It is well-known static grass applicators can cost a lot of money. With our dramatically skrinking modelling budget, it was definitely a no goy. When there's no money, your brain activates: "Necessity is mother of Invention" isn't it?
In fact, I consider building the layout is getting more exciting as the budget shrinks. Everything looks like a real achievement you can be proud of.
In this case, Louis-Marie is pestering me since two years to make real scenery... he means greenery there: trees, grass, bushes, etc. When he learned about grass operator, he was ecstatic but highly surprised such a low-tech gadget could be sold with such an extravagant price tag.
In fact, grass applicators are extremely simplistic machines. The biggest expense was getting a strong enough ion generator which you can get for about 10$ on Ebay including shipping. Other parts are regular electronics you can get from the junk box. Add PVC pipes and reused plastic container with screen and you are in business. Louis says the total cost is about 15$ which is an infinitesimal fraction of the price asked for a brand new Noch grass applicator.
I'd like to give a direct link to an online tutorial, but Louis-Marie followed many and adapted the final design according to parts he had on hands.
To be honest, the ion generator we bough is extremely powereful (read too much) and Louis-Marie had to tame it with bulbs in series.
The first results speak for themselves. Louis-Marie went also as far as to make multiple covers with different size screen. It is mainly useful if you need to apply grass on a small area.
Once again, a good job done from scratch and that will make a tremendous difference in our approach to scenery.