Modeling California scenes without tall grass is like modeling Pittburgh without steel mills. Getting that tall grass right has been one of the challenges for me as long as I've been modeling California scenes, and I'm still not sure I can get the look right.
California didn't always look like this, of course. The original California grasslands had a mix of various native and tall grasses that didn't die off in the summer and produced lots of seeds for the animals and the original California Indians. The tall golden grasses are actually invaders that came with the Europeans, and have taken over most of the state. Each of the common grasses is well-known to any schoolkid who learned which could be stripped of seed pods when walking by, which were scratchy, and which could be thrown at other kids.
I've tried several different approaches to modeling tall grass - fine and coarse yellow ground foam (mostly AMSI's #42 ochre and #52 aspen gold, much better than Woodland Scenics' much-too-pale burnt grass), static grass (nice but sparse), fake hair to put in drilled holes, and (best so far) self-adhesive Silflor grass tufts that are great for detailing a scene.
Vasona Junction, however, is the first location where I'm trying out the Silflor grass mats. Silflor mats are static grass applied to a backing; in my case, I'm using the California Golden Grass mat which uses 6.5 mm fiber. This is one of the taller grasses in the Silflor line; they also make mats with fibers as short as 2mm and as tall as 8mm.
Yesterday, I commented that the grass and mat seemed awful high and hard to disguise; here's some close-ups of the Silflor mats (both with an undisguised edge and with 6mm Silflor grass tufts applied along the edges) compared to Silflor's static grass glued straight to the plaster.
Which look do you prefer, or what's your favorite approach for modeling California dry grasses?