* Prices may differ from that shown
As some of you may know, I love shopping online, especially on Very.co.uk. A few weeks ago they had a fab sale with some things having up to 70% knocked off the pre sale price. When they have sales such as this, I tend to spend hours on there looking through everything that is reduced in the hope of getting a great bargain.... Well this time, I got one! Star Wars the Clone Wars Plaster Creations is not on Very.co.uk anymore, although you can find it at Argos, priced at £12.92. I found them on sale at £4 - they looked like a bargain... so I bought 6! I wondered if they would be good quality at that price, but if they did look good then they would make great presents for my son's friends - there seems to be a party every week at the moment, and I'm getting sick of spending a fortune on kids I've never even met! When they arrived I was quite impressed, the box was of a good quality and, from looking on the back, it looked like a good piece of kit. My son has a Ben 10 Shaker Maker at his dads, that cost around 4 times the price, but didn't contain as much as this set did. You will receive: 1x Workstation 3x Plaster of Paris packs 1x Yoda mould 1X Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi mould 1x Display base 1x Background scene 6x Paints 1x Mixing bowl 1x Mixing spoon 4x Plastic supports 1x Paint brush plus full instructions. The workstation measures 29 x 24 x 8.2 cm. It is a hollow plastic mould that has three tiers: a 19 x 12 cm work space, a long panel for the paint, and two bases at the top - one for the mixing bowl and one to put the Yoda mould in when drying. The workspace also has two ridges either side that can be used to hold your paintbrush and spoon. It also allows for easier cleaning. Yoda is around 7 cm high with a 3-3.5 cm diameter; to make Yoda, you firstly need to mix up a pack of the Plaster of Paris. You should use warm (but not hot) water, and there is a line in the mixing bowl that shows you how much water to use. You then stir up the mix with the plastic spoon provided. The spoon is long, sturdy, and easy to use. You then add small amounts of the mix into the plastic Yoda mould, making sure that all areas are filled before adding more. The Yoda mould is soft stretchy plastic, so it is easy to squeeze as you fill. You should also stir the mixture when in the mould to make sure that there are no air bubbles. The instructions suggest using the spoon, but I find that this is too gig and ended up using a kebab skewer instead! I found this process very fiddly and awkward as it is impossible to know whether there are air bubbles or not, it is also quite difficult to get the plaster into small areas, such as Yoda's ears. After around 5 minutes, I'd decided that it was as good as it would get, we then just had to wait and see what it would turn out like. To store the mould while drying, you have to stick the plastic supports together in the shape of a square (the supports are plastic strips, about the same size as lollipop sticks, which interlock). The Yoda mould has a ridge at the bottom, you should slide this into the support so it can be held up without deforming the mould. This may sound complicated, it is a little fiddly, but is quite easy to set up. You then put the mould and support into the space in the workstation and leave it to dry (at least 90 minutes). The instructions state that each pack will make one mould, although after making Yoda, we found that we had quite a lot left and could have made another character, although by this time it was too hard to use as we had spent a lot of time fiddling about with the mould. The other two moulds; Obi-Wan and Anakin, are flat back moulds, and come as imprints on a plastic box mould (the figures are around 10 cm high and 1.5 cm deep). They are so much easier to make than Yoda. You simply pour the plaster into the mould and whiz the spoon around the corners to make sure it is covered. As the mould is clear plastic, you can hold the mould in the air and look under to check that the plaster covers the mould. Again, you should wait 90 minutes until dry. Once dry, you should carefully remove the figures from the moulds. Yoda - You should carefully pull at the bottom lip of the mould, and then pull it up over the figure. This is easier said than done as it is a tight fit, a very tight fit. Once you pull it up to his chin, you realise that, as his ears stick out, that it will be impossible to pull it over both ears without snapping something. One of our ears had already broken so we forgot about that one and aimed to get the other one out intact. We did manage it, but could never have done this with both ears intact. We then just glued the other ear on as we would paint over it anyway, so you wouldn't know the difference. Obi-Wan and Anakin - Again, they are a lot easier to do than Yoda. You simply wiggle the plastic mould around carefully, with small movements as to loosen the mould. You can then push down on one side of the mould and hopefully just pull the figure out. We found it very easy to do this and both moulds came out perfectly. Painting time! The pack includes 6 paints in those tiny pots that are attached together (the ones you always see in sets like this). The colours you receive are: white, black, green, blue, yellow, and red. So, all the basics. You also get a little chart on the side of the box that show you how to mix colours together to make: purple, pink, orange, brown, and pale blue. This is quite handy for younger children who aren't completely sure about how to mix colours. I found the paints quite thick, and covered the moulds well first time around, usually you will need a second coat of deep colours such as red and black, but I found that the paints were quite good quality so this wasn't needed. When you have finished you can display your moulds in the display base. This is a 18 x 9.5 cm plastic stand with ridges in that are perfectly shaped to hold your moulds. It also holds the 'background scene' a 15 x 14 cm glossy cardboard image of a pretty sunset. This is a really nice touch and keeps them all together somewhere safe rather than having them lying around somewhere where they can get damaged easily (as my son tends to do with most of his 'creations'). So overall I am very happy with this set. It is fun and creative yet less messy than most 'making' sets are. You also end up with a nice display that your child can be proud of. I am obviously very happy with the price I paid, although I would still consider myself to have bought a bargain if I had purchased at full price. Apart from the small issue of Yoda's ear (which turned out fine in the end), this set is great, it is well thought out and you get a lot for your money. I therefore award Flair Clone Wars Plaster Creations.... Five stars!