Here’s some photos of my first experiments with the New Zealand tree kits I mentioned in my previous posting. Posed with the Perry farmhouse and an Empress civilian, I think the scene looks very … well … New Zealandish!
So far I’ve only assembled the kits of the ferns (mainly on the left of picture). I started by painting the fronds with acrylic paints, as I felt the paper they were made out of was too bright a green. I also drew in dark stems underneath each frond – but later realised this was a mistake as it was hard to keep these on the under-surface when assembling the plants.
Assembly of the ferns was fiddly at first, but improved as I worked through the plants. It is a matter of rolling a strip of paper fronds around a toothpick, glueing as you go, then teasing out the fronds afterwards. I’m quite happy with the final rather messy – but natural – arrangement of the fronds.
I haven’t assembled any of the other kits yet, but did already have on hand one pre-assembled sample of each type of plant from my first order. I tried painting these too, but found this was very tricky on assembled plants because the leaves began clumping together and drooping. I think I have ended up ruining the tree ferns (vaguely visible in the pics behind the house) , but no matter – next time I’ll do them as kits so I can paint the leaves first. I think the trick is to paint the leaves lying flat before any assembly takes place.
I am particularly happy with the cabbage tree, flax and toitoi (right side of picture), even though they were painted after assembly. On the pre-assembled cabbage tree, I merely painted the join between the rolls of dead and green leaves to make it a little less obvious. The pre-assembled flax and toitoi have just had some dry-brushing of other shades of green to add a bit of depth to the colour. But when I put together these kits in the future, I’ll also pre-paint the leaves before assembly.
I’m now pondering how to base these plants. I think little patches of bush might work best, rather than basing each plant individually. This might also be sturdier. I might have to go and see my good friend who is an expert with the jigsaw to help me cut some little irregular-shaped bases out of MDF.