I was always reluctant to do a diorama with extensive foliage and vegetation, usually opting for “less is more” principle, adding just a few twigs and branches. I avoided depicting forests and jungles, as I just didn’t know what materials to use and how to make the scene appear realistic and in scale.
However, I decided to bite the bullet and go for something more complex for my latest vignette. I searched long and hard to find the optimal products for making a forest scene and found Diorama Presepe, a small one-man-band company from Italy, producing various scenery items like trees, branches, roots, bushes, grass tufts and plants.
Many of these products are actually miniature natural plants, preserved and stabilized using protective agents to last a long time. I was impressed with how the plants looked on Diorama Presepe website (link) and decided to try some of these.
The big problem was choosing the plants that would suit my needs, as there are so many in the company catalogue. Finally, this is what I got:
I decided to get several different plants and bushes, as well as micro roots. The whole shebang was not cheap, but the large blister boxes contain a huge amount of material, which is more than enough for several dioramas. I also got some smaller blisters, so called “mini packs” which are value packs with less material, but I figured those would add to the variety of different plant species.
Here are some detailed images of the plants:
These look very realistic (well, these are real plants after all) and seem very nicely sized as 1/35 scale vegetation.
And this is how it all looks on the vignette base. I envisioned an autumn forest with tree trunks from Diodump, painted as birch trees and leaf ground cover done using a leaf punch. The rest are the products of Diorama Presepe.
There are numerous aftermarket items to help modelers in creating realistic vegetation for their dioramas. In my opinion, the best products for simulating trees, branches, bushes, roots and plants are natural products. Diorama Presepe provides a huge catalogue of such products, specifically tailored for modeling purposes.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I ordered some of Diorama Presepe products. However, after opening the boxes and seeing the plants, I had no doubt these will be perfect for my vignette. Finally, I can highly recommend Diorama Presepe stuff, it really is top notch!