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Flock - From Polystyrene

Rastl shows us how to make flock from off-cuts of polystyrene foam.

Given a few supplies you can make flock in any amount and any color you need. No more 'same three shades of green'. Need purple flock for your new planet? No problem! No more having to limit your projects based on how much flock they need!

Note that you really don't get a fine grade of flock from this so it is more suited to foliage, areas where you would use talus, or anything else that needs texture and color.

Flock - From Polystyrene

You will need:

  1. A Coffee Grinder

  2. Polystyrene Foam (blue/pink type)

  3. Acrylic Paint

  4. Metal Sieve (optional)

Before we start, please note that this is going to mess up your coffee grinder so don't use the one the caffeine addict in your house uses to make their morning fix. I found mine at a yard sale and it is dedicated to making terrain. Ditto on the sieve.

Flock - From PolystyreneA few words on safety: as you can see from the picture, we've got a machine here with spinny blades of finger mangling. Most of them have pretty decent safety precautions built in but no matter what, if you're going to be sticking your fingers in there, unplug the thing first. Same concept goes for cleaning. I used glass cleaner and a paper towel and it cleaned up almost new, but unplug it, don't spray into the mechanism and let it dry thoroughly before using it again.

Now for the fun part:

Cut or break your foam into small pieces to fit into your coffee grinder. Don't overload it or you're going to get spillage when you open it back up to add paint.

Grind away! Check occasionally to see how the pieces are breaking down. There's going to be some static here so open carefully. If you're doing multiple batches the paint will cut down on the static but your first grind is going to be all over the place. Fair warning.

Flock - From Polystyrene Flock - From Polystyrene Flock - From Polystyrene

Once the flock is pretty near where you want it squirt in some acrylic paint. I do a line around the middle of the grinder but you'll need to experiment to see what works for you. To be honest, less is more, however I had to add a little more than shown in the photo above to get decent coverage.

Grind again to mix the paint in with the flock. You'll notice that most of the static goes away and the flock will settle to the bottom of the grinder. Pour it out and let dry for a bit. If you're going to sieve it (optional) for different 'grades' spread it out on some paper towels.

And that's it. As they (kind of) say in the Dorito's commercial - "Go ahead! You can make more!"

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