MG Sinanju Stein Ver. Ka.

I was planning to build a proper Gundam for a long while. After much pottering around I decided on the Sinanju Stein, primarily because I like its design, it is a nice and beefy Master Grade kit, but also because I like spending hours on decals and the Ver. Ka. versions deliver these in boatloads. It being my first proper Gundam I overestimated my skills a bit and decided I would also do some custom details, metal effects, pearl effects and a fully painted inner frame. Needless to say this one took me a while, 3 months to be more precise.

I am quite satisfied by the result though, Bandai really makes amazing kits!20170408_121313

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Garden upgrade

Since my “Chicken Proofing” post I was planning to make some nice benches for my Bonsai. I finally got to it even though ALL chickens got eaten by a fox overnight. *Poof* and they’re gone, I miss them, they were almost tame enough to eat out of my hands.

RIP Feathery Assholes.20170326_101501

But ey, life goes on, there are Bonsai to spoil, so off it was to the local building market to get some wood and fittings.20170326_155301

In The Netherlands you can get these metal fittings to secure beams to a flat surface, which when turned over make a perfect scaffold for Bonsai benches.20170327_130642

After a flip over and some poles in the ground there you go.20170327_133948

Which look even better with some Bonsai on them, plus it makes your wooly thyes tingle with manliness.20170327_161754

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Japan #3

I’m sorry people, it’s been a while. The last month was filled with a three week trip to Japan and a mini festival in my garden, so updating this warped ego-vehicle of a blog has been a bit lower on my agenda. I hope a few tree-oriented photos from the trip will make up for it at least a little bit.

Mossy Birch forest in Hokkaido.20170502_155944

A well maintained and impressive pine near the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto.20170517_112642

The Maples in Koyasan.20170518_135214.jpg

One of the many, perfectly pruned, city trees in Takayama.20170514_174553

Airfix Fokker EII

This little fucker was build from the new Airfix kit they released last year. It is tiny, the hull is about as long as a lighter, but the detail is very nice and fine, a joy to build. For a while Airfix was known for old bad quality kits, but lately they’re really proving they can also make proper new ones that sell for very decent prices.

I couldn’t resist putting it in a little field and managed to do the rigging even though I hate fidgeting with threads. Added a few metal details from scrap and even pulled of something similar to wood grain on the propeller. Scale is 1/72 which makes it about 11cm wide.

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Five Beeches for €10,-

Beeches are my favourite trees, their thick muscular trunks and smooth bark have a combination of elegance and power I like. Where I live, The Netherlands, a lot of people have Beech hedges. These are sold as youngling of around 4/5 years old at around ten euro per bunch of five 2cm thick younglings to be put in the ground in rows to hedge. About six years ago I bought one of those bunches and put a few in the garden to grow thicker and two others in a pot to be trained as Bonsai immediately.

Beeches are very nice and hardy, but they do have a few quirks that make them difficult for Bonsai, especially the European genus which is also sensitive to light (or too much of it). Most importantly they have a very distinct way of leafing out. Generally they have one flush of leaves in spring and that is all you get to work with that year. They also don’t leaf out in individual leaves, instead when their buds swell they throw out an entire branch at once. In general such a branch has 3 to 5 leaves and is very soft the first week. When you cut these new soft branches back to the first two leaves before it hardens it will yield a reasonably compact tree and when healthy and fed well it might even decide to do a second flush of buds halfway through summer. For growing it as Bonsai this is very important because treating it like that is practically the only way to get a nice structure with dense foliage. For this reason many growers find Beeches difficult. They also very rarely backbud on old wood making “foliage management” very important and it’s best to buy them with a thick trunk if that’s what you’re going for because they thicken very slow in a pot.

The good thing is that when you do this right, and make sure it watered well and avoid continuous direct sunlight these trees are almost impossible to kill. When treated right you’ll have a few fine trees for almost nothing. Below are two of them in their first year in a pot, with just a wee bit of wire.

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And now, five years later.

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Still not ready, especially the first one needs some further compacting/maturing, but they are rewarding trees to own regardless.