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Red Wood Ant (Heller)

Started by bmathison1972, September 24, 2017, 03:28:49 PM

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Walkaround of the red wood ant, Formica rufa Linnaeus, 1761, No. 79400 by the French company Heller (2000). This is the fourth and final insect figure in their set of four. It was the one I was most excited to get, and finally did! While ant figures are commonly made in 'chinabug' bin sets, having figures marketed at the species level is actually quite rare considering. This species is the classic 'red ant' of Europe. This species, as presently delineated, does not occur in North America, but there are about 25 species in the rufa-complex that do.

On ATF and STS you can see other walkarounds of the Coccinella septempunctata and Oryctes nasicornis. Sometimes the four figures (there is a Lucanus cervus as well that I did not do a walkaround for) are marketed together as 'Forest Monsters' collection.

Like all Heller model kits, assembly is required. This model comes in 13 pieces (top, bottom, mandibles, 2 eyes, 2 antennae, 6 legs) in a matte black. I first assembled the body and mandibles and painted the body with a red-brown-yellow mix (in the final product it dried a little more brown than I would have liked, but I am still happy with it). I then added the antennae (painted first) and legs, sealing everything with superglue. They recommended painting the black parts black, but the base color is adequate to I left it as is. As usual, I coated the final product with a satin varnish.

The final figure is 110 mm long, making it roughly 16:1 for an average-sized worker (normal legnth 4.5-9.0 mm).

On to the pics:

And the final product:

And with the entire 'Forest Monsters' collection: