“Get the Flock out!” – What is FLOCK?

Get the Flock Out!

What exactly is “Flock”?Anyone who is into Miniature wargaming, Railroading or Scale Model building uses this stuff on a regular basis. We all go out and spend too much of our hard earned money on the stuff. But .. what the heck IS this Flock stuff anyway?

From Wikipedia : Flocking is the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface. It can also refer to the texture produced by the process, or to any material used primarily for its flocked surface. Flocking of an article can be performed for the purpose of increasing its value in terms of the tactile sensation, aesthetics, color and appearance.

So, flock can be many different things! In our use, it is a general term used to describe any of the materials we use to enhance our miniatures and terrain. This can be sand, fine turf (ie : grass), static grass, small rocks, clump foliage and much much more.

Turf (Fine/Coarse) : Turf is a product used primarily for creating a grass-like effect on miniature bases and terrain pieces. You can have both fine and coarse turf (one is, obviously, slightly larger/coarser than the other) in a massive variety of colours, from simple greens to bright, vibrant reds and yellows, and anything in between! Fine turf is typically used to add texture and highlights to trees, grasses, foliage and other ground covers. Coarse turf is usually used to model low lying vegetation, add texture and highlights and use to transition between low, medium and high ground covers. This, along with Ballast/Talus is the most common of all the flocks used and will eat up the largest portion of your flocking budget
Field Grass is an extremely fine, natural hair product that models tall grass, field grass and weeds. This product often needs to be applied with tweezers to get individual (or a few) strands in place at a time, or placed in clumps like stands of weeds.
Clump Foliage flock is used to model Medium to High ground cover, bushes and medium to large. It consists of a larger clump-like material (thus “clump foliage”). You can also get Foliage Clusters that are large chunks of clump foliage which you can break off into a variety of sizes to simulate whole bushes or tall ground cover.
Lichen is a natural moss product that is used to make quick, easy bushes, ground cover and trees. This is a long time favourite of hobbyists and, in addition to being available for purchase in hobby shops (already cleaned and coloured), you could always go for a nice hike in the woods and gather your own, at no cost!
Static Grass Flock is a fiber product that models grass and/or weeds. This product, while fantastic when applied properly, is a royal pain in the buttocks to use, and gets all over everything! The product is meant to model small/fine grass and will stand up (fairly) straight when used as it is supposed to be. In order to get it to stand up requires the use of Static electricity (thus the “Static” portion of it’s name). Generally speaking, you are meant to shake up the plastic container the product is in and shake it onto an area of terrain or a figure base. You then either need some sort of static electric charge or a “puffer” bottle to get the grass to stand up. Some people claim you just need to tip the piece upside down and tap the bottom a few times, but this does not always work well. With this particular product, practice goes a long long way!
Poly Fiber is used to create vines, undergrowth and other rambling vegitation. Yes, this is the same stuff that is used to fill pillows! You can buy it pre-coloured in small packs from the hobby shop, or you can buy a bag of this stuff at most department/craft stores and colour it yourself. If you leave it white or slightly greyed it can also make fairly decent (and cheap) smoke or smoke screen markers.
Talus, or “rock debris” is used for anywhere you want rocks of any variety of sizes, from small stones to large chunks of rock from a rocky outcroping. Also in this group is Ballast, which would be classed as a Fine talus and can be used to simulate gravel or coal piles.