by: Frederick Boucher [ ]
IntroductionMatho Models has released a new range of 1/35 sets of fine photo-etched plants for dioramas. This is Plants & Weeds A, item 35035.
I was intrigued when I first saw the news release about these models. The fine veining caught my attention immediately and I wanted a set. Let's see what these models look like and how well they work.
Plants & Weeds APlants & Weeds A are a creeping vine. I don't know what vines are in Europe but around here Virginia Creeper resembles the leaves of this model. Matho Models used some very fine .1mm brass sheet for these etchings. The metal feels and bends like photo paper. Sheet size is 6.3 x 9.6 cm (2.48" x 3.78").
The etching is very fine and crisp. The veins are distinct yet very shallow, as one would expect with 1/10 millimeter brass. The set is four vines of leaves and several individual leaves etched into the fret. Matho Models has a detailed How to use and paint section on their webpage.
The first image of the fret - it looks black because I scanned it on a scan instead of photographing it. It is actually a shiny pretty brass.
CultivatingI deviated from the webpage instructions and painted a tan from a rattlecan on both sides of the fret. It baked in the 90°F early summer sun for a couple of hours. I used a common craft acrylic paint on the leaves and applied it with a Sea Silk artist sponge. I like the sponge because I can dab it into gobs of paint, or swirled gobs of paint, and daub it on the surface for a completely random finish. Now, many plants are very uniform in color but I like simulating plants with a bit of blight or insect damage. I used a couple of greens, a yellow and an orange. The sponge even brushed over the leaves without getting paint in all the veins.
Not all the veins were obvious so I applied several washes with different media, acrylic and solvent. I found that Games Workshop wargaming washes flowed best into the veins.
When the paints were dry I used a sharp heavy hobby blade to separate the weeds from the fret; each end leaf has one small connectors and they are easy to cut through cleanly. There were only a couple that I had to clean off with a file.
Mathos guides us to use two tweezers to form the leaves and stems. I deviated from that a bit and used a paintbrush handle to round one branch and leaves, and the other I did with my fingers. While i will not suggest these P/E pieces are stout, they take an impressive amount of bending and twisting without the metal breaking. None of mine did. The single leaves you can see in the photos are the individual leaves from the frets.
Mathos's thin brass is malleable and easy to drape across things. The photos show two vines upon a Mathos model item 35022 Broken Wall (See link below), and upon stumps and rock of a resin diorama base.
ConclusionPlants & Weeds A are beautifully etched upon wonderfully thin brass. The brass is near-scale thin with excellent detail. They are easy to cut out and form and position. This mini foliage paints up into very impressive flora.
A minor thing yet, if there is any aspect of these to criticize, it is due to the excellent thinness of the brass - the veining is so shallow I found it challenging to paint the veins. However, use of either a wash or gently brushing over the top of the leaves with a quality brush works very well.
For your viewing pleasure, the bottom of this review features all three types in a "family portrait".
Plants & Weeds A is a wonderful set of 1/35 foliage that can enhance any diorama, camouflage a vehicle or uniform, limited only by one's imagination. Happily recommended.
Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw this product here - on Armorama.