This morning I took my life in my hands and fired up the static grass applicator (purchased off eBay). This made a humming noise, reminiscent of the Proton Packs in Ghostbuster. At one point the sieve touched the crocodile clip and there was a terrific "zap"; it was a bit like "crossing the beams!".
My modus operandi was to paint wood glue onto the base (around 50% coverage), attach the crocodile clip to the element's base, press the on button and tap the applicator against my other hand, shaking the grass onto the glue.
I found the normal 2mm grass looked a little short, and mixed in some 4mm long strands, for variety. Most of these longer strands stayed in the sieve, but enough made it through to make a difference.
So did it work? I think so. Quite a bit of grass is on the bases, and it seems to be fairly vertical. I needed to apply a second coat, in places, to make the grass appear thicker, but then I always do that. It was a faster process than using my trusty Noch puffer bottle. All in all a success!
I hope to add tufts to the bases tonight, and then spray matt tomorrow (weather permitting), to conceal the gloss left by the glue. After that I can finally attach the finished chariots to the bases.