With regards to railway modelling, summers always tend to be a bit slow … so it’s a good time to browse the web a bit. During one of my searches, I bumped into some great pictures of modelled sugar cane on a Japanese site . It took all my language skills …or better to say, the automatic translation option of Google Chrome to find the the owners of the Japanese layout.
It is called the Hawaiian Pacific R.R. and I dropped them a note to find out what material they had used to model the HO scale sugar cane. I was very surprised hear that it is artificial grass … and of course it was only available in Japan itself, so I contacted the company that sells the stuff. Unfortunately they didn’t ship outside of Japan, forcing me to find another way to get it shipped home.
As suggested by some members of the Australian Narrow Gauge Yahoo group, I asked Yoshiya Kobayashi for help. His site is a great place to find Japanese HOn30 models and fortunately he was also willing to source other products from Japan! The grass mats, which are sized 260 mm by 260 mm, arrived last week and I must say that the individual plants look great.
On average the are about 55 mm high and can certainly be used to model growing sugar cane in HO scale. It will only require a bit of spray paint to simulate the dry part at the bottom of the stem. I will see if I can make a small test piece and give you an update in one of my next posts.