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The Grassinator

| February 12, 2011 | 22 Comments More

Grassinator

The Ztrains Grassinator is the handheld static grass applicator that can add upright static grass to your layout and add an amazing amount of realism quickly and easily. When we moved to our new site here at Ztrains.com we had to pull a lot of our articles offline in order to rework them for this new format. The Grassinator article was one of them.

We’ve been receiving a surprising amount of email about the Grassinator and when it’s coming back. As many of you static grass aficionados know, the tough part about getting the Grassinator into your hands has been the on-again, off-again availability of the negative ion generator… the heart of the Grassinator.

We’ve jumped through a few hoops trying to get these pieces directly from the manufacturer in China. Let’s say I have a whole new respect for US companies dealing with overseas manufacturers. That said, we are looking to get the Grassinator article back online and more important, we’re looking to finally have these units available for sale.

Price has always been an issue with these but we’re looking to get ours built for about half the price of similar commercial units now available. Bear with us just a bit as we’re juggling a lot of projects at the same time. Dropping standards is something we don’t do, so it may take a bit of extra time… but we feel the Grassinator is worth it.

Drop us a line if you think you’d be interested in purchasing the Ztrains Grassinator.

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  • http://www.pawofabear.com Michael Duggan

    Thank you so much for this article. Built one and love it. The directions were clear and easy to follow and the tool works like a charm. The Frugal Modeler gives it two big thumbs up. Though I have shocked myself a couple of times checking that it is turned on…;)

    • John

      Hi Michael,

      On the new version I’m going with an LED for the power indicator, not as much fun as the the self-test but just as reliable!

      John Cubbin
      Ztrains

    • Jim Gulnac

      Would love to build one, but can’t seem to find the plans anywhere. I certainly can’t afford $200.00 for a static grass applicator. I love model railroading, but it seems like it is becoming a hobby for the wealthy.

  • John McCarthy

    I built my Grassinator several years ago from the plans provided by Ztrains. It was a fun and easy do-it-yourself project. The unit performed extremely well, and it has “Grassinated” a number of layouts here in the Pacific Northwest. The amazing thing about it was the area that could be covered without relocating the grounding wire; at least one foot on either side! If Ztrains can provide this tool already built, it will be a must-have for modelers who are serious about scenery!

  • Dave Mason

    Although I don’t model in Z scale, your article on the Grassinator was great. However, I never saved it and now am looking for it to build one. Hope the article gets back up soon.
    Thanks

    • John

      Dave,

      We’re looking to get a lot of our previous articles back online soon, including the Grassinator build. In addition we’re also going to be making the Grassinator available as a finished tool in the Ztrains Store.

      John
      Ztrains

  • DAVID BALSER

    I am interested in buying the parts for a grass machine or buying a complete machine from you. Please let me know if you have any in stock and the price.

    Thanks
    David Balser
    Encinitas, California

    • John

      David,

      Thanks for asking about the Grassinator! We’re finishing up a pair of desktop layouts now and as soon as these are completed we’ll be focusing on getting the Grassinator up and available.

      If you like you can sign up for our Newsletter and as soon as we have it ready, we’ll send out an announcement.

      John
      Ztrains

  • http://N/A Nick Prahl

    I built the Grassinator a couple of years ago and found it to be fantastic. The most costly part of the components was the shipping cost for the ion generator from Goldmine electronics in Australia ($18.00).

    I hope you are successful in making a Grassinator kit available. It is a must for modelers of any scenes, especially model railroads!

  • Bruce

    Is this the part you are looking for? :

    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/SW-750/IONIZER/1.html

    (I hope so, ’cause thats what I just bought 2 of, in case I screw up the first attempt.)

    Do you wire ALL 4 prongs to the metal shaker screen?

    • John

      Hi,

      That is definitely not the part I used, that generator you linked to is 120V AC. The generator I used is DC. As a general rule I don’t like playing around with anything AC.

      Crispy is good for chicken, not for model railroaders!

      John
      Ztrains

  • Mr. White

    Saw a guy on YouTube make an ugly one out of an electric fly swatter for about 20 bucks and 10 minutes of work. It had to be pretty low though. You could probably up the power pretty easily though.

    • John

      I’ve seen the fly swatter versions as well though I’ve heard that, as you mentioned, the electrical charge is relatively low. Not sure what would be involved with increasing the charge and also with an increased charge, I’d be concerned about safety.

      John
      Ztrains

  • Tosh

    What is your opinion of the Noch unit?

    • John

      It’s a good quality tool but I felt it was just a little underpowered. Also I like using a smaller container to hold the static grass, makes it easier to get closer to the application area.

      John
      Ztrains

  • Justin

    Is there any movement on the Ztrains commercially available Grassinator?

    • John

      Hi Justin,

      It’s been way too long for this I realize, but we have made some progress. I’m trying to bring this out at a really reasonable price. We’re trying to tie some of the details up just this week.

      Please bear with us just a bit longer, thanks!

      John
      Ztrains

      • Justin

        Thanks for the update John! I have all the parts except the neg ion generator… but if the commercial Ztrains unit is reasonably priced, I’d be willing to purchase from you. Looking forward to hearing more details!

        • John

          Hi Justin,

          I appreciate your patience on this… we’re trying to get a few final bits in place. Thanks for bearing with us!

          John
          Ztrains

  • R. Habenicht

    Just fishing for an update on the Grassinator.

    • John

      We’re still on this, just received another test batch of negative ion generators for testing… we’ll be building new prototypes and hopefully testing next week.

      John
      Ztrains

  • Walt Odenwald

    I would definitely be interested in the kit version of the Grassinator. You have an interesting web site with info that is applicable to all scales. Will absolutely stay in touch.

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