So having decided that my approach to modelling heather didn't actually work I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I'd have to go without flowers on the heather, but then I had a flash of inspiration and decided it was worth having one more go.
When I first started thinking about modelling heather I'd looked at using the Woodland Scenics purple flowering foliage. I quickly ruled it out for two reasons. Firstly the strands that the flowers are attached to tend stick out at odd annoying angles no matter how much glue you use. More importantly while the purple looks bright and vibrant in a clump once teased out to cover a dark green bush it is actually quite dark. Obviously the first problem can be dealt with by removing the flowers from the strands but I still discounted it because of the colour.
My moment of inspiration came late on yesterday when I was using some dark earth weathering powder to slightly tone down a bright green grass tuft; if I can make a grass tuft darker using a weathering powder why couldn't I lighten the purple flowers in a similar way? So I took a small box, some white weathering powder, some purple flowers (removed from the strands) and made a martini!
Making heather was then a case of painting a small amount of glue onto a bush and sprinkling on some of the lightened flowers. I also added a few of the dark purple flowers to add a little variety. The excess was then blown of and voila we have heather. In real life it looks even better as the camera makes it look a lot bigger than it really is.