by: Andy Brazier [ ]
The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas that possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head). The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image are often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely-toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base.
Sunflower seeds were taken to Europe in the 16th Century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Sunflower leaves can be used as a cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production.
In the bag
Packed in a re-sealable bag, the one fret of brass Photo Etch is protected by a cardboard backing to stop any bending. The instruction sheet is placed on the reverse side of the cardboard backing. The fret holds 32 parts which make up 7 sunflowers.
All the parts are pre-coloured on both sides, and all have a very nice coverage to them. The leaves are a brownish colour on one side, and light green on the other. The leaf veins are a tan colour, and the petals are a pale yellow, with the central floret coloured brown for the front and a green star pattern for the rear. The front floret cluster part is made up of raised dots, and is slightly off center; this is not really noticeable as the parts are quite small. All the parts have a satin finish, so a dull-coat will probably be needed.
Each sunflower is made up of four parts: the largest is the stem, with 16 leaves and the reverse side of the flower head. The petals are made up of two parts each, of which the centers are different. The last part is the central floret. Scale wise, the sunflowers will be about 6ft. By cutting the stems down you could make smaller sunflowers.
The instructions are printed on a small piece of paper, and follow the usual black line drawings. The build sequence is easy to follow, with arrows showing which parts need to be bent, and in what direction.
Building the sunflowers
Building the sunflowers is easy, but they are a bit delicate, not as the parts are small, but because the stem is thin and can be bent quite easily. The flower head is built first using the two parts for the petals, followed by gluing the central floret into place. The petals can be bent a little outwards to improve the effect. The top of the stem has the rear-most part of the flower, which needs to be bent twice, so that the stem appears to be coming out the center of the back of the flower. It is at this point the flower head is glued into place.
The leaves need to be bent 90 degrees, then drooped a little. I found using a pair of tweezers to hold the stem whilst bending the leaves the easiest way of holding it. One thing I did note, is the darker colour is normally found on the top of the leaf, with a lighter colour underneath. But with the Eduard set, bending them in what would be the correct way just looks wrong, so I have built them with the lighter colour on top.
A small hole will need to be made to insert the sunflower into the ground.
These can only really be used in a European setting, as wild sunflowers tend to have multiple flower heads, whilst domestic varieties have just the single head. Unless you feel like buying several sets to plant a field of sunflowers, then adding these to gardens will bring life, interest and a little bit of colour to your diorama.
Review sample supplied by Eduard. Be sure to mention you saw this item reviewed here on Armorama when purchasing it.