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 Pot Topper: How I use it in scenery construction
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MikeC
Administrator

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Posted - 06/22/2009 :  4:01:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, guys.

Chuck, if you do try it, post some photos and comments of how it worked for you. I think the more input we get on this stuff, the more we will be able to refine our uses of it. It's got a lot of scenery potential, and it's a whole lot cheaper than Silflor, but I think it still needs some 'work.'




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Dutchman
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Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:48:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I finally decided to give the old pot toppers a try. I've picked up quite a few just in case Michaels decides to drop them down the road.

Having read Mike's experiences in this thread, and remembering this quote:

quote:
So for me (and speaking only for myself!), I think the Pot Toppers, with a little work, can be a very useful scenery item. But it's something that I think needs to be used with other scenery items or possibly blended into the scenic base with Sculptamold or Celluclay.


I thought it might work well in conjunction with one of my favorite scenery items - ground goop.

I began by splitting the topper in half, separating the grass from the 'dirt', as Mike explained. I then 'teased' as much of the polyester filling as I could. Once that was done, I tore off pieces and glued them to my scenery base with white glue.



You can see the 'thickness problem' that Mike mentioned. Also, there is a tendency for the brown 'dirt' to show at the edges.

Next, I began to spread my goop around the patches of pot topper grass. This brings the ground level up to that of the topper and solves the thickness problem. It also hides the brown edges.



That plastic thing you see behind the grass clump is the base of an evergreen tree. Another nice thing about goop is the ability to cover up those bases.



Here the goop has been spread all around the island of pot topper grass.



Next I spread some very diluted white glue over the top of the goop with a 1/2" stiff brush. This (1) smooths the goop where I want it smoothed (the edges), and (2) give a good wet base to accept the next layers of ground cover.



Here I've added additional layers of WS foam over the goop. Some has also landed on top of the pot topper grass, but that will vacuum off once the glue dries.



Here's a picture with the tree inserted into its base.





These last two shots show the area adjacent to the one above. I had completed that earlier today.

So, I agree with Mike that the pot toppers have some real potential, even in HO scale. I also agree that they work best when combined with other scenery products. Finally, I think that ground goop does a great job of solving the thickness issue.


Bruce

Edited by - Dutchman on 11/19/2009 11:01:36 PM

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Dutchman
Administrator

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Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:56:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Mike's posts he mentions using Silflor tufts. If you look in that last picture I posted, you will see two lighter colored (yellow tinged) tufts by the evergreen tree on the left.

Here is another picture showing those tufts.



These are made by Noch. I've used the Silflor tufts in the past, and just tired the Noch tufts today. I like them. They are a bit easier to pick up and install. They have a small circular base to them that makes it easy to add glue and put in place.



They are packaged a bit different, too. Each tuft comes in its own little compartment. I bought these from Walthers when they were having a sale on them. I think that they come in different colors. This is the spring variety. There are 105 tufts in the package, half are very yellow, as in the picture below, and half greener as in the pictures above.



Just another scenery option.


Bruce

Edited by - Dutchman on 11/19/2009 10:57:44 PM

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Rick
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 11/20/2009 :  08:36:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce, that's some very good looking scenery. Thanks for showing how you got the look.

I guess this is the HOn3 diorama?



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Dutchman
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Posted - 11/20/2009 :  08:39:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Rick


I guess this is the HOn3 diorama?



Yes, Rick, it is. Hopefully it will be done over the next few days so I can begin taking some pics of HOn3 rolling stock and rolling stock projects.


Bruce

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deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/20/2009 :  09:36:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Bruce, that's an excellent photo tutorial...

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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MikeC
Administrator

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Posted - 11/20/2009 :  10:19:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Excellent scenery, Bruce! Very nicely done, and your photos reinforce how useful the Pot Toppers can be and how easy it is to blend them in with other scenic materials. Thanks for adding to the topic.




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Frederic Testard
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 11/20/2009 :  5:58:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great new hints and inspiration, Bruce. Your method to conceal the tree base and yet have it available when planting the tree is very interesting and can certainly be adapted to a variety of situations. Thank you for sharing.



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akimmons
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/22/2009 :  09:43:10 AM  Show Profile  Send akimmons an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the tutorial, Bruce. I have used Pot-toppers too and agree that they are a good (and inexpensive) material, especially when used with others.



Arnold Kimmons
General Manager
Royal and Edisto Railroad

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=49360

Edited by - akimmons on 11/22/2009 09:44:12 AM

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jschumaker
Fireman



Posted - 03/29/2011 :  3:47:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anyone found pot toppers online? I've struck out at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

Jeff S.



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desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 03/29/2011 :  4:37:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jschumaker

Has anyone found pot toppers online? I've struck out at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

Jeff S.


Most modelers that have asked at Michaels for this item, have been told they never heard of it. And they found it in the store after looking on their own. So do take the word of an employee. One online source is http://www.craftersgallery.com Go to website and type in "Pot Topper" in search box. I've never been out of luck with Michaels finding it.



Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 5000 posts added to below count.

Edited by - desertdrover on 03/29/2011 4:39:47 PM

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jschumaker
Fireman



Posted - 03/29/2011 :  7:37:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Most modelers that have asked at Michaels for this item, have been told they never heard of it. And they found it in the store after looking on their own. So do take the word of an employee. One online source is http://www.craftersgallery.com Go to website and type in "Pot Topper" in search box. I've never been out of luck with Michaels finding it.


Thanks, Louis, for the address. I'll keep looking in Michaels, but I'm not too confident.

Jeff S.



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jschumaker
Fireman



Posted - 03/30/2011 :  11:01:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Louis,

I checked the website. It looks like the toppers are made from real moss. Have you ordered from this site?

Jeff S.



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dnhman
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/30/2011 :  11:10:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have found the pot toppers at Micheals on the SIDE of the asile near the flowers. Not in the asile.


Cheers!, Joe

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Dutchman
Administrator

Premium Member


Posted - 01/29/2020 :  5:15:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm bumping this old thread up for two reasons.

First, Lou just did a "Peanut Butter Lid" build as part of the 2020 Challenge and he used a Pot Topper in the scenery. He referenced this thread in his.

Here is a link to his work: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=52348&whichpage=8

I have not been able to find Pot Toppers in Michaels for some time - not in New Jersey, and not out here in Michigan. Lou was able to get some in Rhode Island, however.

So today I stopped in a local Michaels to see if they had any. Again, none to be found. However, I did find what looks like a very, very close match.



That is a Pot Topper on the left and the new 12"x12" scenic mat on the right.

Here is a closeup of the grass side, followed by a closeup of the back sides of each.






They are not exact, but they are close. It looks like you can separate the new mat and pull the grass from the 'dead leaves' on the rear, just like on a Pot Topper. Also, the mat is not dead flat. On the grass side it has oval 'pockets' of grass that are raised higher then the surrounding area, which makes it easy to 'lift' those areas from the backing.

Although the price tag is $19.99, I got the 40% off, so about $12. There is at least 8 times more 'grass' to play with on this than on a Pot Topper, so it is still a good buy (I'm not sure of the current price on Pot Toppers if you can find them).

Here is a shot of the front and back of the tag on the Mat if you are interested.



(If you go to Michaels this week, you they have all floral items including the mat at 40% off.)


Bruce

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