by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Plus Model out of Czechoslovakia has come out with something a bit different with a couple of resin releases of various floral arrangements and funeral wreaths. While this might on the surface seem a bit odd, it fits into a number of different ideas that have been often incorporated into various dioramas and vignettes. In particular, what we are taking a look at are Plus Modelís #379 Funeral Wreaths with ribbons and, #380 Flowers in Flowerpots.
Due to the consistent theme I will tackle both of these products as a single review, which Iím sure most of you wonít mind, after all this isnít really the website for Better Homes and Gardens. The first set, #379 funeral wreaths, comes with four different wreaths, two smaller and two larger. Plus Model has also included a nifty little sheet of wreath ribbons in three different languages, English, German, and what I am guessing is Czech, but I could be wrong as it might be non-Cyrillic Russian.
The sheet provides 8 different ribbons for each language which are intended to be draped respectfully from the wreath. Only one small misspelling in the English translation ribbons, but no real detraction considering the size of the lettering. The ribbons are a bit tricky to get to conform to the surface in a natural set and soaking them in some kind of thin glue and water solution helps, but they do remain very fragile while they are still damp so take care with this step.
Each of the four wreaths is very well cast with a nice sized pour plug on the back that is easy enough to remove. It will be a bit tricky to display the wreath in a setting that provides all around viewing as the back is marred by the pour plug and not detailed. The business side of the wreaths however are very well detailed, take paint well, and provide an opportunity for some easy detail work and dry brushing that can really pop with some bright floral colors. One item that is missing is any kind of a tripod to display a wreath on, an inclusion that would have made this a bit more of an inspired product. I made my own easily enough with strip plastic because, hey after all arenít we modelers! And because I am a modeler, you can see my completed example here to the right.
The other set, #380 flowers in flowerpots, is just as self explanatory. You get ten different terra cotta type pots with flowers; four larger style pots and six slightly smaller examples, good value for the money. Each has a pour plug on the bottom that will need to be removed. Each pot even has the catch basin on the bottom so your flowers root system will remain moist after watering! Each of the examples is well cast with just the slightest parting lines visible which are easily cleaned up. Again, I painted one up in about ten minutes; an easy chore that can bring a spot of color into an otherwise often drab world.
These are some really easy ways to bring some visual interest into your latest project. 30 years ago every diorama that included a building seemed to presuppose that it must be destroyed; now modelers have branched out into lots of presentations that go beyond the aftermath of battle.
These two products can help to fill those types of scenes with everyday color that often is conspicuous only in its absence, a couple flower pots on a step or window sill, a solemn procession of a loved one or comrade with a wreath attached are a few that come to mind almost immediately, Iím sure you have a few ideas of your own. Despite the lack of the tripod, which is included in Plus Modelís other wreath set, #376, I give a thumbs up to both of these products.
MSRP for the Funeral Wreaths are $10.20, while the flower pots are $8.30.