two is to cut the ends off of the bags.  You could probably tear it off with your hands or just go the easy route like I do.  This is highly technical work here, so a precision tool like a scissors may be required.

Step three is to extract the used tea leaves from the bag.  These tea bags are actually a pouch that has been folded in half.  If you let the bags dry out and then clean them off, they could be used in place of fabric for other models.  I could see them working well as material for sails.

Step four is just spreading them out onto something to dry.  It might take a couple of days but it can pretty much be forgotten about.



You get a pretty consistent....inconsistent "dirt" flock that can be used as-is or combined with some other flocking for variety.  I could see mixing some used coffee grounds for a darker, rockier texture. Some sand could lighten it up and make it appear.....well, sandier.  I haven't tried any green teas yet, but I'm hoping they might work well as fresher leaf litter on top of this flock.