login   |    register

Scale Modeling Sponsors

See Your Ad Here!

Platz [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

First Look Review
112
Bonsai Trees - New Styles
Bonsai Trees - New Styles
  • move

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

Platz have released two new additions to their charming range of 1:12 Bonsai tree kits. As with the first two sets (reviewed HERE), the packaging is quite distinctive, because inside a conventional cardboard box each kit arrives sealed in an expanded polystyrene tray to protect the parts. This is because the plastic trees have “foliage” already attached and it could easily be damaged in transit (in fact, as you can see in the photos, a few of the fibres had still come adrift in the post, but these will simply dust off).

Each tree is modelled in a different style:

Bonsai No.3 is made up of just 4 parts for the tree itself, with a rather ornate 6-part stand, plus a pot and a one-piece plinth to stand it on.

Bonsai No.4 features a rather more elaborate tree with a simpler base. This comprises 7-parts for the tree, plus a pot and, again, the one-piece plinth.

The trees are neatly moulded in brown styrene, and younger modellers will probably be happy to leave this as the final finish. Anyone looking for more of a challenge will probably choose to paint them, and perhaps add a little fine soil around the roots for realism.

The “foliage” is rather like the imitation grass used in dioramas, and the instructions recommend trimming it for the best effect. I initially thought it was simply stylised but, while it can’t hope to replicate miniature leaves, it does actually look surprisingly similar to photos online of the tiny needles on miniature pines.

The kits each come with a sheet of “manga”-style instructions, with a cartoon girl talking you through the assembly. Unfortunately, all the text is in Japanese, so I can’t read it, but the diagrams are very clear and the kits are so straightforward, you can’t really go far wrong. Included on the back of the instructions is a bi-lingual overview of the various bonsai styles. From this, it appears that No. 3 is a Kengai (cascade) style bonsai, while No. 4 is a Moyogi (informal upright).

The main appeal of the kits is likely to be as ornaments or educational items, but they could equally serve in sci-fi/fantasy vignettes in any scale, where you could really let your imagination run riot in terms of painting them.

Conclusion
Platz’s bonsai trees are among the cutest and most unusual kits I’ve reviewed. My one experience with a real bonsai ended in failure after struggling for what seemed like ages to keep the poor thing alive, so these styrene versions seem a much safer bet for anyone who, like me, isn’t exactly blessed with green fingers.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on MODELGEEK.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well moulded and simple to construct with pre-coloured "foliage" already attached to the branches.
Lows: The "foliage" is grass-like, which gives a fair representation of pine needles, but can't really portray conventional leaves convincingly.
Verdict: Fun, simple kits, with some educational value. Sci-fi/fanatasy modellers could also use them in vignettes.
  Scale: 1:12
  Mfg. ID: BON-03 & BON-04
  Suggested Retail: 1500(JPY) each
  PUBLISHED: Sep 12, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.66%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.67%

Our Thanks to Platz!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright ©2017 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
Do you own this item and want to review it? You can add your review of the item here. Please read the reader review instructions before posting.


Comments

These are just too cool. I think these can be useful for almost any dioramas.
SEP 12, 2017 - 03:08 PM
Brilliant model kit idea(s)
SEP 12, 2017 - 03:29 PM
I just checked out their website and they have many, many more Bonsai types - some very interesting! LINK Prices vary with the size and complexity of the tree, but the largest heights appear to be under 4" tall and cost about $18 USD.
NOV 04, 2017 - 03:53 AM
Tip: Just hit enter to submit your reply!
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move