Continuation: Dull welcome

Overall, the layout of the instruction leaflet is principally clear, but the pictures which show how to assemble the different kinds of plants or flowers could be a bit bigger. The quality of the paper and the print is good.

die korrigierte Deichsel im DetailAlthough it is only a small cart, it cannot be assembled in just five minutes. Especially the preparation of the parts - cutting them off the sprue, trimming them - takes some time. Our photo on the left shows the correct position of the drawbar and thus might help other modellers (you can still detect some smaller burrs and some spots of glue that show where the drawbar parts had been stuck by mistake).

At least all the parts fit smoothly, so in this respect there is no extra work required. The wooden grain looks realistic and the boards and fittings are wonderfully detailed, but painting or weathering the model now seems to be absolutely necessary. Of course, for the sake of a neutral result, we did not do that before we had finished our test. By the way, after such improvements the cart (without flowers) could be easily placed in a rural scene on a model railway layout or diorama - e.g. as a conveyance, maybe with some horses in front or loaded with some tree trunks.

der fertig montierte Karren - noch ohne Blumenschmuck

Looking at the amazing number of tiniest flower and plant parts some modellers might lose courage; you really need good eyes, a steady hand and loads of patience! Some flower heads are smaller than 0.05 inches and have to be stuck on top of the stems by using a pair of tweezers.

die Teile für die Bepflanzung des KarrensIt is always the same procedure: The ‘green stuff’ remains on the sprue where leaf by leaf has to be bent into a realistic-looking position, again with the help of tweezers. Thanks to the special ‘memory plastic’ material the leaves will remain in this position.

Afterwards the stems have to be cut off the sprue with a sharp knife or a small side cutter. The tops of the flower stems need to be dipped into a drop of super glue and then stuck into the tiny holes at the bottom of the flower heads. These holes are almost invisible to the naked eye! Before glueing, some of the stem tops need to be painted yellow or orange, highlighting the centre of the blossom. Finally, the whole flower can be cut off the sprue. Then the piece of grass mat has to be cut to the right size and stuck on the grey cardboard strip (see our photo) that comes with the kit. It lifts the grass and the plants in the cart to a higher level.

We recommend to keep the spare bits of the grass mat to fill some gaps later on. We put all the plants and flowers in front of us and decided then where they would look best in the cart. Of course, there are thousands of possible arrangements; all the modeller has to do is to make sure that everything looks realistic in the end.

‘Planting’ flower by flower, leaf by leaf into the grass mat is another Sisyphean challenge. The long grass fibres were in our way all the time and seemed to be really keen on pinching some of the super glue drop at the end of each stem…

We preferred the style of planting you can see in our photo, airy and not overgrown - less is more, as they say! Hence we could keep quite a few flowers and leaves for other purposes which might save us some money in the future.

der fertige Bausatz - Karren mit Blumenschmuck 

conclusion

While in the past century you often had to be satisfied with pipe cleaner trees, Iceland moss bushes and grass made from coloured sawdust, some manufacturers now offer a variety of stunning items that allow you to create a much more realistic scenery on your model railway layout. Talking about miniature flowers, you can call the German company BUSCH a real pioneer. Although some people smile disdainfully at the ‘plastic plants’, we would not want to miss them anymore. And while some of them might look a bit big in the cart, the tested kit is still a lovely accessory for romantic layouts. A severe drawback is the pale, uniform colour of the vehicle parts, but if you have the skills and the patience for making a realistic planting you will have no problems at all anyway to improve this overall good kit.

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Tested January 2010     German flag   © Volker Labitzke - www.tiny-world-BIG.com - please visit our  main page